Can cats safely eat tomato plants?

took in some late blooming seedlings to protect from the overnight cold and the cat seemed to really want to eat them. I'm not opposed to him eating them as they will probably not make it thru to next season and I can grow plenty more, just concerned for his health
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Malcom "Mal" Reynolds wrote:

I cannot think of any reason why tomatoes would harm a cat provided it otherwise had a good diet. Cats cannot be vegans but if their protein intake is OK some fruit or veg on the side should do no harm. Wait to see what grows in the litter tray. Well maybe not.
D
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I should have googled, but a cursory search shows that tomatos are okay in their diet, but the plants are if not exactly poisonous, definitely not good for their help.
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On Nov 11, 8:30 pm, "Malcom \"Mal\" Reynolds"

My understanding is that the tomato plant is a member of the nightshade family, which is poisonous ---- not the red fruit, but the green stalk and leaves. I believe the poison is called tomatin, and is present in the fruit until it turns red. Some people are more sensitive to it than others. In the past , tomatoes were called "witch apples" and were thought to be poisonous themselved, probably due to people eating the green leaves and stalks and assuming the fruit was just as bad.... As far as cats, well, ....... there are garden bugs that eat the leaves so I guess it isn't poisonous to everything... Dogs are not supposed to eat tomatoes (the fruit), because of the small amount of tomatin that remains......
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Andy adds If you use google with the string " tomatin tomato poison" you will see numerous explanations regarding this poisonous alkaloid substance..
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I brought my ghost pepper plants in for frost. They were munching the leaves. I usually grow grass for them in winter. Seems natural they like, and need some plant material in their diets. I don't of a reason for from tomato, but yo got to watch certain flowers.
Greg
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My understanding is that cats cannot eat tomatoes as they are toxic and can cause kidney failure, chronic diarrhea, cardiac arrest, cramping, bloating, gas, chronic stomachaches, and other health issues.
--
james_coale


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james_coale wrote:

Why?
D
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I don't kow what else may be involved, but it is my understanding that tomato greens have a high nicotine content. Injested nicotine (at least at high levels) is a Bad Thing.
[Anecdote that proves nothing]
Several years back, I got overwhelmed and neglected the garden. Having given up, I enjoyed the view one day of the deer helping themselves to things. They were very enthusiastic anout eating the tomatoes out of the cages, but they never touched the vines. That's about the only green in the yard that the local dear *won't* eat.
--
Drew Lawson

I only came in search of answers, never planned to sell my soul
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Drew Lawson wrote:

Nicotine certainly is very poisonous but this is the first that I have heard about nicotine in tomatoes, I doubt very much it is true.
There is lots of stuff on the web about the solanums (tomatoes, potatoes, capsicums, tobacco etc) being of the same family and being poisonous to some degree but very little indeed with links to any authoritative papers that mention tomatoes or cats. Tobacco contains nicotine and potatoes solanine both of which are toxic but there is much more to this as clearly most of the time we eat potatoes without ill effect. It seems that tomatoes contain the alkaloid tomatine but how toxic that is to humans or cats and how much is in tomato plants (and what part and when) I cannot find yet. There is much generalisation and little specific data on this topic in popular web pages.
Tomatoes were considered toxic to humans when first brought to Europe but now we eat them daily. Were they bred to be less toxic and what we eat today is different or was it all a baseless scare? I dunno.
David
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On 11/11/2012 5:58 PM, Malcom "Mal" Reynolds wrote:

Been away a long time, but am only replying just in case anyone later searches on this subject:
Solanaceous plants are in general toxic to some extent or other, but it's usually moreso the herbiage & not so much the fruits, as we already know. But the point here is that your cat (as other posters have at least hinted at) absolutely MUST have greens in their diet to be healthy and happy. Fer chrissakes, don't leave only toxic plants for them to chomp on! Go to your local farm & feed store & buy some rye, wheat, - whatever seed is cheapest (last I bought mine, was way less than $1/lb - and a whole lb lasts a very, VERY long time!). They're easier than sin to grow.
As if being the positively humane & right thing to do were somehow not enough.
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