It happens; cats are interested in what you are drinking, and when you aren’t looking, they will drink out of your cup. It occurs on a regular basis because cats are such curious creatures.
Being a concerned cat owner, you wonder if your cat can have apple juice? The answer is yes. There are some essential things you should know about apple juice compared to apples. Apples have beneficial nutrients to cats, but the high sugar content can have adverse effects. In this article, we will review some of the benefits of apple juice and the dangers.
How Much Apple Juice is Safe?
Apples and apple juice are not a part of a normal feline’s diet. Naturally, cats are meat-eaters (carnivores) and have a hard time digesting fruit or anything besides meat. If your cat has a few sips of apple juice, it is not a large issue. There are antioxidants and vitamins in apples, which may be beneficial. Always consult with your veterinarian if you have any health concerns or adverse effects from your furry friend.
Cats can have a stomach ache due to the large sugar content and preservatives of apple juice or apple juice cocktail. If you have a senior cat (11+ years), they are more susceptible to diabetes and should not be drinking any sweet beverages. It is always good to read the product label to confirm what is in the apple juice you purchased. Cats are more sensitive to toxins and preservatives inside some juices.
Are Apples Better Than Apple Juice for a Cat?
Between apples and juice, it is better for your cat to eat small pieces of an apple if you intentionally give them some. Apples have fiber and more nutrients that your cat can benefit from. I would not recommend making apples or apple juice a regular part of a cat’s diet. Here are some things to consider:
- Giving your cat apple juice regularly will get them hooked on sugary drinks. Your cat could drink less water throughout the day, expecting more juice. Cats, like humans, need a fair amount of water to aid in digestion. If your cat is only eating dry food and not wet, they will need to consume around 7-9 ounces of water per day.
- You will need to clean your cat’s teeth regularly to prevent cavities and gum disease. You can find special pet toothpaste and brushes online.
- Your cat could have an allergic reaction to apples or apple juice. This is an infrequent scenario but can still happen. Watching for symptoms is essential. Some of the most common allergic reactions are vomiting, farting, or other stomach issues.
Apple seeds and stems are the worst part of the apple for your cat, so remove them before your cat eats. Seeds can cause choking and get stuck in your cat’s teeth. Also, seeds and stems are the most toxic part of the apple, so double check before you serve anything to your cat.
Cats are usually not excited about eating apples, but it is better than juice. If you want to try and introduce your cat to eating an apple, I recommend cutting small chunks out of the apple so your cat can easily eat them.
Your vet is the greatest resource when determining if your cat can have apples or juice regularly. Usually, it is recommended to give your cats apples only on special occasions.
Preparing an Apple for You Cat to Eat
A piece of apple may not lure your cat in for an afternoon snack, so you may have to be creative if you want your cat to eat it. Some of the easiest ways for your cat to ingest apples is by either making applesauce or pureed apples. This will reduce the chance of your cat choking on larger bites.
Before serving your cat an apple, there are a few steps you must take to prepare. First, make sure to thoroughly clean the apple that you will use. Cleaning the apples will remove any bacteria, dirt, or pesticides used if it is non-organic. Cats can still benefit from the nutrients in apple peels, but it is your choice to remove it from the apple. You will only need to give your cat small portions of apples at a single time, so they do not get sick. Also, do not force them to eat it. Cats will find their minerals and nutrients from other sources.
Preparing an Apple Puree for Your Cat
There are a couple of ways to serve your cat apple puree. For both steps, you need to clean your apples and cut them into chunks, and peel them. Make sure to dispose of the stem, core, and seeds of the apple. After you have your apple chunks prepared, you will put your apple chunks in water in a pot.
Next, place the pot on the stove and turn the temperature to medium heat. You will let the apples simmer. Once the water reaches a low boil, cover the pot with the lid and turn down to a low temperature. Let the apples sit for 10 minutes.
Put a strainer in the sink and strain the water from the pot on the stove. Run cold water over the chunks of apples in the strainer to cool them down. Now, mash the apples with a potato masher to get tender chunks of apples. Once you are done mashing, you can store the puree in the fridge for multiple cat snacks.
Easiest Way to Puree Apples
If you are like me, the above recipe has more steps than I would like to complete. Here is an alternative if you have a puree setting on your blender:
- Clean, peel, and dice your apples (dispose of core, seeds, stem)
- Put your apple chunks in the blender
- Add a little water for moisture
- Run Puree Mode on your blender until you get the right consistency
- Serve to your cat
- Preparing Apple Sauce for Your Cat
Making apple sauce for your cat is a similar process to puree but includes additional ingredients that may not agree with your feline friend. I have included a recipe from the Stay at Home Chef but would personally stick with puree.
Creative Ways to Feed Your Cat Apples
If your cat isn’t eating the apple you served them; you can try some of these ideas to add it into their diet:
- Put a small piece of apple inside of a lunch meat
- Give your cap an apple bite with a cat snack
- Add apple puree with your cat’s wet food
- Put small apple chunks in your cat’s dry food
It is always important that you do not force your cat to eat apples. Apples or apple juice should not replace your cat’s meal plan and usually are not part of a cat’s diet.
Watching Your Cats Reaction to Apples
As mentioned above, cats thrive mainly on a carnivore based diet consisting of many different types of meat. If you deviate from their natural diets, you may be causing some future health issues for your cat. If you notice your cat becoming obese, this may directly correlate to the sugar content in apple juice or apples. Some cats will be attractive to the crispy crunch of the apple on their teeth. Sugar is an addictive substance, and your cat may become dependant on it.
If you are concerned that your cat is suffering from diabetes, you always want to consult with a vet on solutions to this serious health problem. Here are some symptoms to watch for if you are concerned your cat has diabetes:
- Your cat urinates more often
- Your pet becomes more lethargic
- Food does not interest your cat as much
- Water consumption increases
- Your cat has a constant thirst
If you are regularly feeding your cats apple juice or apples, it is always a good idea to keep a log of any changes in their eating patterns. If you pick up any new cat treats or snacks, always check the label to see if that treat is low in sugar and carbohydrates.
Other Healthy Alternatives to Apples or Apple Juice for Your Cat
If you are looking to provide your cat with a more diverse food palette, there are many great foods out there that will give your cat many health benefits. In general, fruits and vegetables should be a small amount, but here are some items you can add that will have an impact:
Fish/Salmon: This may be the most obvious one, but there are so many health benefits here for your cat. Salmon is rich with long-chain omega-3 fatty acids and is in B vitamins. Salmon has a large number of antioxidants, and your cat may benefit from weight control if they are overweight. Buying quality wild-caught salmon will be better for your cat, but salmon, in general, is a good treat. Make sure you cook the salmon for your cat before serving it to them.
Eggs: There is a lot of good protein from eggs that your cat will enjoy. Always cook the eggs before serving them to your cat, or they could get a salmonella infection, which can cause severe stomach issues.
Spinach: I have not had a ton of luck getting my cat to eat spinach, but it is very high in vitamins and iron. Make sure you do not feed any to your cat if they are suffering from urinary issues or poor kidney function.
Pumpkin: The easiest way to serve your cat pumpkin is in a can but may be hard to find during certain parts of the year. Pumpkin may not be an obvious choice for your cat but it is low in calories and also contains a large amount of fiber. Having a large amount of fiber will help if your cat is suffering from constipation or even hairballs.
Final Thoughts on Serving Your Cat Apples or Juice
Like all things in life, moderation is essential. Replacing a part of your cat’s diet with apples or apple juice is not recommend, and you should always consult with your vet. If you are looking for a different treat for your cat, small apple chunks or puree will work just fine. Please let me know if you have found something your cat enjoys eating as a treat in the comments below.