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Can cats eat cucumbers? Are cucumbers safe for cats? If so, do they have any real health benefits? Before sharing a slice with your feline friend, read our article to get the lowdown on cukes and cats.
Many people enjoy cucumbers in salads, veggie sandwiches, and other healthy, low-fat dishes or snacks. So it’s only natural to wonder if cucumber is a safe and healthy human food to share with your kitty — especially if you’re careful about maintaining your cat’s ideal weight. Find out what our experts have to share about feeding your cat cucumbers and other human food.
Can Cats Eat Cucumbers?
Yes, cucumbers are safe and not toxic for cats to eat. In fact, cucumbers contain a few health benefits. Cucumbers have a high water content, so they can help keep your kitty hydrated. They’re rich in vitamin K, which helps liver function, bone health, protein metabolism, and other crucial healthy body regulations. Cucumbers are also low in fat and calories and are a decent source of vitamins B and C and other essential minerals.
However, most of these added health benefits apply more to humans than cats. It’s important to keep in mind whenever you’re considering sharing human food with your furball that cats are obligate carnivores, meaning that their bodies don’t need fruits or vegetables to stay healthy. Cats’ bodies are designed to get all the nutrients they need from animal protein sources. So, in many cases, human food snacks are just empty calories for kitties.
if you are concerned your cat is dehydrated, it is best to talk to your veterinarian about how to add more moisture to her diet. Fresh water in several places throughout the home, wet food, and added broth to kibble are some ways owners can encourage more water intake, in a healthier way than adding cucumbers.
When Are Cucumbers Bad For Cats?
Cucumbers are okay for cats in moderation, but giving your cat too much cucumber can cause diarrhea and digestive issues, given the higher water content. And there are some other precautions you should take to feed your cat cucumber safely.
- Peel the skin off the cucumber. Cucumber skin can be hard to digest, especially for cats with sensitive tummies. (If you keep the skin on, be sure to rinse the cucumber thoroughly to remove any pesticides).
- Cut up the cucumber into bite-sized pieces to avoid a choking hazard.
- Never give your cat pickled cucumbers, which can be high in salt content and may contain harmful ingredients like garlic.
- Don’t substitute cucumbers for your cat’s normal meat-based cat food.
Do Cats Like Cucumbers?
If you’ve been a pet parent to different cats, you know cats are finicky, and each has his likes and dislikes. Some cats may enjoy an occasional cucumber treat, but others may turn up their noses at them since they’re not very tasty. While your cat may be curious to try a cucumber slice, it’s likely he won’t beg for more.
Why Are Cats Surprised By Cucumbers? (Video)
One of our favorite series of cat videos is scaredy cats and cucumbers (see a brief compilation below). You’ve likely seen these if you’re a cat lover (and maybe even jumped on the trending prank with your kitty). But these videos beg the question, why are cats scared of cucumbers in these situations?
Some experts have theorized that it’s because whole cucumbers resemble snakes, and cats are instinctually wary of predators. Others believe that these cats’ responses are simply from feeling like something is sneaking up behind them or being startled by an unexpected object they didn’t know was there. There’s no definitive answer to this question, but we cat owners know how easy it is to startle cats.
One of our cat parents here on the LYC team has tried to scare her cats, three different cats, with cucumbers, and shares her experience.
“While these videos make it seem like all cats are afraid of cucumbers, in my experience, that is not the case. I have tried on numerous occasions to scare my cats with cucumbers. My kids really love science and wanted to see if this was something our cats would do. Despite trying different-sized cucumbers, as well as pickles, my cats simply were not scared. One seemed completely unbothered, and the other licked at the cucumber and then walked away.”Danielle DeGroot, Rescue Cat Owner And Care Expert
If you are looking for a nutritious, fresh treat for your cat, there are many other choices than cucumbers. While this may be a nice treat now and then, felines prefer the taste of meat. So, meat-based treats might be a better alternative. Along with that, owners can try CBD treats and CBD oil. Some cats may even like feline-friendly ice cream.
Some cats may prefer the taste of fresh, human-grade meals. There are some wonderful options like Small’s which delivers fresh meals right to your door.
If your kitty loves cucumbers, it’s certainly not harmful to indulge him once in a while. Because they’re low in calories, you won’t have to worry about occasional cucumber treats causing your cat to gain weight. But if your cat has a sensitive tummy, it’s best to avoid giving him cucumber. Just remember, with any cat treats or table scraps, moderation is key.