Mushrooms may not be packed with protein, but their earthy, savory taste and dense, chewy texture make them a great meat substitute.
Given all its meat-like qualities and nutritional value, it’s normal to think that eating mushrooms won’t hurt your pet cats. But, can cats eat mushrooms? Are mushrooms safe for cats?
That’s where FelineLiving comes in handy. As you might know by now, this website is created specifically for cat owners who want to know the best cat food products for their pal.
Apart from that, we also aim to give you all the need-to-know info about what cats can and cannot eat so that you won’t have to look for other cat-and-mushroom-related blog posts or sites.
So, if you want to know if mushrooms are among the cat-friendly human foods that your furry feline pal can snack on, read on. We’re here to give you precisely what you need and much more.
Can Cats Eat Mushrooms?
We’re sure you’ve heard this a hundred times. Human food is not always safe for cats. In fact, some of the healthiest foods out there are toxic to cats. What about mushrooms? Can cats eat mushrooms?
If you want to know if your cat can munch on store-bought mushrooms, then the answer is Yes. But again, just like any type of treats (vegetables, fruits, and in this case – fungi), you can only give this in moderation.
It’s a different story, however, if you are asking about wild mushrooms.
There are thousands (or should I say over ten thousand) of mushroom species out there. Many of which are poisonous. Figuring out which one is safe and which are poisonous mushrooms is difficult.
So, unless you are a mycologist who specializes in mushrooms and other types of fungi, it’s best if you get rid of any unidentified wild mushrooms in your backyard since this can be dangerous to you and your pet cat.
Why Cats Go Gaga Over Mushrooms?
If you think your cat is weird for liking mushrooms, think again. Check out Google, and you’ll discover a good number of video posts that prove that your cat isn’t alone.
Despite being finicky when it comes to food, your meat-eating cats might be attracted to the smell and taste of mushrooms, and there’s a science behind this unusual craving.
So, why do cats like mushrooms?
It’s not because they love fungi, but it’s all because of their love for anything “meaty.” Simply put, mushrooms taste and smell like “meat” to them, and you can blame this on glutamate.
Mushrooms contain glutamate – an amino acid that gives mushrooms their umami flavor. Umami is among the five flavors we humans sense. It’s also the same type of flavor cats often find in protein-loaded food.
Store-bought Vs. Wild mushrooms: What Type Of Mushrooms Can Cats Eat?
If it’s a choice between store-bought and wild mushrooms, opt for store-bought mushrooms.
Obviously, these are free of toxins and are safe for both human and cat consumption. But be reminded that this does not mean that mushrooms should be routinely included in your cat’s diet.
Wild Mushrooms & Mushroom Poisoning
It’s true that you’ll also find non-toxic mushrooms outdoors, but it’s hard to differentiate one from the other. As such, it’s best if you contact your veterinarian ASAP if you see your cat eating or if your think your cat has eaten an “unknown” wild mushroom.
Mushroom Poisoning Symptoms
Some mushrooms contain deadly toxins that could poison your cat and could cause severe or life-threatening diseases.
Depending on the toxin type, signs of an illness can appear 30 minutes up to 24 hours after ingestion. Its symptoms also vary. Here are some of the symptoms you need to keep an eye on:
- Lethargy or depression
- Constricted pupils
- Decreased respiration and heart rate
- Yellowish eyes or skin
- Excessive drooling or salivating
- Extreme sensitivity to sound and light
- Loss of balance or unsteadiness
What To Do If Your Cat Eats A Wild Mushroom?
You don’t need to wait for your cat to show signs of drooling before contacting your vet. You must contact your vet immediately to avoid any unwanted complications.
If your vet is out of reach, you can also contact ASPCA or Animal Poison Control Center at 888-426-4435. Just like any illness, early diagnosis and prompt treatment increase your cat’s chances of survival.
Treatment For Mushroom Poisoning
More often than not, veterinarians recommend inducing vomiting to treat cats. Other treatments include:
- Activated charcoal reduces the effects of the poison
- IV fluids to flush toxins
- Supportive medications whenever needed
Magic Shrooms And Its Effect On Your Cat
Magic mushrooms, aka “boomers or shrooms,” are taken by some people for their psychedelic effect. If you have this stashed somewhere in your home, make sure your cats can’t reach it.
Like wild mushrooms, magic mushrooms are also poisonous and can cause vomiting within a couple of hours and diarrhea, tremors, depression, agitation, and hallucinations.
More About Store-Bought Mushroom
Basically, the idea is that your cats can safely eat mushrooms that are considered suitable for human consumption. This includes portobello, cremini, shiitake, and button mushrooms. However, this does not mean that mushrooms are healthy for cats.
Yes, mushrooms are considered healthy in the realm of human food since they are low in calories and brimming with vitamins and minerals, but cats have little use for it. Remember, your pet kitty is a carnivore that needs a meat-based diet to survive.
They can snack on treats (like veggies, fruits, and even fungi) every now and then, but this isn’t really necessary since their system isn’t made to process non-animal matter.
The Best Way To Feed Mushroom To Cats
If you want your cats to eat mushrooms, make sure to do it the right way to avoid any mild or even severe complications.
Give limited quantities
Now that you know that cats love the taste of mushrooms, make sure to just give a small amount and keep that bowl of mushrooms out of your cat’s reach. Overeating can cause GI problems (something that you and your cat won’t like).
Serve it plain
Mushrooms can be eaten either raw or cooked. What’s important is that this is served without any sort of seasoning since this can upset your pets’ tummy.
Give it as an occasional treat
Although mushroom is an excellent alternative for meats, it will not give the nutrients your kitty needs to achieve optimal health. Therefore, mushrooms should only be given as a snack and not a staple in your pets’ everyday meals.
Can cats eat mushrooms? The answer is IT DEPENDS. It basically depends on the type of mushroom.
If it’s a mushroom you can buy in a store, then it’s a Yes. Your cat can eat this. This is among the foods they can safely eat as long as your cat eats this in moderation.
Veterinarians, however, are particularly wary about letting your cat eat mushrooms that pop up out of nowhere. Eating wild mushrooms is a No-No.
If your cat munches on one, don’t wait for symptoms to show up. Since mushroom toxicity can lead to death, make sure to get in touch with your veterinarian right away.
Sus' Cat Scratch Attack Casserole
- 1 cup White rice uncooked
- 2 cups Water
- 1 (10 ounce) Can cream of mushroom soup
- 1 (8 ounce) Jar mayonnaise
- 2 (3 ounce) Cans tuna in water, drained
- 2 tbsp Hot sauce
- salt and ground black pepper to taste
- Place the rice and water in a saucepan. Bring to a boil and cook until the rice is tender and water has been absorbed, about 20 minutes.
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C).
- Mix together the cooked rice, mushroom soup, mayonnaise, tuna, hot sauce, salt, and black pepper in a bowl; pour into a 9 inch casserole dish.
- Bake in preheated oven until heated through, about 30 minutes.
Human Cat Food
- 1 can Button mushrooms
- 1 can Tuna in water flaked/shredded
- Pepper and Salt for seasoning
- Quarter the mushrooms.
- Fry mushrooms for about two minutes, add in the tuna after draining away the water.
- Tuna doesn't really need to be cooked, so you can just serve it after the tuna's warmed up.
- Season with pepper and salt as you see fit.
- It goes best with scrambled eggs!
Tuna-Stuffed Baked Mushrooms
- 4 tbsp Bread crumbs plain
- 250 g Smooth cottage cheese low fat
- 2 tins Tuna in water
- 2 tbsp Olive oil
- 1 tsp Thyme fresh, chopped
- 4 Brown mushroom steaks
- 50 g Feta cheese optional
- salt and pepper
- Preheat oven to 180C
- Place the mushrooms, gill-side up, onto a greased oven tray.
- Season with salt and pepper, then sprinkle with the thyme, then drizzle with olive oil and roast for 20 minutes until the mushrooms become tender.
- In a bowl, mix together the tuna, feta, cream cheese and then spoon mixture onto the mushrooms.
- Sprinkle with the breadcrumbs, then return to the oven to bake for another 10 minutes.
- Serve once cooled down.
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