This content has been reviewed and approved by our in-house Veterinarian for accuracy
Humans love bananas on their cereal and oatmeal, on their peanut butter sandwiches, and even as a snack all by themselves. But, unlike monkeys and even some dogs, cats are not known for their love of the popular fruit.
However, there are some cats out there who do love to eat bananas.
Bananas are a great source of potassium, which is great for heart and kidney functions, but they are loaded with carbs, which isn’t a significant part of a feline diet.
So, that leads us to the question – can cats eat bananas? And, do they even want to?
In this article we’ll cover the following:
A feline diet is all about protein. Cats do not require carbohydrates, but they can digest them in a limited way. However, carbs really shouldn’t make up more than about two percent of your cat’s daily diet because if you feed your cat too many carbs, it can cause significant problems.
Cats are obligate carnivores (they rely on a diet of meat only) and they lack the enzymes needed to digest and use most plant-based foods. This means that when a cat eats a banana, it might not be able to use any of the fats or protein in them.
Since cats are meat eaters, most of them probably don’t have much of an interest in eating bananas. But, all cat parents know that felines can have unexplained interests in certain foods. So, you might have a kitty that loves bananas.
However, even if your cat loves bananas, you really should avoid feeding them the fruit. A small bite every now and then probably won’t hurt. But, if you go that route, dress your cat up in a monkey costume first because it’s super cute.
In all seriousness, high levels of carbs in a feline diet is harmful, and it can contribute to diseases like diabetes and irritable bowel disease.
Bonus fact: Most cats actually don’t like the smell of bananas, and rubbing banana peels on furniture can discourage them from getting too close to claw it.
Yes, cats can eat bananas, but that doesn’t mean they should. Cats have different nutritional needs than humans, and in addition to protein, indoor cats require nourishment like Vitamin A, Vitamin C, taurine, and lots of fats.
Do bananas have those things? Yes. But, cats need to get their nourishment from packaged cat food.
The reason is because cat food doesn’t have artificial sweeteners. Cats don’t have have a sweet receptor on their tongue, so they don’t need sweet treats. The natural sugars in bananas can be harmful because they can’t digest them like humans can.
This might be why some cats are afraid of bananas.
Bananas are not toxic to cats, but there are much better ways for your cat to get their vitamins, protein, and fats. Human foods are never the answer because they don’t offer beneficial nourishment.
The same thing goes for kittens. Bananas are not beneficial in any way for your fur baby. In fact, bananas can cause even more harm than they would for adult cats because kittens are so small.
Even a small amount of bananas can cause problems in a kitten’s stomach. They can’t digest the sugar, and it can build up fast. This can eventually lead to diabetes and obesity.
Bananas do not offer any nutrition for kittens. And, even though they can be soft and mushy, bananas are not easily digestible and they are not essential for kittens.
The high sugar content in bananas can lead to diabetes and obesity if your cat eats them regularly. This is especially true for older cats.
Bananas can also cause an upset stomach or constipation, especially if they eat too much at one time.
Your cat’s digestive system can’t properly digest the sugar or the fiber like a human. And, in some rare cases, cats can experience an immune reaction if they have antibodies that bond with the chemicals in a banana.
Some cats might have allergic reactions to bananas, and the breed of your cat is a contributing factor to fruit allergies.
If your cat loves bananas, just make sure that they are ripe. When a cat eats a rotten banana with mold, it can make them extremely ill and cause vomiting and diarrhea.
As for banana peels, they are an absolute no-no. The peel is inedible and they can be a choking hazard.
So, can cats eat bananas?
Yes, cats can eat bananas, but it needs to be in moderation.
If you can’t resist sharing your bananas with your cat, do it in very small quantities and don’t do it often. When it comes down to it, cats really shouldn’t eat bananas because there are absolutely zero health benefits.
Plus, many cats find them downright scary.
But, as cat lovers know, every kitty has their own quirky food preferences.
If you do have a cat that loves to eat soft, smushy pieces of banana, try an alternative snack like Delectables Lickable Cat Treats. You can hand feed this gourmet treat that comes in a lickable tube, and it is a great snack to supplement your cat’s balanced diet.
To make sure your cat is happy and healthy, you want to make sure they have plenty of meat in their diet, not plant-based foods.
Is your cat bananas for bananas? Or is there another fruit your cat has a thing for? Let us know in the comments below.
Natalie earned her Bachelors degree in Journalism from the University of Kansas, and has worked in television and radio during her career. Now, she is a freelance writer, and in mid 2018, she joined our team and is working hard to give cat parents all the info they need for their cats to live a happy and healthy life. Natalie didn’t discover her love for cats until recently. As a child, her parents misled her into believing she was a dog person. However, all of that changed a couple of years ago when she met her favorite kitten that she later named Dale. Now, Dale takes up about 95 percent of the camera roll in her phone, and the two are the best of friends. Dale loves boxes, crab-flavored treats, window ledges, and playing outside. Natalie loves to binge movies and TV shows on Netflix and Hulu with Dale sitting nearby.