Are you a Maine Coon parent who noticed your kitty sniffing your mid-morning snack? This behavior may leave you asking, can Maine Coons eat bananas? Do Maine Coons like bananas?
Stick around to find out what you need to know about Maine Coons eating bananas.
Bananas are a nontoxic fruit to Maine Coons, and generally safe for cats to eat. Maine Coon cats are unlikely to want to eat bananas because of their unappealing smell and flavor. Cat owners who choose to feed bananas to their cats must do so only in small amounts to prevent health issues.
What are the benefits or risks of feeding banana pieces to Maine Coons, and what do cat owners need to consider before doing so?
Do Maine Coons like bananas? Keep reading to learn the answers and more!
Keep scrolling to also read the results of a poll conducted by Katrina Stewardson on Maine Coon Central’s YouTube channel, where viewers were asked if it was safe to feed Maine Coon cats chocolate.
What do you think the results were?
Can Maine Coons Eat Bananas?
The Maine Coon is one of the more striking cat breeds out there, and these gentle giants are the largest feline breed in existence.
Like other cats, these felines are obligate carnivores, meaning they receive essential nutrients from meat.
So, they need meat, but can cats eat bananas? And, do Maine Coons like bananas?
Bananas are not toxic to cats, including Maine Coons.
Although Maine Coons can occasionally snack on bananas, this fruit should not play a key part in their diet.
Bananas do not provide Maine Coons with essential nutrients because they already receive those from their meat consumption.
Cats, including Maine Coons, are not omnivores.
This means when a Maine Coon eats a piece of banana, their body does not break down the nutrients in it as effectively as humans or omnivores.
Beyond that, Maine Coon cats are not likely to have an interest in bananas.
Do Cats Like Bananas?
As a Maine Coon parent thinking about serving a bite of banana, the first point you need to address is whether cats like bananas at all.
After all, felines have different taste buds than humans, and they do not have strong “sweet” flavor receptors.
So, why do some cats not like bananas and refuse to try them? That would be due to their disinterest in sweet foods (source 1).
Despite their usual distaste for the fruit, do cats like the smell of bananas?
The answer is no. Cats are more likely to be repulsed by bananas due to the chemical smell of ethyl acetate they emit as the peel ripens.
Why do cats sometimes like bananas, considering they do not normally like the smell or taste?
The simple answer is that every cat is different, and some may have a quirk that attracts them to this particular fruit, but this is rare.
Benefits Of Bananas For Cats
Bananas are not necessary for a feline diet, but they may offer the following benefits:
- Fiber: Bananas are a good source of fiber, which helps cats who have upset stomachs and supports healthy stools.
- Vitamin B6: Vitamin B6 is in bananas, which supports the immune system, nervous system, and brain functions.
- Vitamin C: The vitamin C content in bananas may help support a cat’s immune system and oxidative stress response, but cats also already produce vitamin C via their livers.
- Safe Treat Option: Pure banana is nontoxic to cats and, if your cat enjoys it, is a safe, unique treat to offer occasionally to stimulate your cat’s interest.
- Potassium: Bananas have high levels of potassium, which helps cats regulate nerve and muscle functions.
- Glucose: The glucose in bananas may provide some energy to cats, although they should not have too much of this substance.
- Hydration: This soft fruit has moisture that helps to hydrate cats. It may be useful when working with a cat who refuses to drink water, although wet food is the best hydrating food option for cats.
- Magnesium: This mineral helps with heart and bone health. It is also a key player in other biochemical functions.
- Manganese: Not to be confused with magnesium, manganese is a mineral that helps support bones, connective tissues, and hormone functions.
- Antioxidants: Many forms of antioxidants are in bananas. These may benefit cats by reducing inflammation and helping with immune functions.
- Mood Boost: Cats may get a little spike in energy after eating a piece of banana, along with a more balanced mood, thanks to certain amino acids in bananas.
Are Bananas Safe For Cats?
Is banana harmful to cats, or is it safe?
Bananas are nontoxic to cats and are technically safe in small quantities.
However, pet parents must be cautious about feeding bananas to their cats due to the following reasons:
- Upset Stomach: When cats eat too many bananas, it may result in an upset stomach, vomiting, or diarrhea.
- Constipation: Bananas’ high fiber content may cause constipation.
- Allergies: Some cats may be allergic to bananas, so eating or licking them could cause an allergic reaction.
- Weight Gain: Eating too many bananas could lead to weight gain or diabetes due to the high sugar content.
- Dental Health Issues: The sugar content in bananas contributes to dental diseases, tooth decay, or gum disease over time.
- Better Treat Options: While the answer to the question – is it ok for cat to eat banana, is technically yes, there are far better cat-friendly treat options for cats to enjoy that have greater benefits to their diets.
How Much Banana Can I Give My Cat?
Moderation is key when thinking about how much banana is safe for a cat to eat.
As a general rule, cats should not eat treats amounting to more than 10% of their whole diet.
In most cats, that is the equivalent of less than a teaspoon per day.
Do not feed a cat more than a small slice of banana at one time or per day.
If you want to treat your cat, it is best to find cat-specific treats with high protein content.
If cats eat pieces of banana every day on top of their usual diets, the additional caloric intake may lead to weight gain.
When adding a new treat like bananas, remember not to habitually increase the level of food your cat eats per day.
Why Does My Cat Like Banana Peel?
Banana peel is typically unappealing or even repulsive to cats because the peels give off a strong chemical scent as the banana ripens.
There may be some exceptions to this if a cat has unusual dietary preferences though!
Some Maine Coon owners notice their cats getting frisky around banana peels.
The floppy, stringy nature of banana peels may stimulate their hunting or playing instincts because of the movements of dangling peels.
Cats may also enjoy chewing on banana peels for their texture. This may remind cats of fibrous plants, which cats sometimes munch on to ease an upset stomach.
Young cats (from 3 months to 2 years) are at a higher risk of having a condition called pica, which leads them to try to eat non-food items (source 1).
Cats with pica may be inclined to chew on banana peels.
Be careful if your cat gets hold of a banana peel, however, because there is a choking risk.
Always supervise your cat if they are playing with or chewing on a banana peel.
Why Do Cats Like Banana Bread?
Cats may be attracted to the smell or taste of banana bread because of its flavor or texture.
Some cats enjoy eating bread but please note that it is not a good idea to feed banana bread to cats.
Banana bread may contain walnuts and chocolate.
Walnut pieces may present a choking hazard, and chocolate is toxic to cats.
What’s more, banana bread contains salt and sugar, both of which are not healthy for cats.
Owners who wish to introduce bananas to their cats are better off opting for plain banana slices rather than trying to hide this fruit in sugary banana bread.
If your cat seems interested in banana bread, be careful to keep it out of paw’s reach.
Can Cats Eat Fruit And Vegetables?
Cats are obligate carnivores, but are fruits harmful to cats?
What about veggies?
Just as bananas are nontoxic to cats, some fruits and veggies are actually safe for them to eat in small quantities.
A few fruits that are cat-safe are:
- Vegetables that are cat-safe include:
- Green Beans
Conversely, fruits that are toxic to cats include:
- Toxic vegetables include:
As you can see, it is extremely important to know the difference between fruits and vegetables that are safe or unsafe for cats.
Giving your cat a harmful fruit or veggie could result in a range of unpleasant side effects or a trip to the emergency vet.
Anytime you decide to give your cat a new (cat-safe) fruit or veggie, do not force it on your cat.
Cats do not need to eat any fruits or vegetables, and they generally do not have many benefits for cats.
Can Maine Coons eat bananas, given all this information?
The general answer is yes. Maine Coons can eat small quantities of bananas at a time.
Even so, your Maine Coon is likely not interested in bananas due to their off-putting smell and unappealing flavor.
Research Study: Can Maine Coon Cats Eat Chocolate?
YouTube Research: Is Chocolate Harmful For Maine Coon Cats?
In a unique research study conducted by Katrina Stewardson on the Maine Coon Central YouTube channel, in October 2023, viewers were asked if they thought chocolate was harmful to Maine Coon cats.
Of the 189 viewers that entered the poll, 95% of Maine Coon cat lovers were aware that chocolate is harmful to a Maine Coon.
However, 5% of the respondents did not realize the danger chocolate posed to this large cat breed, which was very worrying.