Kiwis are a popular fruit. Colorful, packed with nutrition, and able to be used in a myriad of recipes like fruit salad and smoothies, kiwis are well-beloved by humans. But are they just as good for your cat? Kiwis have a lot of nutritional and dietary benefits, plus a good amount of water, so it certainly would appear that sharing your fruit with your pet would be a good idea.
Short answer: cats can eat kiwi, but they should only eat it in moderation as it does have a high sugar content that can lead to obesity and diabetes if they eat too much over a long period of time. Cats should also not eat too much of it because the high fiber isn’t absorbed by a cat’s digestive system and that can cause a laxative effect leading to diarrhea and dehydration. But in small amounts and served as an occasional treat, kiwi can be beneficial.
Do Cats Like Kiwi?
Kiwi is attractive to humans because of its flavor. However, cats really don’t have the ability to taste or enjoy sweet foods, meaning that most of them won’t really go after a kiwi. They may be curious about what you are eating leading them to beg for a bit, but they probably won’t tend to enjoy it over their regular food. Still, all cats are different and perhaps your cat will like its bite of your fruit. More commonly, when it comes to fruit, cats are attracted to the texture or the water content over the flavor.
Do Cats Hate Kiwi?
Cats are largely going to be indifferent towards kiwi. As unlikely as it is they will love kiwi, it’s equally unlikely they will hate it. If they aren’t interested, they simply won’t eat it. Don’t be alarmed if this turns out to be your cat. While kiwi has nutritional benefits, they are extremely minuscule compared to a cat’s usual diet of high-quality kibble, canned food, and meat, so your pet won’t miss anything by skipping on a piece of fruit.
As a note, my senior cat has never bothered with my roommate’s kiwi. I’m not even sure she sniffed at it.
Can Kiwi Kill Cats?
The danger of kiwi for cats lies in its high sugar content. At 6.5 grams of sugar and 11 grams of carbs in one kiwi, the risk of a cat getting obese and contracting diabetes is much higher than with humans. Diabetes can kill cats and being obese is simply bad for them.
- Dehydration due to the laxative effect of a high fiber diet
- Choking on the peel if the kiwi is given with the skin on
- Allergies can manifest as stomach upset, diarrhea, coughing, sneezing, irritability, and dilated pupils
While these things alone probably won’t kill your cat (Though choking might!), they do make life very uncomfortable for your pet, not to mention you when it comes time to clean up. And dehydration in cats can become severe quite quickly owing to their small mass, so it’s definitely something to watch out for.
If you’ve never given your cat kiwi before, make sure to monitor your pet for a few hours after ingestion to make sure that they aren’t showing any sign of allergic reaction. Cats may also show signs of gastrointestinal distress after eating kiwi too. Either way, talk to your vet if you’re concerned and obviously don’t let your cat near your kiwi again!
How Much Kiwi is Safe to Give Cats?
Cats should only have kiwi that has been peeled. The best serving is about half of one slice, cut up into small, bite-sized pieces. Cats should have no more than half a slice once in a while and it should replace other treats rather than be in addition to them. The 10% rule comes into effect: a cat’s diet should be no more than 10% treats. A full kiwi has 90 calories, so depending on how you slice it, a half slice would have anywhere from 7-15 calories.
Another way to serve kiwi is to cut it up very fine and mix it in with their regular food. This can give your cat the taste they may be after but you don’t have to worry about choking or about cats not eating their regular food.
The Health Benefits of Kiwi for Cats
Cats won’t reap a lot of nutritional benefits from kiwis since the amount they can eat is so small, but there are still some good things to be had from this fruit.
Kiwis are a good source of the following:
- Vitamin K which is good for blood clotting
- Fiber (again though, don’t let your cat have too much. However, a small amount can aid in digestion and weight management)
- Vitamin E
- Phytonutrients that can prevent oxidation in the DNA cells
- Kiwis have vitamin C too, but cats produce their own vitamin C so this is more of a top-up than a benefit. Still, vitamin C is good for a cat’s coat and immune system.
- Water. Cats have a hard time staying completely hydrated, so getting water from their food really helps.
Kiwis are a good treat for cats because they are low in calories. However, remember that they are still high in sugars and carbs that your cat’s system cannot handle very well. This can lead to problems with obesity and diabetes in spite of your best ideas of keeping kitty fit!
Kiwi may be wonderful for humans but given that cats are obligate carnivores (meaning they must eat meat and don’t get much of anything from anything else), kiwi is not going to be high on their list of delicious snacks.
Kiwi does have some small benefit for cats, but it is not something they should be trying to live on as it’s missing everything cats truly require to stay healthy. That being said, if your cat sneaks a bite of your kiwi, it probably won’t harm them at all, so long as they aren’t allergic and they don’t try to eat the peel.
If you’re worried, make sure to talk to your vet and monitor your pet. Likely it will be fine and likely they won’t bother with it again (but who knows, cats are funny that way!)
Does your cat like kiwi?