Pet Consider

Can Cats Eat Apples?

Can I Give My Cat Apples?

When the leaves begin to fall and the air turns crisp, there is only one piece of produce we crave as much as we crave pumpkin: Apple. While many of us enjoy this crunchy, healthy fruit year round—after all, it is nature’s perfect ‘fast food’—once the seasons change, apples show up in everything. Smoothies, pies, crisps, and even salads showcase this fall flavor perfectly. In the midst of all this festivity, it’s only natural that we start looking for ways to share the spirit of the season with our pets, too. Dogs are easy; they try (perhaps foolishly) to gobble up our apple cores every chance they get. Our cats are more difficult to read (and to feed).

Can cats have apples? Will half a slice of warmed apple make your cat dangerously ill, or is it safe to share a couple chunks of this fall fruit while you’re baking up a storm?

Yes, cats can eat apples—unlike some other fruits, apple flesh and peels are completely free of substances that may be poisonous to cats. Though our feline friends generally are not as enthusiastic about fruit as our dogs can be, your cat may enjoy eating a couple of apple slices, a small amount of blended apples, or unsweetened apple sauce. There may be some small health benefits to apple peels and flesh, but it should still be used as a rare treat as opposed to a staple food. Avoid feeding them any apple seeds though!

Health Benefits

One of the health benefits is often discussed as it pertains to human health: fiber. While cats do not require fiber in nearly the same amounts that we do to stay healthy, there may be some small health benefits to feeding your cat dietary fiber. In the wild, your cat would take in indigestible bulk when they eat whole prey animals: this would include parts like fur, tendons, and bone marrow. However, most of our house cats do not eat whole prey animals on a regular basis. Since they don’t get to take in indigestible animal parts, the indigestible fiber found in plants may serve a similar role in digestion. That being said, your cat is still a carnivore, and they do not need nearly as much fiber as you do! Your cat most definitely does not need an apple a day.

apples in basket

So, what can fiber do for your cat? For cats, fiber is often touted as a weight loss aid and as a treatment for diarrhea. Fiber can help your cat drop a couple pounds in the same way that it helps us. Since Fluffy can’t digest plant fibers, they add bulk to meals and take up plenty of space in the stomach without adding any calories. This can make it easier to reduce your cat’s caloric intake, because they can eat just as much volume for a fraction of the calories. Since their stomach feels full, they will be less likely to walk around yowling about how hungry they feel.

Fiber combats diarrhea, too. Soluble fiber can sop up the water sitting in your cat’s intestines, and insoluble fiber serves as a bulking agent to help firm things up. Just remember not to overdo it—when it comes to cats, a little bit of fiber goes a very long way. Giving them too many apples will make any existing digestive problems worse.

Apples are also high in Vitamin C and other antioxidants. While your cat doesn’t absorb a lot of the nutrition in apples, they do get some of it, so these vitamins may provide a small boost to their immune system. Antioxidants are also known for their powerful cancer-fighting properties. This is because they destroy free radicals, which are responsible for the cell damage that leads to cancer and other illnesses. Some claim that fruits like apples improve skin and coat health, but there is little scientific evidence to back this up.

Things to Keep in Mind

As with all new foods, keep an eye on your cat after they try apples for the first time. Some cats are allergic to apples, so watch for itching, sneezing, or behavioral changes. If any part of your cat’s body swells after eating an apple, take them to the vet immediately. Also, make sure to avoid feeding your cat whole apples or apple cores. While the flesh is safe, the seeds are full of a chemical called amygdaline, which turns into cyanide in the intestines. Yikes!

Final Thoughts

If your cat seems to have a taste for fruit, apples are an excellent choice. They contain large amounts of vitamins and antioxidants, which may boost your cat’s immune system and reduce their risk of cancer. They also contain a lot of fiber, which, in moderation, can aid digestion and weight loss. Just remember to keep your cat’s portion sizes small, watch for signs of allergic reaction, and avoid feeding them any apple seeds.

 

References:

http://catlovehub.com/are-apples-safe-for-cats-to-eat/

http://www.furrytips.com/can-cats-eat-apples/

http://petorb.com/can-cats-eat-apples/

http://bestcatfoodforcats.com/cats-and-fiber/

 

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