What’s the harm in an occasional reward? However, as many seasoned pet owners likely already know, some foods pack a powerful punch that could send your little pal to the vet and cost you some money as well.
That’s why it’s crucial to study up on the foods your feline friend can and cannot digest. Animals’ nutritional requirements may be very different from those of the typical human being.
A cat’s digestive system is not designed to handle foods that are perfectly safe for humans.
It’s important to take your time when picking out cat treats, even if they’re on the healthier side.
Where then do dates fit into this scheme? Is it okay to feed them to cats?
Can Cats Eat Dates?
Yes, but there are caveats to that answer. However, we cannot rule out the possibility that they could be harmful to cats.
On the other hand, eating dates could pose some health risks. While cats can safely consume dates, they should not make them a regular part of their diet.
Dates, like many other fruits, have a high concentration of sugar that is unhealthy for cats. In addition, they might contain ingredients like calories that aren’t great for your cat.
Health Effects of Dates on Cats
1. Purgative/Laxative Qualities
Dates are one food that has been shown to have a laxative effect when eaten.
That kind of stress isn’t built into a cat’s digestive system. Your cat might take a bit more of a beating on dates, and the effects might linger for longer.
If your cat has loose stools or throws up after nibbling on a few dates, the laxative properties are doing their job.
Terrible diarrhea and digestive problems are additional severe symptoms to watch out for.
They might even get sick if things go downhill fast enough. Should we take the chance? Honestly, we have no idea.
2. High Sugar Content
The majority of the fruits we eat have a fairly high concentration of sugar. This has the potential to make obesity even more of a problem.
If a cat consumes an excessive amount, the excess will be stored as glycogen. You will start to see a difference in your weight eventually.
Conditions like hypertension have been linked to elevated blood sugar levels. Only two dates should be given to a cat.
3. Dental Concerns
The high sugar content of dates is also linked to another side effect: tooth decay.
Keep in mind that cats don’t floss, and just because a cat is snacking on dates doesn’t make them any less sticky.
This means that as long as they continue to eat, they will continue to accumulate around their teeth.
Teeth decay and holes will develop over time.
4. Choking Hazard
Sticky dates can cause serious choking in cats. Your cat may have difficulty swallowing dates because they get stuck. First aid for cats is a tough fit.
In addition, dates have a tough, stony core that makes them impossible to eat whole. That level of intelligence is not present in felines. It’s possible they’ll suffocate.
5. Calorie Count
Did you know that a cat has a very low caloric requirement? They shouldn’t go over 250 at most. A high calorie count is useless to the body because it provides no nutrients.
If you knew how many calories just five dates contained, you’d be shocked. It will be excessively caloric, with each serving containing around 67 k/cal.
If necessary, limit how much you feed them.
Do Cats Like Dates?
Assuming that they did is completely ridiculous. Generally speaking, a cat’s tongue lacks the taste receptors necessary for detecting and differentiating sweet flavors. They can’t even tell the difference if you feed them dates. They have no concept of what dry dates taste like.
Therefore, it’s safe to assume that cats don’t voluntarily have a desire for dates. Don’t even bother considering it as a treat, as your furry friend lacks the ability to detect sugars.
To begin, it’s important to remember that a kitten’s digestive system is more susceptible to damage than an adult cat’s.
What an adult cat can handle might be too much for a kitten. We have established that there are health risks associated with dating for senior cats. Therefore, kitties shouldn’t eat dates.
The answer was “yes,” but with some caveats for senior felines. The answer is definitely not yes for kittens. Instead of introducing kittens to dates, it is best to feed them healthy, easily digestible cat food as they make the switch from their mother’s milk.
What if Your Cat/Kitten Already Consumed Dates?
There’s no need to go into panic mode just yet. It has become clear that the reactions of individual cats to various foods vary widely. It’s possible that yours will not have any negative reactions at all.
Keep a close eye on the cat and react quickly if you notice any signs that their health is in jeopardy. For instance, take note of the consistency and color of its feces. In case it sounds familiar, it’s best to see a vet right away.
Pay close attention to whether or not it is vomiting or exhibiting signs of stomach discomfort. Rest assured that everything is fine.
If you must feed your cat fruit, choose varieties that are likely to be well tolerated by their systems and won’t cause any major health problems.
Celery and other similar vegetables are great substitutes. In addition, your beloved pet can safely enjoy some asparagus on occasion.
The most important thing to remember is that dates are safe to eat. That said, there is the proviso that they limit the number of dates they go on.
In addition to the health risks associated with high calorie counts and high sugar levels, there is also the risk of choking, all of which have been discussed at length above.
If you really want your cat to eat fruit, you can always find a better option. Otherwise, never go on more than two dates at a time. There will be tooth, stomach, and weight issues if you feed them dates. Now you have a legitimate issue on your hands.