Bananas are tasty and nutritious it’s not surprising that many people like them. Even the Minions sing high praises for this fruit. But do felines appreciate it? Can cats eat a banana?
While most cat parents know how picky their pets are when it comes to food, this doesn’t mean that all cats will ignore a banana snack. With its color and texture, it is not impossible for our furry pals to develop a liking for it.
Just take a look at this video of a cat enjoying the fruit. Isn't it cute?
Is a banana safe for feline feeding?
So is it safe for a cat to chomp on a banana?
Yes, most experts agree that there should be no problem for a cat to eat banana as long as it is done in moderation.
This means that you can give your cat bananas from time to time. Most cat owners, in fact, give their furry friends bananas as a treat. Bananas are like tomatoes—they make a good treat for felines.
But you should not incorporate it as part of her daily diet, as she needs to eat a nutritionally complete cat food.
Health benefits of bananas for cats
There’s no question that bananas are one of the more nutritious fruits—for humans. But what can our cats get when they are fed with this fruit?
The most glaring benefit that cats get from eating bananas is the provision of fiber in their diet.
Fiber promotes optimal health in cats through:
- Controlling weight gain: Fiber in a cat’s diet can prevent and reduce obesity. Extra fiber can promote a feeling of satiety without adding calories.
- Treating diarrhea: Fiber can slow digestion and more importantly, add bulk to a cat’s stool. This can be traced to the ability of fiber to draw in water and form a gel.
- Treating constipation: Fiber can also treat constipation by adding moisture to stool. It can serve as a laxative or stool softener as well.
It should be noted that fiber is incorporated in commercially available canned cat food. Some of the more common sources of fiber found in cat foods are rice hulls, pectin, and soybean hulls.
We all know that bananas are rich in nutrients like potassium, vitamin C, B6, and manganese. However, cats don’t get nutrients from plant-based food sources like bananas because their digestive system is not built like that of humans.
Cats, after all, are true-blue carnivores. They don't need to be fed with plant-based food sources. They get key nutrients such as vitamin A, vitamin B12, and taurine, among others, from meat.
Dangers of feeding cats with bananas
While there are benefits of feeding your cat with bananas, there are also some dangers or risks.
One disadvantage of giving your cat this tasty fruit is that over consumption can lead to diabetes. Banana has a high sugar content, which could prove to be harmful to cats in the long run.
Obese cats are particularly at risk of developing diabetes if they are regularly fed with bananas. Older cats, as well as those who suffer from diseases such as hyperthyroidism and pancreatitis, are also very much prone to diabetes.
Tips for feeding cats with bananas
If you are sold on the idea of giving bananas to your cat as a treat, you should keep in mind the following pointers:
- Consider your cat’s age. As mentioned earlier, older cats may be at risk of diabetes if they are regularly given with bananas.
- Start by giving her a banana in a very small amount. This will not only prevent choking but also allow you to observe any issues that may arise.
- You can cut a banana in small pieces, and then mix it with prepared cat food.
- You may also want to add water to the fruit to moisten it. This should also make the fruit more enticing to the cat.
- Don’t give your cat too much bananas in one sitting as it can upset her stomach.
- Never give her a banana peel as your cat’s stomach won’t be able to tolerate it. And banana peel may cause choking.
- Don’t give your pet another fruit after feeding her with bananas. Give one fruit type at a time.
- Don’t even think of giving her a rotten banana as it can cause stomach upset.
It’s true-- bananas are one of a handful of human foods that you can share with your feline friend. This popular fruit is rich in fiber that should do a lot of wonders for her digestive system. It can be given as an occasional treat for your cat.
Yet banana isn’t good enough to be considered as part of a cat’s daily diet. It must be given as a treat for cats.