A cat is a carnivorous pet known to be curious and rarely craves such things as fruits and vegetables. Surprisingly, most cats often desire to consume mushrooms which is funny as it is classified as fungi and vegetables. Cats being curious beings, can take risks, especially if they ingest some wild mushrooms as most are toxic.
Hence, being at a glance of one’s cat eating mushrooms can leave one wondering: Can cats eat mushrooms? Are they fit for consumption by cats? They should be avoided, but cats can eat mushrooms if they are store-purchased and edible.
Benefits of Mushrooms for Cats
Researchers have been studying certain species of mushrooms, and three of them have been acknowledged to be safe for cats and dogs, that is, Shiitake, Maitake, and Reishi species. All of them have different medicinal benefits to cats.
Shiitake mushrooms are known to improve blood circulation, and they also boost the production of white blood cells hence boosting immunity. They act against the effects of viruses, microbes, and candida. Shiitake mushrooms are rich in Vitamin B, Pantothenic Acid, Selenium, and Vitamin D2, which fight infections.
On the other hand, Reishi mushrooms contain Zinc, Vitamin C, and Selenium, which are essential in keeping cells healthier and fighting compounds that can cause harm if their levels in the body are too high. They are beneficial in increasing energies and also act as anti-inflammatory agents.
Maitake mushrooms have the best immune-boosting effects on cats’ bodies. This is major because Maitake mushrooms are rich in vitamin D2, obtained from the sunshine. They are also rich in phenols, ascorbic acids, anti-oxidants, and flavonoids, immune enhancers to help fight diseases in cats.
Generally, mushrooms contain nutrients and vitamins essential for cats’ immune system boosting and ensuring cats’ health. These nutrient components are also vital to enhancing cats’ metabolism to maintain the cells in healthy and good conditions.
You can find most of these medicinal mushroom supplements in stores and in groceries for purchase. It should, however, be noted that in case they have any side effects on a cat, the cat’s veterinarian should only manage them.
Can Cats Eat Wild Mushrooms?
It is hard to understand why a cat may want to eat mushrooms, while it is proven by food scientists that they cannot taste any sweetness. They should, however, never feed on wild mushrooms. Though it is hard to identify which ones are safe for consumption, it is recommended that one should never try to self-identify on oneself or cats unless one is a mushroom scientist.
Two mushroom species are fatal to cats if consumed, as identified by the North American Mycological Association, Amanita muscaria and Amanita pantherina species. Cats are probably drawn to them due to their scent, which is fishy. Mostly, it’s almost unlikely to find these species around, but one must check around where cats wander for any mushrooms that may be growing and get rid of them.
The Animals Poison Control Center has stated some signs and symptoms to watch out for to identify if one’s cat has consumed wild mushrooms. Examples are:
- Vomiting and diarrhea
This is the first sign that is likely noted in a short while after consuming wild mushrooms. It should be attended to avoid dehydration immediately.
- Severe drooling
Severe drooling refers to the abnormal flow of saliva outside a cat’s mouth, which is involuntary.
- Neurological issues
This includes unsteady walking, easy agitation, and a cat being abnormally sensitive to noise and physical touch.
- Liver failure
Liver failure is the most severe case, and it is a result of toxins in the cat’s liver that cause whitening of eyes, yellowing of the skin, loss of appetite, and being less active. If not treated urgently, it can cause the death of a cat.
Are Mushrooms Safe for Cats?
Can cats eat mushrooms? To wrap up, cats can be fed store-purchased edible mushrooms as they are non-poisonous, free from toxins, and have health benefits. However, wild-growing mushrooms that grow among the weeds should be avoided as it is challenging to identify whether they are fit for consumption, and some can be fatal once consumed.
Finally, cat owners should always control whatever the cat accesses both outside and inside the household as an extra precaution.