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The quick answer: Maybe. A bit of fresh, ripe tomato may be ok for some cats in moderation.
While some cats may be able to enjoy a few small bites of a ripe tomato, others won’t be so lucky. Because the fruit is quite acidic, it can cause tummy troubles for cats with sensitive stomachs.
Benefits of tomatoes
Tomatoes are rich in fiber, vitamin C and potassium. For humans, this low-calorie fruit provides beneficial lycopene and beta-carotene. However, for a cat, there are other fruits and vegetables (such as blueberries, pumpkin, and peas) from which your cat can get nutritional benefits. Plus they’re tastier than a raw tomato!
Hazards of tomatoes for cats
Tomato plants: If your cat is known to chew on plants (or if you aren’t sure) then be sure to prevent their access to tomato plants. The leaves and stems — basically any part that’s not a ripe, red tomato — are toxic to cats.
They contain a compound called solanine which is harmful in large quantities. Fortunately, tomato plant poisoning in cats is very rare. Symptoms to watch out for include vomiting, diarrhea, weakness, and confusion.
Unripe tomatoes: Just like the plants, green, unripe tomatoes are also toxic to cats due to the presence of solanine.
Tomato juice, tomato soup, ketchup: It’s best just to avoid sharing these foods with cats in general. They may contain added sugars or other ingredients that can cause tummy troubles or worse to a kitty who would much rather be munching on a meaty cat treat.