If your cat stares intently while you enjoy a meal or a snack, there is a good chance you have either shared your snack before or are at least considering it. Some snacks may seem safe to share, like a piece of grilled chicken or fish, but what about fruity snacks like pineapple?
Cats rely on meat to keep them healthy, but a bit of pineapple is okay for them. The chances are that your cat may not particularly enjoy the taste since they have different taste receptors, but if your cat is adventurous, keep reading to learn how safe it is and how you can safely share pineapple with your feline friend.
Do Cats Actually Like Pineapple?
Cats don’t taste sweet fruits and sweet foods like we do because they have different taste receptors. Some cats may enjoy pineapple, while others won’t show any interest. Because cats are obligate carnivores, their bodies were built to process meat.
Even though they can’t appreciate and enjoy the sweet taste as we do, they may enjoy the similarities in the texture of the pineapple to meat since it is fleshy and juicy. It can also be thirst-quenching due to its high moisture content. Cats are also curious creatures that may take a bite simply out of curiosity, so if your cat is a curious feline, offering a small piece of pineapple won’t cause any harm.
Can Cats Eat Pineapple?
Cats can eat pineapple if they enjoy the taste, but they can only have it occasionally because pineapple is naturally high in sugar, which is not good for cats. Cats are known to be strict carnivores, and their digestive systems aren’t designed to digest vegetables and fruits. A little bit of pineapple can provide some health benefits, like vitamin C. However, that benefit is a bit of a waste as cats don’t require Vitamin C in their diet.1
In summary, while pineapple is not toxic to cats or required as a part of their diet, they can eat it in small amounts. If your cat enjoys the pineapple taste, you can offer it as a treat about once a week, but consult your vet first.
Are Pineapples Good for Cats?
Pineapples are jam-packed with numerous vitamins and minerals, such as:
- Vitamins A, B6, C, E, and K
Although pineapples are packed with vitamins and minerals, their best health benefit is Vitamin C which we know cats don’t require in their diet. Cats can benefit from pineapples because they are high in fiber, which supports the digestive system. They can also be a source of hydration, which can be beneficial for cats who don’t drink a lot of water; however, they shouldn’t replace water and should only be offered occasionally as a small treat.
If your cat is eating a high-quality, well-balanced diet, they should already have all the nutrients they need to stay healthy, and it is recommended to stick to your cat’s natural diet as much as possible.
Is Pineapple Bad for Cats?
As we mentioned before, pineapple is safe for cats to eat in small amounts as an occasional treat. However, if your cat eats pineapple in large amounts regularly, it could lead to weight gain, dental issues, and gastrointestinal issues such as vomiting and diarrhea. Pineapple is high in sugar which can be a problem for cats with diabetes.
Canned pineapple is also not good for cats since it usually contains more sugar in the syrup. It may also contain other additives and preservatives that you should avoid in your cat’s diet. The skin and leaves should also be avoided on fresh pineapple; they can be tough, fibrous, and very hard to digest. The leaves and skin are also spiky and may hurt your cat’s face, lips, or inside of their mouth.
What Happens If My Cat Eats Pineapple?
An occasional small piece of pineapple should not cause any problems for your cat, but if your cat overindulges or eats too much, they may feel very uncomfortable. If you are concerned that your cat ate a lot of pineapples, contact your veterinarian for the next steps to take.
How to Give Pineapple to Your Cat?
If you want to treat your cat to pineapple, there are some things to consider when preparing and serving it. It should only be given to your cat in moderation, about once every 1–2 weeks, and the portions should be kept very small, no more than 1–2 teaspoons. Here are some tips for safely serving your cat pineapple:
- Remove the skin and the core.
- Ensure the pineapple is ripe since it is softer and easier to digest.
- Try to source fresh, organic pineapple, and steer clear of canned pineapple.
- Start introducing pineapple in smaller amounts slowly to see how your cat reacts to it.
- Monitor your cat after feeding them pineapple for any signs of stomach issues.
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Pineapples are not toxic to cats, but that doesn’t mean they can be fed pineapple as part of their daily diet. They are high in sugar, so they should only be served to your cat occasionally. Cats don’t taste sweet foods like we do, so they will likely not be interested in the taste, but they may be interested in the fleshy, moist texture.
If your cat enjoys pineapple, it can be a good source of fiber and hydration, but feeding them too much can cause health issues. Cats do not need pineapple in their diet at all, but if you want to add pineapple as a treat, it is always best to speak to your veterinarian first.
Featured Image Credit: Kotcha K, Shutteerstock