One of the fun parts of owning a cat is giving them treats now and again. Though we stick with cat treats most of the time, sometimes it’s tempting to give them a bite of our food. But how healthy is people food for cats?
It depends on what kind of people food you’re giving to your cat. While people food, in general, should mostly be avoided by our pets, some foods are okay for them in small amounts.
People often wonder if cats can safely eat various fruits, so let’s look at pomegranates. Can cats eat pomegranate? Is it healthy for them? In short, yes but there are still a few things you should know!
Can Cats Eat Pomegranate?
If your favorite feline seems very interested in that pomegranate you’re eating, we have some good news! Pomegranate is a fruit that is non-toxic to cats (with the caveat that it can only be given to them in tiny amounts and not very often). Too much of it, though, could cause some stomach upset as cats are carnivores who don’t require foods like fruit or vegetables in their diets. But giving them a small bite here and there is absolutely fine.
Is Pomegranate Healthy for Cats?
While pomegranate isn’t healthy for your cat in the way their regular diet would be, this fruit does contain nutrients, minerals, and vitamins that may benefit them. Plus, it’s a tasty treat that has very few calories and no saturated fats or cholesterol. So, it’s automatically healthier than giving your pet a potato chip.
One nutritional benefit pomegranate can offer your cat is the antioxidants they contain. Antioxidants help to protect cells by fighting off free radicals, and are important to a body’s healing process.
One of the antioxidants in Pomegranate is vitamin C, which is a dietary requirement for humans. However, care is needed when feeding your cat foods with a lot of Vitamin C, as your cat’s liver synthesizes its own vitamin C. Adding to what’s already being synthesized on a daily basis could end up with your cat developing calcium oxalate stones in their bladder or kidneys. Other than vitamin C, pomegranate also contains powerful antioxidants that help lower the risk of heart disease: anthocyanins, punicalagin, and punicic acid.
Pomegranate can also provide your pet with folate (or vitamin B9), which aids in producing red blood cells and DNA synthesis. Unless your cat has a folate deficiency, they shouldn’t need a lot of supplementation in this area. Still, an extra boost every once in a while shouldn’t hurt either.
Another nutrient pomegranate can offer your cat is potassium. Potassium is essential to cellular and electrical functions in your pet’s body as it carries electric charges to several areas, including the muscles and heart. There are also lots of fat-soluble vitamins in pomegranates. These aid in blood coagulation, which is important if your cat gets an injury that bleeds. Without vitamin K, said injury might not stop bleeding. This vitamin also helps with bone growth.
Finally, there’s a ton of fiber in pomegranate that benefits your cat by improving the health of their gut and helping with digestion. Cats in the wild usually get fiber from their prey’s fur, but since your cat probably doesn’t get a lot of that (unless they’re a mouser!), adding some fiber to your pet’s diet can be beneficial.
Is Pomegranate Unhealthy for Cats?
Pomegranate is only unhealthy for your cat in a couple of ways – one being the potential for too much vitamin C mentioned previously. Other than that, the unhealthy aspects of pomegranate for your cat boils down to mostly sugar and the seeds.
Too much sugar in your cat’s diet is bad for them (just as it would be for you) and can lead to diabetes. Pomegranate may not be the most sugary fruit out there, but it does have enough for you to be careful in giving it to your pet.
Pomegranate seeds can also be unhealthy for your cat. The unhealthy part doesn’t lay in the seeds themselves—it’s okay for your pet to eat them—but in the choking hazard they present. There’s also the risk of your cat eating too many seeds. Your best bet is either just to get rid of the seeds before giving any pomegranate to your cat or crush them up so they’re safer. But if you decide to let them eat the seeds, make sure it’s only a couple and that you’re in the room with them to watch for any potential choking.
You should also know that too much of any kind of fruit may cause gastrointestinal issues in kitties. If you want to give your cat pomegranate, start in very small amounts, then work your way up to slightly larger portions so you can see how they react.
Do Cats Need Fruit in Their Diet?
No, cats don’t need fruit in their diets. In fact, most cats aren’t big fans of fruit, likely because they can’t taste sweetness. Cats are obligate carnivores. This means their bodies are designed to thrive off the consumption of meat and can become unhealthy without it. That doesn’t mean that you can’t feed them the occasional bite of a safe-for-them fruit, but it’s not a necessity.
Cats can eat pomegranate, though only in tiny amounts and not very often. However, chances are your cat might not be a fan since cats aren’t necessarily big on fruit in general. Though, if you want to try convincing your favorite feline to enjoy it as a treat, this fruit can offer them some nutritional value. Just remember to always start your pet on any new food with just a smidge to see how their body reacts; you can always give them a bit more later if they like it and don’t experience any stomach upset or other adverse effects.