Why Does My Cat Like Fruit?

So, you’re probably wondering, why does my cat like fruit? Believe it or not, it’s not that strange as many cats have surprised their owners by taking a liking to different fruits. We’ll cover the most likely reasons below.

As cats are carnivores, meaning that they love to eat meat-based products, why would they take an interest in fruit?

Not only are fruit filled with nutritious vitamins and vital minerals, but they are also low in fat and calories, making them an ideal treat to give to your cat’s diet. Plus, they’re so tasty! Read on to discover why your cat goes wild for fruit.

The Taste
Cats have taste buds that react to pretty much the same flavors as humans do, including sweet, sour, bitter and meaty, umami-like flavors. Things like strawberries, Apples, bananas, cooked sweet potatoes, and seedless watermelon will all tempt your cats’ taste buds with their yummy flavors and touch of sweetness. In short, they like fruit for the same delicious reasons we do!

The Texture
Fruit has a watery texture that cats love. Some delicious bananas, or apples, can really hit the spot for your feline companion because they’ve got just the right consistency.

The Smell
Cats respond to smell much like their human companions — in fact, their sense of smell is much better than ours. And you know what they like to sniff out? Fresh fruit! That’s right, the fresher the fruit, the better, as the smell of fresh fruit is stronger than the more muted (unpleasant) scent of older ones.

The Nutrients
The nutrients contained in fresh fruit are great for cats, possibly even helping them retain their cognitive abilities as they age by providing them with healthy antioxidants.

Are Oranges Safe For Cats To Eat?

In short, no, you should never let your cat eat an orange. The ASPCA has given a brief breakdown of the impact of eating an orange and what it could do to a cat, but it has to do with the essential oils in oranges. Essential oils are metabolized in the liver and cats simply cannot metabolize these substances the way that humans and other animals can. This means that oranges are toxic to cats.

Can My Cat Smell An Orange?

Although it’s generally considered safe to let a cat get a whiff of an orange, you shouldn’t do anything your cat doesn’t want or force them to smell it! You can simply extend it out and let your cat’s natural curiosity take over! There’s a good chance that a cat will decide to give it a sniff and maybe your cat is one of the rare few that actually likes the smell of an orange! However, it should end there as you should never let your cat actually eat the orange.

Can Cats Eat Grapes?

In short, grapes and grape by-products are toxic to both cats and dogs, although the reason why grapes are toxic isn’t yet known. Many nutritional experts believe that the fungal toxins in the fruit are behind the intolerance, although it could also be the presence of tartaric acid. If a cat eats grapes or raisins, they can actually develop acute kidney disease.

Can Cats Eat Cherries?

No cats cannot eat cherries because, like grapes, they are toxic.

Do Cats Actually Need To Eat Fruit?

Although your cat may enjoy a rare “fruity” treat, they don’t actually have a biological need for it. Cats are carnivores and can’t absorb essential nutrients—mainly protein—from fruits or other plant-based sources. An adult cat of average weight needs at least two meat-based meals per day to function properly.

A diet that’s predominantly vegetarian is also high in carbs and doesn’t mix well with carnivores. Cats are biologically made to solely survive on animal protein alone. This means that they lack the digestive enzymes for processing high amounts of sugar and fibre.

While giving your cat some fruit as an occasional treat is fine if you stuff your cat with too many fruits, they can develop:

Gastrointestinal problems—Natural occurring sugar, such as fructose and glucose, may upset the cat’s stomach, causing them to throw up. When giving fruits to your cat, you should slice them up into tiny bite-sized pieces to prevent indigestion.

Chronic dehydration—Soluble fibre is a complex carbohydrate which absorbs water as it passes through the cat’s digestive system. Cats that get too much fibre in their diet can quickly become dehydrated, which can cause them to get bladder stones or other urinary tract problems.

Obesity—Cats can’t utilise the excess that is in carbs for energy, which gives them a surplus in calories. The daily recommended allowance for domestic cats is about 40 calories per kilo—anything beyond 40 calories could lead to unhealthy weight gain.

Metabolic disorders—An imbalanced diet can result in the onset of diabetes and other problems, particularly if it’s prevalent in the cats’ genes.