Plums are a sweet, juicy fruit that is typically enjoyed in the summer by people all over the world. They are also used in some cooking and plenty of baking, so it’s not uncommon to see them in homes.
This means that if there is also a cat in the home who is particularly curious, they may start sniffing around the plums. Should you worry about this? Can cats eat plums or should those plums be kept well out of the reach of curious felines?
Cats should not ever eat plums. While the fruit itself is not toxic, there are so many other parts of the plum that are incredibly toxic that it is not worth the risk. Plums also have no nutritional benefit for cats, the pit is both toxic and a choking hazard and the plums get more toxic the older and more wilted they get.
So, keep cats away from plums!
Do Cats Like Plums?
Fortunately, plums aren’t going to be of any interest to most cats, beyond a casual sniff. Cats are obligate carnivores, so eating fruits and vegetables doesn’t really occur to them and their digestive system doesn’t do much with them anyway.
While some veggies are helpful in small amounts for things like weight management, most of them are pretty useless, and some are downright toxic (including plums).
If you’re here though, it could be that your cat took a bite out of curiosity, so probably a good idea to contact your vet and keep your plums away from your cats from now on.
Do Cats Hate Plums?
Most cats will completely ignore plums, which is good! As a result, you couldn’t really say that a cat hates plums, but rather won’t eat them because they won’t be attracted to the fruit. The only reason a cat would eat it would be out of curiosity or perhaps knowing on the stems. This is definitely something you want to discourage!
Can Plums Kill My Cat?
Yes, plums can absolutely kill your cat, though hopefully, you get your pet to the vet in time to stave that off, and instead, your cat will probably be violently ill for a while and need some nursing at home after some time in the pet hospital.
Plums are problematic due to the high levels of cyanide (for cats) in the leaves, seeds, and stems. Swallowing the seeds in particular can quickly make your cat very ill and is a choking hazard to boot.
The plum gets more toxic as it wilts, making it particularly dangerous if cats are eating plums that fell from a tree and were left for a day or two.
Symptoms of cyanide poisoning in cats include:
- Cardiac arrest
- Breathing problems
- Collapse while walking
- Dilated pupils
These are fairly serious symptoms and may need a trip to the vet. You can do some at-home care such as moving your cat to fresh air or using an oxygen mask, making your cat vomit by gently squeezing their stomach, or performing hands-on CPR if your cat stops breathing.
Do not let your cat drink water as this will speed digestion and allow more cyanide to be absorbed into your cat’s system. But you should also get your cat to the vet as fast as possible as it will probably require further treatment.
If you do bring your cat in, bring along any samples of the plum or plant and a small amount of vomit for your vet to see. Then the vet will perform trocarization, which is when fluids in the cat’s stomach are used to test for toxins and may treat the poisoning using sodium nitrate or other methods to flush the body of the toxins as fast as possible.
If left untreated, it’s quite likely that a cat can die from plum poisoning or have a heart attack, seizure, or put your cat into a coma. The more of the plum your cat eats, the more likely that the really severe symptoms will occur and the longer it will take for your pet to recover too.
Assuming your cat gets treatment, and the symptoms weren’t too severe, most cats will recover in two to four days (and probably act as nothing happened). The more severe the poisoning, the longer it will take to recover, and more time will be required in the vet’s hospital for monitoring.
Once home, you may have to feed your cat soft, gentle food while its stomach recovers, and of course, remove any plums!
How Many Plums Can I Feed My Cat?
None! Cats shouldn’t eat plums at all.
Technically speaking, the actual flesh of the plum isn’t toxic to cats, but it’s hardly worth the risk that a cat won’t also eat a leaf, part of the stem, or get into the plum pit in the middle. And as the plum wilts, more of the cyanide is released which can then taint the fruit itself.
While plums are good for humans to eat, the nutritional benefits don’t carry over to cats. Plums are low-fat and have a small amount of calcium C, K, potassium, copper, and manganese. They are also low in sugar.
However, none of that is any use to a cat! As an obligate carnivore, cats mostly need protein, fats, and the right amino acids (taurine, to be precise).
None of that is found in a plum, so there really is no point in even preparing just the flesh of the plum for your cat to eat. They will get nothing nutritional from your efforts, and they may get sick. Furthermore, since plums are relatively sweet, they won’t even taste them since cats cannot taste sweet food.
Has your cat ever gotten into a plum (and then straight to the vet?) Was it remotely ashamed of itself after? (We doubt it!)
Pam is a self-confessed cat lover and has experience of working with cats and owning cats for as long as she can remember. This website is where she gets to share her knowledge and interact with other cat lovers.