Pears are fibrous fruit that contains many vitamins and minerals essential for health and well-being. Since cats are mainly carnivores, you may wonder if giving them anything else benefits their health. So, is it okay to feed your cat pears (or other fruits)?
Yes, cats can eat pears. Though pears are an essential addition to a cat’s (or dog’s) diet, giving them only small amounts and gradually introducing new foods is recommended.
While humans can eat pears and gain essential benefits for their health, it’s not the same for cats. Since cats eat mainly meat or animal by-products, pears hold minimal value to cat diets.
Be careful when feeding your cat pears, as the stems, seeds, and outer skin contain small cyanide traces that are toxic for your feline friend. When offering them pear, ensure it’s the flesh and not any other part of it.
How Much Pear is Too Much for Cats?
Since pears are fibrous, they can fill you up quickly. Feeding a cat too much pear may take away its urge to fill up on its own food, which is why it’s recommended to feed it as a treat a few slices at a time.
Giving your cat pears in large doses can harm their health as pears may contain pesticides, cyanide, and bacteria such as E.coli and listeria. When giving your cat a pear, ensure it’s no more than a few pieces of the pear you are eating.
Other precautions are:
- Gastrointestinal issues
- Abdominal discomfort
- Flatulence or bathroom problems
How to Prepare a Pear for Your Cat
You mustn’t allow your cat to eat the stems, seeds, or skin from a pear (or other fruits) as they will cause abdominal discomfort and gastrointestinal irritation. If you notice the following symptoms, you must immediately contact a veterinarian:
- Trouble swallowing
- Coughing or sneezing
- Abdominal pain
Peel the skin and remove seeds and stems when preparing a pear treat for your feline companion. Cut the juicy white flesh into small bite-sized (cat-sized) pieces and offer it to them.
Most cats will turn their nose to the fruit you’re offering, but if your cat takes the pear, watch them closely. The most important signs to watch out for are choking and allergy symptoms.
Types of Pear Parts To Avoid
While the pear in fruit form is generally okay, pear-flavored items such as candies and ice cream are not. Many pear-flavored foods include xylitol which is extremely dangerous and toxic for your dog but has not been researched enough to affect cats.
Any fruit that makes up about 2% of a cat’s diet is okay but should only be shared three times a week. 2% equals about an inch of fruit per day and can get offered as a frozen treat.
Other pear parts to avoid are as follows:
Pear juice contains unnecessary sugar and additives that are toxic to your cat. If you notice your cat has drunk pear juice, a small trace amount is safe, though not recommended. If your cat likes pears, sticking to the fruit is the safest bet.
Signs that your cat is distressed include pain symptoms such as whining or moving slower, disorientation, fatigue, and lethargy.
Canned pears are a concentrated form of a pear, including concentrated sugars that are bad for your cat. Canned pears are exponentially sugary and lead to diabetes or obesity if your cat drinks or eats them. While sugar in small doses won’t harm your cat, refined and concentrated sugars are harmful even in small traces.
While natural pears are excellent sources of vitamins for your cat as a healthy treat, staying away from canned pears is best. Don’t feel bad; your cat can’t taste sweetness. Perhaps they want what you’re eating because they are curious. However, cats can taste bitterness, so they may turn away from pear treats.
Watch for Allergies
Allergies are common in any mammal and, although most of the time not life-threatening, cause severe discomfort. However, it is unlikely your cat will become allergic to pears, as the most common allergies include chicken, beef, or dairy products.
Symptoms of allergies are:
- Cold symptoms
- Ear or skin infection
- Excessive grooming
- Dry skin
- Watery eyes
Some breeds of cats are prone to allergies, so if your cat has known allergies, you’ll need to watch for signs in case of a reaction. Again, pears are not a common allergy for cats. If you notice your cat struggling with allergies, you should take them to a vet within 24 hours of the initial symptom.
How To Treat Allergies in Cats
Keeping a clean and dust-free house, washing your cat’s bedding, and providing your cat with a healthy and balanced diet are just a few options to prevent allergies from surfacing. However, when your cat reacts, your job is to decide how bad the allergies are.
For example, if your cat has watery eyes and is sneezing, sometimes keeping them inside, away from outdoor pollens, will fix the issue. On the other hand, persistent symptoms such as vomiting, wheezing, and itchiness require a vet visit.
Unsafe Fruits for Cats
Although most fruits such as apples, peaches, apricots, and mangoes are excellent healthy snack choices for your furry companion, there are fruits (and vegetables) that are highly poisonous to your cat, and you should avoid them at all costs.
Unsafe fruits and foods for cats include:
- Citrus fruits
- Variety of vegetables
If your cat has ingested the mentioned fruit, you must call ASPCA poison control immediately. Poison control will tell you what to do if your cat gets seriously harmed. If you must take your cat to the vet, you can expect they will administer a blood test accompanied by fluid therapy to flush the system.
Depending on how severe the poisoning is, your vet may need to take other measures, such as providing anti-seizure medication.
Benefits of Pears
Pears are very beneficial. Pears contain essential vitamins such as vitamins A, C, and K and induce anti-cancer properties. The nutritional value of a tiny pear is about 101 calories, with 17 g of natural sugar and 5 g of fiber which helps regulate bowel movement.
Pears, like berries, contain antioxidants that are very beneficial when you are sick or fighting an infection. Other benefits of pears include:
- Aid in digestion
- Immune boosting fruit
- It helps blood flow and oxygen levels
- Cardiovascular health
With these fantastic properties and benefits the pear provides to humans, why wouldn’t it be beneficial to cats? As mentioned, cats can benefit from pears the same as humans if given in small doses (no more than a tablespoon daily).
Important questions or concerns to ask are as follows:
Why is fruit essential to a cat’s diet?
Although essential vitamins and nutrients are found in a cat-formulated diet, adding fruits and some vegetables is vital to give them an extra boost. Cat treats are often high in calories, contributing to obesity, which is why fruits are a safer and healthier treat.
What other fruits can cats eat?
- Seedless watermelon