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 whether cats can eat bell peppers. The answer to that question is while bell peppers are not toxic to cats, they do not benefit from the nutrients as humans do.
Let’s learn more about cats, bell peppers, and what your kitty should be eating normally.
Can Cats Eat Bell Peppers?
Bell peppers are not toxic to cats, but whether they should eat them is another story.
Cats are true obligate carnivores. They have evolved over the years to get all their nutritional needs from the meat they hunt or from food provided by their owners. This includes their vitamins and minerals, which are what bell peppers provide humans. This is why most cats prefer to eat the kibble or wet food they are provided. It’s also the reason why feral cats or those without a home hunt for their food instead of attacking your vegetable garden.
The vitamins and minerals inside the veggies aren’t needed by your cat.
Are There Benefits of Feeding Bell Peppers to a Cat?
Not really. Bell peppers are great for humans and lots of other herbivores. But cats should not be fed bell peppers because this fruit (yes, bell peppers are technically fruits) will not help enhance their health in any way. In fact, the minor issues from feeding bell peppers to your cat outweigh any “benefits”.
The Risks of Bell Peppers
As we’ve mentioned, bell peppers aren’t toxic to cats but should not be a part of their diet. 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 isn’t as effective at meeting cats’ unique nutritional needs.
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While bell peppers are safe for cats to consume, it is best if they are left off the menu. There are plenty of other cat-friendly foods you can give to your cat in moderation. But as for bell peppers, keep them for your meals. Fajitas anyone?
Featured Image Credit: Steve Buissinne, Pixabay