There are many varieties and many ways of preparing them, but can cats eat mushrooms in any of these forms? Are these safe, dangerous or even deadly? Let’s find out.
Can Cats Eat Mushrooms?
If you’re a fan of mushrooms, you probably know that they come in many different shapes and sizes. Mushrooms are a highly sought-after treat in many parts of the world. In fact, some people are professional “mushroom pickers” who go into the woods with the sole purpose of gathering mushrooms to sell. These mushroom pickers know how to identify areas where mushrooms grow and they know unequivocally how to discern poisonous mushrooms from those that are safe for humans.
These mushrooms then end up in restaurants, stores, and local farmers’ markets so you and I can delight in their flavors. People enjoy mushrooms in a variety of ways, on pizza, in soups, casseroles, and salads.
Your cat may like the taste of mushrooms and may even crave them. But can cats eat mushrooms? Cats may have a lot of abilities that humans don’t have, including better eye sight in the dark, but they can’t discern safe mushrooms from poisonous ones. Outside cats may seek out mushrooms growing in the yard but they cannot tell the difference between safe and toxic mushrooms.
How Much Mushrooms Can Cats Eat?
Since so many wild mushrooms are toxic for cats, it’s best to keep your cat from eating them at all. Check your yard and surrounding area carefully to make sure that you don’t have mushrooms growing where your cat or dog can find them. Mushrooms grow in cool, damp areas so it’s a good idea to check your basement and under cabinets to make sure your indoor cat won’t find any either.
Can Cats Eat Cooked Mushrooms?
If your cat eats an occasional store-bought mushroom or something you’ve made with cooked mushrooms in it, you don’t need to panic. In general, mushrooms that are safe for people are not toxic to cats or other pets. This means you could potentially share your favorite cooked mushrooms with your cat, but try to refrain. The main problem with feeding your cat store-bought mushrooms is they could develop a taste for them and be more likely to seek them out in the yard when outdoors.
Can Mushrooms Make Cats Sick?
Any mushroom with the ingredient Amanitin is poisonous to cats and to people. If your cat eats mushrooms that contain amanitin or other toxins, you may notice excessive leaking from the eyes, vomiting, drooling, and diarrhea. Other toxins in mushrooms include muscarine, psilocybin, and isoxazole.
If your cat exhibits any of these symptoms after being outdoors or after being unsupervised in the basement or another dark, damp area, call your vet immediately. Your vet may recommend that you treat your cat by making them vomit to get the toxins out of their system quickly before driving to their office.
The amount of time the toxins remain in your cat’s system have a significant impact on the damage to your cat’s system, including the liver. Even if it seems like your cat starts to feel better, it’s best to have them checked by a vet as the symptoms can come back later and be more intense.