We all know bananas as being healthy, full of nutrition and a great snack for humans but can cats eat them too?
The short answer is yes, bananas are not toxic to cats so can be eaten in very small amounts.
However, this doesn’t mean a cat should eat banana…
There’s a lot more to answering this question as too much banana can cause digestive problems, obesity and diabetes in cats.
Bananas Are High in Sugar
Bananas are not an ideal food for cats. While they are not toxic, they are high in sugar and are difficult for a cat to digest.
Cats cannot absorb some of the nutrients from a banana.
They will mostly just absorb the fibre, which cats do not need in the way that humans do.
While bananas are popular for humans, it is important to remember that cats have different digestive and nutritional needs to us so it’s better to find another, more suitable, snack for your feline friend.
Good examples of healthy treats include small pieces of meat, good quality cat food and commercial treats.
Can Bananas Be Bad for Cats?
Bananas can be bad for cats.
One of the key reasons is that bananas are high in sugar and if a cat consumes too much sugar it can result in digestive issues, obesity and diabetes.
Take particular care if offering banana to older cats as they are more prone to developing diabetes.
Signs of feline diabetes:
- Frequent urination
- Excessive thirst
- Increased hunger
- Weight loss
While a nibble on a small amount of peeled banana on occasion will do no harm, it is not recommended to feed cats banana frequently or in large quantities.
Never offer your cat banana peel as this cannot be eaten and can pose a choking hazard.
Some cats may be allergic to bananas.
There are some cat breeds that are more prone to allergies than others so do your research or talk to a vet before introducing new foods to your cat.
Signs of an Allergic Reaction:
- Itching (commonly itchy skin, eyes and ears)
- Sneezing, coughing and wheezing
- Skin inflammation
- Vomiting or diarrhoea
Do Cats Like Bananas?
Not all cats like or are interested in eating banana.
Some might love them while others may turn their nose up at the very idea.
Each cat is an individual and they like different things.
If your cat is interested they can try a small amount but don’t encourage a cat to eat banana if they don’t want to.
How Much Banana Can I Offer?
As mentioned, cats can eat a small amount of banana without ill-effects but how much is a small amount?
The most you should offer is about the equivalent of a fingertip cut into small pieces.
Are Cats Scared of Bananas?
You may have seen videos of cats being scared of bananas, there are a couple of potential reasons for this.
Firstly, it could be simply because suddenly seeing a banana is an unexpected situation and the cat sees it as a potential threat or predator.
The other reason a cat might run away is because they do not like the smell of banana. A ripening banana gives off a smell that cats hate.
Some cat owners have even noticed that if you rub banana peel of furniture it is enough to deter them from clawing.
Are Bananas Nutritious for Cats?
Bananas are a great source of natural sugar, potassium, magnesium, vitamin C, fibre and more.
They have been linked to health benefits in humans but does this means they are nutritious for cats? Actually, no.
Cats cannot absorb the nutrients from bananas like we can so they won’t get the same benefits from eating bananas as we do.
Due to the high sugar content of bananas, any benefits there may be get cancelled out meaning there is no nutritional value to your cat eating banana.
Can Cats Eat Fruit?
A cat’s diet should be predominantly protein-based as they are carnivores. However, they can eat a small amount of fruit as a special treat.
The following fruits are safe for cats:
- Apples (1-2 pieces)
- Bananas (1-2 pieces)
- Blueberries (2-3 berries)
- Cantaloupe (1 piece)
- Strawberries (half a strawberry)
- Seedless watermelon (1 slice)
Is It Worth It?
Let’s be honest, it’s really not worth feeding your cat banana because the negatives outweigh the positives:
|Gives your cat fibre||Weight gain (can lead to obesity)|
|Spiked blood sugar levels (can lead to diabetes)|
|Cats cannot properly digest banana|
|Abdominal pain and vomiting|
If your cat likes bananas, they can have a small slice of banana without any negative side effects.
However, if you give too much banana or offer banana too frequently it can lead to digestive issues, high blood sugar levels and weight gain.
All in all, it’s safer to not include banana as part of your cat’s regular diet.