Apple juice is considered a healthy beverage for humans. It tastes great and is full of vitamins, which makes it suitable for kids and adults alike. But is it okay to give apple juice to cats? The sweet and simple answer is yes, but cats shouldn’t drink apple juice because they don’t need it.
It’s important to keep in mind that apple juice would never be a natural part of a cat’s diet, so it isn’t a necessity for them. In fact, too much apple juice consumption could be problematic. Let’s consider both the positive and negative aspects of giving apple juice to cats.
Are There Any Benefits of Apple Juice for Cats?
“There are no proven benefits for cats from drinking apple juice,” says our in-house veterinarian Dr. Lauren Demos, “and they’re not likely to want it in the first place.”
Technically, there are a few minor benefits that apple juice can provide to cats, but it doesn’t mean the substance is necessary to ensure proper nutrition and a high quality of life. That said, one thing that apple juice contains that can benefit cats is vitamin C.
While cats synthesize their own vitamin C via their livers, a boost of the nutrients from natural food sources may provide extra support to the immune system. Iron is another nutrient that apple juice typically has to offer due to fortification, which can be helpful to cats when it comes to producing red blood cells.
The Possible Problems That Apple Juice Poses to Cats
Apple juice is full of sugar, even if none is added during the production and/or bottling process. Cats that consume too much sugar may be prone to developing problems like obesity and all the issues that come along with that condition, including heart disease, arthritis, and diabetes.
Certain apple juice products also contain artificial colors, flavors, and additives that simply are not necessary in a cat’s diet at all. Another thing to consider is that cats are carnivores, which means they don’t require apple juice or any other plant-based foods to get the nutrients that they need for good health.
Do Cats Need Apple Juice as a Regular Part of Their Diet?
Absolutely not. Apple juice is simply a tasty treat (though cats cannot taste sweet, so many don’t even think that it’s that tasty), and it does not need to be a part of your cat’s diet in any way. However, if they have a sip or two from your glass or in a dish that you provide them, this juice isn’t likely to cause any ill side effects to worry about.
Whether to give apple juice to your cat is entirely up to you. However, if you do decide to offer it, make sure it’s not more than just a teaspoon or two at a time. It should also not be offered often.
Are There Better Treat Options for Cats?
Many human food options would make better treats for cats than apple juice. As felines are carnivores, meat-centric and high-protein treats should be the focus here.
Apple juice is not an ideal drink for your cat, as they don’t need anything more than water to stay happy and healthy. However, giving your cat a tiny amount of apple juice to drink shouldn’t cause any health problems and can even offer a bit of a nutrient boost overall. If you’re unsure whether to give your cat apple juice, contact your veterinarian for guidance, or just avoid it altogether.