Mushrooms are human food that contains essential amino acids and vitamins and are rich in nutritional value. Your feline friend is an obligate carnivore, and giving them mushrooms might not benefit them. However, you can include small amounts of different kinds of mushrooms in a cat’s diet so that they can enjoy an occasional treat. So, are all mushrooms good for your cat’s health or not? Let’s find out about it.
Are Mushrooms Good for Cats?
There are poisonous mushrooms and safe mushrooms available in the market. Usually, any type of wild mushroom is toxic for your furry friend, but they can enjoy mushrooms bought from grocery stores. Cats have different immune systems than humans, which is why they do not enjoy the health benefits of mushrooms the same way we do. However, if you want to give your furry friend some mushrooms, then make sure you talk to your vet before making any decision because a cat’s diet affects its whole body and health.
Giving your cat food such as mushrooms or other plant-based diets is not a good idea. Your feline friend is an obligate carnivore, so they should have their animal protein, and regular foods like mushrooms should be only for human consumption in your house. As cat owners, we must never introduce our pet cats to mushrooms as a safe side because once your kitty gets a taste of mushrooms, they will want more, and you never know when they eat toxic mushrooms without you knowing, resulting in them getting health problems.
Do Cats Like Mushrooms?
Cats are curious creatures and are not good at mushroom identification or any other food identification. Hence, as pet owners, we are responsible for keeping an eye on them and making them stay away from foods that can cause them ill effects, such as gastrointestinal upset, upset stomach, and others. Your cat is not a fan of mushrooms because they love their animal protein; however, since they are curious creatures and if you cook mushrooms and eat them regularly, they will want to try it out too.
After trying out a piece of mushroom, your feline friend will want more, and that is because their taste buds will let them enjoy the umami flavors and savory flavors. Your cat’s system does not register sweet foods, but they pick up savory and umami flavors with ease, and since common mushrooms have this taste, they will be delighted to eat it.
The general rule is that your feline friend loves anything that feels, smells, or tastes like meat, and your kitty can easily be understood as meaty. Mushrooms have a meaty texture and are also chewy like meat, making your feline friend believe that they are eating meat. However, mushrooms can cause mushroom poisoning in cats if they overeat mushrooms, and that is why you need to take extra care of your feline friend if you have mushrooms in your home.
Cats, Mushrooms, and Health Benefits
You can give your cat mushrooms but in small quantities. They have several nutrients that may provide few health benefits to your feline friend. Mushrooms are suitable for your feline’s friend as they offer parasympathetic nervous system benefits like a digestive regulatory system and heart rate. They also provide beneficial neurological effects to your cat’s health by decreasing their chance of getting diseases like diabetes, cancer, etc.
If your feline friend is feeling a loss of appetite, then you can add some mushrooms to their food in small portions so they can start eating again. However, that does not mean you can go around feeding mushrooms to your feline friend because even though they are beneficial in some way, they still cause many gastrointestinal issues and should always be given in limited quantities.
What Type of Mushrooms Can Cats Eat?
There are many wild mushrooms and common mushrooms found in grocery stores that can be eaten. However, you can give your cat store-bought mushrooms as they are the only edible mushrooms for your feline friend. However, it is better to discuss what type of mushrooms cats can eat as this is the best way to check which mushrooms are allowed and which are toxic wild mushrooms.
Portobello mushrooms are on the list of edible mushrooms for your feline friend, and you can also give them baby Bella mushrooms. The other safe type of mushroom species include; enoki mushrooms, common mushrooms in Japanese cuisine, and Chaga mushrooms, though keep the intake as low as possible, especially for diabetic cats. The button mushrooms and oyster mushrooms are usually white mushrooms used in mushroom soups, and they are also edible mushrooms for your feline friend.
Turkey tail mushrooms grow in wooded areas and look like turkey tail feathers; these can also be given to your feline friend to enjoy. Lion’s mane mushrooms, shiitake mushrooms, maitake mushrooms, beech mushrooms, and morel mushrooms are also edible for your feline friend. However, the following mushrooms are dangerous wild mushrooms and can cause mushroom toxicity in your feline friend.
Psychedelic mushrooms, usually called magic mushrooms or psilocin mushrooms, are not healthy for your feline friend. Whether available in the grocery store or in the wild, you should never allow your feline friend to enjoy these mushrooms. Moreover, it would help if you did not give your feline friends muscarinic mushrooms, death cap mushrooms (also referred to as amanita mushrooms, amanita muscaria), and other raw mushrooms containing isoxazoles. Natural foods and toxic mushrooms can cause serious health problems in your feline friend.
What Will Happen If My Cat Eats Mushroom?
Even though there are few health benefits of mushrooms for your feline friend, it is better not to give them even a small amount of mushrooms. The reason is simple, your cat’s digestive system is not designed for plant-based foods. They are designed to digest animal protein and benefit from it, so any other food is not extremely good for them and can cause gastrointestinal issues.
The symptoms of gastrointestinal ingestion can include; vomiting, diarrhea, abdominal pain, stomach ache, nausea, etc. However, if your feline friend has eaten a toxic sample of the mushrooms, then it can lead to mushroom poisoning. This is serious as it can cause liver failure, electrolyte imbalance, liver damage, dehydration, vomiting, diarrhea, abdominal pain, jaundice, irregular heart rate, and more.
First, if your cat has eaten mushrooms and has gotten mushroom toxicity, then you should call the animal poison control center and let them treat your feline friend. After your pet cat is stable, take the mushrooms to a mushroom expert at; North American Mycological Association, and let them test the type so that if the mushroom causes any underlying diseases, they can also be treated. Lastly, keep your feline friend away from mushrooms, and if you want to give them as an occasional treat, then give them this human food in small amounts.
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