Plenty of cats love to investigate glasses that have been left on the counter. Maybe they just want a drink of water — instead of using that expensive water fountain that you bought them!
But if you’ve got apple juice in that glass and your cat goes to take a little drink, is that safe? Can cats drink apple juice, or is this something to be discouraged?
The short answer is that yes, cats can drink a small amount of apple juice without suffering any ill effects. You probably don’t want to let them make a habit of it, though.
What does apple juice contain?
100 grams of unsweetened apple juice contains:
It also contains antioxidants and vitamins.
Some brands of apple juice may contain sweeteners, preservatives, and other chemicals.
As mentioned, apple juice contains sugar.
That means if your cat is a diabetic, allowing them to drink apple juice is a definite no-no.
Signs of diabetes include:
If your cat has any of these signs, you should speak to your vet before giving them anything containing high levels of sugar, including apples.
What to do if your cat loves apples
The high sugar content of apple juice means that this isn’t an ideal drink for your cat.
But you may want to offer them a healthier, apple alternative.
Offering your cat a small amount of apple that’s been grated or chopped into small pieces is a better alternative than the juice. The skin contains fiber, which can help your cat’s digestive system function correctly. Remember to wash the apple first to remove any traces of bacteria or pesticides.
You could also feed them a small amount of unsweetened applesauce, either storebought or homemade. Try putting a little on a saucer, or add it to your cat’s food.
Remember that giving your cat apple shouldn’t ever be a substitute for feeding them a balanced, meat-based diet that’s designed to meet all their nutritional requirements.
Apple seeds are poisonous to cats, so they should always be avoided. The same goes for the leaves and stem if they’re still on the apple. They all contain chemical compounds that convert into hydrogen cyanide, which can cause serious problems for your cat if they’re ingested.
You should also brush your cat’s teeth or give them a dental treat after they’ve had apple juice or apples, to cancel out the risk of them developing dental issues due to the sugar in apples.
Wrapping it up
Apple juice is safe for cats to drink in small quantities. The high sugar levels cancel out the goodness that your cat may get in the form of fiber, antioxidants, and vitamins.
If your cat loves the taste of apple juice, consider offering them fresh apples or applesauce instead. These contain more fiber and less sugar. But remember to always avoid the seeds, stems, and leaves.
Cats are obligate carnivores, so their digestive systems are designed to function best on a high-protein, meat-based diet — and that doesn’t include apples!
Featured Image: oFFsoRRy, Shutterstock