Can cats eat bananas? Tasty, nutritious and full of amazing health benefits. That is why it's no wonder that banana has become a standard feature in most menus.
Moreover, most people include this curvy, yellow fruit in their daily diet.
You're sitting there on the couch, munching away on one of these fruits. Also, you're wondering if it's okay to break off a little and give it to your kitty.
However, is it okay to do so? Can cats eat bananas just like we do?
Cats are usually finicky in regards to their preference of fruits. Likewise, pet owners are also hesitant about feeding their kitties with fruits.
So you should too. Some fruits are highly toxic to cats and feeding them with these fruits can lead to poisoning.
The usual foods we eat may not be appropriate for cats because their body system is entirely different from ours.
From a physiological perspective, there are substances and components in human foods that aren't formulated for cats. Hence, this means that their body organ systems are not capable of breaking down these compounds.
When the body fails to metabolize the food, it can result in organ failure and system breakdown.
That is why you should always be careful and see to it that the food you’re giving to your pets is safe for them.
A wide variety of health benefits are associated with bananas, and we also want our kitties to reap the same perks.
Second to tomatoes, banana is the most popular fruit in the world. More than 114 million metric tons of it is being consumed around the world every year.
So what makes this fruit the most favorite fruit in the world?
One of the most recognizable expressions: “an apple a day keeps the doctor away” has been around for so many ages.
Moreover, you've probably heard it so many times before.
However, whoever coined this phrase probably never encountered a banana.
Bananas have more than double the number of nutrients compared to apples. So if you're looking for a nutritional powerhouse, this is hands-down the apparent winner.
Its scientific name “musa sapientum” means “fruit of the wise men” and it’s easy to understand how it got its name.
Some historians believe that it was Alexander the Great who introduced banana to the western world. He encountered the fruit for the first time during his campaign in India, and he instantly got hooked with it.
This fruit’s introduction to the western world led to the fruit’s widespread migration all throughout the globe.
Since then, bananas have constituted a significant staple food for millions of people in different countries.
Also, there's a good reason why we should go crazy over this fruit.
Take a look at the fantastic health benefits of this little fruit:
Banana is loaded with fiber, both soluble and insoluble. Its high-fiber content helps promote digestive function, easing the symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome.
This fruit is also considered as a natural antacid because it helps increase the pH level of the stomach.
Eating one can help relieve acid reflux symptoms due to its highly alkaline property and high magnesium content.
One of the reasons why bananas are deemed as a ‘superfruit' is because it is loaded with potassium.
A potassium-rich food is essential for heart health as it helps lower blood pressure and it regulates normal heartbeat.
People who add bananas into their diet have a lower risk of getting heart disease.
Furthermore, potassium keeps the brain alert as it supports neuron activity of the cells in the body.
Eating them provide you with a sufficient amount of potassium to keep your heart and brain functions to their optimum level.
Ditch those caffeine-filled coffees and sports drinks. Instead, grab a banana every time you need to recharge.
They contain three natural sugars – glucose, sucrose, and fructose – to provide a fat-free source of energy.
They also contain the amino acid tryptophan, vitamin B6, and carbohydrates all working together to boost energy and enhance mood.
Carbohydrates help in the absorption of tryptophan in the brain while vitamin B6 aids in the conversion of tryptophan into serotonin.
Also known as ‘happy chemical,' serotonin helps boost your mood and also improves the quality of sleep.
Anemia is a condition where there is a decrease in the level of hemoglobin or red blood cells in the blood. Some of the various causes of anemia are iron deficiencies and folic acid deficiencies.
Bananas can stimulate hemoglobin production due to its high iron content. Along with iron, they are also a good source of folic acid, a vitamin that is necessary to produce red blood cells.
When it comes to nutritional value, banana is indeed a mighty ‘super fruit.' This is because banana is packed with essential vitamins and minerals such as:
Not to mention all the nutrients that are stated earlier that help promotes digestive function, heart and brain functions.
Considering all the fantastic health benefits of banana, you may be tempted to share it with your cat.
Of course, it would be nice to share the same health benefits with your beloved pet.
There is no doubt that this fruit is good for people. However, does it also apply to felines?
Now we’re back to the original question: can cats eat bananas?
According to the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA), they are non-toxic to felines.
It is also important to consider that felines have different nutritional requirements and tastes compared to humans.
Feline body systems are not designed to sustain nutrients from plant-based foods.
Remember that felines are carnivores by nature and their systems are designed to obtain necessary nutrients from meat.
You can break off a small piece of it and give it to your pet as an occasional treat. Doing so is perfectly fine.
However, you should be careful in doing so.
Make sure that the peel is completely removed because peels can cause choking and intestinal problems.
In addition to that, make sure that the fruit is ripe before giving it to your cat. Not only does unripe banana tastes bitter but it also has a low glycemic index that takes more extended digest.
More importantly, give your kitty only a small portion of the fruit to prevent choking. As long as they like the taste, you can also mix small amounts of bananas with their regular food.
These fruit are one of the healthiest fruits you can eat due to its myriad of health benefits. However, are bananas good for cats too?
Can cats eat bananas and gain all the fantastic benefits this fruit has to offer?
Unfortunately, a cat's body cannot absorb the nutrients and minerals this fruit contains. Since their organ systems are designed differently from us, they can't digest and metabolize these things.
Well, except for fiber.
Surprisingly, the feline body accepts and responds to fiber just like we do.
This is because fiber is a type of carbohydrate that can’t be broken down.
Fiber comes in 2 varieties which are both beneficial to health. Luckily, bananas contain both types of fiber.
Soluble fiber turns to gel when dissolved in water. It passes through the body undigested, and it helps regulate sugar level as well as helps lower blood cholesterol.
Like soluble fiber, it also plays a crucial role in controlling weight by staving off hunger.
Adding more insoluble fiber to your diet also treats constipation and hemorrhoids.
So how can a fiber-rich fruit improve the health of cats?
The high fiber content of banana makes a cat's stomach feel fuller without adding any calories. Hence, it prevents overheating and can be used to address the issue of feline obesity.
However, bananas are high in sugar which is also common in most fruits. Moderation is the key, and you should only give your kitty a small amount of it.
More importantly, DO NOT use this fruit to treat the symptoms of gastrointestinal problems in cats.
Feeding your pet with too much of it can worsen a cat’s digestive problem.
The amount of nutrients, carbohydrates, and sugar which are loaded into a banana is highly beneficial for humans.
However, the high-nutrient content of banana has the opposite effect on cats.
As stated earlier, a kitty isn’t capable of absorbing and digesting the essential components of a fruit.
Moreover, bananas contain high quantities of sugar and carbohydrates which are sorry for cats.
An excessive level of sugar in a cat's system can lead to various health issues such as diabetes and obesity.
If a kitty overeats this fruit in one go, it could also result in an upset stomach. This is because a cat's digestive system cannot handle the amount of sugar found in one.
Most professional athletes usually grab a banana during breaks to revive their energy and strength.
As an energy booster, this fruit can provide more energy-giving nutrients than any sports drink can.
So, can you give it to your lethargic cat to boost its energy?
The human body has enzymes that break down sugar into monosaccharides which are absorbed into the bloodstream and consumed for energy.
A cat body does not have these enzymes to convert sugars into energy. As a result, sugar may build-up in their bloodstream because the body is unable to break it down.
Every kitty has its different allergies. Most cats can eat a small portion of banana without any problem, but your furry friend may develop an allergic reaction to it.
Bananas do not contain any potential allergens, but there have been cases of allergic reactions to this fruit.
Although it's a rare case, some few people suffer immediate allergic symptoms in the lips, mouth, and throat after eating a banana.
If some people can develop allergic reactions to banana, there's also the possibility that a kitty can acquire it too.
There hasn't been any reported incident of banana allergy in cats. However, it's still best to keep an eye on any potential signs of an allergic reaction.
Don’t you know that banana peel is eaten in many parts of the world?
Yes, the banana peel is edible and is not poisonous. It contains high amounts of potassium, magnesium, vitamin B6 and B12.
Well, at least for humans.
For a cat, on the other hand, is an entirely different story.
Banana peels are challenging to digest, and it may end up choking your precious pet. Also, banana peels may have come in contact with pesticides.
Many farmers are using pesticides to get rid of pests from the produce. The chemicals can stick to the peel and may be ingested if not adequately cleaned.
As you might have guessed, chemicals in pesticides are highly toxic to cats. Also, they could potentially ingest it through a banana peel.
It's already understood that letting your pet eat a small piece of banana is entirely safe. However, there are precautions to this.
The fruit itself isn't formulated for cats because the feline body lacks the enzymes to digest banana.
Now imagine frying the fruit in oil and adding some sugars to it.
If cats cannot handle banana fruit on its own, what more if you give them banana chips?
Oils and cats don't go together because cats cannot metabolize any oil. When a cat ingests a high concentration of oil, it could lead to liver damage and even result in death.
So naturally, cats don't need much sugar intake because they are prone to obesity and diabetes.
You should avoid giving banana chips or any other type of high-sodium chips to your kitty.
Bananas are non-toxic to cats and loaves of bread are perfectly safe for cats to eat. Therefore, banana bread is okay for your kitty.
However, banana bread should never become a significant part of a feline’s diet. Remember, bread is high in complex carbohydrates.
The fruit alone already contains a high amount of carbohydrates. Add the bread and the level of carbohydrates doubles.
Therefore, you should only feed your cat with a small portion of banana bread occasionally.
Felines are not typically fond of fruits. The only reason why they are attracted to fruits is that they often see you munching on them.
Watching you eat a banana gives them a notion that it tastes good and is safe for them.
That is why they would instantly jump for it if you give them a small piece of the fruit.
Other than that, cats wouldn't even bother getting near one when they see one. Some cats are also scared of this yellow fruit.
This is since the shape of the fruit closely resembles a snake, so they see it as a threatening predator.
While some cats may find banana pleasing, other kitties may not like the smell and walk away from it.
A ripening banana gives off an odor that smells like ethyl acetate which cats find very unpleasant.
It all boils down to the kitty’s personal preference when it comes to liking bananas.
Yes, there's nothing wrong with cats eating bananas, but you should consider the following reminders:
Let’s try to settle the question “can cats eat bananas?” once and for all.
The answer is: Yes, cats can eat bananas.
This is because they are safe for cats as long as they do not manifest allergic reactions to the fruit.
However, something that is ‘safe’ for them to eat doesn’t automatically mean it is ‘good’ for them.
For cats, this fruit is not a good source of beneficial nourishment. Aside from fiber, all the nutrients found in bananas cannot be absorbed by felines.
Since cats don't need fiber as much as we do, there's no point in feeding your kitties with bananas.
The same also applies to other plant-based food sources such as other fruits and vegetables. These foods may be beneficial to us but not for our feline companions.
So, are bananas bad for cats?
Not necessarily, unless they are allergic to it or they have diabetes. If that's the case, it's best not to feed them with bananas or any fruit that are rich in sugar and carbohydrates.
Cats are carnivores, plain and simple. They can get all the nutrients they need from meat without the need to consume fruits and vegetables.
If your kitty willingly wants to have a piece of banana, then it won't harm to give it a small portion. However, remember, it should not be considered as a part of their daily diet, and you should feed them in moderation.