Can Cats Eat Mushrooms?

Mushroom in the bamboo basket
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Mushrooms are a staple food in many dishes for humans, but veterinarians are more concerned with the wild varieties that can pop-up overnight during the rainy months in many parts of the U.S. So wether its a button mushroom found on a discarded slice of pizza or their non-culinary cousins, are they safe for cats to eat?

Can cats eat mushrooms?

Mushrooms are not safe for cats to eat, but there is an exception. Store bought mushrooms can be fine for cats to eat in small amounts, but overall, it's best to avoid all fungi when it comes to your cat's diet.

Cats are obligate carnivores, which means they require a meat-based diet. While they can nosh on some types of fruits and vegetables, they're not necessary for their your cat's daily nutritional needs.

Wild mushrooms

Wild mushrooms are not safe for cats to eat. There are countless varieties of mushrooms and many of them have been associated with toxicity in cats. While some mushrooms are non-toxic, it is encouraged to consider any mushroom ingested outdoors by your cat to be considered toxic.

The ASPCA highly advises against cats eating wild mushrooms and recommends removing any sign of them in your yard.

What about store-bought mushrooms?

If your cat eats a mushroom while snacking on food left out by a forgetful human, there's no need to worry. Not all mushrooms are a threat to a cat. Store-bought mushrooms are not usually dangerous for your pet.

Stick with very small amounts of shiitake, button, or Portobello mushrooms. It is also important to make sure that they are cooked thoroughly, but leave out spices or seasonings. These can irritate your cat's stomach.

What to do if your cat eats mushrooms?

If your cat got a hold of some wild mushrooms, look out for the following symptoms:

  • vomiting
  • diarrhea
  • constricted pupils
  • slow heartbeat
  • excessive salivation
  • lethargy

If your cat is experiencing any of these symptoms, seek veterinary assistance immediately.

Conclusion

In most cases, mushrooms are best to be avoided. The exception is a small amount of store-bought mushrooms, which should be fine for your cat. Wild mushrooms can be extremely poisonous and cause health issues for your cat. When a wild mushroom is spotted in your yard, it's best to assume it's toxic. If your cat ingests any type of mushroom, it's best to call the vet immediately to seek professional treatment.