Can Cats Eat Dates? The Truth About This Fruity Treat

Dates have been used to sweeten and add texture to many desserts, like muffins or bread. But can cats eat dates?

The answer is yes! Cats can eat some types of fresh dates, but not all. The type that’s okay for them includes the dried variety you see in a package on your pantry shelf as well as fresh Medjool dates.

What are Dates?

Dates are a species belonging to the genus Phoenix of the Arecaceae family of the Arecales order in the plant kingdom. Date production has fallen at an alarming rate in recent times and Egypt has taken over as the top producer of dates.

Dates contain 90 calories, one gram of protein, 13 milligrams of calcium, and 2.6 grams of fiber. Different parts of dates are edible in different times and ways.

Date juice can be eaten from date palms in winter. Molasses is a sweet substance that is used as an alternative to sugar.

Photo by Konevi on

Can Cats Eat Dates and What are the Nutritional Benefits of Dates for Cats?

Dates are rich in a variety of nutrients that are necessary for cats’ health, including:

  • Vitamins A, B, and C,
  • Potassium,
  • Calcium,
  • Phosphorus,
  • Magnesium,
  • Iron
  • Copper

Dates also have a high glycaemic index which can cause blood sugar spikes for cats. While this may not be harmful in small quantities, it can be dangerous for cats with diabetes or other health conditions.

Additionally, this sticky treat can harm your cat’s dental health. The sticky nature of dates can cause plaque and tartar build-up on your cat’s teeth. This can lead to gum disease and tooth decay.

Dates also pose a choking hazard to your cat. The pits can become lodged in your cat’s throat or digestive tract, causing an obstruction.

If fed in large quantities, dates can be harmful to your cat’s diet. They are high in sugar and calories, which can lead to weight gain and obesity.

a glass of milk on a wooden board with dates and almonds
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Are There Any Risks Associated with Feeding Dates to Cats?

There are health risks associated with feeding dates to cats. While dates may be a tasty treat for humans, they are not a good choice of food for cats.

Some of the health risks associated with feeding dates to cats include:

  • Digestive problems
  • Allergic reactions
  • Diarrhea
  • Vomiting.

What are Some Other Fruity Treat Options for Cats?

While there are a variety of fruits that cats can enjoy, not all fruits are created equal.

Here are some other fruity treat options for cats:

  • Apples
  • Apricots
  • Peaches
  • Mangoes
  • Pineapples
  • Plums
  • Bananas
  • Cherries

Health Effects of Dates on Cats

There are a few common health risks to be aware of if you choose to give dates to your cat.

1. Purgative/Laxative Qualities

Dates can have purgative or laxative qualities which can lead to diarrhea in cats. This can be dangerous for our furbabies as it can result in dehydration.

Purgative or laxative qualities in dates can be caused by the following:

  • The presence of soluble fiber, which can act as a natural laxative.
  • The presence of sorbitol, a sugar alcohol that has a laxative effect.
  • The presence of other compounds, such as phenols and tannins, can have a purgative effect.

2. High Sugar Content

Dates are high in sugar content. When cats eat dates, they are consuming large amounts of sugar. This can lead to overweight issues and potentially cause health problems.

Additionally, dates can also cause a spike in the bloodstream leading to conditions like hypertension.

3. Dental Concerns

Tooth decay is a serious issue for cats who eat dates. The high sugar content in dates will lead to the formation of dental plaque and tartar. Over time, this will cause the cat’s teeth to decay.

The best way to prevent tooth decay in cats is to brush their teeth regularly. You can also give them dental treats that help remove plaque and tartar from their teeth.

Cats can’t taste sweet stuff anyway, so giving them such a sugary snack isn’t worth it.

gray scale photo of cat showing mouth
Photo by Frans van Heerden on

4. Choking Hazard

Choking hazards are objects or substances that can block the airway and cause choking. It is a serious medical emergency that requires immediate medical attention.

5. Calorie Count

Cats are only supposed to take around 200-250 calories a day. This means that feeding your cat one date can put their calorie consumption for the day towards unhealthy levels, especially when combined with other meals.

Dates are also high in sugar and fat, which can lead to weight gain and other health problems in cats.

If you’re looking to give your cat a healthy treat, consider something like a piece of cooked chicken or fish instead of a date.

Are Dates Safe for Cats?

Are dates poisonous to cats?

Yes, dates can be poisonous to cats. Dates are not part of the cat’s natural diet and can cause stomach problems, tooth decay, obesity, and diabetes if consumed too frequently or in large amounts.

You shouldn’t feed your cat more than one or two small pieces at a time because dates can be harmful to their health.

Do cats like the taste of dates?

Do cats like dates? Assuming they did would be absurd. Sweet tastes aren’t normally picked up by cats’ tongues with the ability to distinguish them from others.

However, they may be able to detect slight differences in sweetness.

Some cats like dates simply because of their color.

a plate of dates
Photo by Rahou Maachou on

Are date skin and pit safe for cats?

The short answer is yes, the date skin and pit are safe for cats to eat. However, there are a few things you should keep in mind before feeding your cat this fruity treat.

The date skin and pit can be consumed as a powder. However, they can be a choking hazard if they are not in fine powder form.

If you are going to feed your cat the date skin and pit powder, make sure it is finely ground.

Additionally, if your cat is already overweight, you should avoid feeding them the date skin and pit powder. The extra calories from the sugar in the fruit can contribute to weight gain.

Overall, the date skin and pit are safe for cats to eat in moderation. Just be sure to take precautions with the powder form and monitor your cat’s weight if you regularly feed them this treat.

What Will Happen if My Cat Eats Dates?

If your cat eats dates, they may experience temporary gastrointestinal upsets.

Diabetic cats may experience health issues that vary depending on the sugar level variations and consumed amount.

If an allergic cat gets their teeth on a date, they may experience dental problems.

It is best advised to call the vet for a quick consult for each scenario that does not involve the correct use of dates as snacks in cats.

chocolate coated cookies on white ceramic plate
Photo by Meruyert Gonullu on

Can Kittens Consume Dates?

No, kittens should not be offered dates. When feeding kittens, it is best advised to stick to age-appropriate cat food. Even then, you need to be extra mindful about the nutrition choices you are making.

Kittens’ bodies are still growing and developing, so they require a different diet than adult cats. Their diet should consist of mostly proteins and fats, with limited carbohydrates.

Dates are a type of fruit that is high in sugar and carbs. Feeding your kitten dates could lead to weight gain and other health problems.

If you want to give your kitten a special treat, there are many safe and healthy options available. You can consult with your veterinarian to find the best option for your kitten’s dietary needs.

How Can I Safely Give My Cat Dates?

Dates should make up no more than 10% of a cat’s daily calorie intake to avoid the risk of digestive upset and weight gain.

Before you can feed your furrbal dates, there are a few things you should keep in mind:

Make sure you buy organically grown dates. This will help ensure that the dates have not been treated with pesticides or other chemicals that could be harmful to your cat.

Choose plain dates, free from added sugars and sweet syrups. These added ingredients can be harmful to your cat’s health.

Remove and safely dispose of the pit before serving. The pit can be a choking hazard for your cat.

Peel the date depending on its freshness level. If the date is fresh, you can leave the peel on. However, if the date is starting to dry out, it is best to remove the peel.

Chop the chunk into several pieces for your cat to enjoy. This will help prevent your cat from swallowing too large of a piece and choking.

Serve around ¼ of a date for the average cat. This is a small enough amount that will not cause any digestive issues for your cat.

Alternatives Options to Dates for Cats

There are many alternative options to dates for cats.

Some of the better options for cats include chicken, beef, lamb, celery, broccoli, cucumber, zucchini, asparagus, blackberries, and blueberries.

What To Do if Cats Become Unwell After Having Dates?

If you notice that your cat is passing loose stools or is vomiting, be quick to contact your veterinarian. These are signs that something may be wrong and could potentially be serious.

Excessive diarrhea and vomiting can lead to dehydration, which may prove life-threatening for your sweet pet.

If you find your cat gagging or choking, seek immediate veterinary care as this could be a sign of an obstruction.

Dates, due to their texture, also may become a choking hazard. If you do feed your cat dates, make sure to monitor them closely to ensure they don’t start to choke.

Can Eating Dates Cause Cats Diabetes?

There have been claims that eating too many dates can lead to diabetes in cats, but no scientific evidence has been found for this claim so far.

As with most high-sugar foods, moderation is always a good thing when feeding your cat anything new!

Can Cat Eats Black Dates?

Yes, cats can eat black dates. They have thick, sticky flesh with a nutty flavor and amber to brown color.

Dates are not toxic to cats, but they may become ill from them. The sugar in dates can disturb a cat’s digestive system. You should not worry if you feed your cat 2 to 3 dates a day.

Ajwadates are high in vitamins and minerals, as are all dates. As well as potassium, calcium, and magnesium, they are also loaded with vitamins C, A, and K.

dates on metal container
Photo by Ehioma Osih on Pexels

Can Cats Eat Medjool Dates?

Yes, cats can eat Medjool dates as infrequent treats. The skin is a reddish-brown color and feels sticky to the touch. Medjool dates are delicious to eat fresh because of their soft texture and rich flavor.

Nutrient% of daily calories needs
Lipid fats0.53%
Dietary fiber23.5%
(Table is based on calories of an average neutered/spayed adult house weighing 3.6 kgs cat and data from USDA)

Can Cats Have Sukkari Dates?

Yes, your pet can enjoy it in small amounts, Sukkari dates are soft and one of the cheapest dates. Deglet Nour Dates turn from light amber to dark brown as they ripen on the palm.

Can Cats Have Khola Dates?

Khola Dates are small bites that are okay for cats. They taste like caramel and are without being too sweet. Khola Dates have an amber skin that is quite loose.

Can Cats Have Anbara Dates?

Yes, cats can have Anbara Dates. The date has a glycemic index ranging from 43 to 55, depending on their ripeness and species. Dates are low glycemic foods despite their heavy sweetness.

Can Cats Eat Brown Dates?

Yes, cats can eat brown dates. Brown dates, also known as ajwa dates, are soft and juicy with a great texture and rich flavor.

Ajwa dates are high in vitamins and minerals, as are all dates. In addition to potassium, calcium, and magnesium, they are also loaded with vitamins C, A, and K.

Are Dried Fruits Good for Cats?

dried dates on a white surface
Photo by kokokara on Pexels

Dried fruits are a good source of vitamins, minerals, and fiber for cats. However, they should only be given in small amounts as a treat.

The reason they are best given in moderation is because the high sugar content may encourage weight gain and dental problems if their consumption is not monitored.

However, be wary since dates can be toxic if consumed in excess.

Keep an eye on how many dates you give your cat per day and try to stay within the recommended amounts.

Remember that although it is possible to give kittens small amounts of dates, they do not necessarily need this particular food.

Why Does My Cat Love Dates?

Cats love dates because they find them different than their regular diet. Kittens can eat dates if you avoid giving them dried dates as they are toxic for cats of full grown cats.

What Human Food Can Cats Eat?

There are a variety of human foods that ASPCA finds safe including spinach, apples, cake, cucumbers, etc.

What is the Bottom Line When it Comes to Feeding Dates to Cats?

The bottom line is that dates are a healthy treat for cats. However, they should not be a regular addition to the diet of cats.

Cats are obligate carnivores, so their bodies are designed to digest and use animal-based proteins, fats, and nutrients.

While dates do contain some nutrients that are beneficial for cats, they are not a complete or balanced source of nutrition.

Therefore, feeding your cat dates on a regular basis could lead to health problems in the long run.

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