Avocado is one of America’s most favourite fruit nowadays. We are now experiencing what people call the “Avocado Boom”. It is so mainstream, you would find it everywhere in the web. Food blogs and Instagram is just full of photos and video recipes.
The green, pear-shaped, bumpy skinned fruit is getting a lot of attention based on the number of views and comments under every single content about it. Apparently, humans love a good ‘ole guacamole.
Oftentimes, we get curious whether our cat would enjoy our favorites too or not. So, if you notice your cat being a little meowy while you’re eating your fresh avocado toast, you might think that he might be asking you for some. But you hesitate there for a second.
You love Tumbles to the point that you unconsciously spoil him so it is not like you do not want to share. It’s just that you do not know if avocado is good for them.
Well don’t you worry my fellow cat lover. Today we’re going to answer the question, “Can cats eat avocado?”
Cats and Avocado
I personally am a big fan of avocado. I mean, who isn’t? Everyone’s going loco over the savoury goodness that is avocado. The question is, are cats part of the avocado craze?
Before answering that question, let us first take a sneak peak on avocado’s nutritional content. Turns out, avocado is jam-packed of healthy goodness! It contains pantothenic acid, fiber, vitamin K, copper, folate, vitamin B6, vitamin E, and vitamin C. It also contains more potassium than a banana.
Can you believe that? This information makes me want to drop by the nearest store real quick and grab some avocados! Then again, these nutrients may be more beneficial to humans than they are to cats.
But wait. It seems like there has been a lot of talk behind the avocado’s back. So before anything gets blown out of proportion, let me just grab the opportunity to clear this out. Some of you may have heard of this, others may have not, but, rumor (and actual scientific study) has it that avocados are poisonous to cats. This is because they contain “persin” which is a toxin harmful to certain animal species.
Persin is found in the avocado fruit and leaves. Recently, it has been found out that this same substance can help kill cancer cells which is very cool but researchers warned cat-parents of its harmful effects to our cat-babies.
Now don’t go throwing all your fresh avocados in the trash! This may be just one big misunderstanding. I hope you take my word when I say that avocado poisoning should be the least of our worries as cat-persons.
If anything, birds and animals like cattles and horses should be the ones to pass on the guacamole. Kitties are not the kind of animals to be significantly affected by persin. Let us read more about this.
Can cat eat avocados?
Does this mean it is safe for cats to eat avocados?
The answer is yes but avocado snacks should be administered still with precaution. There have been no reports of avocado poisoning in the cat community. Veterinarians have also been very vocal on their blogs denying the misinformation that avocados are toxic.
The answers to this question remain ambiguous until now, the reason why there exists an active debate on this issue. Still, we should be very wise and careful with the decisions we make pertaining to our cat’s diet. There remains a small probability of toxicity, however, it should be safe for cats to eat avocados provided that we just serve them the fruit without the leaves and pits.
I am not giving you a go signal to let your cats attend an eat-all-you-can avocado buffet. Yes, it is unlikely for cats to get health troubles from eating avocado but there has to be some limit when it comes to their intake. Always observe a balanced diet. This means we should only feed them the amount we think they can handle. This requires some time for research and a lot of common sense.
But let’s skip to the good part.
Avocados have earned its superfood status. Not only because it is famous in social media and not solely because it tastes really good. As I have mentioned before, avocados or Persea americana as what scientists would call it, are very, very nutritious. The nutrients it contains are not only for the benefit of humans but can also serve a great use for cats.
Number one, it contains high quality protein.
Yes, you have read it right. Avocados have a lot of protein in them and you know how much cats crave for that stuff. Avocados are composed of eighteen amino acids which is very important to the development of our cats’ muscles and the function of their organs.
It will also provide them with the energy they need throughout the day. We must remember, however, that cats are carnivores. This means that meat should be the main ingredient of their food in a regular basis. Avocado is not meant to substitute their animal-based diet. It is only for supplementary nutrition.
Number two, avocados contain healthy fats.
Of course, there is such thing as “healthy” fats. In fact, this makes a balanced diet for cats. Kitties with low levels of fat may suffer from itchy and dry skin. We do not want that! My pet cat has healthy skin and the shiniest coat. Avocado is our little secret.
Number three, alligator pears (another name for avocado), is rich in omega fatty acids.
These have anti-inflammatory properties which can help your pet get through some tough tummy times.
Number four, avocados or butter fruits as what others would call them, have a lot of anti-oxidants inside the meat.
These flush out the waste in our cat’s system for stronger immunity. Little kitty may have never missed a bath to clean his dusty paws but he should need a gentle detox every now and then to clean his insides. Avocados should do the job!
Let’s learn more – how avocados are harmful to cats
If you ever tried googling avocados and cats in the same search bar at the same time, you would discover the debate surrounding the issue that avocados may be or may not be poisonous to cats. The prominent belief remains that avocados are good for cats.
Although it may not seem like it, judging by its outer appearance and rough texture, avocados really are less of a danger and more of the good. So to those who are still skeptical about the fruit, let us learn more about it and find out whether or not it poses other threats to our cat’s health.
Allergies and Toxicity
As I have mentioned before, avocados should not be so much to be feared of toxicity unless you’re a bird or a horse. Still, we should watch out for the following symptoms.
Avocados may cause our cats to have difficulty in breathing.
This is because there is a possibility that it will trigger fluid accumulation in the lungs and the chest area around the tissues of the heart which will deprive him of the oxygen he needs.
Avocado can also lead to pancreatitis because of its high levels of fat content.
Pancreatitis in cats may be acute or chronic. It can also go from mild to severe. If you notice your cat acting unusual, you should get him to the clinic and have him checked by a professional. If not diagnosed early, your cat may get more complications like diabetes and hepatic lipidosis. Just by the sound of these words, you’d already get the idea that it’s pretty serious.
Eating large quantities of it may also lead to other problems. Cats may experience the following due to overconsumption:
- Stomach ache
- Lack of stool production
- Difficulty breathing
- Difficulty swallowing
- Increased heart rate
Some avocados contain more persin than the others. The Guatemalan avocado’s leaves and pits, for example, must not be fed to cats in large amounts because of the toxins it contains especially when it grows in certain seasons of the year.
Then again, you should not be worried as long as you only feed little to moderate amounts of avocado to your kitty.
While the worry is focused on the toxicity of the substance persin in avocados, we should not ignore the threat that is in front of our very eyes when we look at avocados. Yes, I am talking about the large seed at the center of the fruit.
“Curiosity killed the cat,” that’s how the saying goes. If we are not careful enough, our cats may get a little curious and try to eat the giant seed. We do not want the idiom to turn itself in reality and work literally.
I know you would not deliberately feed your cat with the giant seed. But accidents can happen so we must be very watchful. Swallowing the round seed in its entirety might cause our cats to choke. The seed may serve as a foreign body obstruction that will block the esophagus and air passage of our beloved cats. It may also get stuck in the stomach and intestinal tract. The hard to digest pieces may also cause bowel obstruction.
What to do if my cats ate too much avocados?
Avocado meat and oils are safe for eating. On the other hand, its leaves, stems and pits especially the Guatemalan variety, should not go anywhere near our cat’s whiskers.
As responsible cat-owners, we should always ensure our pet’s safety. Better safe than sorry, that’s what our cat doctor said. So if you notice anything different after your cat has eaten avocados, call your veterinarian or dial the Pet Poison Helpline.
You may also call the Poison Control Center’s emergency hotline. These hotlines are available to assist you 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
Bottom line: Cats and avocados
Avocados may be a safe consumption for humans. It is been stated, however, that not all food edible for people are safe for our pet cat’s eating. Cats and humans have different metabolism so it is not safe to assume that we can share everything we snack on with our cats. One example is avocado.
We can eat a lot of avocados and not be constantly worried of its poisonous substance with each and every bite. However, the level of toxicity avocado has on cats is mild. Avocado is only severely dangerous to certain animals like birds and ruminants. This means that cats can eat avocados.
However, as mentioned above, we should give it to them with precaution. It should be prepared well in small to moderate quantities. Remember, we should not be worried by persin alone. The enormous round seed of an avocado is also a concern as it will choke our cats. Remember to take out the seed before giving it to our felines.
On a positive note, avocados are full of health benefits. I, too, was surprised upon knowing all the goodness it contains. It may not look so appealing on the outside but it actually is a superfood, not only for humans but also for cats.
Good to know, right? Avocado will even grow more in demand because cats would surely enjoy them too. But never forget, never, ever overfeed your cat. There can only be so much avocado that could fill in that little tummy of theirs.
I hope you guys got your light bulb moment upon finishing this read. I like helping out my fellow cat-parents in raising healthy and adorable kitties!
If you have any more suggestions or thoughts, feel free to say something on the comment section. If you know someone who might be having confusions about the what’s and what-not’s of cat diet, click share and spread the information.