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Home > Cats > Can Cats Eat Bell Peppers? Vet-Reviewed Nutrition Facts & FAQ

Can Cats Eat Bell Peppers? Vet-Reviewed Nutrition Facts & FAQ

Can Cats Eat Bell Peppers

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Dr. Lauren Demos

Veterinarian, DVM

The information is current and up-to-date in accordance with the latest veterinarian research.

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Who doesn’t enjoy a bit of bell pepper in your salad or other tasty dishes? These staples of the kitchen are yummy and put a dash of color in our lives. Like most things found in our kitchen, bell peppers can attract your pets. It’s not unusual for curious kitties to try and sneak a bite here and there. That leaves cat owners asking if cats can eat bell peppers. The answer to that question is yes, bell peppers are not toxic to cats. However, like with most human foods, they should only be given in moderation. 

Let’s learn more about cats, bell peppers, and what your kitty should be eating normally.

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Can Cats Eat Bell Peppers?

While your cat doesn’t require secondary vitamins and minerals from bell peppers, that doesn’t mean they can’t be eaten, in moderation, for a few added benefits. Let’s take a look at those benefits below so you’ll have a better understanding of the relationship between cats and bell peppers. 

Bell peppers contain a variety of compounds that have biological properties. Though this fruit has not been specifically studied in cats for these purposes, there is data indicating that peppers can exhibit antibacterial, antifungal, and antioxidant properties. This doesn’t necessarily mean that any species- human or cat, that eats them will derive these specific benefits, but in general, it means that eating bell peppers probably isn’t going to be a bad idea, and they may have some potential benefits, as well. The compounds they possess may also have the potential to help with cancer prevention and protect brain function. Therefore, as a whole, these mighty fruits (or more commonly vegetables) might be worth consideration if your cat seems keen! 

Interesting preliminary data in other species may have long-term implications for cats, as well. One study in rodents found that extracts from bell peppers may have potential implications in blood glucose levels, and also may aid in preventing weight gain. Superfood, indeed!

bell-peppers-pixabay
Image Credit: Brett_Hondow, Pixabay

Are There Benefits of Feeding Bell Peppers to a Cat?

While your cat doesn’t require secondary vitamins and minerals from bell peppers, that doesn’t mean they can’t be eaten, in moderation, for a few added benefits. Let’s take a look at those benefits below so you’ll have a better understanding of the relationship between cats and bell peppers. 

Bell peppers contain a variety of compounds that have biological properties. Though this fruit has not been specifically studied in cats for these purposes, data is indicating that peppers can exhibit antibacterial, antifungal, and antioxidant properties. This doesn’t necessarily mean that any species (human or cat) that eats them will derive these specific benefits, but in general, it means that eating bell peppers probably isn’t going to be a bad idea, and they may have some potential benefits, as well. The compounds they possess may also have the potential to help with cancer prevention and protect brain function. Therefore, as a whole, these mighty fruits (or more commonly vegetables) might be worth consideration if your cat seems keen! 

Interesting preliminary data in other species may have long-term implications for cats, as well. One study in rodents found that extracts from bell peppers may have potential implications in blood glucose levels, and also may aid in preventing weight gain. Superfood, indeed!

Tricolor cat biting into a bell pepper
Image Credit: MaximKir, Shutterstock

The Risks of Bell Peppers

As we’ve mentioned, bell peppers aren’t toxic to cats. We’ve also stated that your cat should only eat bell peppers in moderation. But why? The answer is simple: your cat’s digestive system. Cats can digest meat and get the needed vitamins and minerals from this meat easily. Unfortunately, that’s not the case when it comes to vegetables like bell peppers. A cat’s digestive tract is specialized to digest animal protein, meaning other foods such as vegetables may cause gastrointestinal upset and certainly aren’t as effective at meeting cats’ unique nutritional needs.

You’ll also need to keep choking hazards in mind when it comes to bell peppers and your cat. If your cat enjoys these veggies, you can safely feed them a few bites now and then. However, it’s important to remember bell peppers aren’t very tender. This can present a choking hazard for your cat. You’ll also want to steer clear of the stems and plant parts. To minimize this risk, boil or cook your kitty’s bell peppers without any added seasonings.

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Final Thoughts

While bell peppers are safe for cats to consume, it’s best to limit the amount they have. If your kitty shows an interest in bell peppers, let them give it a try. You never know, your kitty could be one of those that simply loves the taste of bell peppers and are constantly asking for more.


Featured Image Credit: Steve Buissinne, Pixabay

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