In this post we are going to answer a popular question, can cats eat apples? The short answer is yes as they are not poisonous, but it’s not a straight forward yes as there are some important things you need to know. As you all know, apples are packed with amazing health benefits for humans and a fruit that should be on our to-eat list everyday.
Cats have a different digestive system to humans which processes food very differently. Cats are obligate carnivores and do not need apples as part of their diet. But there can be health benefits providing they are prepared and served in the correct way. Everything you need to know will be revealed in this article on can cats eat apples.
Health Benefits of Apples
As they old saying goes, “an apple a day keeps the doctor away”. Let’s take a look at the huge amount of minerals and vitamins an apple contains and see why this super fruit is so beneficial:
- Vitamin C
- Vitamin A
- Vitamin E
- Vitamin B1
- Vitamin B2
- Vitamin B6
- Copper and Magnesium
- Rich in polyphenols
Not only are apples rich in a number of vitamins, they also help to curb hunger pangs and even combat digestive issues such as cardiovascular diseases and diabetes.
Can Cats Eat Apples
You now know the amazing health benefits of eating apples, but can cats eat apples? They are safe to eat, but as previously mentioned, cats are obligate carnivores and they may even not have the taste for an apple. Eating too much sugar, even the natural sugar found in apples can eventually lead to diabetic or digestive issues.
The ASPCA actually have apples on their list of toxic foods for cats. Don’t let this alarm you, the reason for this is due to the seeds, leaves, and stems of the apple. As long as you remove all of these from the apple and you do not feed in large quantities, then some apple on the odd occasion will be fine.
A cats lack of taste receptors for sweetness means they more than likely won’t even attempt to eat apples in the first place.
Concerns With Apples And How To Properly Serve
You wouldn’t eat rotten fruit yourself so you shouldn’t expect your cat to eat it. Cats will actually be more sensitive to rotten fruit than a human which can lead to sickness or diarrhea.
Make sure to wash the fruits
Keep in mind that some apples are treated with fungicides or pesticides. Always make sure to rinse the apple in clean water before you feed any to your cat. An even better and more safer option is to just peel the skin off.
Remove apple seeds, leaves, and stems
Before serving you should remove any seeds, leaves, and stems. Apple seeds contain a dangerous poison called cyanide. There is only a small amount of this in apple seeds but consuming can still result in health problems. If your cat does consume any seeds, leaves, or stems then be on the safe side and consult with a vet.
How to serve apple to your cat?
As we mentioned above, it’s important to remove seeds, leaves, and stems. Make sure o either wash the apple in clean water or completely remove the peel. Slice the apple up into small edible pieces and mix in with their normal meals.
How Much Is Too Much?
Even if you follow the correct serving procedure as described above, you still shouldn’t feed too much apple to your kitty. Although great at combating diabetes in humans, it can have the opposite effect with cats due to the way cats digest fruit sugar very differently to ours. Only feed a very small amount on the odd occasion as a treat.
Can Cats Eat Applesauce?
You may think applesauce is the same as mashing a solid apple but it’s not. The kind of applesauce found in supermarkets contain added chemicals and preservatives that are very bad for your cats health.
Can Cats Eat Apple Pie?
Although you may feel that this is not too much different to solid apples, apple pie can be high in sugar and other spices that are very bad for your cats health. As previously mentioned, cats lack of taste receptors for sweetness, so the chances are that they won’t even go near it in the first place. Our advice is, don’t even attempt to feed it to them.
Can Kittens Eat Apples?
Everything we have covered so far on can cats eat apples? concludes that they are safe to eat, providing they are prepared in a certain way and not given in large quantities. The same could apply for kittens, but our advice is to just not feed them apples.
The reason for this is a kitten is a lot more delicate than an adult cat because they are still growing. The best thing to do is to just stick with a specially formulated kitten diet to provide all of the crucial nutrients they need.
Alternative Healthy Snacks
To mix up your cats diet and offer something a bit different, you can also try vegetables. Vegetables offer very good nutrients if given in moderation. Although not all cats will eat them, you could mix small amounts into their regular food.
These veggies are not toxic to cats, according to the ASPCA:
- Celery (they love the crunch!)
- Green bell peppers
- Spinach (Filled with vitamins A, C, and K!)
- Peas (Often found in many prepackaged foods for cats and dogs as a vitamin-filled addition)
- Pumpkin (Pumpkin is used often as a way to get fiber in your cat’s diet)
Hope you enjoyed this post on can cats eat apples? You should now have all of the information needed to safely serve apple to your kitty. Have you given apple or other alternatives to your cat? Let us know in the comments below.
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Published online 2004 May 12. doi: 10.1186/1475-2891-3-5 by Jeanelle Boyer and Rui Hai Liu
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Published in final edited form as: J Nutr. 2006 Jul; 136(7 Suppl): 1932S–1934S. by Xia Li, Weihua Li, Hong Wang, Douglas L. Bayley, Jie Cao, Danielle R. Reed, Alexander A. Bachmanov, Liquan Huang, Véronique Legrand-Defretin, Gary K. Beauchamp, and Joseph G. Brand