Because of the videos where cats are frightened by cucumbers, a lot of people asked the same question: Can cats eat cucumbers? Yes, cats can eat cucumbers in small quantities but be warned: there are a few very important points you need to know in order not to harm your little friend.
First let’s check the benefits of giving cucumbers to your cat.
What Are Cucumbers Good For?
Cucumbers are amazing sources of Vitamin K and they also contain beta-carotene, potassium, copper and manganese. These nutrients are all good for your cat however consuming too much of any nutrient can be bad. Remember, nature likes balance in all things.
96% of a cucumber is water so it can help to keep your cat hydrated especially in summer months. Some cats just don’t drink as much water as they need to. Although rare, just like some people, some cats also don’t like drinking water and this causes health issues so you may try cucumber for a source of hydration.
Vitamin K also has benefits to cats. It helps cats with blood clotting functions as well as giving them a good functioning, healthy liver.
We also mentioned potassium which is good for muscles and nerves due to being electrolyte. Manganese is for strong bones and cartilage. Molybdenum is good for your cat’s metabolism and finally copper which facilitates iron absorption in the body. Cucumbers are also known to contain beta-carotene but most of the beta-carotene is in the skin of the cucumber and I will tell you why should peel the skin before feeding your cat cucumbers below.
Being a low calorie food (just 8 calories per one half cup or 15kcal per 100 grams), another benefit of cucumbers is helping lose weight or maintaining it. If your cat has weight issues and you are trying to find a healthy snack for your cat, you may give cucumber a try.
What to Consider?
As mentioned 96% of a cucumber is water. As this might be an advantage, it can also easily be a disadvantage for your cat. Feeding your cat more than its digestive system can handle may result in diarrhea which can be painful for the cat.
In addition, unlike us cats are carnivorous creatures which means their main diet is based on meat. In case you are carried away with your cat’s cuteness, never forget that they are actually predators. Do not try to replace a carnivores diet with another one consisting of only vegetables and fruits. It is just not how they evolved, they don’t really need vegetables to stay healthy.
Another point to pay attention to is peeling the skin of the cucumbers before giving it to your cat. This has two reasons:
- Skin of the cucumber is not easy for your cat to digest so consuming the skin might give your cat hard times
- The second issue with the cucumber skin actually is not directly about cucumber or cat. It is about us humans and how we produce our food. When you buy vegetables it is highly likely that they are sprayed with pesticides which are basically poison. You should either wash the cucumber really good of peel the skin off to get rid of the pesticide.
Because of the reasons above, you should give your cat only one or two slices of cucumber per week. Do not try to force your cat’s body to gain extra benefits by giving it more cucumbers than it needs because it just wouldn’t.
Another point to keep in mind is that you should only give fresh cucumbers to your cat. Pickles or processed vegetables are not good for cats.
Your cat may as well be allergic to cucumbers. The allergic reactions may include itchy skin, red eyes, vomiting or diarrhea.
Fear and Cucumber in Las Cattas!
In the beginning I mentioned the “funny” cat videos where cats are frightened by cucumber. Actually cats are not afraid of cucumbers. The dominant theory is cats’ see the cucumbers so suddenly that they do not understand what they are and they look like snakes to them so cats’ survival instincts kick in, making them jump away from the danger.
These kinds of sudden reflexes can cause stress or trauma so you may never be able to feed cucumber to your cat or a worse case scenario would be a change in your cat’s behaviors such as being more aggressive or depressed.
I don’t think that any living being should suffer just to get a few likes on social media and that’s why I don’t like such videos.
To Sum Up
Feed your cat cucumber only one or two slices once a week, more might hurt your cat.
Cats can also get their nutrients from their cat food so it is not necessary for cats to consume cucumbers for the health benefits above.
Your cat may or may not like cucumbers, don’t try to force your cat to eat cucumbers. If you try to force it, even you may get hurt by claws or teeth.
Do not give seasoned vegetables to your cat. Even salt can cause unintended results.
Always pay a visit your veterinarian before adding anything to of changing your cat’s diet