Peaches are one of the sweetest and most delicious natural treats there are. Curious by nature, you may notice your cats coming over for a sniff, showing interest in the peaches you’re snacking on.
If you’re like us, you probably like to help your pets live their best lives by providing them with the luxuries they love, as long as it’s safe to do so. But is it safe for cats to eat peaches?
In moderation, peaches are fine for your feline. However, there are some caveats and some information you should be aware of if you’re going to feed your cat this sweet treat. Let’s take a closer look.
Feeding Your Cat Peaches
While you might sit down with a whole peach and take a bite right out of the side of it, that’s not how your cat is going to eat it.
Unless you grew the peaches in your own yard, it’s going to be very difficult to know what chemicals, pesticides, and more might be residing on that fruit. While our bodies have immunities to these types of things, they can be much more detrimental to our cats’ tiny digestive systems.
Wash Them Thoroughly
To ensure your cat isn’t taking in any of those pesticides, you’re going to need to wash the peaches thoroughly. If you grew them, then you may know that they’re free of pesticides and other chemicals, but it’s still a good idea to wash them well before feeding them to your cat.
Peel the Skin
After you’ve washed them down, you should peel the skin off the peaches before feeding them to your cat. Not only will this help prevent them from ingesting any harmful chemicals or pesticides on the outside of the fruit, but it’s also going to make it much easier for them to eat.
Preserved vs. Fresh Peaches
While canned peaches may be extremely convenient since they’re already peeled and sliced, they’re not actually a good choice to feed your cat. The extra additives in canned food can be terrible for your furry friend.
Canned foods are full of preservatives, artificial sweeteners, and other chemicals. These substances are bad for us, but they’re much worse for your cat who has no immunity to them and doesn’t have a digestive system that’s able to handle all the chemicals.
Since you care about your cat, it’s worth the extra work to prepare the peaches yourself and ensure that your cat won’t be intaking any harmful chemicals or additives.
Pit Out of Luck
There’s a good reason why we don’t eat the pits of peaches or other stone fruits. While the flesh around the seed may be delicious and sweet, the seed is actually full of a chemical that can poison humans, even causing death if consumed in too large of quantities. If it can damage our large bodies and strong immune systems, imagine the havoc it could wreak on your little cat.
That chemical compound is called amygdalin. In the body, amygdalin breaks down into cyanide, a poison that we’re all familiar with.
While most humans would have to consume quite a few peach pits in order to get cyanide poisoning, the effective dosage for your cat is much smaller since they’re only a fraction of your size. One peach pit could turn out to be fatal for your feline, so it’s a risk that’s not worth taking.
Even just fragments of the seeds can cause problems for your pets, including irritation anywhere along the intestines, enteritis, or the digestive tract. If you eat peaches a lot, make sure that you’re safely disposing of the pits where there’s no chance of your cat accidentally finding them.
What About Peach Trees?
If you have a peach tree in your yard, you get to enjoy this delicious fruit whenever you like. But this can pose a potential health risk for your cats. When those peaches fall from the tree, they land in reach of your cat, who may end up eating something they shouldn’t.
Even the leaves of the tree and the stems of peaches have amygdalin in them, so chewing on them could poison your pet.
For pet owners with peach trees, make sure you clean up regularly so that the poisonous peach pits, stems, and leaves aren’t within reach of your furry friends.
Everything in Moderation
Cats may show interest in trying many different foods, but it doesn’t mean that their body is well adjusted and able to digest it without problems. Even for a perfectly healthy cat, if it’s something new for their system (even if it’s non-toxic for felines), it could cause some issues such as an upset stomach or even diarrhea and vomiting.
To avoid this, it’s best to feed treats and any new foods to your cats sparingly. Let them try a small dose of it first and see how they react. If they handle it well, then the next time you can give them a little bit more. This is a good general rule of thumb for introducing any new food to your cat, even new cat food.
Peaches make a delicious and naturally sweet treat for humans. If you take some precautions and do it safely, they can also be fed to felines in moderation. Be sure to wash the peaches thoroughly first to avoid feeding your cat any chemicals or pesticides.
Don’t forget, the peach pits are toxic! So are the peach stems and the leaves of the peach tree. Never let your cat eat the pits, stems, or leaves, and if you have a peach tree in your yard, make sure you keep the ground peach and pit-free so your cats can’t accidentally poison themselves!