Nutrition

Can Cats Eat Pineapple?

Cat owners know that their purr babies love to sniff at our foods, and sometimes try them. This includes fruits. Are fruits safe for cats to eat? We learn about pineapple, what this fruit has to offer and if cats can eat pineapple in this quick guide.

Danielle DeGroot

Last Updated: September 2, 2022 | 8 min read

Fresh pineapple and cat on white isolated background

Pineapple is a delicious treat that humans cannot get enough of. We like it in all sorts of preparations, sliced, in syrup, dried, in smoothies, in cocktails, on cakes, on pizza, and the list goes on. As with many other human snacks, sharing pineapple with your cat can be tempting. It is fruit, which is healthy, so it might be easy to assume this snack is safe for felines.

Purr babies often sniff our food and try to sneak a bite or two, and owners can be tempted to share. After all, those big imploring feline eyes can be hard to say no to. The question of whether we should feed kitties human foods is complicated, as some foods are safe, and others are very unsafe. There are many things to consider when it comes to feeding cats human foods. Owners must research before feeding a kitty any foods prepared for human consumption.

If you have been wondering about whether you can feed your kitty this juicy fruit, you are in the right place. We discuss whether they can eat this fruit if they should eat it, and any possible health benefits it may have. Let’s get into everything we know about cats eating pineapple.

What is Pineapple?

Pineapple is a fruit that has zero relation or genetic connection to either an apple or any kind of pine tree. It likely got its name from looking similar to a pinecone and a common historical habit of using the word “apple” to describe different fruits. A fun fact about pineapple, it is not one single fruit. It is actually several berries that have fused together on a single stalk. They are native to South America and have long been enjoyed by humans. It takes almost two full years to grow one whole fruit, yet it is an inexpensive, sweet treat used in culinary settings worldwide. It is also referred to by the name ananas.

Can Cats Eat Pineapple

Pineapple is a fruit high in manganese, vitamin B6, fiber, copper, folate, and vitamin C.

Plain, fresh pineapple is not toxic or poisonous to cats and does not contain ingredients that will cause allergic reactions or harm a feline. However, fruit is not part of a feline’s natural diet. It is not something they should eat in substantial amounts. Additionally, kitties cannot really taste sweet things, so while this may be an alluring food to people because of its sweet flavor, the same cannot be said for felines. Though kitties can eat this fruit, whether they should is another issue. A small amount of fresh produce, without additives like extra sugar, can be a suitable snack occasionally for pet kitties.

Vitamin C can be beneficial to supplement both human and feline immune systems. Cats do not necessarily need extra vitamin C as they can synthesize it themselves. However, an extra boost here and there from a fresh treat can be an added benefit. This does not mean owners should feed their cats fresh produce for the sole purpose of adding any of the elements it contains to their kitty’s diet.

Owners should always avoid canned pineapple and juices. These foods and liquids are incredibly high in preservatives, additives, and extra sugars. These compounds can wreak havoc on a kitty’s digestive system. Felines that eat too much sugar can experience significant discomfort and pain as well as symptoms such as stomach pain, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, weight gain, and long-term problems like diabetes and dental issues. While sugar is not toxic to felines, their daily diets should not consist of more than 3% sugar. Felines are obligate carnivores, and their systems digest meat-based diets better than plant material.

Can Cats Eat Pineapple Leaves?

Cats may often show more interest in the plant’s spiky leaves than they do in the fruit itself. As most fur baby owners know, felines are notorious for chewing up house plants or going to town on the grass if they spend time outside. Leaves, especially fresh ones brought into the home, might be of high intrigue to our furry friends who want something to chew on. Although our canine companions often get the credit for being chewers, kitties are incredible chewers and often chew through electrical cords, clothing, blankets, and lots of things they should not be eating.

Pineapple leaves are slightly different from the leaves of most common house plants. They are thick and somewhat rubbery in texture. For purr babies that are drawn to chewing electrical cords and wires, this rubbery texture might be appealing. Cats enjoy chewing on things, and the smell of fresh-cut leaves can intrigue them. Felines love to investigate anything new, so even just the presence of something new like that might make them curious.

The good news is that pineapple leaves are not bad for a kitty. They do contain a thick sap-like substance that can be messy and possibly cause an allergic skin reaction. Husks and leaves are not toxic to felines. However, some substances within them, including the enzyme bromelain, can play a role in an allergic reaction and risk of bleeding and swelling if ingested in large amounts. So, while chewing on a leaf for a little while is a fun activity, owners should not allow their purr babies to do this for a long time or make it a common occurrence.

Can Kittens Eat Pineapple?

Kittens are very curious about food, so owners may worry when they get their paws on a bite or two of human foods. Kittens can eat pineapple. However, as with most human foods, only in strict moderation. This fruit should not be a regular part of a kitten’s diet, as they are growing and need high-quality animal proteins and other nutrients. Everything a kitten needs nutritionally is provided in a well-balanced, high-quality kitten food. They do not need additions of produce. Too much of it can cause digestive issues and put Fluffers at risk for long-term conditions like diabetes and obesity.

Do Cats Like Pineapple?

Whether or not cats like pineapple is a big question that has no definite answer. Generally speaking, felines do not taste sweet flavors. They lack the taste receptors for sweetness. Felines do not like or dislike sweets. They cannot taste them. They may be more attracted by a sweet smell rather than its flavor. Some kitties may enjoy the fibrous texture. So, if a definitive answer is needed, no cats do not innately like pineapple, though some individual pets may develop a taste for it.

Is Pineapple Good For Cats?

Pineapples can have some health benefits for felines. Again, it should not be a regular part of their diet. This fruit has a lot of fiber which can help with digestion. In humans, this fruit is sometimes consumed to help regulate and clean out the digestive tract, and it has a similar effect on felines. Eating this fruit can speed up digestion and help with constipation.

Pineapple is remarkably high in water, about 87%. So, it can be a good source of extra moisture for cats, who are easily dehydrated. An occasional piece of fresh produce can give a nice burst of water, however, do not rely on extra moisture from fruits and veggies. If you are worried about your kitty not getting enough water, it is best to discuss this with your veterinarian rather than adding produce as a substitute. Increasing the intake of wet food and adding water to their food are better methods to increase moisture and prevent hydration than relying on produce or other human food supplements.

Is Pineapple Bad For Cats?

Although it is not inherently bad for cats, this juicy snack is not necessarily good for them either.

Too much fiber and sugar can cause digestive issues, including pain, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, and weight gain. Excess sugar in a kitty’s diet can lead to serious problems, including diabetes and weight control issues. Additionally, foods high in sugar speed up tooth decay and increase the chance of dental disease in felines.

Like many other fruits, pineapple is made up of several different compounds. One of these is the enzyme actinidin. This enzyme causes allergies in many humans and can have the same effect on felines. They can exhibit allergy symptoms from ingesting too much of it. As we mentioned previously, the leaves also contain substances that can trigger allergies and skin discomfort in kitties.

Though pineapple is soft, it is quite fibrous. In some parts, it can be tough to chew through. This can quickly become a choking hazard for pets, so only tiny pieces of fresh, ripe produce, never the rind or stalk-like center, should be fed to a pet.

What Happens If My Cat Eats Pineapple?

A fur baby eating an occasional bite-sized piece or two of pineapple is not a problem and can be a pleasant change of pace for your purr baby. Pets get bored with eating the same foods regularly, which may contribute to their interest in what they see on our plates. So, the occasional piece of fresh fruit is not going to do any harm to your kitty. However, felines that ingest a lot of pineapples regularly or overindulge even just once may find themselves in an extremely uncomfortable state. If you are worried your kitty overate pineapple, contact your veterinarian for the next steps.

It is best only to feed a kitty fresh, sliced fruit that is cut into small pieces. Fluffers should only be fed produce under close supervision from their humans. Never feed a feline any canned or dried product or artificially flavored product. They should only ever eat fresh fruit by itself. It should never be fed to fur babies as part of baked goods, yogurt, pie, or other sweet treat made for humans.

Feline Diet Basics

Nutrition is one of the critical factors in a cat’s overall health, so it is worth the time and effort for owners to learn what their fur babies can and cannot eat. Kitties are natural predators whose bodies run on high protein, meat-based diets. They are obligate carnivores, meaning felines from domestic pets to big wildcats must eat diets high in animal protein. In short, they need meat-based diets to survive. According to the Cornell Feline Health Center, along with high protein, kitties also need diets with small amounts of carbohydrates, vitamins, minerals, fatty acids, and amino acids. They also need regular access to fresh, clean water.

The Feline Nutrition Expert (FNE) subcommittee of the Association of American Feed Control Officials (AAFCO) provides standards on feline foods and what needs to be included in them, as well as communicated on their labels. Owners should always read all pet food labels to ensure they contain natural products and high-quality ingredients. Foods that list meat, meat by-products, seafood, or fowl like chicken and turkey as the first ingredients are good choices as this means there should be enough animal-sourced ingredients to support the feline diet.

Reminders

Remember, feeding a kitty is a big responsibility. Owners want their purr babies to be healthy. It is common to wonder if cats can eat human foods like steak, vegetables, and even sweets. Pet parents should always keep in mind that animals are different than humans, and even if they can eat some of our foods, they should never eat food prepared for human consumption. We add a lot of flavorings and ingredients like onion and garlic for flavor. These and other additives are poisonous to cats. Always discuss nutritional concerns with your vet, and never feed a cat human meals instead of cat food.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is pineapple poisonous to cats?

No, this fruit is not poisonous to cats. Though it does contain some compounds that can cause allergies or discomfort, nothing in it is toxic for purr babies. This fruit is high in sugar and fiber, which can cause some issues. However, neither of these compounds is considered toxic.

Can cats eat dried pineapple?

Cats should not eat dried pineapple. Most commercial varieties of dried are coated in sugar, adding to the already high sugar levels. Additionally, dried fruits can be hard and hurt a pet’s teeth or be very gummy, and both are potential choking hazards. It is best to avoid giving pets dried fruit. Stick to freshly cut, not canned, bite-sized pieces.

Can cats have pineapple juice?

No, kitties cannot have the juice. It is far too high in sugar and added chemical ingredients. Cats get all they need to drink from plain, fresh water. Instead of giving your pet juice, invest in a few different kinds of water bowls and keep them full of fresh, clean water to encourage a kitty to drink.

Final Thoughts

Feeding pets human food is always risky, and owners need to be careful what they let their pets eat. Pineapple is one of those human foods that can be safe for kitties to eat in minimal amounts. This spiky fruit has little nutritional benefit to felines, but small doses can be ok for a treat. They will not taste the sweetness. Instead, they will be more attracted to the fibrous texture and moisture. Felines should only ever eat fresh, peeled fruit. Canned, dried, and other preparations are too high in sugar and other additives. If you have concerns about your feline’s nutrition, check with your veterinarian to ensure your purr baby is getting everything he needs to be healthy.

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