Can cats eat dates?
Don’t worry; dates are not toxic, and your cat should be fine if we ignore the other harmful effects.
You might have read that raisins are toxic to cats, and there are a lot of misunderstandings related to dates because of their similar appearances.
Don’t get confused; they might look similar, but dates are safe while raisins are highly toxic to felines.
So, can cats eat dates?
In short, yes, cats can eat dates, but it should be limited. Too many dates can upset their stomach, leading to vomiting, diarrhea, and stomach pain.
And, dates are high in sugar content, leading your feline friend to tooth decay, obesity, and diabetes.
Let’s dive deeper and learn a bit more.
Can Cats Eat Dates? Yes!
Dates aren’t toxic to cats which means there is no need to worry if your fluffy friend had one or two dates but not more than that.
While dates are not toxic, it doesn’t mean you can generously feed dates to your cats without any worries.
Dates are rich in sugar and high in calories which are not suitable for cats. The ideal calorie is about 200 to 250 per day for a 10-12 pound feline, which means if you fed one or two dates a day, it’s already 35-40 calories of their total diet.
Besides, cats don’t have sweet receptors like us to taste sweet, and dates can lead to several health issues such as diabetes, tooth decay, and obesity.
They are obligate carnivores, solely depends on animal protein and not plant-based food items. Thus, it’s highly recommended to stick with high-quality cat food and not experiment with your felines.
Is It Safe?
Dates are absolutely safe for felines, but it shouldn’t mean you can offer him/her a bowl of dates.
Cats are meat-eater which means their major nutrients come from the flesh of animals.
Dates are rich in fiber, and it can have a laxative effect on your cats, causing them vomiting, diarrhea and the excessive calorie will make your feline overweight in no time.
Besides, the sweetness of dates can lead to dental problems such as tooth decay and cavities.
On the other hand, dates are plant-based food, and they can be served only as a treat and not as a substitute for their daily meal because they cannot fulfill their daily nutritional requirement.
Whatever you decide, make sure you don’t regularly feed dates to your felines, they are not toxic, but they can cause several health issues.
Are There Any Health Benefits of Dates For Cats?
It is a powerhouse of vitamin B6, copper, fiber, and magnesium; these are the essential nutrients that we often lack in our daily diet.
Dates have various antioxidants, protecting your body cells from harmful damage, reducing the chances of diabetes, heart diseases, cancer, and alzheimer.
It is high in fiber as well as anti-inflammatory, maintains your feline’s digestive system properly, but overdoses of fiber can act opposite and cause constipation and loose stool.
The copper and magnesium in dates promote bone health and reduces bone-related diseases. The vitamin K helps to keep the bones metabolized and regulating the coagulated blood.
The only downside is the sugar content of dates, and it is not recommended for felines with diabetes or diabetic history.
Dates are highly nutritious and healthy, yet we can’t guarantee that all of the above are equally beneficial to cats.
How Often Should I Feed Dates To My Felines?
Not more than twice a week.
For felines, dates are not suitable for regular consumption, and you should avoid feeding them on a regular basis as it can cause numerous health complications.
As a cat parent, it’s crucial to know what is good and not for your feline friend. Dates are rich in sugar, and you already know that sugar isn’t made for cats, and it can cause dental problems.
Besides, dates are prone to have a laxative effect on cats which is good if your cat is facing constipation, but it often causes loose stool, stomach pain, vomiting, and diarrhea.
A handful of dates are about 300-400 calories which is way too much for a feline weighted 10-12 pounds, which means if fed regularly, it can quickly overweigh your felines.
Lastly, inside the soft dates, it has sticky seed that can easily get slipped into the throat and choke your felines.
Are There Any Consequences and Risks?
While dates are not toxic, there are some risks, and they can potentially harm your cat at mild and extreme levels.
So, when you are feeding dates, it’s vital to follow these simple tips to minimize the risk of putting your felines in danger!
- Remove the pit (seeds)
- Boil in hot water to soften the dates
- Chop into smaller and digestible chunks
- Or grind it in a food processor
Even after doing all this, you shouldn’t feed dates on a regular basis as their dietary requirements are far different from ours.
So, what are the risks factors of feeding dates to my cats?
Calorie Dense Food – With rich sweetness, dates are a high-calorie food, which is not suitable for a feline as their daily calorie requirement is about 200 -250 depending on their weight.
The high calorie will fill your cat’s stomach quickly without any nutritional benefit; usually, a feline requires a high protein diet, but dates are mostly carbs.
Natural Laxative – We humans won’t have much issue with laxative apart from some abnormal bathroom visits, but cats are far opposite from us.
Laxative can cause your feline various stomach issues such as diarrhea, loose stool, vomiting, constipation, and stomach pain, from regular consumption of dates.
So, it’s highly recommended to talk to your veterinarian before making any dietary changes to your feline’s diet.
Choking Hazard – Inside dates, there is a sticky pit (seed) which is the main culprit; if not removed, felines may chew, bite and eat them.
Which is unable to swallow and can result in choking and gagging, so it is better to keep away your felines from anything that has the potential to harm them?
Dental Issues – For humans, the sweetness in dates might not affect that much, but felines are different. Gum and tooth problems are a common problem in cats, and if you regularly offer dates to your kitties, there are high chances that your cat will likely get dental issues such as tooth decay, tooth resorption, gum problem, etc.
Other Problems – Cats do not have a sweet receptor to taste the sweetness of dates.Theexcessive sweetness of dates is bad for felines, and it can cause various other problems, including obesity, diabetes, and heart diseases.
So, instead of feeding dates, you should opt for something that they can taste and beneficial, like fish, chicken or pork.
Can Dates Choke My Cat?
Dates have the potential to choke your felines because of their rough and sticky texture; it’s hard for felines to chew, it’s commonly a choking hazard for cats.
But the main culprit is the hard, inedible pits (seed) that can be a choking hazard if not removed beforehand.
Thus, to safely feed dates to your felines, first remove the pits and then soak the dates in hot water and then finely minced them.
Or you can grind the soaked dates in a food processer until they break into smaller pieces, and then you can serve it to your feline friends.
Is Dried Dates Safe For Cats?
Similar to dates, dried ones are not toxic either, but it’s vital to properly prepare the dates before you feed them to your felines.
But if you are thinking to feed dried dates directly with the pit, then I’m sorry, but it’s too risky for your felines.
So, how do you prepare dried dates for your felines?
- Remove pits
- Soak it to make it soft
- Lastly, chop it into small pieces
Dried dates are hard and solid in texture, which means it will be difficult for your cat to chew and digest.
And the pit is more dangerous as it has the possibilities to choke your kitty, which means whatever the situation is, do not offer dried dates with pit (seeds) inside them.
Can Kittens Eat Dates? No!
In the early stage, kittens should only drink their mother’s milk and nothing else.
But if you have a growing kitten that started eating solids, still you shouldn’t feed anything except high-quality kitten food.
Kittens have a more sensitive digestive system during the development stage, which means feeding junks can cause serious complications to your kitten.
And dates are good for humans and not meant for cats. So, there is no point in feeding dates to your kittens even if they started eating a regular diet.
Thus, take care of your kittens during their early development stage and provide them proper nutritional diet rather than experimenting with your felines.
Also, take your kittens to a vet from time to time for their regular examination, it’s very important for their healthy growth.
While dates are not toxic, experts don’t recommend feeding them to felines, as they have no nutritional benefits for cats.
In fact, dates are more likely to cause harm, so it’s best to avoid such food that can harm your felines.
Thus, if you want to treat your felines, opt for something that has nutritional value and taste, such as pork, chicken, fish or lamb.
And it’s highly recommended to talk and inform your vet before throwing any treat or making notable changes in the diet of your feline friends.
Otherwise, you and your felines may have to face troubles that can sometimes cost the life of your kitties.