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Can cats eat cucumbers?
The answer is yes, cucumber are perfectly safe for cats to eat, and there might even be some hidden nutritional benefits which we discuss later in the article.
Some fruits and vegetables are harmful to cats, so if you’re a cat owner, you’re smart for wanting to know which ones are safe.
But if your cat got a hold of a piece of cucumber that you dropped on the floor, or he snagged a bite of your salad, there’s no need for concern.
Are Cucumbers Healthy for Cats?
Not only are cucumbers safe for cats to eat, but they’re also considered a healthy addition to their diet when given in appropriate amounts. Staying properly hydrated is a huge health factor for cats, who can be prone to kidney disease and bladder issues.
Some cats are finicky about drinking water, which can lead to dehydration. This can sometimes start to feel like a never-ending battle of trying to coax your furry friend into drinking more water. But if your cat enjoys the taste of cucumber, you’re in luck because this vegetable is made up of about 96% water! Supplementing your cat’s diet with a few slices of cucumber a day can be a sneaky way to increase his water intake.
Keep in mind that just like any other “human” food that you give to your cat, you should offer it in moderation and check in with your veterinarian so they are aware of your cat’s diet. Too much cucumber can cause stomach issues in your cat since he is a natural carnivore and his digestive system is specially designed to break down meat instead of plants.
BTW, Why are Cats Afraid of Cucumbers?
The two prevailing theories are 1) The cucumber resembles a snake and therefore triggers a biological response to flee quickly and 2) The cucumber is an unexpected object that your cat reacts to before understanding it’s threat level.
Here is proof of cat’s innate fear of cucumbers…
By now, you’ve surely seen a video or two showing a cat being startled by a cucumber that sneaked up on them – but why are cats afraid of them? There are a couple of theories to explain this funny cat quirk.
First, owners often play this prank on their cats while they’re distracted and eating. Cats are usually very aware of their surroundings, so it can be hard to sneak up on them. But when your cat is chowing down on dinner, her awareness can decrease, so it’s easier for you to put a cucumber behind her without her noticing. When she turns around and sees an unexpected object, she’ll be startled by it.
There is also a theory that cucumbers can sort of look like snakes to cats when they “sneak up” on them. Cats are more often predators than prey, but they do still have protective instincts against certain species that can hurt them in the wild – including snakes. So, when your furry friend turns around and sees a surprise vegetable that also kind of resembles a snake, her first instinct is to bounce out of there!
While these videos are entertaining to watch, several animal behavioral scientists have warned that these seemingly harmless pranks might cause mental trauma to cats. The stress caused by being frightened by a perceived threat can also cause behavioral issues.
In some cases when the prank is repeated several times, your cat might start to associate you with being frightened by the vegetable. And she might start to be afraid of you, too. So keep that in mind if you’re thinking about pulling this prank on your feline friend – it won’t be enjoyable for her and might cause unexpected behavioral issues down the road!
Nutritional Benefits of Cucumbers for Cats
So, we know cucumbers are healthy for cats to eat and full of hydrating water, but what exactly are the nutritional benefits?
- Cucumbers are high in vitamin K. This vitamin is an important nutrient that plays a critical role in blood clotting in healthy cats. It’s also a key factor in maintaining a healthy liver.
- They contain Vitamin C, which is another important vitamin that plays a role in the development and repair of your cat’s body tissues as well as helps boost his immune system.
- They have magnesium and manganese, which are two minerals that are important for your cat’s muscle and nerve function.
- They contain potassium, an essential micronutrient that plays a role in bone health, muscle maintenance, kidney health, and cardiovascular health.
- Cucumbers contain molybdenum, an essential trace mineral that works in your cat’s body to assist metabolism by breaking down proteins during digestion.
Can Cats Eat Cucumber Seeds?
Yes, it’s fine to let your cat eat the seeds of cucumber. If you’re concerned about whether cucumber seeds are safe for your cat to eat, you’re probably not alone.
It’s well known that some types of vegetable and fruit seeds can be harmful to cats – sometimes even poisonous. For example, apple seeds contain small amounts of poisonous cyanide. The amount is very small so it’s safe for people to eat, but the toxin can build up quickly in your cat’s body. That’s why you shouldn’t let him eat apple seeds even though the apple itself is safe for him to eat. Other seeds can be large and hard – these pose risks of choking or injury when your cat eats them.
But when feeding your cat cucumber, there’s no reason to fear. Cucumber seeds have no toxic properties and they are soft, so you don’t have to worry about them getting lodged in your cat’s throat or causing any injury.
Can Cats Eat Cucumber Leaves?
Cucumber leaves are safe for cats to eat in moderation. Many cat owners worry about their furry friends eating poisonous leaves because there is a long list of plants that are toxic to cats. You should always avoid letting your cat eat the leaves from plants that belong to the nightshade family, such as tomatoes and eggplants.
However, cucumber leaves don’t contain any toxins to cats and should be perfectly safe for your cat to eat. You should only give cucumber leaves in moderation to avoid stomach upset.
Keep in mind that your cat is naturally a carnivore and would rarely eat a fruit or vegetable in the wild. For this reason, vegetarian foods should be offered in small amounts and cleared with your veterinarian before being introduced to your furry friend.
Can Cats Eat Cucumber Skins?
In most cases, it’s best to peel cucumber before giving it to your cat. Cucumber skin can contain harmful pesticides if they aren’t organic. Unfortunately, those pesticides may not come off even after thoroughly washing the vegetable. So to be safe, you should not feed cucumber skins to your furry little friends unless you know the cucumber came from an organic, pesticide-free source.
On top of the risk of pesticides, cucumber skins can be difficult for your cat to digest. This is because they are full of cellulose, which is a type of sugar that your cat’s body can’t break down.
If your cat has a healthy digestive system and no history of gastric issues, organic cucumber skin shouldn’t cause an issue. However, if your cat has a sensitive stomach, it may be best to avoid feeding him the skin.
Cats might have a controversial relationship with cucumbers when the veggies sneak up behind them. But when it comes to eating cucumber, there are plenty of health benefits for your furry friend. Cucumber helps with dehydration and provides several important vitamins and minerals to keep your cat in tip-top condition.
Remember that although it might be funny to watch cats get scared by cucumbers online, pulling this seemingly harmless prank on your pet might add stress to her life and could cause long-term behavioral problems. So proceed with caution and keep your cat’s exposure to cucumber positive by supplementing her diet with this healthy and refreshing treat.