My husband and I have two cats who do nothing to mind their own business throughout the day.
One day, we walked into the kitchen to find our male cat munching away on pineapple.
Like us, you may be wondering, “can cats eat pineapple,” “can they eat pineapple leaves,” or what other fruit can they eat if they cannot eat pineapple?”
We have the answers.
Cats and Pineapples: The Rundown
Pineapple is a sweet, tropical fruit we humans love, but cats don’t care either way, since they cannot taste sweetness.
A pineapple is not dangerous for a cat to eat, but it’s not the best thing for them either.
Can Cats Eat Pineapple Leaves?
Pineapples are mostly harmless, but there are risk factors you should be aware of.
Pineapple leaves contain an enzyme in their sap called actinidain.
This enzyme can cause allergic reactions in cats which can lead to issues like diarrhea, so it’s best to keep them away.
Are Pineapples Safe for Cats?
Your cat’s health needs will determine if you should give them pineapple.
It will also depend on the type of diet your cat has.
In moderation, pineapple is safe for a cat, but the sugars it contains could cause weight gain.
What Are the Risk Factors for a Cat Eating Pineapple?
The primary risk factor for a cat eating pineapple is what it can do to its digestive system.
A cat’s diet should contain a lot of protein and very few carbohydrates.
Pineapple contains a lot of natural sugar, and if the pineapple comes in a can, it also contains added sugars like fructose corn syrup.
This sugar becomes problematic for a cat if they eat pineapple frequently.
Just like with you and me, sugar can lead to weight problems.
An overweight cat has greater chances of diseases like urinary tract disease, respiratory illnesses, and diabetes mellitus.
What Sugars Are in Pineapple?
Pineapples contain three types of sugars: fructose, sucrose, and glucose.
Cats can digest these sugars easily.
Simples sugars give a cat a lot of energy, but its metabolism does not require a lot of sugar.
How a Cat’s Metabolism Handles Sugar
Although our cat is a sweet, domesticated house cat, he is like his ancestors who were carnivores.
Cats have evolved to handle a high-protein diet, so they should not eat a lot of carbohydrates as it could affect their digestion.
Studies show that this structure of a cat’s metabolism means they should have high protein, medium levels of fat, and a small number of carbohydrates.
When a cat has a balanced diet, it won’t overeat.
This is the ideal macronutrient split for cats:
- 52% protein
- 36% fats
- 12% carbohydrates
As we can see, carbohydrates are a small part of a cat’s dietary needs.
Why Do Some Cat Foods Have Pineapple?
Pineapple can benefit cats if given in moderation.
Some pet food companies put pineapple in their cat food formula because of benefits such as immune support and fiber intake.
- Detoxification: Pineapple contains many vitamins that help to detoxify, such as vitamins A, E, and C.
- Immune Support: Vitamin C promotes a great immune system. Cats should only have it in moderation because it can also disrupt the digestive tract. Vitamin B6 in pineapple also supports the immune system.
- High Fiber: Pineapple is a great way for cat food producers to infuse fiber into their formula. Fiber helps kitties with their digestion.
- Low in Calories: Pineapple, in moderation, is low in calories for your kitty. It has no fat and low amounts of sugar. But remember that a lot of sugar is a problem for cats.
Will Your Cat Like Pineapple?
Cats’ taste buds do not allow them to taste sugar the way ours can, so cats don’t like pineapple because of the sweetness.
Your cat may like pineapple because of its texture.
When cats chew pineapple, they could assimilate chewing on small prey.
How To Serve Pineapple to Your Cat
Our cat swiped pineapple from us on his own, but should we want to give some to him and his sister as a treat in moderation, we could do so with no issue.
Luckily for him, the pineapple was already in bite-sized chunks, which is the ideal way to treat your kitty with pineapple.
How Much Pineapple Is Safe for Your Cat?
Your goal is to cut the sugar you give your cat.
Give your cat two small chunks of pineapple as a snack; this will prevent diarrhea and vomiting because of the sugars and acid in the pineapple.
More Info About Cats, Pineapple, and Similar Fruit
Unlike most tropical fruit, pineapple is one of the safest.
However, the sugar content can pose a problem if you allow your cat to eat pineapple in excess.
Cats won’t crave fruit simply because of its sweet taste; but if your cat does, it may be because of the texture.
Do Cats Like Sweet Foods?
That sugar rush you and I get when we bite into chocolate cake doesn’t happen for a cat.
Their bodies won’t register it the same.
As we observed, the cat’s digestion has evolved, and their taste buds evolved with it.
A cat’s taste buds do not register sugar because its body does not need sugar in high amounts.
Can Cats Eat Any Other Fruit?
Cats can enjoy fruit other than pineapple.
Some they absolutely should not eat, and some they can eat in moderation with supervision.
Fruit to Deny
Do not give your cat the fruit below because of toxic reactions that could occur.
- Apples: the stem and the hide contain cyanide, which is toxic to cats.
- Cherries: like apples, the stem contains cyanide and is toxic.
- Citrus fruits: can cause severe digestive issues because they contain limonene, linalool, and psoralen, which are toxic to cats.
- Grapes: can cause severe kidney issues in cats; if your cat eats a few, consider taking them to the vet immediately.
Fruit to Permit
The fruit options below are similar to pineapple.
They don’t pose a threat, but they do contain high amounts of sugar so you should only feed them to cats with caution.
Some should also have their seeds or other choking hazards removed.
- Banana — remove the peel
- Cantaloupe — remove the rind and seeds
- Apricot — remove the stems and hide
- Watermelon — remove the rind and seeds
Frequently Asked Questions
What fruits are toxic to cats?
Fruits like apples, cherries, grapes, and citrus fruits are toxic for cats because of the chemicals they contain like cyanide, limonene, linalool, and psoralen.
Can cats taste sweet?
No, cats’ taste buds do not allow them to taste sweetness.
Nothing Happens As Long As a Cat Parent Is Around
So, can cats eat pineapple?
Yes, pineapple is fine for cats, but in moderation.
Our cat got lucky because we were able to prevent him from devouring an entire plate of pineapple.
It’s not a natural fit for their diets, but they can enjoy a little of it without an issue.
As cat parents, we must keep an eye on what our cats ingest.
It’s fine to see if your cat would enjoy a tropical treat and serve them a cube of chopped, fresh pineapple.