You may have wondered a couple of times whether your cat could eat a tomato or not. Or also, why do cat food manufacturers add tomatoes to their products? Why do people say that tomatoes are poisonous to these animals?
Experts don’t recommend feeding tomatoes to your cat. But this will depend on specific characteristics that your cat may or may not have. Tomatoes can harm your cat. This is why all owners of this cute pet should be cautious with this food.
Why would a fruit that is good for humans and contains so many vitamins and minerals be bad for cats? We will answer this and many other questions related to this pet in a way that is simple and helpful to all owners.
Can Cats Eat Tomatoes Or Not?
A short, quick, and friendly answer is yes; they can. Cats could eat a slice of tomato and remain unharmed. According to experts, cooked, raw, or included as an ingredient in cat food will not be dangerous to your pet as long as it is a ripe tomato.
When the tomato meets these conditions, it could offer some significant benefits for the cat. Some of these are:
- It helps slow down the cat’s aging
- It keeps them from getting too fat
- It keeps their skin healthy and beautiful
- Tomatoes help the cat maintain a healthy water level in its body.
But just as there is a short answer that says yes, they can eat tomatoes. There is an equally correct answer that says it is not a recommended fruit for them.
According to The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA), tomatoes have solanine. This chemical is not only poisonous to cats but also to dogs and horses.
Because of this, experts don’t recommend that these animals eat the stems or leaves of tomatoes. These parts contain most of this harmful substance.
But After What We Have Reviewed So Far, Is My Cat Safe To Eat Tomatoes?
As already mentioned, in some cases, tomatoes can be entirely safe for cats. In other cases, they can be a great danger for them.
You should check some decisive factors to get a clearer idea of which of the two cases would be your cat’s case. By doing so, you should know if it is correct to give tomatoes to your pet.
Some Factors To Check Before Giving Tomatoes To Your Cat
Check The Parts Of The Tomato
What does this mean? That the tomato comes with a stem, leaves, and fruit. If you remember what we have seen, you will know that both the stem and the leaves are very dangerous for cats.
The Type Of Tomato
Knowing the type of tomato is essential because the tomato can be different depending on the type. This refers to if it is raw, cooked, more acidic or less acidic, and ripe.
At this point, consider that it does not matter what kind of tomato you want to feed to your cat as long as it is ripe. Anything other than that may damage the health of your pet.
Your Cat’s Ability To Tolerate Acidic Foods And Foods That Have Fiber
The Current Health Of Your Cat
If your cat is going through any health problems, whether severe or straightforward, you should not feed them tomatoes. Because of all the risk factors that this fruit has for the kitten.
What About The Tomato That Is Mixed Into Cat Food?
The thing about cat foods is that the ingredients they use are always in minimal quantities. Tomatoes contain vitamin C, potassium, and fiber, which are very important for kittens.
However, cats can get these same nutrients from other vegetables that are much safer for them. In any case, these cat foods mixed with low amounts of tomato are a type of canned food that would be better to avoid. Or at least before feeding it to your cat, consult your veterinarian, who will be able to give you informed advice on this matter.
Can I Feed Him Tomato Sauce?
The answer is still no. Even though the tomato sauce process requires ripe tomatoes, it is also true that it contains many chemicals and salt, which is very dangerous for cats.
The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA) suggests salt can seriously damage a cat’s digestive system. It causes urination problems and excessive thirst. In extreme cases, it can cause seizures and poisoning.
In addition to tomato leaves and stems, unripe tomatoes, and tomato sauces. You should avoid any tomato products if you do not want your cat to get sick. These other forms of tomatoes are:
- Tomato soups
- Tomato juices
- Tomato sauce for pasta bought in supermarkets
Some Hard Facts About The Poison In Tomatoes
- Tomatoes are closely related to the Solanaceae, which is a silver that produces toxic alkaloids and nicotine.
- Tomatine and solanine are the most present toxins in tomatoes.
- The amount of tomatine in tomatoes decreases as the fruit ripens.
What Are The Symptoms Of A Cat That Has Been Poisoned By Eating Tomatoes?
After your cat has eaten tomato leaves or stems, or unripe green tomatoes, or tomato sauce, you may notice the following symptoms:
- Lack of appetite
- Excessive salivation
- Upset stomach and vomiting
- Sudden changes in behavior
- Physical weakness
- Decreased heartbeat
- Dilated pupils
What To Do If My Cat Was Poisoned By Eating Tomatoes?
If your cat ate a tomato leaf, the first thing you should do is to take your cat to the veterinarian with a sample of what it ate. Additionally, if your cat is in pain or drooling, the vet will check his mouth and lips for irritation. The next thing he will do is take a blood sample and a urine sample to check how his kidneys are functioning.
If your cat has eaten any leaves or stems, it may be time to test your pet’s heart to make sure it is still working correctly. Finally, the veterinarian will take a stool sample to help recognize the exact toxin affecting your cat.
What Is The Treatment In The Event Of Cat Poisoning?
The first thing to understand is that treatment will change depending on the symptoms of the cat. The veterinarian can give a specific treatment to ease the condition of the animal.
The same veterinarian will likely provoke the cat to vomit. Vomiting will help it throw up all the tomatoes, leaves, or stems it ate. In case the cat becomes dehydrated, the vet will administer a saline solution to the cat. It can restore the balance of lost nutrients.
It may be that the cat’s breathing is not normal. In this case, the veterinarian should give it oxygen so that it gradually recovers its normal rhythm. Finally, if the cat’s condition is more severe than expected, the next step is to give him more potent medicines. That will help him to get the poison out of his body much faster.
Is It Possible For Cats To Be Allergic To Tomatoes?
You should evaluate the fact that even ripe tomatoes could cause some harm to particular cats. Although food allergies are infrequent in animals, it does not mean that they cannot occur and have not already occurred.
There are cases of cat owners who have reported that their pets have had allergies after eating tomatoes, even in minimal amounts. If you give your cat tomato for the first time, you should be very attentive to what he does after eating this fruit.
A sign of a bad reaction or possible allergy to tomatoes is that they start vomiting. A cat can also exhibit symptoms of stomach pain, diarrhea, non-stop itching, and even swelling.
If any of the symptoms mentioned above happen, you should take him to the vet right away and know that you will most likely have to take him off of tomatoes for good.
A Final Thought On Cats And Tomatoes
The conclusion is straightforward. If a cat gets to eat a ripe red tomato, it is likely that it is safe and will not have any health problems.
But if you give the cat green, unripe tomatoes, leaves, or stems, this could be a problem. Also, sauces of any kind made from tomatoes could be a severe mistake. That would unnecessarily risk the welfare of your pet with unpredictable consequences.
We hope this information can help you make informed decisions about your furry friend’s diet.
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Shawn Manaher is a serial entrepreneur but when he isn’t working, he loves dogs. He’s owned different pets over the years, and always gives a part of his heart to each pet.