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22.02.2022

Can cats eat avocado? Untamed knows the answer!

Should avocado be a part of your cat’s diet, or does it belong on the forbidden food list?

Many cat parents enjoy avocado on toast, in salads, or as the key ingredient in guacamole, but can cats eat avocado, too?

The answer isn’t straightforward, and it depends on several factors, such as:

  • Which parts of the green fruit you intend to give your cat
  • Whether you’re serving avocado combined with other ingredients 
  • How you portion the fruit

We will answer your avocado-related questions, explain what the best food for cats is, and how much they should eat.

Cats and avocados—what happens when cats eat different parts of the fruit?

To understand whether cats can eat avocados, we need to look at each part of the fruit separately. The four parts of avocado are:

  1. Flesh
  2. Pit
  3. Skin
  4. Leaves

Can cats eat avocado flesh?

Veterinarians can’t seem to agree whether cats can have avocado flesh because it contains an oil-soluble compound—persin—which could be poisonous if consumed in large quantities. Persin is also known to cause pancreatitis (the inflammation of the pancreas) in cats.

Negative effects of persin aside, avocado flesh is high in calories and fat. Even if your kitty was immune to the negative effects of persin, they could rapidly gain weight and experience health complications associated with obesity, such as diabetes.

Suppose your cat loves avocado, already stole bits from you, didn’t feel sick, and now they’re asking you for more. If you want to give your kitty some avocado flesh, don’t overdo it—keep the portions under one tablespoon and make sure the fruit is unseasoned and finely chopped or mashed.

 

If I can’t eat it, I’ll take a nap with it.

Source: mytoastycat

Are avocado pits safe for cats to eat?

You should keep avocado pits away from your cat because they are a choking hazard. Even if the avocado pit passes through your cat's upper gastrointestinal tract, it could cause stomach upsets, or in the worst case, intestinal blockage.

Can cats eat avocado skin?

Like the pits, avocado skin is a choking hazard and could cause stomach upsets and intestinal blockage.

Can cats eat avocado leaves?

Avocado trees contain higher concentrations of persin than the fruit. If your cat loves to eat plants, you should keep avocado out of their reach.

Would mum notice if I took a bite?

Source: ginjol_and_rafel

Can cats eat guacamole?

If you intend to buy guacamole or make the popular avocado dip by yourself, store it somewhere safe because it’s toxic to cats. The avocado isn’t as harmful as the other ingredients, such as lime, garlic, onions, or tomatoes, depending on your recipe.

Can cats eat avocado oil?

Avocado oil contains less persin than the fruit, but eating a lot of fat isn’t a good idea. Fats from plants hold no nutritional value for cats who are hardwired to eat meat.

Should cats eat avocado at all?

The fact that cats can eat something doesn’t mean they should. Many cat parents claim that cats should eat avocados because they are nutritious. The fruit is rich in protein, fibre, and potassium, but the feline digestive system isn’t designed to absorb nutrients from plants. As obligate carnivores, cats have particular nutritional needs that can only be met with meat and fish, not a vegan diet.

What is this nonsense, human? What are these wrinkled green dumplings you’re surrounding me with?

Source: oreoandsalem

When is avocado completely off the table for cats?

If your cat has diarrhoea or gastrointestinal issues, feeding them avocado could worsen their condition.

Senior cats and felines with chronic diseases typically have more sensitive stomachs, so you shouldn’t give them avocado (not even as a treat).

Felines with a history of gastritis are more prone to experiencing stomach upsets after eating avocados.

If your furry friend has a history of pancreatitis, the green fruit could increase the risk of the inflammation returning.

What should I do if my cat eats avocado?

If your sneaky pet got ahold of your avocado, monitor their behaviour for the next few hours. Should your kitty experience persin toxicosis or gastric obstruction, you will notice the following symptoms:

As soon as you notice any of these symptoms, you have two options:

  1. Call the Animal PoisonLine
  2. Take your cat to the vet

Calling the Animal PoisonLine

Animal PoisonLine is an emergency telephone service that works 24 hours a day, seven days a week, to provide advice to pet parents with potentially poisoned pets. Once you call 01202 50 9000, one of the group’s specialists will ask various questions to determine the following:

  • Whether the struggles your cat is experiencing are related to poisoning or some other health problem
  • What could have poisoned them
  • If they need to visit a vet

If the specialists determine that your cat is experiencing toxicosis, they will instruct you on how to administer first aid and alleviate the symptoms until you take them to the vet.

Visiting a vet

If you suspect your cat ate some of your avocados, the vet will perform a series of tests to determine whether they have persin poisoning or gastric obstruction. Such tests include:

  • Blood sample analysis
  • Urinalysis
  • Faecal or vomit sample analysis
  • Endoscopy
  • Abdominal ultrasound
  • X-ray

If your cat has persin poisoning, the vet will administer treatment to eliminate the toxin and nourish and rehydrate your cat. In case of gastric obstruction, surgery might be necessary to remove the object blocking the intestine.

Can cats eat other fruits?

Fruits aren’t cats’ primary food choice, but they may enjoy it as an occasional snack. Check the following table to find out which fruits cats can eat and which ones are toxic:

Safe fruits

Toxic fruits

  • Apples and pears (peeled, without the pits, stems, or leaves)
  • Apricots (without stems, seeds, or pits)
  • Bananas
  • Blueberries, cranberries, strawberries, and raspberries
  • Cucumbers
  • Kiwis
  • Mangoes
  • Pineapples (without the leaves, thorns, or rind)
  • Grapes and raisins
  • Citrus fruits (such as lemons, limes, and oranges)
  • Cherries (the leaves, skin, seeds, and stems)

Fruits have a high carbohydrate content. Don’t go overboard with fruity snacks because the daily allowed amount of carbs for cats is up to 3%. Exceeding the recommended limits will cause your cat to rapidly gain weight and potentially deal with obesity-related health problems, such as diabetes.

Can cats eat vegetables?

Like fruits, there are some vegetables cats can eat in moderation and those harmful to them. Check the following table for more details:

Vegetables cats can eat

Vegetables cats shouldn’t eat

  • Asparagus
  • Carrots
  • Corn
  • Zucchini
  • Winter squash
  • Pumpkin
  • Lettuce
  • Peas
  • Green beans
  • Bell peppers
  • Broccoli
  • Allium vegetables (garlic, onions, chives, shallots, etc.)
  • Spinach
  • Rhubarb
  • Green tomatoes
  • Eggplants
  • Beets
  • Kale
  • Radishes
  • Turnips

Other foods cats shouldn’t eat

Fruits and veggies aren’t the only food categories that can have an unfavourable effect on your cat. 

Contrary to popular belief, raw food shouldn’t be on your cat’s menu. Avoid the following:

  • Raw bones—Raw or cooked, you should never allow your cat to eat bones because they’re a choking hazard and can cause oral and internal injuries
  • Raw meat—Cooking eliminates any harmful microorganisms that might be present in meat. Feeding cats raw chicken, pork, beef, or any other meat makes them more susceptible to contamination with parasites, bacteria, and viruses
  • Raw eggs—Uncooked eggs could also carry harmful microorganisms. If you want to give your cat an egg as a treat, it must be cooked

    Milk and dairy products (such as cheese) can also cause trouble—many felines are either intolerant to milk sugar (lactose), or in rare cases, allergic to milk protein (casein). This means that giving milk to your cat could result in stomach aches and loose stools. Yoghurt is less likely to cause an adverse reaction in your cat if given in moderation.

    What makes a perfect feline diet?

    Like many other species, cats need the following nutrients to thrive:

    1. Proteins
    2. Fats
    3. Vitamins and minerals

    Since they are carnivores, they can only get those nutrients from meat and fish.

    Why do cats need proteins?

    Proteins are chains of amino acids which participate in all metabolic processes in your cat’s body. Felines need 22 different amino acids to stay healthy, some of which they can even synthesise. The amino acids cats can’t synthesise are called essential amino acids. There are 11 of them, and cats can’t get them from avocado or any other plant. For cats, the only source of these amino acids is meat. The most important of the essential amino acids is taurine because it’s vital for good vision, digestion, heart muscle function, pregnancy and foetal development, and a healthy immune system. An ideal diet for a cat consists of more than 50% protein.

    Clear signs that your cat is getting enough protein in their diet are:

    • Glowy eyes
    • Shiny coat
    • Lean figure
    • Visible muscle tone
    • Healthy skin (no itching, flaking, or redness)
    • Strong bones, teeth, and claws

    The significance of animal fats

    Fats build the membranes of all of your cat’s body cells and help transport nutrients where they’re needed. A healthy amount of fat in a balanced feline diet is up to 20% of a cat’s daily food intake.

    Vitamins and minerals for cats

    Vitamins and minerals enable enzymes to induce chemical reactions in the body. They’re only needed in trace amounts, making them easy to get from quality food. The lack of those trace amounts could cause a condition called vitamin deficiency, which is characterised by the following symptoms:

    Vitamins and minerals are naturally present in muscle meat. Livers also contain an abundance of micronutrients but need to be consumed in moderation because the liver is so rich in vitamin A that large portions could cause hypervitaminosis.

    Some cat parents get vitamin and mineral supplements to ensure their feline gets all of them in sufficient amounts, but a complete and balanced diet eliminates the need for supplementation.

    How much do cats eat?

    An average 3–4 kilo cat needs 120–180 calories per day to fulfil their nutritional needs. Your furry friend’s caloric needs are different during kittenhood, mating seasons, and pregnancy. Outdoor cats also eat slightly more than indoor cats.

    What type of food should cats eat?

    There have never been more cat food products to choose from, so how to choose the right one?

    You have three main types of cat food:

    1. Dry food—Many cats prefer cat biscuits because of the crunchy texture and strong flavour. If you’re going with dry food, keep in mind it’s low in moisture and often full of carbs
    2. Semi-moist food—Most products from this category are filled with unnecessary sugar and artificial colouring and flavouring
    3. Wet food—Some veterinarians say that wet food best resembles the natural feline diet because of the texture and moisture content (typically above 70%), which is why you will rarely ever see a cat reject it

    Veterinarians recommend giving your cat canned cat food in gravy or jelly at least once a day to prevent dehydration. If you’re looking to incorporate high-quality wet food in your cat’s diet, try Untamed.

    Why Untamed?

    Untamed recipes are vet-formulated to provide sufficient amounts of nutrients cats need to stay happy and healthy. Every tin of Untamed cat food contains sustainably-farmed human-grade ingredients. Depending on your cat’s personal preference, you can treat them to:

    • Chicken. turkey, and duck breast
    • Fresh tuna, salmon, and mackerel fillets

    We also use bits of ham and shrimp as natural flavour enhancers.

    Most cats who have tried Untamed enjoy dishes with mixed ingredients, but we also have options for more sensitive felines. Chocka Chicken and Tuck-In Tuna are single-source protein recipes less likely to cause stomach upsets. 

    If your kitty is on a hypoallergenic diet, you can consult your vet about including Untamed in their daily feeding regime.

    Thanks to the high quality of the ingredients, every tin of Untamed contains double the protein compared to the industry average. What does this mean for your furry friend?

    The following table contains feedback we got from cat parents who let their cats try Untamed for a few months:

    Timeline

    Observed effects

    Week one

    Easier digestion and no stomach aches

    Month two

    More energy

    Month four

    Shiny coat and fewer hairballs

    For life

    Natural weight control, improved immune response, and many other long-term health benefits

    Untamed cat food is specially designed to be suitable for all cats regardless of their:

    Your kitty can enjoy our delicacies even if they’re pregnant or sterilised.

    I wonder what mum came up with now.

    Image (c) Untamed

    How to order Untamed delicacies

    If you decide to let your cat try Untamed, here’s how to get a tailor-made meal plan and order your taster pack:

    1. Visit the TRY NOW page
    2. Complete the questionnaire
    3. Review the meal plan and confirm your order

    Your first batch will be delivered in one business day, thanks to our free, carbon-neutral shipping service. Our packaging is environmentally-friendly, too! The tins and boxes we use to package our products are completely recyclable.

    If your kitty approves of the trial cat food pack, we can replenish your supplies around the same time every month. You’re in charge of your monthly cat food subscription. In case you change your mind, you can modify, postpone, pause, or cancel a scheduled delivery at any moment.

    Mum, can I try? You said I could after we get our pictures taken!

    Image (c) Untamed

    Snack alternatives

    Does your kitty enjoy the soft and creamy texture of avocado, but you don’t want them to experience the adverse effects of the fruit? You can make homemade treats that imitate the texture of avocado puree but feature more nutritious and better-tasting ingredients by:

    On top of being nutritious and delicious, these snacks will also help your furry friend stay hydrated.

    Spice up your cat’s menu by adding the following to their meals occasionally:

    • Cold cuts, such as ham or bacon (but occasionally and in the tiniest amounts) 
    • Prawns
    • Sardines

    No-no snacks for cats

    Due to their curious nature, cats would try anything their human parents eat, and snacks are no exception. That doesn’t mean you should allow your kitty to eat popcorn or crisps because these snacks contain way too much salt and fat and could even be a choking hazard.

    Some of the human snacks cats like but are bad for them include:

    • Nuts—The oils naturally present in nuts cause gastrointestinal problems in cats, so you should avoid giving them any. Peanut butter is even worse than the raw nut because it contains more fat, added sugars, and sodium in levels that are harmful to cats
    • CoconutsCoconut flesh is high in fat and seems to cause stomach upsets in cats, like nuts
    • BreadBread might not be toxic but is full of carbohydrates. Toasted or not, bread could lead to significant weight gain in cats and shouldn’t be given to them. Grains are mostly considered empty calories and a common allergen for cats. Other than the dietary fibre they provide, cats get no nourishment from grains

    Check out our other guides to what cats can or cannot eat:

    Sausage

    Ice cream

    Moths

    Frogs

    Peppermint oil

    Cake

    Beans

    Mayo

    Baby food

    Broccoli

    Almond milk

    Sugar

    Cucumber

    Sweet potato

    Honey

    Peanuts

    Porridge

    Coconut

    Raw chicken

    Eggs

    Bananas

    Nuts

    Blueberries

    Crisps

    Rice

    Peanut butter

    Pasta

    Bones

    Garlic

    Potatoes

    Carrots

    Vegetables

    Raspberries

    Pineapple

    Onions

    Oranges

    Chicken

    Pork

    Raw meat

    Apples

    Soy milk

    Mushrooms

    Pumpkin

    Slugs

    Turkey

    Mango

    Birds

    Peas

    Chocolate

    Cheese

    Bacon

    Grapes

    Bread

    Lactose-free milk

    Adult cat food

    Sweetcorn

    Liver

    Tomatoes

    Strawberries

    Catnip

    Ham

    Popcorn

    Olive oil