Can Cats Eat Bananas? 4 Reasons Why Best Not To Be Offered

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Can cats eat bananas? The short answer is yes, and there is nothing wrong with giving a bit of banana to your cat. According to ASPCA, bananas are not harmful to cats. So if you are eating a banana and your cat is begging to have a bite, there is nothing wrong with giving a little bit. [1]

Bananas are safe, but what is the problem of cats eating bananas? What is all the fuzz about?

can cats eat bananas?
Can Cats Eat Bananas

The question shouldn’t be if can cats eat bananas. It should be if your cat can process that food.

Cat’s body cannot break down sugar in the same way the human body does. Because of this, the sugar builds up in a cat’s body through food such as bananas, which can lead to body fat and diabetes. A cat’s diet should not exceed 0-2% of carbohydrates or sugars. [2]

Diets with high carbohydrates components can be detrimental to your cat’s health. 

Cat tongues don’t have sweet receptors on their taste buds. For this reason, cat food doesn’t have artificial sweeteners. So, occasionally feeding your cats bananas might be okay in moderation, but do not overdo it. Even if your cat likes it. [3]

What is the positive side of eating bananas for a cat?

can cats eat bananas
Can Cats Eat Bananas

On the positive side, a cat’s health could benefit from the fiber, potassium, magnesium, vitamin B6, vitamin C, and folate in bananas – only if not consumed to excess. 

Bananas, while nutritious for humans, are not so much for a cat. Especially since the sugar content of bananas is not necessary for a cat’s diet and can trigger future health issues.

  • Bananas are full of Potassium: This mineral helps a cat’s health by aiding the heart and kidneys. However, too much potassium in a cat’s body is just as dangerous as insufficient amounts.
  • Bananas are Folate-rich: Folate or folic acid helps to metabolize proteins in a cat’s body and builds new cells.
  • Bananas are a great supply of Fiber: While bananas have fibre, which makes a cat regular, too much of it can also cause diarrhoea. Generally, when a cat eats a banana, they’ll only absorb the dietary fibre.

Can your cat get all these nutrients from bananas? Yes, but the adverse effects overcome the positive ones in the long run. If you decide to give a banana to your cat, do it in moderation. [4]

What is the negative side of eating bananas for a cat?

Can Cats Eat Bananas

While bananas are non-toxic to cats, your cat’s digestive system can’t process this food as we do. So, while bananas wouldn’t be toxic to your cat, they wouldn’t be good in the long run. These are the effects. 

  • Weight gain provoked by the bananas high content in sugars and carbohydrates. This could lead to obesity, which could trigger specific health problems.
  • Spike blood sugar, which can lead to diabetes. [5]
  • Diarrhoea, as bananas are high in Fiber. [6]
  • Struggle to digest plant-based foods, which can lead to vomiting, flatulence and abdominal pain. [7]

Should human foods be used with cats?

The digestive mechanism and how the human body breaks down the food to get nutrients differs for cats. Meaning that healthy food for you doesn’t always work in the same way for your kitty.

Because of specific issues with some pet food manufacturers introducing some ingredients in their food, like melanin, which is not suitable for cats, some cat parents cook their food to control what their kitty is eating. 

While this is acceptable, I believe that human foods should be better given as treats, as it is easier to get a balanced diet from quality cat foods and less risky due to possible diet unbalance. If a cat feeds too much from one ingredient, it might get a lot of nutrients, but a lack of others that it might need might trigger the unbalance. There is a lot to know about human food that is safe for your cat to eat. 

Also, moderation is essential, as, in addition to safe/unsafe food, we need to consider the size of a cat compared to a human’s body. A small portion of something for us can almost constitute a meal for your cat. That’s why you have to give the human foods that are safe for your cat with moderation. 

To see an example, a 1oz piece of cheese for a 10-lb. cat is the caloric equivalent of two and a half hamburgers for a person. For a human, that’s around 750 calories!

Remember, it’s important to feed treats as a snack -they should not be more than 10% of your cat’s daily nutrition – and make them a part of a healthy routine.

Also, why don’t you check our list of human food that is unsafe for your cat to eat?

Can Cats Eat Bananas

What to do next?

Can cats eat bananas? Yes, but consider the above.

Cat’s nutritional needs are quite different than human’s, so consider if the food you are feeding to your kitty is safe before you do it. Cats that are domesticated live in a constrained environment. Meaning that we are responsible for their well-being and their nutritional needs.

Also, for more information, why don’t you check our nutrition guides?

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