Plums are sweet summer fruits that are popular for snacking and baking. If you have plums around the house, you might find your cat giving them a sniff, or showing an interest when you eat. So, you might wonder if cats can eat plums.
Cats should avoid eating plums, as the seed, leaves, and stems are toxic. If a cat eats a plum, they risk cyanide poisoning, which can be fatal.
To learn more about why cats can’t eat plums, and what to give your cat instead, take a look at this guide.
Can Cats Eat Plums?
Cats can’t eat plums, because some parts of the fruit are highly toxic. The stem, leaves, and seed/pit of the plum contain Cyanogenic glycosides, better known as cyanide.
If ingested by cats, this can lead to severe sickness and even death. To avoid this, it’s better to keep cats away from plums.
The flesh of the plum isn’t toxic to cats, but it still isn’t something they should be fed. For a start, they probably won’t want to eat it.
Plus, it can put the cat in close contact with the dangerous parts of the plum. Rather than take the risk, the best thing to do is to avoid giving cats any plums at all.
Do Cats Like Plums?
Your cat might show some interest if you’re eating a plum, but they probably don’t want it for themselves. Cats lack the receptors that allow them to taste sweetness.
So, if your cat does appear to like plums, it might be for reasons other than the taste.
For the most part, cats don’t like plums. If you do try to give them a plum as a treat, they’re likely to give it a sniff, and then turn their noses up.
Plums and fruits don’t form any part of the cat’s diet, so they won’t be missing out on anything.
What Fruits Are Safe For Cats?
Although most cats won’t be interested in your fruit salad, there are always a few oddballs. When your cat is showing an interest in plums, rather than giving them a bite of the potentially toxic fruit, it’s better to look for treats they can eat safely.
Fruits that are safe for cats include:
- Seedless Watermelon
Fruits that have to be avoided include raisins, grapes, limes, and lemons.
Fruit should only form a very small part of your cat’s diet: roughly 2%. A small fruit treat can be a good way to get extra nutrients and vitamins into your cat’s diet, but you must be careful about sugar intake.
Another good time to feed your cat fruit is on a hot day. Cut the fruit small, keep it in the fridge to chill, and give it to your cat when they want to cool off.
Symptoms Of Plum Poisoning
If you suspect your cat has eaten plum, there are a few symptoms that you need to be aware of. Signs that your cat might have ingested cyanide include:
- Difficulty breathing
- Dilated pupils
- Bright red mucous membranes (check the gums, particularly)
- Loss of consciousness or collapse
These symptoms are all signs of potential poisoning.
What To Do If Your Cat Eats A Plum
The first thing to do if your cat has eaten a plum is to contact a vet. They will want to know what part of the plum your cat has eaten, to evaluate the risk of poisoning.
It’s helpful to know whether the cat has eaten the flesh, or if they might have accidentally consumed leaves, stems, or pit.
The vet may think it’s necessary for you to bring your cat into the office. If your cat only appears to have eaten the plum flesh, you may be asked to keep the cat at home and monitor them for any signs of illness.
However, if it seems likely your cat ingested the toxic parts of the plum, they will probably need veterinary help.
Getting them treated immediately can reduce the risk of poisoning, and remove any toxins from the system. If your cat has vomited, you may be asked to bring a sample of the vomit, so the vet can test for traces of fruit.
What Are The Treatments For Plum Poisoning?
The vet will begin by performing a trocarization. During this procedure, fluid in the cat’s stomach is removed and tested for toxins. This will help determine whether there is any cyanide in the system.
If cyanide is detected, the next stage is the treatment. The most common treatment for cyanide poisoning in cats is sodium nitrate.
This will be administered by an IV and can negate the effect of the cyanide. Depending on the severity level, further treatment may be necessary.
After sodium nitrate, a vet might administer sodium thiosulfate. This can be administered via an IV, or orally.
Throughout the procedure, the cat will need to be monitored for vomiting and a drop in blood pressure.
The cat will need to remain under observation for several hours after treatment and be checked regularly for signs of improvement. In some cases, a second dose of sodium nitrate may be necessary.
Cyanide poisoning should be treated immediately, as this gives your cat the best chance of survival.
Plum Poisoning Recovery Period
Following the initial treatment, the cat will need to be monitored for several hours. This ensures the treatment is working, and the cat is likely to recover.
If your cat experienced any negative side effects during treatment, it may need to be observed for longer.
Cyanide poisoning and the treatment can be rough on your cat’s digestion. The vet may recommend an adjusted diet for the next few days or weeks, to help them in their recovery.
This will mean cutting out foods that might put a strain on the stomach. You’ll need to closely monitor your cat for the next few days to ensure they’re gaining strength and on the road to recovery.
Parts of the plum are toxic to cats, and should not be offered as treats. Even non-toxic flesh should be avoided, to reduce the risk of poisoning.
Plums don’t form a natural part of the cat’s diet, and few cats actually enjoy eating the sweet fruit anyway.