Can cats eat avocado?
We are reluctant to say yes as there are many caveats involved.
Avocados, scientifically known as Persea Americana and often called alligator pears, have been around for thousands of years. But it is only in the recent decades that they have come to enjoy an explosion of popularity in the United States. Only 436 million pounds of avocado were being domestically consumed by Americans in 1985, in 2020, Americans consumed over 2.6 billion pounds of avocado.
With around 20 different minerals and vitamins, high levels of fibers and monounsaturated fat, and being cholesterol and sodium-free, no wonder avocados are among the most popular fruits on earth.
Avocado and Cats
Avocados make a delicious and healthy treat for humans, but what about our feline friends? Maybe you were chopping up avocados for adding to the salad or mash it into guacamole or toast spread, and your cat started meowing – begging for a piece of the superfood. Did you guiltily refuse to throw your kitty a piece of avocado?
Well, you did the right thing. Without knowing if cats can safely consume a certain fruit or veggie, you should never give it to them as many of them are quite dangerous for cats.
Right now, there might be numerous questions popping up in your head about avocado and cats. Questions like Can cats eat avocado? Is it safe for cats to have avocado? What about guacamole? Can cats have guacamole?
Well, as we said in the beginning, the answer is not so straightforward.
Without further ado, let’s get to it.
Let’s unravel the not-so-straightforward answer.
Is Avocado Poisonous to Cats?
You might have heard the rumor that avocados are toxic for cats, dogs, and other pets as they contain a fungicidal toxin called persin.
Indeed, avocados contain the toxin persin.
So what do you think can cats eat avocados?
Learning that avocado contains a toxin, persin, you must have made up your mind that avocado is toxic to cats and you should not share it with them.
Well, it is not the case. Despite the presence of persin, avocado is not listed as toxic to cats.
Therefore, you need not panic if your cat or dog has consumed avocado. Because cats and dogs are not usually affected by this toxin, according to the Pet Poison Helpline. However, persin can be deadly for certain birds, such as parakeets, cockatiels, and animals, such as cows and sheep.
Therefore, if you have a bird friend in your house, you will have to keep yourself from sharing the superfood with your little birdie.
Can Cats Eat Avocado?
Knowing that avocados are not poisonous to cats, you must be eager to feed your cat some avocado flesh. Well, the good news is your cat can eat avocado – though only the soft fleshy content of the avocado. Acknowledging the superfood status of avocados, many experts are now suggesting adding avocados into the cat diet.
Can Cats Eat Avocado Meat?
Yes! It is the only part of the avocado that cats should eat. The yellow-green meat of the avocado is loaded with useful proteins that are very beneficial for the health of our feline friends. However, one should not forget that avocado meat contains a toxin—persin—as well.
So you should never give it to your cat in excess. Like other humans foods safe for cats to eat i.e. spinach, watermelon, store-bought mushrooms, and rosemary, etc., cats should only be given avocado sparingly in small amounts as a treat.
Can Kittens Eat Avocado?
Is avocado safe for kittens? while adult cats can safely consume avocado flesh, vets advise keeping your kittens away from avocados. The reason being is their less developed immune systems. Kittens’ stomachs are very sensitive and therefore, even traces of toxic persin can upset their stomachs. You should be extra cautious about discarding avocado skin and pit when there is a small kitten in the house.
Let alone avocado, kittens should not be feeding on anything other than their mother’s milk or kitten milk replacer (KMR) formula if the mother cat is not around. If you are not sure about how much and how frequently you should be feeding your kitten, take a look at the kitten feeding chart.
Can Cats Eat Avocado Oil?
Yes, avocado oil is safe for cats—but only if it is purely derived from the avocado flesh. If whole avocados, including their pit and skin, are used to produce avocado oil, you should not give it to your cat as there could be a higher concentration of toxic persin in the oil. Some healthy alternatives to avocado oil include sunflower oil, canola oil, olive oil, and fish oil.
Is Avocado Good For Cats?
From the above discussion, we learned that cats can eat avocado but can our feline friends reap the benefits of avocado as we, humans, do?
Just like avocado is a healthy and nutritious treat for humans, it can also offer numerous nutritional benefits to our feline fellas. Avocado flesh is a good source of healthy fats, amino acids, fibers, and vitamins not only for humans but also for cats. Following are some of the reasons that make avocados the ultimate superfood for cats.
The Protein Content
Including the eight essential amino acids, avocados contain 18 amino acids in total. Avocados are a good source of protein for vegetarians as well as obligate carnivores like cats that require a huge amount of proteins to stay in good health.
The Dietary Fibers
Dietary fibers are very essential for an efficient and smooth bowel movement in felines. The dietary fibers present in avocados help cats with constipation, weight loss and promote better cardiac health in cats.
The Healthy Fats
In addition to fibers and amino acids, avocados also contain monounsaturated fatty acids such as oleic acid, omega-3, and omega-6 fatty acids. These healthy fatty acids not only provide an anti-inflammatory effect but also help cats maintain healthy cholesterol levels.
In addition to the above-mentioned nutritional benefits, avocados also help cats maintain a healthy coat.
Is Avocado Bad For Cats?
While avocado flesh is nutritionally beneficent for cats, other parts such as seeds, peel, leaves, and stems could be deadly for your cat. The reason being is, as mentioned, the higher percentage of persin. In addition to toxin concerns, letting your cat bite on a whole avocado can also be dangerous. This way, your cat is prone to taking big bites that are hard to chew—which can cause her to choke.
Can Cats Have Guacamole?
Eating avocados in the form of guacamole is one of the most common ways of humans consuming avocados. But can cats eat guacamole?
Where raw avocado flesh is healthy for cats, eating guacamole is not. This is because avocadoes mashed into guacamole contain many other ingredients, such as onion, garlic, lemon juice, tomatoes, spices, etc. These ingredients are often toxic to cats and may cause stomach aches and irritation in cats. Therefore, you are advised not to share guac with your cats. You can mash some pieces of plain avocado flesh for your cat instead.
Can Cats Eat the Avocado Pit?
No! You should discard the avocado pit right away. Neither you nor should your cat eat avocado pit. Though the avocado pit only contains a smaller amount of persin, it can cause digestion stress for your feline friend. However, it’s not the content of the avocado pit that makes it dangerous for cats but the gulping of a whole pit. It can cause choking and intestinal blockage.
Can Cats Eat Avocado Peel?
Just like the avocado pit, its skin should also be discarded. In addition to containing a higher percentage of toxic persin, it also poses a choking risk to your fluff ball. The consumption of avocado peel may also cause vomiting, constipation, or diarrhea in your cat. Therefore, you should always peel off avocado before giving it to your cat.
How to Give Avocado to Cats?
From the above discussion, it has become clear that our cats can safely eat avocado if we are a bit careful.
If you are planning on sharing avocado with your feline friend, you should keep the following points in your mind:
- Only share a ripe avocado with your cat.
- Never share the avocado pit or avocado peel with your cat.
- Only give avocado meat, the yellow-green flesh, to your cats.
- Cats are obligate carnivores and they need meaty proteins to survive so never replace the conventional cat food with avocado or any other fruit or vegetable.
- Only give to them in small amounts and that too sparingly.
- Never forget that it contains persin, so if your cat has any medical situation, you should first check it with your vet.
- Never add any seasoning to avocado if you are planning on sharing it with your cat.
To sum up, can cats eat avocado? Yes. Cats can consume avocados—if the conditions above are met.