Cats are one of the cutest and loving pets that everyone wants to have. People love them unconditionally and are our best friends. They are loyal to their owners and enjoy every bit of their life, trying to play new games and exploring new things. Therefore, they love exploring, spending most of the time outdoors, in the backyard, or the garden. And yes, they will try to eat all of the things they get in their access, such as wild plants, fungi, and even wild mushrooms.
Well, Mushrooms can be a matter of concern to be added to a cat’s diet. Luckily, It is effortless to manage the diet routine of cats.
As we know that, cats are carnivorous, and they like to be fed on meat; in this regard, many commercial cat foods have been made, with all the necessary nutrients that a cat needs. But the question is that are cats allowed to eat things which can be harmful to them, such as mushrooms?
CAN CATS EAT MUSHROOMS?
Anyone who keeps a cat in his house knows that fruits and vegetables are not ideal for cats. Cats like to eat meat and foods cooked with meaty ingredients, but the irony is that cats do crave mushrooms. One must be puzzled to know why a meat-loving animal wants to eat fungi?
Studies suggest that the taste buds of cats don’t like sugariness in food, which is a good thing as they are not physically able to digest carbohydrates; instead, they want to eat salty flavored diets, and that is why they like to chew those mushrooms.
There is an ongoing debate if cats can eat mushrooms or not, but offering a bit of mushroom now and then is allowed, but be sure to research on the type of mushroom that would be okay for your cat to eat, as all the mushrooms are not created equally, in short, the answer is Yes! Cats can eat a mushroom but in limited quantity.
IS MUSHROOM SAFE FOR CATS?
As mentioned above as well, every mushroom is not equally created. That is why more than 10,000 types of mushrooms are available; Mushroom is an excellent alternative to meat for vegetarians but is it safe for our cats? So the answer is yes! Cats can surely munch on mushrooms once in a while as they are low in calories, low sodium. Low in fat and having low levels of fat means that it can help with the cat’s obesity issues, as it is free from cholesterol. Apart from this, they’re rich in fiber, vitamins, and minerals, and most importantly, they too taste delicious.
BENEFITS OF DIFFERENT TYPES OF MUSHROOMS FOR CATS:
Mushrooms are an excellent treat for human beings and provide several health benefits, but what are the benefits? Let’s discover together this aspect:
Historically, medicinal mushroom blends are used by traditional veterinarians to help cats suffering from a variety of health issues. Medicinal mushrooms are currently being researched and implemented for their vast array of health benefits. They help treat cats with weaker immune systems, cancer treatment, liver disorder, endocrine disorders, and kidney and cardiovascular problems.
- AGARICUS MUSHROOM: Agaricus contains edible and poisonous species, which can increase the heart rate, improve liver function in cats, and are also used as collateral with chemotherapy.
- SHIITAKE MUSHROOM: these mushrooms are among the most popular mushrooms globally, as they help prevent cats from catching bacteria and viruses and support quick recovery from cancer.
- CORDYCEPS MUSHROOM: It is a type of mushroom that has more than 400 species in it. It benefits the cats with cough, treatment, severe lung conditions, supports the cardiovascular system, and increases oxygenation in the blood.
- TURKEY-TAIL MUSHROOM: It can be another medicinal mushroom with many benefits like cancer treatment and help make the immune system healthy.
Munching on mushrooms will cause no harm to your cat. However, wild mushrooms are poisonous. Therefore, they are not recommended to eat, not for humans, nor cats.
If your cat is habitual to roam outside the house around the garden or the backyard, stay attentive and check your garden each morning as wild mushrooms can grow overnight. Remove any if grown before your cat notices them.
The Following side-effects can occur in case of the intake of wild mushrooms:
- Severe vomiting.
- Uncontrollable Drooling
- Sensitivity to light and sound
- Pale eyes and skin
In case if you find any of these symptoms, consult your vet straight away.
Intake of wild mushrooms can lead to serious health issues, and in some cases, it can lead to the death of your pet, so it is your (owner’s) responsibility to check for any signs of wild mushrooms outside as well as inside your house.
AMOUNT OF MUSHROOM SUITABLE FOR CATS
Now that we know why cats like to eat a mushroom, we also know that mushrooms are not ideal for cats.
It doesn’t contain all the necessary nutrients that a cat needs. In that case, one must provide only a minimal amount of thoroughly washed and fully cooked mushroom and don’t add any artificial flavorings such as additional salts or any spices.
Wild mushrooms are strictly prohibited in any case, and if ever your cat regrettably eats it, immediately consult the veterinarian.
DRAWBACKS OF MUSHROOM FOR CATS
Vegetarians are fond of mushrooms as for them; it is a good meat substitute, but can it work the same way for their cats as it does for them? No, it cannot work that way! Cats are indeed fond of mushrooms as their taste buds encourage them to like it, but it doesn’t mean that mushrooms are a healthy diet for them. There are a lot of benefits of mushroom for cats; it also has some adverse effects, which are as follows:
- EXCESSIVE AMOUNT OF MUSHROOMS: As we know that mushrooms shouldn’t be a regular part of a cat’s diet, and one should never try to replace it with raw cat food, as it doesn’t contain all the needed energy materials; an excessive amount of mushroom can cause serious health issues such as food poisoning, gastric problem, upset stomach, diarrhea, and vomiting. Offering them a bit of mushroom as a treat probably won’t harm, but still, one should be careful.
- TOXINS: if your cat consumes any mushroom from a source that you cannot identify, it is essential to rush to the veterinarian.
Different mushrooms contain various types of toxins which have the mixed harmful effect on a cat’s health, and those toxins are:
1: Amanitin toxin: cats which eat mushrooms containing amanitin toxin can lead to issues like drooling, diarrhea, excessive tearing, which eventually lead to liver damage
2: Muscarine toxin: several species in the mushroom family contain muscarine toxins.
This toxin results in increased salivation, Decreased respiration, and lower heart rate. Signs of illness occur after 30 minutes of the ingestion of mushrooms.
3: psilocybin toxin: human beings at home usually use mushrooms containing psilocybin toxin. That is why cats have access to them. These mushrooms can cause fever and hallucinations in cats.
* POISONING: always consult a doctor if your cat’s behavior gets weird or some unusual symptoms happen like severe vomiting, diarrhea, and lethargy. Such situations can lead to severe consequences, so it is best to avoid such a situation.
BEST DIET FOR CATS
Cats only rely on the nutrients found in animal products such as meat, either raw or cooked; they seem to enjoy it while eating. However, commercial cat foods are more suitable for cats. There is a variety in flavors of cat food so that you can choose according to the taste buds of your cats.
Cat food contains all the essential nutrients that a cat needs, such as a moderate amount of fat, a high protein level, and a minimal amount of carbohydrates. And no other food can act as a proper substitute for cat food, especially mushrooms.
In most cases, mushrooms are best considered toxic for cats because they cause more demerits to a cat than its merits.
If your cat has never eaten mushrooms before, veterinarians recommend not feed it in the first place. Still, if you want to give a treat to your furry friend, only then you are allowed to serve high-quality organic mushrooms only in small proportions.
If, by chance, any mushroom grows in your garden or at any corner of the house, pull them up and dispose of them before your cat gets access to them.