Okay, who doesn't like coconut? They are sweet. They are crunchy. They are an absolute delight. Coconut is an example of a tropical fruit that humans enjoy in various forms. Some people shave off the meat and enjoy it by itself but that's only one way to enjoy the fruit. Coconuts boast nutrients like magnesium and calcium. Packed with other health benefits, coconut is considered a healthy snack or food for humans.
As a cat owner, you may be wondering if it is safe to feed some coconut shavings to your furry guy. What about the famous coconut water? Can your cat get some of it? If you have all these questions, I have got answers. Keep reading to find out.
Can Cats Eat Coconut?
Is Coconut Good For Cats?
Cats can certainly eat coconut if they care to. Cats are known to be picky eaters so there will be no surprises if your kitty doesn't care for coconut in any form at all.
Humans enjoy coconut and also derive a couple of benefits from it. But what about cats? Is coconut any good for cats? Well for starters, the various forms of coconut offer varying benefits to your cat. However, in general, coconut contains vital vitamins and minerals, including vitamin B, selenium, manganese, copper, and iron.
The iron content in coconut meat is helpful in your feline’s red blood cell production, while selenium is a potent antioxidant. Antioxidants are good for fighting free radicals and hence, keeping your cat healthy.
Also, coconut meat is particularly high in manganese, which helps keep your cat's bones and joints healthy while also aiding its metabolism.
Is Coconut Meat Safe For Cats?
Coconut meat is the white fleshy part inside the coconut. If you have ever wondered if you could give some coconut meat or shavings to your cat, the answer is yes. Feeding your cat a sliver or tiny shreds of coconut flesh will not harm them.
Although you have to be cautious when feeding coconut meat to your cat. Coconut meat is high in fat and calories. If you feed too much to your cat, your cat may become obese, which is not good for its health.
Can Cats Have Coconut Milk?
Coconut milk is made by soaking shredded coconut meat in water, preferably hot. After soaking for some time, strain the mixture to get your coconut milk. Humans tend to take coconut milk as a substitute for cow milk. Unlike the popular opinion that cats can drink milk, milk is not healthy for cats. After cats are weaned, they lose the enzyme that helps them process milk and go on to become largely lactose intolerant in their adult life. Cats may experience stomach upset or diarrhea if they drink milk.
However, coconut milk is a safer option for your cat. Cats can have coconut milk occasionally. But you must keep in mind that coconut milk comes from coconut meat and as such, it still contains high levels of fat and sugar, hence you should only give a little amount of coconut milk to your cat.
What About Coconut Water?
Coconut water is the naturally occurring fluid that is found inside an immature coconut. Coconut water is not high in fat so it is considered healthy and nutritious for humans. But what about cats? Can cats have coconut water?
Coconut water contains potassium which makes it a popular health drink for humans but it is for this same reason that it is unhealthy for cats. If cats consume too much potassium, they can suffer from Hyperkalemia, a condition that acidifies your cat's blood and affect the proper functioning of their heart. For this reason, cats should not drink coconut water.
Is Coconut Oil Good For Cats?
Coconut oil is considered the best form of coconut to give your cat. Coconut oil is safe for cats and can be introduced slowly into their diet. It can easily be mixed into your cat's wet food. Coconut oil can also be used to bake homemade treats for your kitty.
But coconut oil contains high-fat content which is toxic to cats. Your cat can become obese and suffer from health complications if they consume too much coconut oil. Coconut oil also contains Medium-Chain Triglycerides (MCT) which are not ideal for cats, especially when consumed in large quantities.
Cats can have coconut oil mixed into their wet foods but in this case, a little goes a long way. Moderation should be maintained at all times.
Will Coconut Harm My Cat?
Coconut is not considered toxic to cats. However, it may pose a threat to your cat is not given in the right amount. Coconut meat is high in fat and calories. This is not healthy for your cat, hence should only be given to your furry guy in small amounts to avoid any health challenges.
Adult cats are usually lactose intolerant and as such, can suffer from digestive issues if fed coconut milk in excess. Also, coconut milk and oil have a laxative effect on cats. This causes loose stools and stomach upsets.
Other health concerns associated with the high-fat content of coconut are Hyperlipidemia and Pancreatitis.
Can Kittens Eat Coconut?
It is not advisable to feed coconut to kittens. Kittens need to feed on their specially formulated cat food which is balanced and complete with all the nutrients they need. However, if you decide to feed some coconut shavings to your kitten, make sure you speak with your vet first.
So, can cats eat coconut? The simple answer is yes. But should cats be eating coconut? Not really. The various forms of coconut pose different risks to your cat. If you choose to introduce coconut into your feline's diet, make sure you know and understand all the risks involved. That way, you can be cautious when giving them coconut.