Can Cats Eat Avocados?

Can Cats Eat Avocados?


Can Cats Eat Avocados? Do the Ayes have it?

Avocados also known as alligator pears are nutritious, fibrous fruits with a pear shape and leathery skin. They are bright green, low in sugar but high in monounsaturated fats (healthy fats). They are one of the most notable fruits rich in vitamins C, E, K, and B6. They are also good sources of minerals like magnesium and potassium. So it’s not much of a wonder that a lot of people incorporate it into their meal. 

Can Cats Eat Avocados?

Yes and No. No because the oil soluble toxin, Persin, present in avocados which does not cause any ill effect in humans can be very harmful to cats. It is not fatal but when consumed can lead to poisoning with a series of severe symptoms like stool obstruction, difficulty in breathing, fever.  Some may even experience pain that indicates an inflamed pancreas when ingested.

Yes, cats can eat avocados but only in small quantities. To be fair, you need to consult your vet first but the meat and oil of this fruit have been proven, to an extent, safe for their consumption. 

They can be incorporated into the cat’s diet while the other parts of the fruit are too toxic for them, hence, should be left out.

 Health Benefits of Avocado to Cats

Humans are not the only ones that can enjoy the yummy goodness and health benefits of avocado. Avocado flesh is capable of providing Cats with

  •  high quality protein
  •  healthy fats
  • Dietary fibers
  •  Vitamins( E, A and B6)
  • Antioxidants

High Quality Protein

Cats require a sufficient amount of proteins for their body’s proper functioning. Avocado is an excellent source of high quality protein since it has 18 amino acids that are vital for its immune system, muscle development and organ function.

Healthy Fats

Healthy fats (good fats) are good for the heart and body’s wellbeing of not just humans but cats. They help to lower the risk of heart diseases by reducing LDL cholesterol level. Avocados contain these healthy fats and some, like oleic acid, possess properties like anti-inflammation which could be favorable to cats.

Dietary Fibers

As rich as avocados are in proteins so are they in fibers. They aid in the cat’s regular bowel movement and prevent constipation. They also help with weight loss and increase cardiac health.

Vitamins

Avocado is a fruit rich in fat soluble vitamins A and E and also water soluble vitamins B6 and C. Cats need these vitamins as they are very important for their skin, hair and muscle development.

Antioxidants

Free radicals can do a lot of damage to cells and cause a long string of illnesses like cancer. Antioxidants help to reduce oxidative stress and keep these free radicals in check.  Avocados contain these antioxidants which when consumed helps to reduce their risk of cancer.

How much avocado can your cat eat?

Not much can be said here due to lack of data on toxicity and safe intake level of avocado. Feeding them small amount no more than 15g is less likely to cause harm. Still it is best to look for other fruity options till safety has been properly demonstrated.

What Parts of Avocado should be avoided?

Like earlier stated, avocado contains the toxin persin but it is more concentrated in other parts of the avocado than the oil and meat, provided the oil was extracted solely from the flesh. If other parts are introduced into the oil the concentration of the toxic substance increases to a harmful level. Such parts are:

  • The seed/pit
  • The skin or peel
  • The bark
  • The leaves

 

The Seed/Pit

The seed of an avocado is the most nutrient dense of all the parts and has a higher level of persin than the rest. This makes them capable of subjecting your furry companion to harm. They should be disposed off properly as they also pose as a choking risk when swallowed by your pet. Some are smaller than others but cause the same effect nonetheless.

The Skin or Peel

The skin of an avocado has almost the same concentration of persin as that of the seed. They are also capable of causing severe symptoms like difficulty in breathing and stomach upset. They should not be fed to cats but disposed off properly.

The Bark and Leaves

This oil-soluble toxin is also present in the bark as well as the leaves of the avocado tree. They might not be fatal to cats when ingested but can be to horses, goats etc.

What to do if your Cat Eats Avocado

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There is something about that yummy fruit that makes cats want to touch it and in some cases swallow it. Thankfully, it’s not fatal to them so don’t panic too much when they do. Instead keep calm and do the following: 

  • First find out what part of the avocado your cat consumed
  • The avocado leaves, stem, skin and seeds could make them slightly ill to very sick. Persin is highly concentrated in these parts and can potentially cause harm to the cat.
  • The pit would likely cause a gastric obstruction if swallowed. 
  • In small amounts, avocado oil and meat would cause little or no symptom of worry
  • Second, call your veterinarian if you notice any irregularities such as
  • Difficulty in breathing
  • Vomiting
  • Rapid heartbeat
  • Diarrhea
  • swelling

You should always ask your vet doctor questions about your pet’s nutrition so that you can be made readily aware and vigilant of its health and safety.

Conclusion

Avocados are packed with lots of nutrients that are very beneficial to both man and cats but there are lots of cat food that can provide the same wholesome and nutritive requirements and are safer. There are even products prepared with avocado oil such as ones from the cat food brand AvoDerm®. Try to avoid putting your cat through pain and maximize their health by offering them food that is fairly safe.

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