Recently a friend asked me ‘can cats eat bell peppers’ – apparently, her cat had been nibbling on the bell peppers that she had planted in her garden.
It turned out that it is quite okay for cats to eat bell pepper.
These colorful veggies make a healthy treat or snack for cats, although you should always feed them to your pet in moderation.
So, if you have been wondering can cats eat bell peppers and which varieties or colors of bell peppers are safe for cats to consume, then you will find all these answers down below– so read on.
Also Read: Can Cats Eat Black Beans
Can Cats Eat Bell Peppers
Yes, cats can eat bell peppers and many cats enjoy this delicious vegetable.
However, you must always observe your pet after it has eaten anything new.
You see, cats have sensitive digestion and they often end up eating something that they cannot digest well.
So, don’t forget to check your pet’s litter box the next day. If it has runny stools, then you might want to store the bell peppers safely out of reach.
The good news for cat parents is that bell peppers aren’t toxic to cats – so they can eat it safely and you really don’t have to worry about any toxic reaction.
In the next section, we will dive deeper into the health benefits of bell peppers for cats.
Please don’t forget to check out my related post on ‘Can Cats Eat Raspberries?’
Should Cats Eat Bell Peppers – What are the Health Benefits of Bell Peppers for Cats
Let us now dive a bit deeper into ‘can cats eat bell peppers?’
What a cat can and cannot eat is not a topic of this post.
However, the answer to this question ‘can cats eat bell peppers ‘ is yes, cats can eat bell peppers and, the fact is, this sweet-spicy vegetable has numerous health benefits for them too:
1. Colorful platter of antioxidants
As you know, bell peppers come in a variety of colors.
We humans are always advised to eat a platter of colorful fruits and vegetables and capsicum, or bell peppers, can help us do that.
Red, orange, yellow, and green colored bell peppers are a great source of antioxidants.
These healthy antioxidants are good for cats as they provide numerous vitamins and minerals to your feline buddy.
2. Lycopene for stronger heart
One of the most important benefits of bell peppers for cats is the lycopene content in this vegetable. This nutrient supports your cat’s heart and could lower the risk of heart disease.
3. Good for weight management
Do you have a fat or overweight cat that likes bell peppers? Then go on: feed it to your kitty!
Being low in calories, bell peppers make ideal snack to curb hunger pangs and for managing weight in obese or overweight cats.
4. Reduces risk of certain cancers
Lycopene and capsaicin compound found in bell peppers combine with its antioxidants like Vitamin C to fight free radicals. Free radicals are what lead to tumors or cancer cells in cats.
Therefore, by regularly consuming bell peppers, your cat could lower its risk to developing certain feline cancers.
5. Better immunity
Another way in which your cat can benefit from consuming bell peppers is improved immunity. This antioxidant rich vegetable can reverse cellular damage and boost the immune system to fight infections.
Furthermore, your cat will also be able to keep cataract and osteoarthritis at bay thanks to this colorful vegetable.
6. Pain relief
Senior cats can benefit from the capsaicin content of bell peppers. This is an anti-inflammatory agent that can reduce inflammation in your pet’s body and prevent aches and pains.
7. Keeps your cat hydrated
Cats need to drink plenty of water to prevent urinary stones and struvite crystals. If your pet eats dry cat food or kibble, then it could benefit from bell peppers high moisture content. Bell peppers comprise of nearly 92% water which is good for your pet’s kidney health.
Also Read: How to Prevent Slime in Pet Water Fountain
Here is a table showing the nutrition profile of bell peppers: 100 g or 3.5 oz. of raw bell peppers contains
Should All Cats Eat Bell Peppers
Now that you know the answer to ‘can cats eat bell peppers?’ you’d want to know whether all cats need to eat bell peppers.
The answer is that – no, your pet need not eat bell peppers if it doesn’t like it.
Our cats and dogs do not need to rely on human food to get optimum nutrition. If you are feeding your cat high-quality cat food, then chances are that it is getting all the nourishment it needs from it.
However, if your cat is a picky eater, and does not eat a balanced cat’s diet, then you could consider adding bell peppers to its cat food, particularly if it enjoys this vegetable.
The good thing is that most cats like the crunchy texture of this vegetable. Also, bell peppers have a unique sweet-spicy taste which most cats are known to enjoy.
So, if your picky eater likes bell peppers, you can feed it in moderation.
Check out: Can Cats Eat Cooked Shrimp
Can Cats Eat Green Bell Peppers?
Yes, cats can safely eat tiny pieces of raw green bell peppers.
They are completely safe and non-toxic.
Therefore, the answer to the question are green peppers bad for cats is no. On the contrary, they are safe and non-toxic and even the ASPCA has Okayed feeding bell peppers to cats – albeit in small quantities only.
Yes, you must always practice moderation when it comes to feeding cats human foods.
Do not feed green peppers to your kitty in excess as there could always be an adverse reaction given the fact that cats often have very sensitive stomachs.
Also Read: Can Cats Drink Orange Juice
Can Cats Eat Red Bell Peppers?
Did you know that red bell peppers are not that different from green peppers?
In fact, red, yellow, orange, and green bell peppers are of the exact same type except that they have different stages of ripeness. Red bell pepper is nothing but fully ripened green bell pepper.
So, if your cat can eat green bell peppers, it can safely consume red bell peppers too.
They are not toxic and, in most cats, won’t cause any issues as long as you feed it in moderation.
Can Cats Eat Yellow and Orange Bell Peppers?
Yup! Yellow and orange bell peppers are exactly similar in nutrition to green and red bell peppers. They just lie in between the ripeness stages of green and red peppers.
That is why, your kitty can safely eat raw or cooked yellow bell pepper and/or orange bell peppers in moderation.
In fact, these vegetables can provide many phytonutrients and antioxidants to your pet and even keep it hydrated.
Also Read: Can Cats Eat Ginger
Can Cats Eat Bell Peppers Raw or/and Cooked?
Yes, your cat can benefit from raw and cooked bell peppers, both. They are not toxic or harmful to your cat and, in fact, they also provide a ton of nutrition to your feline pet.
As with any vegetable, please practice moderation and monitor your cat when it is eating this vegetable.
I will shortly discuss how to feed bell peppers to your cat.
What are Some of the Possible Side Effects of Bell Peppers for Cats?
Most cats can safely tolerate and digest green, red, orange, and yellow bell peppers.
As long as you only feed these vegetables as ‘treats’ or ‘snacks’ your cat should be fine.
However, if your pet does not like its taste, then you need not force it to have it. Also, some cats could have some of the side effects of eating bell peppers in excess:
Sensitive cats could develop indigestion or signs of upset stomach such as gurgling noises, bloating, gas, diarrhea, vomiting, nausea, and abdominal pain.
Remember: this is only seen in a few cats and most are able to tolerate bell peppers pretty well.
Cats having a food allergy or intolerance to bell peppers could develop itchy skin, hair loss, hot spots, and other skin problems. If these occur, discontinue feeding bell peppers right away.
Also Read: Best Cat Food for Diarrhea
Can Cats Eat Bell Peppers Leaves and Stalks?
Unlike many of the toxic houseplants, bell pepper plants, leaves, and stalks are not harmful to cats.
So, if your cat eats them or rubs against them, there should not be a cause for concern. However, in a small number of cats, side effects like vomiting and diarrhea are known to have occurred.
No two cats are the same.
That is why, you may want to keep these plants out of your pet’s reach.
How Much Bell Pepper Can Cats Eat Daily?
The amount of bell pepper to feed your cat depends on its body weight.
As such, most vets recommend keeping treats and snacks for cats to less than 10% of their total calorie intake.
So, if your cat weighs about 10 lb. then you should only feed it around 25 to 35 calories per lb. per day which comes to about 350 calories.
Since bell pepper contains 31 calories per 100 grams, you should feed it only about 2 to 3 ounces or about 1/4th cup of bell pepper once in a while.
How to Feed Cats Bell Peppers?
You can feed cats bell peppers raw – chop them up in bite-sized pieces or lightly steamed or baked.
Most cats enjoy the taste of raw sweet bell peppers. You can sprinkle some on your cat’s wet or canned food or chop up the pieces and add them to its dry food.
It is best to remove the seed and the stem of the bell pepper. The seeds are not toxic or poisonous but they could be a bit spicy.
If you feed your cat homemade food, you can add bell peppers to it. Mix it up with chicken, fish, lamb, or other protein and make a delicious stew to go with its rice.
Avoid feeding hot, spicy food, jalapeno pepper, and fiery chili pepper to cats. These can cause gastric irritation and could result in diarrhea and vomiting.
What Are Some Alternative Vegetables to Bell Peppers for Cats?
Here are some safe and delicious alternatives to bell peppers for cats:
- Asparagus (baked or steamed)
- Green beans
- Broccoli (in moderation and mostly steamed)
No two cats are the same. So, always monitor your pet. If it shows signs of distress like bloating, vomiting, or diarrhea, cut back on these foods.
FAQs on Can Cats Eat Bell Peppers
1. Can cats eat raw vegetables?
Certain raw vegetables are safe for cats to eat. These include carrots and bell peppers. However, others like peas, corn, broccoli, beans, and asparagus should be lightly steamed, baked, or cooked before feeding them to your cat. This improves their digestibility.
Many raw vegetables are a choking hazard to cats. Also, your carnivore cat doesn’t really need vegetables but some veggies do make a good treat for your furry pet.
2. Which greens are safe for a cat?
Wheat grass and oat grass are good greens for your cat. In fact, many vets call them ‘cat grass’. In addition to grass, your cat can also eat spinach, green beans, and lettuce in moderation.
3. Can cats eat peppers and onions?
No. Absolutely not! You should never feed your cat cayenne pepper, garlic, and onions as they contain an element called thiosulphate which is toxic to cats.
4. What happens if a cat swallows a spicy pepper?
If your cat eats a spicy pepper, then it might vomit it out until the irritation is completely eliminated. Spicy peppers contain gastrointestinal irritants which can also cause diarrhea in cats.
Conclusion – Can Cats Eat Bell Peppers
Yes, cats can eat bell peppers or capsicum. This vegetable makes a healthy treat for your cat – both in raw and cooked form.
You must always practice moderation when feeding anything new to your cat. If in doubt, don’t hesitate to contact your vet. Also, if any adverse reaction occurs, then cut back on feeding bell peppers right away.