Can cats eat dates or dried dates? find out now!

Time to read 3 minutes

Dates are considered healthy for us humans. They are packed with numerous beneficial vitamins and minerals and contain healthy oils, iron, and magnesium. However, cats aren’t human; would dates offer the same benefits to them? Can cats eat dates?

As a pet owner, you must always watch out for your furry little friend, and you may occasionally want to treat them to some goodies; after all, she’s your boss! 

You may wonder, what’s the harm with a bit of date treat? But as many pet veterans probably already know, treats can pack a big punch, potentially sending your little buddy to the vet and costing you some cash, too.

That’s why it’s important to know what your cats can eat and what they can’t eat. The dietary needs of animals can be very different from those of the average person. Often what may even be healthy for humans may be toxic for cats.

As with most fruits, dates are pretty high in sugar, which makes them not quite suitable for your cat. In addition, they may also contain some other nutrients, such as calories, and calcium, that may not be the best for your cat.

Healthier food choices need to be carefully chosen, and you should always do your research before feeding your cat any unusual foods.

Dates are touted as a preventative food that can help build strong muscles and keep the immune system strong.

With so many beneficial attributes for us humans, dates also seem to be good for feeding cats. But date a good food for your feline friend to snack on? Can cats eat dates too?

Can cats eat dates?

can cats eat dates - red date

The short answer is that sharing dates with your cat is not recommended. Dates are not toxic to cats, so if your cat has already had a date or two, there is absolutely nothing to fret about, but it would be best to stop feeding your cat dates in the future.

The main problem with cat dates is that these fruits are laxative and cause diarrhea in cats. They are pretty high in calories, so it will be hard not to feed your cat too many if you feed it a few dates. Remember, cats do not need more than 200-250 calories per day!

Why feeding dates to your cat is a bad idea

Dates are not a natural part of a cat’s diet

Different cat experts and veterinarians may have slightly different views on the ideal diet for your cat, but the unison seems to be that your cat should not be snacking on dates.

Can cats eat dates? Indeed, dates are not forbidden for your cat, including grapes, raisins, onions, and chocolate.

This may make you want to give your kitten a little bite. But the truth is, cats don’t have a sweet taste receptor on their tongues that would cause them to crave dates naturally. Since they will never be a part of their natural diet if they can choose what they eat by themselves, it is best to remove them from the menu.

The laxative effect of dates can cause problems for cats.

In addition to their sweetness, dates are known for their laxative effect. This can wreak havoc on your cat’s digestive system. Feeding too many dates to your cat may lead to diarrhea and excessive vomit, further leading to dehydration and further fatal health issues.

Date pits are a choking hazard for cats.

Dates also contain large pits that may pose a choking hazard to your sweet pet.

Dried dates are bad for your cat’s dental health.

Dried dates are a healthy and sweet treat for us humans, but not for our feline friends. Dried date pieces are likely to get stuck in your cat’s teeth and cause cavities.

What if your cat/kitten has consumed dates?

This situation does not necessarily require panic mode. We have seen that every cat reacts differently to certain foods. Perhaps, yours will not show any side effects at the end of the day.

Monitor the cat closely for any signs that their health is at risk. For example, watch closely for the type of feces it passes. If it rings any bell, you want to see a veterinarian immediately.

Also, keep a keen eye on it to see if it vomits or shows stomach upset. If all is well, you can rest.

Can cats eat dates? – Conclusion on dates

The bottom line is that your cat may always show some interest in what you eat. Interest is not the same as them wanting to snack with you.

While dates are good for us humans, they are not suitable for our feline friends. Dates are not toxic to felines, but feeding dates can cause more problems than benefits, so it is best to avoid feeding date fruits to your cats altogether as we’ve seen; it’s not worth it.

Sources:

  1. https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/322548
  2. http://qatar-weill.cornell.edu/research/datepalmGenome/index.html
  3. https://www.nature.com/articles/s41467-019-12604-9
  4. https://www.nature.com/articles/ncomms9824
  5. http://www.plantsciences.ucdavis.edu/GEPTS/pb143/CROP/DATE/date.htm

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