Can cats eat mushrooms? The short answer depends on the situation. Mushrooms belong to the fungus plant, divided into toxic and non-toxic. When we feed mushrooms to cats, we must distinguish whether the mushrooms are poisonous or make a big mistake. Non-toxic mushrooms are rich in protein, fat, dietary fiber, vitamin C, and minerals. The moderate consumption of mushrooms by cats helps gastrointestinal peristalsis, promotes digestive capacity, and replenishes nutrition. However, kitties should not be fed mushrooms because their digestive system is not well developed.
There are many types of mushrooms, and to avoid feeding some toxic mushrooms to cats, which can lead to food poisoning, it is recommended that owners should not provide mushrooms to their cats. Still, some mushrooms usually bought in supermarkets, such as shiitake and flat mushrooms, can be fed to cats in moderation. To be on the safe side, mushrooms are not recommended for cats.
You may have noticed that some cats will really like the taste of mushrooms. This may seem like an odd choice for a cat snack, but there is actually some interesting science behind it. Now it’s time to discuss when it’s safe to share mushrooms with your cat.
Why The Cat Craves Mushrooms
To understand why cats might want to eat mushrooms, you need to understand how their taste buds work. Food scientists have shown that cats can’t taste sweetness, but they can absorb savory umami. Mushrooms have a lot of glutamic acids, an amino acid that gives them a strong savory flavor. Glutamic acid is one of the chemicals that causes a fresh taste.
To why a cat might want to get to eating mushrooms, the answer is because they are delicious! Unlike sweeter foods, cats can pick up on their flavor through their taste buds.
In 2005, Beauchamp and his colleagues proved that cats are in search of protein.
Is It Safe for Cats to Eat Mushrooms?
Now that we know why a cat might want to eat mushrooms let’s look at the safety issues.
First, it is widely recommended that cats should never eat wild mushrooms. This includes any fungi that may be growing in your garden or on hiking trails.
Wild mushrooms can poison cats. Avoid them at all costs.
Hopefully, this won’t happen, but your cat should also not ingest any psychedelic mushrooms or recreational drugs, as they can be very harmful.
Wild mushrooms are not safe for cats. There are many different types of mushrooms, many of which have been linked to toxicity in cats. Although some mushrooms are non-toxic, it is recommended that you consider any mushroom that your cat ingests outdoors to be toxic. This is because you may not be able to distinguish between edible mushrooms properly. Check your backyard to make sure the furry little ones are kept away from wild mushrooms.
Cats should not eat wild mushrooms because they can be poisonous. Wild mushrooms contain high levels of harmful toxins that may cause vomiting, diarrhea, drooling, and liver damage. Unfortunately, these symptoms often do not appear until 6 to 24 hours after ingestion. If you do not catch the symptoms of mushroom poisoning early enough to provide your cat with the treatment it needs promptly, it can cause liver failure as a result.
“Of course, you must always ask the veterinarian before sharing mushrooms with your cat.”
Shiitake mushrooms are mushroom foods with high protein, low fat, polysaccharides, amino acids, and many vitamins. You can buy them in supermarkets.
Shiitake mushrooms are rich in vitamin D. The intake of cats helps in the absorption of calcium substances, which is beneficial to the protection and growth of bones and teeth. In addition, shiitake mushrooms are rich in vitamin B2, which can reduce the production of lipid peroxides and thus improve the immunity of the body.
Symptoms of Mushroom Poisoning
According to the Animal Poison Control Center (APCC) and the ASPCA, if your cat eats wild mushrooms, the following signs and symptoms may occur.
- Mild to severe vomiting: Vomiting or diarrhea within a few hours of consumption should be a warning sign that you need to contact your veterinarian. Mild cases may resolve on their own in time, but severe cases can lead to dehydration and electrolyte imbalance.
- Decreased heart rate: Some mushrooms may affect the parasympathetic nervous system. This can lead to severe drooling as well as a decreased heart rate. Gastrointestinal problems may also occur.
- Sensitivity to sound, touch and tremors: These may include instability when walking, tremors, sensitivity to touch or sound, restlessness, and depression. Diarrhea and vomiting may also occur.
- Yellowing of the eyes and skin: This is the most worrisome symptom of mushroom poisoning and is usually associated with dead cap mushrooms. Symptoms can be delayed for up to 24 hours after ingestion and may include gastrointestinal problems, decreased energy, appetite, yellowing of the skin, and whiteness of the eyes. If left untreated, it may progress to liver failure and even death.
The symptoms that can occur in a cat that has eaten poisonous mushrooms depend on the type of mushroom. If possible, take a mushroom picture, keep a small sample, and handle the rest very carefully! If you notice any of these symptoms, contact an emergency physician immediately.
So there are two very different answers to the question “Can cats eat mushrooms?” Yes, if they are the type you can eat yourself (please don’t give drugs to any pets), they can be appropriate as a reward for cats if you cannot identify what type of mushroom it is. Cats can be inquisitive creatures, but in this case, it is probably safest to keep them separate from the mushrooms!
Have you tried adding mushrooms to your cat’s diet? Does your cat like to eat them? Tell us all about it in the comments below!