Pet owners often find their cats licking and sniffing human food. You are here because you caught your cat eating Eggplant, and now, you’re wondering:
● Can a cat eat Eggplant?
● Is Eggplant safe for cats?
● Are eggplants poisonous to cats?
● What to do if my cat eats eggplants?
We have got answers to all these questions. To put it shortly, cats cannot have eggplants.
Eggplant, brinjal, aubergine: Call it what you may, but this dark purple-colored vegetable is more than just a commonly used emoji. It is widely popular in Moroccan, South Asian, French, and Italian cousins.
With people becoming more and more health conscious, many Americans are now eating Eggplant because it’s super healthy and low in calories. But can cats eat eggplants too?
While all vegetables are healthy for humans, they’re not for cats. Eggplant is one such vegetable that your cat should never eat because:
EGGPLANTS ARE TOXIC TO CATS.
So, don’t be tempted to share these vegetables with your cat, assuming it’s a healthy treat for them. Cats cannot (and should not) eat Eggplant.
This article will answer in detail “can cats have eggplants” and tell you everything you need to know about feeding eggplants to your cat.
Can Cats Eat Eggplants?
Many cat owners have this pressing concern when feeding their feline family members. They wonder, “can cats eat eggplants?”.
No, cats cannot eat Eggplant. Eggplant is healthy for humans, but it can be very dangerous for cats. Even eggplant leaves are hazardous for cats and pose a serious health risk.
So, like many human foods, eggplants should not be shared with your cat. You can only give a small amount of cooked Eggplant to your cat. However, it is best not to.
If you suspect your curious kitty has eaten some raw eggplant, contact the vet ASAP.
Why Can’t Cats Eat Eggplant? Two Main Reasons!
There are two main reasons why cats can’t have Eggplant.
1. Cats Are Carnivores
Cats are carnivorous animals, meaning they eat meat to survive. Since meat is rich in protein, cats thrive on a high-protein diet. Their digestive system is designed to process meaty, high-protein meals.
Therefore, most cats don’t even like vegetables. But some cats are too curious and eager to eat human food. While some vegetables and fruits are safe for cats, Eggplant isn’t.
Feeding eggplants to your cat will not meet their daily nutritional requirements.
2. Nightshade Vegetables Are Harmful To Cats
Eggplant is one of the nightshade vegetables. Nightshade vegetables include peppers, potatoes, tomatoes, and bell peppers. These vegetables contain solanine and alkaloids that cause inflammation in the body.
So, while these vegetables are generally healthy, they can have some negative side effects such as bloating, upset stomach, diarrhea, nausea, joint pain, etc.
Humans can manage these negative impacts but imagine a cat eating such vegetables. Cats have delicate digestive systems and are much more sensitive than humans.
Thus, eating eggplants can cause many health problems for cats. Overconsumption of eggplants can even lead to food poisoning in cats.
Is Eggplant Safe For Cats? Three reasons to know
No, Eggplant is not safe for your feline companion. Cooked, roasted, raw, or baked Eggplant should be kept away from cats.
There are many reasons why Eggplant is unsafe for cats.
Here are some of those Reasons:
● Poses Many Health Risks
Eating eggplants can lead to severe cat health problems, such as food poisoning and inflammation.
● Contains Toxic Compounds
Eggplant contains some toxic compounds which are very harmful to cats. They don’t generally impact humans because we are bigger creatures with advanced physiology and stronger immunity. However, felines lack these abilities and are easily affected by toxic compounds. Thus, eggplants are very hazardous to cats.
● It Is A Choking Hazard
A cat’s teeth are not made for chewing and grinding food like human teeth. Raw Eggplant is hard and has a rubbery texture, so eating raw Eggplant can be a choking hazard for your cat.
Why Is Eggplant Bad for Cats? Three Toxic compounds
Eggplant is Bad for Cats because it has harmful substances called alkaloids and solanine.
These are naturally occurring organic compounds. They are commonly found in different vegetables. Alkaloids have many physiological impacts on both humans and pets. While they’re mostly good for the body, they can also have some adverse effects, like nausea, itchy throat, bloating, and diarrhea. Eggplant has a small number of nicotinamide alkaloids which can cause such side effects in cats.
Solanine is also an alkaloid that is highly toxic to cats. It is also harmful to humans in significant amounts. However, even a small amount of solanine can hurt cats. It causes inflammation, leading to diarrhea, fever, stomach aches, vomiting, irregular breathing, and much more. Solanine is poisonous and gives Eggplant its bitter taste. It is concentrated in eggplant seeds. So, cats should avoid eating eggplants.
Saponin is a toxic compound found in many plants and vegetables. Eggplant contains saponin, and eating eggplants can cause saponin toxicity in cats. Saponin toxicity causes many side effects, such as lethargy, drooling, fever, abdominal pain, swelling, decreased appetite, etc.
Risks Of Eating Eggplants For Cats- Know the Symptoms
We have established the fact that Eggplant is not good for cats. Now, let’s discuss the health risks cats face if they eat Eggplant:
1. Eggplant Toxicity
Eggplants have toxic compounds that make them poisonous to cats. It can cause serious toxicity, which leads to many serious concerns. Here are some common symptoms of eggplant toxicity in cats:
Symptoms Of Eggplant Toxicity
Eggplant ingestion can cause a variety of health complications in cats, such as the following:
● Excessive drooling
● Severe digestive disorders
● Changes in your cat’s behavior (withdrawal and aggression)
Note: The severity of the poisoning depends upon your cat’s age, breed, health, and the number of eggplants consumed. The bigger the portion size, the more severe the symptoms will be. Similarly, young kittens will have a harder time digesting eggplants compared to adult cats.
Eggplant blocks some anti-inflammatory substances in the body, leading to inflammation. Thus, eating eggplants can cause inflammation. So, eating eggplants causes severe inflammation in weaker cats and worsens diseases like digestive disorders, asthma, arthritis, and diabetes.
3. Digestive Disorders
Cats quickly start to show side effects of eating the deadly nightshade edition eggplant. It disrupts their digestive system causing nausea, irritability, and vomiting. They also experience many stomach issues like bloating, aches, and diarrhea. Both vomiting and diarrhea also contribute to dehydration. So, ensure you keep your cat hydrated to avoid other health problems. If the digestive disorders worsen, take your cat to the veterinarian as soon as possible.
4. Pupil Dilation
Pupil dilation is a side effect of severe eggplant poisoning. Your cat will have widened pupils with a noticeably reduced pupillary response to bright light. If you observe such signs, consult the vet.
5. Weakness and Inactivity
Eggplants can also weaken your cat. They need to offer the right amount of nutrition required for cats to grow and stay healthy. Moreover, the exhaustion, dehydration, and symptoms of eggplant poisoning also cause inactivity. Your cat will gradually recover and overcome muscle weakness and loss of activity.
6. Irregular Breathing and Heart Rate
Eating Eggplants can also directly impact your cat’s respiratory and cardiovascular systems. It leads to a slow heartbeat with irregular breathing. Eggplants can be very dangerous to your cat if ignored. So, if you notice a slight change in your cat’s breathing and heartbeat, take them for an emergency checkup ASAP.
So, now we know that eggplants are bad for cats because they can be poisonous. But what about eggplant leaves? Are eggplant leaves toxic to cats too? Let’s find out!
Are Eggplant Leaves Poisonous To Cats
Yes, eggplant leaves are poisonous to cats. All parts of Eggplant are poisonous for cats – especially when they are raw. Eating eggplant leaves can also prove to be fatal to your cat.
If your kitty eats eggplant leaves, you need to watch out for the following symptoms:
● Aggressive behavior
● Gastrointestinal distress
● Loss of appetite
Suppose you have a kitchen garden; make sure not to let your cat roam unsupervised. You don’t want your mini panther licking, biting, and eating something it’s not supposed to.
What To Do If My Cat Eats Eggplant?
If you suspect your cat has eaten Eggplant, you first need to know how much.
Eating a little bit of Eggplant raw or cooked will not cause any actual harm to your cat. If your cat is too sensitive or allergic to eggplants, it may exhibit mild symptoms like bloating, restlessness, upset stomach, and nausea.
However, if your cat has consumed a significant amount of eggplant or eggplant leaves, here are some things you need to do:
● Monitor Your Cat
Closely monitor your cat for 24 hours and notice any signs and symptoms of eggplant poisoning.
● Call The Vet or Helpline
If your cat starts exhibiting symptoms of eggplant allergy or poisoning, call your vet or pet poison helpline ASAP.
● Take Cat To The Vet
In case of severe eggplant poisoning, take your cat to the vet for proper treatment. Please do not wait for the symptoms to go down on their own. Your kitty will need appropriate medical attention to recover.
Eggplant Alternatives For Cats- 8 best Safe Food
Eggplants are a big NO for cats. But they can still have other vegetables. Keep them away from nightshade vegetables, but you can give them cat-friendly vegetables.
Please remember that a cat’s primary dietary and nutritional requirements should come from commercial cat food (kibble and wet cat foods) and raw meat.
However, you can give them the following vegetables occasionally as a healthy treat or snack:
● Green beans
● Steamed broccoli
Other Vegetables Bad For Cats
Well, this is going to be a long list… Unfortunately, most vegetables and fruits are bad for cars. Some of them should be kept away from your cat at all costs. Besides Eggplant, here are some of the vegetables dangerous to your cat:
● Tomatoes and other nightshade vegetables
Frequently Asked Questions
Cooked eggplant is not as harmful to cats as raw eggplant. However, even cooked eggplants contain toxic compounds in the seeds that can cause cat poisoning. Therefore, keeping your cat away from cooked or raw eggplants is the best thing to do.
Cooked eggplant contains a lot of dietary fiber that can be good for your cat's digestion. Eggplants are also low-carb and contain many valuable micronutrients like vitamins, folate, and magnesium. All of these can be good for a cat's health.
Fully cooked and tender eggplant is safe for cats, so yes, cats can eat fried eggplants.
Yes, eggplant leaves are highly poisonous to cats. Keep your cat away from chewing and munching on eggplant leaves.
Brown eggplant (without odor) is generally considered safe to eat for humans. However, raw eggplant with or without brown spots should not be consumed by cats.
It should be fine if your cat eats a small amount of raw eggplant. A small piece is usually not sufficient enough to cause eggplant poisoning. However, consult a vet if you notice any symptoms like lethargy, bloating, vomiting or diarrhea.
Cats and eggplants do not go together. Fully cooked eggplant does not harm cats, but there’s no need to feed it to your cat. If you want to, then only do so in moderation. Please do not make it a meal, as feeding too much-cooked eggplant to cats can cause nutritional deficiency.
Moreover, prevent your cat from eating raw eggplant and eggplant leaves because they are poisonous to cats. If you want to give your kitty vegetables, look for feline-friendly vegetables.