4 min read

Can Cats Eat Cucumbers?


By Leslie Ingraham

Published: 07/05/2022, edited: 07/11/2022

Reviewed by a licensed veterinary professional: Dr. Linda Simon, MVB MRCVS

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Cucumbers appear often on a pet parent’s plate, as part of a salad, as the base for tzatziki, or in delicate cucumber tea sandwiches. Your feline family member may show an interest in whatever you’re eating and you may wonder whether cucumbers are in the safe zone for them. When we think about the treats cats love, cucumbers may not occupy the top of the list. Bits of tuna, chicken, or other meat come to mind, as do commercial kitty treats. But for some felines, cucumbers are the cat’s meow. 

So, is it safe to give cats bites of cucumber or a sip of cucumber water? The answer, in a word, is yes! It’s just important to remember that just as big cats in the wild need animal protein to survive, so does your ball of fluff, so reserve cukes for an occasional treat, not as a substitute for their regular food. And no pickles, please! Read on to find out more about cucumbers and cats.

Do cats like cucumbers?

You may be surprised to learn that many cats actually love cucumbers and will ask for them when they realize you’re eating them. Cucumbers are full of water, and hot or thirsty cats that need some hydration may seek them out for refreshment, just like humans. Some cats just like the seeds, and they’ll patiently scrape them out with their teeth and leave the rest. 

Whatever the reason for a cats’ affinity for crispy cukes, it’s definitely okay to satisfy it with a couple of slices, a few times a week. But if you share your cucumbers with them, remember to share the cukes, not the seasonings. For example, Tzatziki’s cukes are surrounded by plain yogurt, which can lead to a stomach upset, and  it also contains lots of garlic that is toxic for our kitty furiends. 

Cucumber next to cucumber slices on cutting board - can cats eat cucumbers

Health benefits of cucumbers for cats

Cucumbers contain several vitamins and minerals. With plenty of antioxidants, Vitamin C and K, and a mineral named molybdenum that’s good for metabolism, it makes sense to make cucumbers available to our fur babies. These beneficial substances are contained just under the cuke’s peel, so unpeeled cukes are best. The safest ones can be purchased at farm stands and farmers' markets, and look for organic. Or grow your own! Let's explore a few benefits of cucumbers for cats.

Help with hydration

Cucumbers' high water content can keep your purr buddy hydrated. These tasty treats are 98% water, so they're refreshing and purrfect for summer, added to water, and frozen into ice cubes. If your cat really likes them, you can dice some up and top their food with them, or "hide" them in your feline's water bowl and let them find them!

A source of healthy fiber

Although fiber is available to cats in pureed pumpkin and many safe fruits, grains, and legumes, unpeeled cucumbers have almost zero calories and no fat or sugar, but a good amount of fiber. Fiber can treat both constipation and diarrhea in cats, and while most commercial cat foods will contain some fiber, there's no fiber in the meats that make up the major portions of cat food.  Eating cucumbers with their peel can supplement whatever fiber exists in their food with few negative effects. Moderation is key to preventing the fiber in the peel from actually causing digestive problems.


Cats don't need cucumbers to round out their diet, and in fact should not be fed so much cucumber that they won't eat the meaty, protein-rich food they do need. Regardless, cucumbers are a great source of Vitamin K, Vitamin C, beta carotene, and potassium for most mammals. In cats, their value isn't as high, especially for beta carotene which can't be made into Vitamin A in the kitty's body. Cats do absorb some potassium, but levels that are too high can affect a feline's kidneys. Giving your cat cucumber a few times a week won't cause a dangerous rise in potassium.

How much cucumber can I give my cat?

It’s recommended that you treat your cat with one or two slices of this healthy low-fat fruit a few times a week if they like it. (Yes, it’s a fruit, not a vegetable!) In ounces, this would average about an ounce each time, cut into small cubes. This is assuming it’s a medium cuke that’s about seven inches long. If the fur baby eats more than this, there’s a danger it may cause diarrhea because of its high water content. However, it’s not likely to cause weight gain because it’s so low in calories and fat.

Be sure any cucumbers your furball eats is free of any salt, garlic, vinegar or other seasonings which can be problematic. And when you offer cucumber to your fluff ball, be sure to give it to them in their regular feeding bowl. Doing so will discourage them from begging for human food at the dinner table, or eating random food from the floor or side table that can be bad for their health.

whole cucumbers with leaves on wooden table

Why do cats jump when they see a cucumber?

A lot has been written on the subject of why some cats are afraid of cucumbers, believe it or not, so it must be interesting for many cat people. The answer lies in a cucumber’s similarity to a snake. If a snake came up behind a cat while they were otherwise occupied, there’s no doubt the feline would be startled and leap into the air before leaping away. So, if someone were to put a cucumber quietly behind a cat, or the kitty came upon one accidentally, it might be a scary thing for Fluffy! It’s not recommended that pet parents play this particular trick on their feline, as humorous as it may be to watch, as it may damage their relationship or make the cat hyper-sensitive.

Cucumbers are a favorite food for many humans, and some cats love them, too. It may be good to know that you and they can indulge in them together!  Not only will they not hurt your kitty, but they may also add some healthy nutrients to their diet and help stave off thirst and dehydration!

Looking to add more new yummy whole foods to your cat's diet? Try some watermelon, another good choice for some extra hydration, naturally sweet strawberries, or soothing pumpkin.


A high-quality diet is essential for keeping your cat happy and healthy. Poor nutrition can cause conditions that are expensive to treat. Compare pet health insurance plans to save more than $270 a year on vet care.

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