Kiwi is a delicious summer fruit to enjoy in a fruit salad, smoothie, or simply on its own; plus, it has a host of nutritional benefits, too! In fact, it is so packed in beneficial vitamins, minerals, and nutrients, that it has been labeled a superfood by nutritionists. You may be savoring the delicious taste only to look down and see your feline looking up at you longingly, and wonder: is it safe to give them a taste?
But can cats eat Kiwi fruit? Is Kiwi fruit safe for cats? The answer is yes, kiwi is non-toxic to them and can potentially provide some beneficial nutrients! However, it is not quite that simple. While Kiwi may be non-toxic, there are still some potential hazards to be aware of before dishing out some Kiwi to your feline.
In this article, we’ll take a look at some of the potential benefits as well as some of the potential health hazards of feeding Kiwi to your beloved feline.
Is Kiwi safe for cats?
For the most part, Kiwi is perfectly safe to give your cat, as long as it is in moderation and as long as the skin is removed. Remember that cats are obligate carnivores, and while small amounts of fruit may add some benefit to their diet, they do not need fruit to survive, and fruits and vegetables should certainly not be a large part of their diet. Cats can get all their nutritional requirements from animal proteins like chicken, fish, and beef, and fruit should be no more than an occasional treat. Interestingly, cats do not have the same taste receptors as us and thus cannot taste sweetness, so they won’t experience the delicious sweet flavor of Kiwi that we love so much.
Kiwi, like any other fruit, should always be introduced slowly and in small amounts to make sure your cat doesn’t have any allergic reactions.
Potential benefits of giving Kiwi to your cat
As mentioned already, in moderation Kiwi is perfectly safe for your feline. But are there any health benefits in giving them such small amounts? There are certainly some potential health benefits to giving your cat small amounts of Kiwi, as they are packed full of minerals and vitamins.
Kiwi is a healthy source of fiber that may aid your cat’s digestion and is packed with calcium, iron, potassium, as well as vitamin C and vitamin A. Kiwis are also low in calories and high in water content, which can help keep them hydrated on hot summer days.
Potential hazards of giving Kiwi to your cat
The first factor to be concerned with when giving your cat Kiwi fruit is the high sugar content. While Kiwis are low in calories, they are high in sugar, and this is a real concern for your cat. Kiwis contain around 9 grams of sugar and 14.6 grams of carbohydrates per 100-gram serving, which is obviously far too much for your cat to consume. This is why if you do decide to feed your cat some Kiwi, moderation is key. Too much sugar can cause not only obesity but may even lead to chronic conditions like diabetes too.
As mentioned earlier, cats cannot taste sweetness, and so if they do enjoy the flavor of Kiwi, they’ll simply keep eating without getting overwhelmed by the sugary taste. Of course, this high sugar content can cause tooth decay and other dental problems too.
While the fiber content in Kiwis can be beneficial for your feline, too much can cause a laxative effect that can lead to diarrhea and even dehydration. Also, humans can be allergic to Kiwi, and your cat may also potentially have an allergic reaction to the fruit.
Lastly, the skin of Kiwis has very fine hairs that if ingested can cause serious irritation to your cat’s mouth, throat, and digestive tract, so make sure they are skinned first and that none of the hairs are remaining on the fruit. The skin can also be a potential choking hazard.
What fruits are good for cats?
As cats are obligate carnivores, they do not need fruit in their diet, but there are several fruits that may offer some benefit and they may enjoy them occasionally. These include:
While the above-mentioned fruits are fine to give your cat in moderation, there are some fruits that you should avoid altogether. These fruits are toxic to cats and may even be fatal:
- Grapes and raisins
Kiwis are non-toxic to cats and they can eat them in moderation without any real issues to be concerned about. If you decide to give your cat some Kiwi on occasion, be sure to peel it properly first and give it to them sparingly. Remember that cats do not need fruit in their diets, and cannot taste sweetness anyway, and so there is no need to give them fruit as they can get all their nutritional requirements from other healthier sources.
If your cat manages to sneak some Kiwi from your breakfast bowl, though, there is usually no reason to worry!
Featured Image Credit: Daykiney, Shutterstock