Although probably not as appetizing as your cats canned protein, cucumbers are safe for cats to eat and provide some specific health benefits. With its mild taste and high water content, cucumbers can be a reasonable easy-eating snack for your cat.
Nutritional Benefits of Cucumbers, for Cats
As like other fruits and vegetables, cucumbers are a great source of water. At 95% water composition, cucumbers are an easy way to promote hydration through diet. But be careful, too much can lead to diarrhea or other gastrointestinal issues.
Cucumbers are also a great source of Vitamin K, Vitamin C, Beta Carotene, and Potassium. It is the peel and seeds of the cucumber that contain most of these nutrients. So, if you feed your cat peeled cucumber slices, the nutrient value won't be as high.
With these facts in mind, remember that cats can get their daily required nutrients and hydration from their usual combination of wet and dry cat foods and water. By no means does your cat need cucumbers in their diet, but it can be given on occasion as a small and healthy snack. A nice substitute to high-calorie cat treats.
How to Feed Your Cat Cucumber
If you've decided to feed your cat cucumber, it is recommended to give only small portions and in moderation. From experience, a few slices of cucumber, peeled and diced works well. The natural skin of a cucumber is not necessarily harmful to cats however, keep in mind the skin will typically contain pesticides depending on where it was grown. Cucumbers are covered by a natural protective layer of wax, but pesticides can penetrate through this layer and make it difficult to rinse off. Peeling the cucumber before allowing your cat to consume it is definitely a safer option. We don't want our cats ingesting something that could be harmful to them.
Will Your Cat Like Cucumbers Anyway?
Cats are carnivores and need a protein-based diet to survive. Though some cats like fruits and vegetables, they don't need these foods in their diets to keep healthy.
If you're like me and are curious as to what you can safely feed your cats outside of their usual cat diet, cucumbers are a decent food option to try. There are plenty of cats who find it appetizing, my cat just isn't one of them. Like avocado, my cat has no interest in cucumbers.
The only way to really know if your cat will find it appetizing is to try it.
Cucumber is a healthy low-calorie food that is safe to feed your cat in small amounts. Just be sure to peel off the skin as it may contain harmful pesticides. With its high water content, cucumber can help hydrate your cat, especially on these hot summer days.
Though cucumbers are rich in nutrients, they are more beneficial to humans than cats who are natural carnivores. Your cat does not need fruits or vegetables in their diet to stay healthy, but can benefit from a fruit like cucumber when used as a substitute for high-calorie treats.
Finally, a message from my local vet, from me to you: Feeding your cat human food tends to encourage your cat to want human food. The occasional treat is fine, but it's generally best to maintain a cat-food-only diet for your cat.
If you do choose to feed your cat human food, prepare it especially for your cat; carefully portioned with no added ingredients. To maintain an understanding of what they should be eating, feed it to them in the same way as their usually daily feedings, in their food bowl! This will help discourage your cat from eating scraps off the floor or food from your own dinner plate.
Share Your Experience
Have you ever fed your cat cucumbers or other fruits or vegetables? What was the response? Share your experience below.