✔ This article was reviewed for accuracy by a licensed veterinarian.
Cats love to eat almost anything they can get their paws on. At least mine do. When cooking, my cats are always over my shoulder trying to get a sample of the latest menu. An item that they seem quite interested in is cucumbers. So, it begs the question: Can cats eat cucumbers?
Yes, cats can eat cucumber in limited quantities. Cucumbers have a high water composition and are vitamin-rich, which can be beneficial for cats. But, like many other human foods, it’s important that you feed your cat small amounts of cucumber, as it’s not necessary for a healthy feline diet. Cats are obligate carnivores who require protein above all else.
Our team has performed extensive research on the feline diet in recent months. We’ve been coordinating with our staff vet, reading peer-reviewed research, and speaking with specialists in the field. This due diligence has enabled us to share answers to your pressing questions about cat dietary restrictions!
We cover the following items in this post:
- Should I Give My Cat Cucumbers?
- The Benefits of Feeding Your Cat Cucumber
- Under What Circumstances Should I Keep My Cat Away From Cucumbers?
- How Long Does It Take For a Cat to Digest Cucumbers?
- What Fruits and Veggies Should a Cat Not Eat?
- Final Thoughts on Cats and Cucumbers
So, Should I Give My Cat Cucumbers?
Whether you can and should are different questions. Limited amounts of cucumber should be fine for your cat.
If your cat seems to seek out cucumber, it may be due to the texture. Cats can be very picky about the texture of their food. So, your cat may not even like the taste as much as they like how it feels to eat something like cucumber.
If you’re thinking about feeding your cat cucumber, here is what you should know:
You Shouldn’t Give Them Too Much
There are many things that cats do not digest properly. One of those things is cucumbers. Cucumber skin, although it contains many nutrients, may be tough for cats to digest. The skin may also contain some pesticides that can be bad for your cat.
Additionally, cucumbers contain high levels of Citrulline, which can lead to kidney stones in cats if too much is consumed.
Citrulline is an amino acid that was originally found in watermelon. Amino acids are molecules that makeup protein. However, even though amino acids are the building blocks of proteins, and cats are obligate carnivores, cats should still have cucumbers in moderation.
So, peel the skin and share a small amount with your cat if they seem interested!
It Is Important That You Don’t Let Them Get Sick
If you give them too much cucumber, it could lead to your cat getting sick. Too much cucumber can lead your cat to:
- Become constipated. This is because cucumbers contain fiber, and it takes time for them to pass through their digestive system.
- Experience diarrhea or vomiting. These symptoms could indicate that they have eaten too much of this fruit.
So, if you want to feed your kitty cucumber, you need to watch them closely and take note of any signs of illness. And as always with human food: less is more!
The Benefits of Feeding Your Cat Cucumber
- Cucumbers have high water composition. Many cats can be susceptible to dehydration as they don’t drink enough water throughout the day. Cucumber is essentially 95% water.
- Cucumbers are high in vitamin K. Vitamin K can assist in better blood clotting and the prevention of bleeding issues.
- Cucumbers are high in vitamin C. Vitamin C is a powerful antioxidant and immune system builder. It can be beneficial for cats at appropriate levels.
- Cucumbers also contain Beta Carotene, potassium, copper, and magnesium. These can all be beneficial for cats.
But don’t let the benefits overweight the risks noted above. Small amounts of cucumber should be shared infrequently with your cat.
Under What Circumstances Should I Keep My Cat Away From Cucumbers?
Don’t allow your cat free access to cucumbers when they please. You must dictate the amount they get and when they receive it.
Additionally, if your cat has shown any adverse reactions to cucumbers in the past, it’s best to avoid giving them any more.
But you don’t need to keep your cat away from cucumbers entirely. Especially in the summer months, the additional water content that cucumbers provide can be good for your cat.
How Long Does It Take For a Cat to Digest Cucumbers?
Cats take on average 10 to 24 hours to properly digest most foods. This includes cucumbers.
Animal-based proteins are better suited for a cat’s digestive tract. They can often be easier digested than plants and plant-based proteins.
If your cat seems to be upset or sick due to the consumption of cucumbers, then you need to contact your vet immediately.
What Fruits and Veggies Should a Cat Not Eat?
Cats are carnivorous, so they need meat to survive.
Some vegetables are off-limits too. We’ve put together an extensive list of foods poisonous to cats.
Prior to making any major changes to your cat’s diet, always speak to your vet first. They will know what is best for your cat’s diet without causing them any harm.
After all, you should never suddenly change your pet’s diet dramatically. Slow changes are always better so you can see if a new food is causing them to become ill.
The following list contains some of the most common fruits and vegetables that cats should avoid and why:
Garlic, Onions, Chives, Leeks, Scallions, and Shallots
All are part of the same genus, Allium, and contain organosulfoxides. When these foods are chewed by your cat – they turn into a complex mixture of sulfur compounds. Prolonged consumption will lead to anemia. They shouldn’t have these whether they’re raw, dried, or cooked.
Tomatoes and Potatoes
The green parts, including green tomatoes and green potatoes, contain solanine. If consumed in large quantities it can lead to serious gastrointestinal disorders.
Grapes and Raisins
Although there are not enough studies to show that grapes are toxic to cats, there is anecdotal evidence of poisoning. Cats with pre-existing kidney disease may be more at risk.
Final Thoughts: Can Cats Eat Cucumbers?
Cats don’t require cucumbers as part of a healthy diet, but they can have small amounts intermittently if they seem to enjoy them. Cucumbers for cats are like Oreos for us — less is more!
Cucumbers are high in water content, which is beneficial for many cats who don’t drink enough water. But they also pose some risks, including pesticides in cucumber skin and high amounts of citrulline.
If you feed your cat cucumber and believe it may be causing an adverse reaction, call your vet immediately. And if you have any additional questions about a cat’s diet, please feel free to ask our staff vet!