If you love tomatoes and have a tendency to share your leftovers with your furry friends, or if you have a garden you may wonder whether cats can eat tomatoes?
Can Cats Eat Tomatoes?
In truth, there is some controversy over whether the tomato fruit itself is safe for cats or not. Experts are clear however on the fact that the tomato plant, its leaves, and stems can be harmful to cats. The tomato plant belongs to the nightshade family, which is highly toxic to most animals, including cats.
Can Cats Eat Green Tomatoes?
The toxin in the nightshade family that makes it so toxic for animals is called solanine. Tomato plants have this alkaloid as well another alkaloid called tomatine. The levels of alkaloids are highest in unripe fruit so this means that green tomatoes are off limits for cats because the alkaloids will be higher. If you have a garden or buy green tomatoes for cooking, it’s best to keep them away from your cat. In most cases, cats won’t eat green tomatoes on their own.
Can Cats Eat Tomato Plants?
If your cat eats a green tomato, or the leaves of a tomato plant, it may exhibit signs of poisoning which include shivering, loss of appetite, stomach upset, excessive drooling, vomiting, diarrhea, and other behavior changes. If your cat exhibits any of these symptoms after coming in contact with or eating a green tomato, seek recommendations for treatment from a veterinarian.
Can Cats Eat Tomatoes Cooked?
The process of cooking foods can often break down and minimize toxins in some foods. It does not however appear that this is the case for the poisonous alkaloids like solanine and tomatine. For this reason, feeding your cats cooked tomatoes or foods with cooked tomato in them probably isn’t the best idea.
Can Cats Eat Tomatoes and Die?
If your cat does happen to get into the garden and nibble on your tomato plants or get into your leftover spaghetti or pizza, don’t panic. Although cats are more susceptible to toxins because of their small body size, they would have to eat a large amount of tomato or tomato plants before it would be fatal. When your cat eats tomatoes or tomato plants, the toxins will begin to cause stomach upset and other symptoms. Most likely your cat will stop eating the plant long before they eat enough to be fatal.
Can Cats Eat Tomato Pomace in Cat Food?
There are in fact a number of pet food manufacturers that use something called tomato pomace in their cat food. Tomato pomace consists of a combination of crushed tomato seeds, tomato pulp and skin that is leftover after you juice a tomato. Tomato pomace is an ingredient used as filler in your cat’s food.
Cats and other animals do need soluble fiber in their diet to aid digestion and tomato pomace serves this purpose. But opponents of tomato pomace in cat food believe because the tomato pomace is not digestible, it has no nutritional value and should be excluded. Tomato pomace in your cat’s food won’t harm them but consult your vet to ensure you are feeding your cat according to its needs.