Can Cats eat Avocado?
Avocados are loaded with vitamins, minerals and what are referred to as “healthy” or “good” fats. This information is true for humans but is it also the same for cats? We will explore whether or not there are any health benefits of avocados for cats as well as any potential dangers in feeding them avocado. Read below on if you should let your cat have a taste of the delicious avocado.
Can cats eat avocado? Is it safe for cats to eat avocado?
There is some debate on whether or not you can safely give your cat avocado as there is a toxin call persin that resides in the skin and pit of the avocado. The flesh of the avocado does not contain this toxin but there could be contamination from the skin or pit when the fruit is cut or just from proximity of being in contact with the skin or the pit.
One side of the debate says the flesh is safe for cats to eat the flesh of the avocado but not the skin or pit as that is where the toxin lies. The other side says it is just not worth it to feed your cat a potentially toxic food. This will be a personal choice as a cat owner to decide if you want to feed your cat avocado. This toxin is not life-threatening but it is potent and will cause digestive and stomach problems for your cat both short-term long-term.
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Should cats eat avocado?
There no medical or health reason that cats should eat avocado. Like all fruits, they were not and are not a typical part of a cat’s daily diet. The nutrients that humans receive from the avocado does not pertain to cats as they get their nutrients the food they are supposed to eat. The skin and the pit are toxic to cats and potentially some of the flesh through contamination. While persin is not life-threatening, it can cause vomiting, diarrhea and pancreatitis through continued exposure.
If your cat is really interested in avocado, only give them very small portions as the high fat content in the avocado can cause gastrointestinal distress. My recommendation is to only let them try it if they seem curious about it and only if they persist with wanting to lick it. Do not go out of your way to have them try something they are not interested in.
Hopefully this post gave you a better understanding of how avocados can affect cats. Rule number one is to only give them avocado if they are very interested in it. Sniffing it once then walking away does not imply interest. Rule number two is if they are interested, only give them a very small portion to taste. If too much is consumed it can cause stomach problems for your cat because of the high fat content. Rule number three is that under no circumstances are they to eat or lick the skin or pit of the avocado. The reason is that is where the toxin persin is located.
The main thing is to use your discretion when having cats try new things. Especially if they could be harmful to your cat. As with anything that is not typically part of a cat’s daily diet. Limit the amount avocado they receive, if any, as it eventually can cause health problems.