“Can cats eat cucumbers?”, you’re thinking to yourself as you watch your furry friend roam around the kitchen looking for leftovers. “Mrs. McFluffer, you literally JUST scoffed down an entire bowl of kibble, what more do you need?”. You’re scolding her as she catches a glimpse of your Green Goddess salad.
“Those TikToks are going to be the death of me! Who told me making such a delicious dish and leaving it on the kitchen counter was a good idea!?”. You’re screaming as she’s already gobbled down the last one of those cucumbers.
Scream no more, she’s already out of the kitchen looking for other nooks and crannies to use as her troublemaking spot. And, before you even know that, you’re left to ponder how on Earth she was able to do ALL THAT with a swift jump and a dextrous movement of the paw.
“Seriously, can cats even eat cucumbers?” Worry not, our friends over at the ASPCA (American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals) haven’t put cucumbers on their naughty list. And they know what’s up, especially when we’re talking about what cats can and cannot munch on.
Cats can eat cucumbers – but, could things really be as simple as that when we’re talking about your boisterous beast? They couldn’t and they’re not. But, we’re bringing you everything you need to know about the do’s and don’ts of feeding these crunchy veggies to your cat.
What’s the deal with cats and cucumbers?
When you’re thinking about the best, cream of the crop feast for your feline friend, you’re not necessarily thinking of the Green Goddess salad or a bunch of cucumbers (regardless of what TikTok might make you think). You’re probably thinking of a paw-licking steak or mouth-watering rib chops, right?
That’s because cats are carnivores – they need a bunch of meat, animal protein, and animal nutrients in their diets to survive and thrive. They don’t need fruits, veggies, and whole grains in their diets the same way humans do (because humans are omnivores).
And, they don’t even possess the digestive enzymes necessary to break down and process most foods humans eat regularly. For example, they might have a tough time digesting milk and milk products because they can’t tolerate lactose.
Or, they might end up at the emergency animal center after eating a bunch of donuts because they can’t really digest that many carbohydrates. But, what’s the deal with cucumbers?
Cats can eat cucumbers because they don’t possess anything that might cause harm to them. Quite on the contrary, cucumbers are one of the few veggies that can make for a delicious treat! That is, on the off chance that your cat wants to nibble on them when she’s looking for a pick-me-up.
But, but, but… There’s always a but when we’re talking about your cat munching on something she isn’t supposed to munch on. Cucumbers might make for a tasty treat but they aren’t (and shouldn’t be) a natural part of your cat’s diet. Cucumbers are cute, but they’re not THAT cute.
Can cats eat cucumbers?
Cats can eat cucumbers – but, the real question’s whether cats want to eat cucumbers. On the off chance that you’ve been living under a rock for the last couple of years, you might have missed those TikToks with cats getting TERRIFIED the moment that they notice a cucumber carefully placed next to them.
These videos have started quite a trend among TikTok users, many of them rushing to scare their precious pets with cucumbers to get their five minutes of fame. But, are cats actually scared of cucumbers? Or are these TikTokers forgetting about the whole “I’m scared because I had no idea there was a cucumber next to me” thing?
Cat behaviorists argue that there’s no reason to believe cats sense a deep-seated hatred toward these crunchy veggies. Your cat’s only reacting to the fact that you’re purposely trying to get a reaction out of her. Chances are, she’d be equally scared if you placed a pumpkin next to her while she wasn’t looking.
Cats aren’t scared of cucumbers. But, they might not be the biggest fans of this particular vegetable (not that they’re fans of vegetables AT ALL). You see, your cat has a superior sense of smell, and she uses that sense of smell to protect herself from anything that seems dangerous or threatening.
Cucumbers are pretty safe – but, they might have a scent that triggers your cat’s “fight or flight” response. Certain cucumbers might even look like snakes and make your cat run for her life because that’s what her gut feeling’s telling her to do. Cucumbers aren’t the ones to blame for such weird reactions you’ve seen on TikTok.
Cats have the same response to pretty much everything, and they don’t really want to munch on something that’s knocked them out of their shoes.
What’s good about feeding cucumbers to your cat?
But, the moment that your four-legged friend does decide that she’s ready to give cucumbers a chance, you might wonder whether you’ve made the right decision. “Are cucumbers even good for my cat? Can my cat reap ANY of the benefits – on the off chance that there are any, to begin with?”
Worry not, cucumbers are home to some of the most delicious and nutritious vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. They’re your munchkin’s friends because they can boost her immune system, maintain the health of her digestive system, and ensure the proper function of her nervous system. Check them out!
1. Vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants
We’re talking about vitamin K, vitamin B, vitamin C, copper, phosphorus, potassium, and magnesium! Trust me, you want to learn about the incredible health benefits your cat can get from these vitamins and minerals. Because when you do, you won’t even have to wonder whether cats can eat cucumbers!
Starting from the top, vitamin K seems to be responsible for the synthesis of protein that plays a huge role in your cat’s metabolism. Vitamin B is one of those nutrients that do everything – ensure the health of your cat’s immune system, nervous system, AND digestive tract.
Vitamin C plays the role of one of the most important antioxidants for your cat, can boost your cat’s immune system, and help the production of collagen. And don’t even get me started on those minerals. From the formation of enzymes and utilization of nutrients to the transportation of oxygen, they have everything covered.
Cats can eat cucumbers because they’re beaming with nutrients, but what about fiber?! We can’t forget about the amazing miracle-maker that can transform your cat’s digestive health with only a couple of nibbles a day. That’s right, cucumbers are very, very rich in fiber.
Fiber provides bulk to help food move through your cat’s digestive tract. Not only that, but fiber can help her whenever she’s dealing with digestive problems.
This goes for constipation, diarrhea, obesity, and even diabetes. Not to mention the fact that fiber makes sure she doesn’t spend an eternity in her litter box.
Munching on cucumbers every now and then doesn’t sounds that bad. But, that’s not to say that you shouldn’t consult with your vet before running off to the nearest farmer’s market to purchase a bunch of cucumbers for your cat.
What’s bad about feeding cucumbers to your cat?
Before we go any further, repeat after me: “Cats can eat cucumbers!” We don’t want you to think that your cat can end up at the emergency animal center because of a single slice of a cucumber she snatched right off of your eyes. We’re simply letting you know there are a couple of things to keep an eye out for.
1. Lack of nutritional value
“Cucumbers are beaming with vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and fiber! What do your mean they’re lacking nutritional value?!” That’s right, the nutrients that cucumbers possess aren’t necessarily the same nutrients your cat desperately needs to be happy and healthy.
She can certainly achieve great things with an occasional dose of vitamin C, vitamin B, or copper. But, she can’t achieve them without the mandatory meat, animal protein, and animal nutrients. She can’t munch on cucumbers every day without supplementing them with what she really needs.
She might even develop problems with dry and brittle hair, lose the color of her hair, or lose her hair entirely as a result of the lack of nutritional value. Whatever she’s munching on every day needs to have appropriate amounts of fat and protein for her to be able to maintain optimal health.
Cucumbers make for a delicious, crunchy treat, but not for a fulfilling meal.
2. Pesticides and herbicides
Where have you been getting your cucumbers from!? Feeding cucumbers to your cat can be quite a laborious task. You have to make sure they’re fresh, clean, and safe. Some cucumbers might contain traces of pesticides and herbicides that can cause harm to your cat’s health.
You might have guessed that yourself. But, pesticides and herbicides aren’t necessarily safe for consumption because they’re not supposed to be consumed. And, a lot of humans that produce vegetables spray them on top to ensure longevity and safety (of their veggies, not your cat).
Some pesticides and herbicides are extremely poisonous to cats and can cause symptoms such as drooling, vomiting, wheezing, difficulty breathing, rashes and hives, diarrhea, tremors, and seizures. None of that sounds fun, so make sure you wash and peel your cucumbers before feeding them to your cat.
How to feed cucumbers to your cat safely?
Now you’re freaking out because “How can you tell me to feed cucumbers to my cat when there’s a chance she might get poisoned by the pesticide and herbicides?!“. Worry not, there are a lot of ways in which you can ensure your cat’s safety when you’re thinking of giving her a couple of cucumber slices.
Make sure to purchase your produce from a reliable source. We’re aware that this can be a task on its own. But, buying vegetables from someone who doesn’t use pesticides and herbicides cuts down the work you need to do. Your curious creature deserves the effort, doesn’t she?
Wash your produce thoroughly. According to TikTok, washing your veggies with water, vinegar, and bicarbonate soda gets rid of pretty much anything you don’t want to munch on. And, there’s no reason to believe that the same wouldn’t work for your furry friend.
Peel your produce (or peel your cucumbers). Some produce doesn’t need peeling, but cucumbers can certainly benefit from shedding their skin. Sure, you might be able to digest whatever’s on there. But, your cat’s better off not having to nibble through a layer of pesticides and herbicides.
Cut your cucumbers and feed them to your (very hungry) cat. Cutting your cucumbers into paw-sized bites makes the entire experience a lot more personable. And, of course, cutting them helps your cat avoid choking on a rogue pice she wasn’t able to chew through. Voilà, you can feed your cat some cukes now!
Can cats eat other veggies?
Cats can eat other veggies, too! Maybe you’ve discovered your feline friend can’t stop munching on vegetables. Maybe you’ve decided to surprise her with something she’s never eaten before. Or maybe, you’ve even considered experimenting with different recipes for a homemade feast.
Either way, you should be happy to learn that there are PLENTY of veggies your cat can nibble on. Carrots, peas, and corn make for a mouth-watering rendition of a Fancy Feast. Broccoli, green beans, zucchini, lettuce, and spinach can make sure she lives out her green smoothie dreams.
And don’t even get me started on squash and pumpkin – Pumpkin Spice Lattes for cats? Yes, please!
But, but, but… Don’t forget to keep both of your eyes peeled on veggies your furry friend can’t eat. You don’t want to go to the nearest farmer’s market and purchase a bunch of onions, shallots, and garlic. And, trust me, you certainly don’t want to purchase green tomatoes and avocado.
In the end
Cats can eat cucumbers! Cucumbers make for a delicious pick-me-up when your cat’s feeling sluggish. But, they shouldn’t be a regular part of your cat’s diet because they lack the nutritional value that she needs. A cucumber slice here and there should be enough to keep her happy and healthy!