With the craze a while back asking if dogs liked bananas, it occurred to me that I didn’t know the answer. I was curious though, do cats? Or more specifically, do Maine Coons?
So, do Maine Coons Like Bananas? In short, no, Maine Coons are not likely to want to eat bananas. Individual cats aside, fruits are very sweet and cats normally don’t like the sweet taste. Bananas are very high in Potassium though, so if your Maine Coon does like bananas, they are not poisonous and would be good for their heart and kidneys. Some fruits, like grapes and raisins are not good for cats.
This test is pretty simple. I’d like to pretend there’s a complex and sophisticated testing mechanism that I contrived to perform the test, but the answer is rather self explanatory. Buy some bananas and see if your Maine Coon eats them.
With that, on my way home from work I stopped off at the local fruit stand in the suburb I go through, and bought some bananas.
I bought three, of different stages of ripeness. If she devoured them, I could always go back for more.
Upon getting home, this was simplicity itself. Find Alita, peel the bananas and see if she liked them.
As it happens she came to great me (like she normally does) and so wasting no time, I peeled a banana and gave it to her to consume.
Well, there was a lot of sniffing. Occasionally some staring, and back to some more sniffing.
A distinct lack of consuming though.
Bananas 1. Maine Coon 0. It seems.
Not one to be put off I tried the other bananas in case it was the stage of ripeness but it gave no better response.
I tried taking a bit off in case it was the ‘I couldn’t possibly manage a whole one’ thing. Still nothing. Not even a lick for a quick taste.
OK, so maybe it’s just Maine Coons. Maybe, my munchkin cat likes bananas and it’s just a Maine Coon thing.
I tried another cat. Still nothing.
So, says I, it is clearly that they love bananas but are just not hungry. I will try these meatballs to show that they are not hungry.
Those meatballs lasted 2 minutes. Probably less.
So I think it is fair to say, although not entirely scientific or conclusive, that NO, Maine Coons do not like bananas.
Your fruit bowl is safe.
My curiosity was aroused though? If this particular Maine Coon doesn’t like bananas, do cats in general like fruit? Is it suitable for there diet? Or worse, can it do harm?
Was Alita right in refusing to eat the banana? Is there an in built sense that she possesses that tells her not to eat it. I mean, humans eat bananas, as monkeys and a great many other animals. They are definitely edible, so do cats like fruit in general, and if not, why not?
I did some investigating.
Turns out cats are what is known as ‘obligate carnivores’. Obligate is a fancy word meaning out of necessity, so what they mean is a cat by nature is a carnivore by necessity. It needs meat to survive.
Teethwise, they also don’t posses and ‘grinding molars’. Apparently this is considered a very good indication that they have no business eating fruits. As they are very sweet they just don’t taste good to cats.
It might even be a good thing as fruits are high in fructose and can be a lot of extra calories that they don’t need.
Nevertheless, if your cat has a sweet tooth, you needn’t worry, there are quite a few fruits that are completely safe. These are;
Maybe I should have looked at this list before I did the test.
Despite the fact that some fruits are safe, it turns out some fruits are not. This may be why Alita declined to eat the banana after she sniffed it. There’s a whole evolutionary history that says this is sweet and could be poisonous.
It wasn’t, bananas are apparently fine.
However consuming the wrong fruit, certainly in quantities, can pose a serious health risk.
The following fruits should not be given to a cat.
It’s best to say they are not advised, rather than an instant fatal poison. So in moderation, if you drop a raisin and your cat eats it, you shouldn’t panic.
The intestinal tract of all breeds of cat is rather short. Thus it is not designed for the digestion of plant fiber material. It is much more suited to meats, for the protein and fish. It is recommended that any plant fiber to a cats diet not exceed 15%.
Bananas are quite often eaten by humans, The reason is the high levels of potassium. Despite the fact that cats don’t like the sweet taste, if a Maine Coon does eat a banana it will get a high potassium intake, just like you.
Potassium helps with kidney and heart functions in a cat, so feeding them bananas if they like it is a good idea.
The negative side though, is that they have very high fructose levels, compared to what they would normally eat. Essentially they are high in calories.
If your Maine Coon does like a banana, it’s better to moderate their intake so it doesn’t become overweight. Offer it as a treat occasionally.
So, as a rule, cats don’t eat bananas. They have no need. They are not poisonous but neither are they necessary to get the nutrients and vitamins that they need. In moderation bananas can be good for your Maine Coons kidneys and heart.
Some fruits it turns out are fine, and some you might need to keep a watchful eye out for, If you grow rhubarb for instance, make sure your Maine Coon hasn’t developed a taste for it.
However, cat’s are made up of individuals so it just may be that your cat might like bananas. Cat’s are weird, and indeed wonderful, so if your feline has taken a liking to bananas, you have no need to worry.