Can Cats Eat Dates? Is it Toxic to Cats?

Dates are healthy food with rich vitamins, vital minerals, and needed iron, healthy oils, and magnesium. Plus, they are good for maintaining strong muscles and a healthy immune system. With these many beneficial characteristics to humans, several cat owners assume dates as safe for cats.

Yes, your furry pets can eat dates, but the amount should be limited. First of all, dates are non-toxic and are not fatal to felines. On the other hand, there are some health dangers attributed to the consumption of dates. Though kitties can consume dates, you can not feed them daily. Never replace their regular diet with dates.

As a cat owner, you need to be aware of the benefits and health risks before feeding any new food to your furry friend. We provide you in-depth information about the relation between dates and cats.  

Can Cats Eat Dates? Is it Toxic to Cats?

Can Cats Eat Dates? 

You can feed dates to your cats as occasional tasty treats. First of all, dates are one of the healthy fruits, and they include high fiber, manganese, and copper content. Dates contain anti-inflammatory properties and are a rich source of vitamin B6 and potassium.

Eating in moderation or small amounts of dates does not cause any problem. Plus, they are not poisonous. Some nutrients present in dates are beneficial for your furry pet’s health.  

Can Kittens Eat Dates? 

From the above information, it is clear that cats can eat dates. Now, you may be wondering whether your baby felines or kittens can eat dates or not.

The ideal and best food for your kitten is mother’s milk. It has everything your pet needs to grow strong and also for its muscle development. Coming to dates, your kitten should not consume them. Your furry pet has a sensitive and not yet developed stomach. Because of that, dates tend to obstruct the kitten’s digestive procedure. It may result in vomiting and diarrhea.

As the dates have large pits, your kitten may choke on them. This situation causes lethal damage to their health. The dried dates can trigger milk teeth decay and other dental problems.

Besides that, dates have extra sweetness and excess sugar content. There is a risk of an increase in blood sugar levels in your kitten. Plus, they pose harm to your furry friend and cause other health problems.

Nutritional Value Of Dates 

Here is the brief list of the nutritional value found in 100 grams of dates:

  • Calories – 282
  • Dietary Fiber – 8 g
  • Sugars – 63 g
  • Protein – 2.5 g
  • Vitamin A – 0.2%
  • Vitamin C – 0.7%
  • Calcium – 3%
  • Iron – 5.7%
  • Sodium – 2 mg
  • Potassium – 656 mg  
  • Total Carbohydrates – 75 g
  • Total Fat – 0.4 g
  • Calories from Fat – 3.5
  • Cholesterol – 0 mg

Based on the ripeness and species of dates, the glycemic index differs from 43 to 55. In spite of their heavy sweetness, dates are one of the best low glycemic foods. [1]

Are Dates Good For Felines? 

No. Cats can eat dates, but these dates are not the best foods for them. Dates have numerous nutrients that are unnecessary for kitties.

Dates have high amounts of sugar content, making them not the ideal food for cats. Only one Medjool date includes about 16 grams of sugar. Excessive sugar can make your cat obese, which is associated with other health problems.

Health Benefits Of Eating Dates For Cats 

Dates come with small amounts of protein. They are a better source of iron, potassium, copper, selenium, and magnesium. [2] Potassium is a fundamental electrolyte for supporting the cardiovascular system. It is known for its role in decreasing high blood pressure.

Plus, dates contain six vital B vitamins, and some of them are folate and pantothenic acid. Dates have antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. These are related to the prevention of cancer.

Antioxidants are good for improving a cat’s health. Dates have plenty of polyphenols, a variety of antioxidants. It helps to protect against cellular destruction and includes effective phytoestrogens.

Excessive amounts of sodium are not safe for a feline’s health. Dates have low sodium (salt) content and moderate fiber. They can boost eye and heart health.

Do Felines Enjoy Eating Dates? 

In general, cats can not taste sweet foods. The cat’s tongue does not have the essential receptors for picking up sweet flavors. [3] Due to that, they can not sense the sweet taste of dates. As they can not get sweet food in the wild, cats lose their sweet detecting receptors over time.

Because of that, it is clear that cats do not enjoy eating dates. While you are eating dates, some furry pets might show interest. It is because they want to eat the same food as you and are curious about it.

What Should I Do If My Cat Has Accidentally Eaten A Date? 

You do not need to be concerned if your feline has ingested one or two dates. As you know, dates are non-toxic to them. But it is better to watch your furry friend for abnormal changes in its digestive health. Make sure that the kitties are producing regular bowel movements. If not, take crucial actions to keep your pets safe, and if needed, go to the veterinarian.

What Are The Health Problems Of Feeding Dates To Cats? 

From the above information, it looks like dates are good for your felines. But the health risks of dates overpower the few benefits.

Laxative Properties 

Dates are natural laxatives, and giving them to your furry friend is never a good idea. It can cause many issues related to their digestive health. As cats have a small stomach, even a single date can sometimes lead to an adverse response.

Excessive feeding of dates can result in diarrhea, loose, or watery bowel movements. If the frequency or the condition of your cat becomes severe, it is better to consult the veterinarian. Some cats will suffer from constipation, and if the situation is worsening, seek qualified medical advice.

Do not take the risk of self-medicating if your cat is constipated for a long time. It is because there might be other underlying causes that often need veterinarian care.

High-calorie Content 

First of all, dates are not the best choice as daily snacks. They have high amounts of calories. Eating them every day will result in a spike in calorie intake. Because of this, you can notice adverse effects on your pet’s health. Besides that, they can not even taste the delicious flavor of dates.

The daily calorie requirement of cats is around 200 to 250 calories, but a single date has about 70 calories. Besides that, cats will also get calories from their regular meal. Because of that, the total calorie consumption will be high.

Dental Problems 

Dates have a mushy, smooth, and soft texture. It can cause different kinds of problems to the cat’s dental health. Plus, they have excessive amounts of sugar, which poses more risk to the teeth of your furry pet.

Choking Hazards 

Though some dates have a smooth texture, other kinds of dates or dried dates have a hard-to-chew texture. It might cause choking risks to your furry friends. Some soft texture dates often stick to their mouth or throat, making it difficult for cats to eat.

Dates have a hard pit or seed in the center. Though humans can take this out, cats can not remove it. Many cats tend to swallow the seeds while eating dates, which can get stuck in their trachea. In some cases, this situation can lead to the death of kitties.

If you want to avoid these kinds of situations, it is better not to give dates to your cats.

High Sugar Levels 

Dates have excessive and dangerous amounts of sugar. Even tiny bites of dates can increase the sugar intake of your furry pet. It is one of the reasons why dates are not healthy for cats.

Digestive Problems 

Cats are obligate carnivores, and their body is not designed to digest plant-based products. Eating many dates can cause an upset stomach and other digestive issues in your cats.

Our Summary 

At last, it is clear that cats can eat dates. Besides that, they are safe and non-toxic for felines. Eating one or two pieces of dates does not have any harm to your furry pet’s term health and well-being.

But, it is better to feed dates to your cats only in moderation. Dates are the best as an occasional treat. Eating excessive amounts of dates accumulates high levels of laxatives in the feline’s body. This condition can result in vomiting and diarrhea.

Do you want to maintain your cat’s health, or are you worried about its well-being? Well, it is better not to offer dates in their meal because your kitties are obligate carnivores.