Bell peppers are a staple in most houses, used in a variety of cooking, and often simply eaten raw as a snack or as part of sandwiches. It’s no wonder then that cats will probably run across them at some point, either dropped on the floor or outright snatched from a plate!
If this describes your cat, should you be worried about it? Can cats eat raw bell peppers?
Yes, raw bell peppers are absolutely safe for cats to eat, and that is in all its colors: green, yellow, red, orange, and so on. They are not toxic or harmful and they might even enjoy the bit of water found in them. They even have a bit of a benefit to them for cats, though ideally only a small amount and only in conjunction with a proper diet.
Now, we are going to talk about raw bell peppers here, but cooked ones are the same answer: yes, cats can eat them (assuming you haven’t mixed them in with anything else like garlic or onion which is toxic).
Do Cats Like Raw Bell Peppers?
This is really going to depend on the cat. Some will really enjoy the texture and the flavor, while others will ignore it.
I’ve had both: my old cat, before she moved downstairs and refused to come back up when we got our new cat, would at least sniff and nibble on any that fell on the floor while I was cooking.
My new cat, on the other hand, doesn’t seem to care one bit about them. And some cats really love them and will eat them straight out of the garden if allowed! It really depends on your cat.
Do Cats Hate Raw Bell Peppers?
Some cats probably do hate them – I know I’ve had at least one cat who would turn her nose up. If this describes your cat, don’t worry about it. While bell peppers have some benefits that even cats can enjoy, it’s nothing that a regular diet of quality cat food and quality cat treats can’t provide.
Can Raw Bell Peppers Kill My Cat?
It is highly, highly unlikely that raw bell peppers will kill your cat, even if they overindulged. Raw bell peppers don’t contain anything that hurts cats, so if your cat went crazy on the peppers, the worst they will endure is a sore stomach after.
That being said, raw bell peppers won’t kill your cat, but cats do have a sensitive digestive system and peppers can cause them to have stomach problems.
If you notice that your cat seems a bit ill or has diarrhea after eating bell peppers, don’t let them have it again (no matter how much they beg). Diarrhea can be problematic for cats because they don’t drink enough water at the best of times and diarrhea drains their reserves.
Keep in mind too that we are talking about bell peppers, not jalapeno or chili peppers, or any of the other spicy ones. Spicy peppers can make your cat quite ill, causing them vomiting, diarrhea, watery eyes, and gagging.
Fortunately, most cats who nibble on one of these will likely spit it out before it reaches their stomach but keep an eye on your cat anyway.
Can cats be allergic to bell peppers? It’s not likely, but cats can be allergic or sensitive to all manner of foods, so it could happen. Signs of food allergies include:
- Hair loss and excessive scratching
- Gurgling noises in the stomach
It can take a few days for these symptoms to manifest, so if it is the first time your cat has had bell pepper, keep an eye on them.
How Much Raw Bell Pepper is Safe to Feed My Cat?
Raw bell pepper isn’t toxic to cats, but there’s no real benefit to letting them eat too much of it either. Cats are best off with a few small pieces of bell pepper served as an occasional treat so that they don’t choose to eat them over their regular food!
Do you have to worry about color? Not really. Cats can’t taste spicy or sweet foods anyway, so it’s unlikely they will have a preference for which bell pepper they like. Red, orange, purple, green, yellow… they’re all good to a cat who likes bell peppers! Just make sure that there are no seeds as these can be a choking hazard.
The stalks and leaves of bell pepper plants are also not toxic to cats and in fact, some cats enjoy chewing on them because they are nice and tough. They won’t hurt your cat but being chewed on isn’t so good for the plant, so you probably want to keep your cats away anyway!
Peppers are really good to serve cats who are overweight as they are low in calories and filling, so it can give cats something to snack on without adding too much to their food intake. Otherwise, they make a half-decent healthy snack, though don’t expect to really boost your cat’s overall nutrition too much with them.
Cats are carnivores at the end of the day and most of the benefits of bell peppers are going to pass a cat right by since they cannot digest it properly anyway.
What are the Benefits of Raw Bell Peppers for Cats?
Although cats aren’t going to get a lot out of bell peppers so far as nutrition goes, there are still a few things that can help top up the tank.
Peppers are rich in antioxidants which provide vitamins and minerals to your cat. The most important one here is lycopene which helps your cat’s heart stay strong, lowering the risk of heart disease, and lowering the risk of some cancers.
The antioxidants also boost your cat’s immune system and help to prevent cataracts and osteoarthritis. Another important antioxidant is capsaicin which also reduces cancers and is an anti-inflammatory that can help senior cats prevent aches and pains.
Raw bell peppers can also be used for weight management and they are 92% water, which is just good for cats who otherwise don’t usually get enough water in their diet.
Now, keep in mind, that cats can only have bell peppers as a small, occasional treat, so the health benefits are going to be pretty small. But it’s better to get a bit than nothing at all and it can support their regular diet.
Raw bell peppers are absolutely safe to eat in all their colors and forms. Keep in mind that they should be served plain, cut into small pieces, and only sparingly, but as long as you do that, they are safe and many cats quite enjoy them.
Does your cat go for raw bell peppers? Does it have a favorite color?