No, bur gourds are not toxic for cats. As stated by the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA), the bur gourd is non-toxic to dogs, cats, and horses.
Bur gourds do not contain toxic properties that can cause life-threatening effects in cats. But, cat owners need to consider a few things before feeding bur gourd to their feline companions.
Can Cats Eat Bur Gourd?
Gourds are generally safe for cats to eat. While cats are curious in nature, they are still picky eaters and most likely they will not be fond of the bur gourd’s texture. Although, each cat is still different. So what my cat prefers to eat may not be preferred by your cat.
In case your cat has eaten a bur gourd, it will not cause harm. If you’re going to give bur gourd to your cat, make sure it’s peeled and well cooked. The skin and uncooked flesh of bur gourd can be tough for cats to digest. Remember that the cooking method and other components used will influence how safe food is for your cat. Added sugars and salt can have effects on your cat.
Another reminder is to not let your cat overeat plants. While bur gourd is safe to consume, some cats may still react differently. Bur gourd is still a plant too much consumption can still cause indigestion.
What is Bur Gourd?
Bur gourd or also commonly called Goareberry Gourd, Gooseberry Gourd, and West Indian Gherkin is a vine endemic to Africa. Although it has become naturalized and cultivated in other countries. It is related to and similar to cucumbers, and its cultivars are known as gherkins.
Bur gourd, also known as Cucumis anguria, is a thin-stemmed, herbaceous vine that may grow up to three meters long. Its fruits are ovoid to oblong in form and grow on long stems. Long hairs cover the fruits, which have spines or wart-like lumps on the exterior, while the inside flesh is pale to green.
Full light and wet, rich, well-drained soil is ideal for growing the bur gourds. It favors slightly acidic soils but may thrive in less ideal conditions as well.
Bur gourd is planted largely as a crop plant for its edible fruit, which is used in pickling, like cooked vegetables, and for eating raw. The taste is identical to that of a regular cucumber.
Keeping Cats Away From Bur Gourd
Felines are inherently curious creatures, so they will sniff and eat plants that stimulate their interest. Even if bur gourds are safe for cats to eat, it is still best to train them not to chew on plants, especially the unknown plants outdoors. Felines’ bodies do not contain enough enzymes to break down plant materials so it is best to keep them away from any kind of plants.
Plants to Avoid For Your Cats
If you are a cat owner and unsure if the plants growing in your yard are harmful to your cats, check out this list of toxic plants for cats. You can also check our list of non-toxic plants for cats.