Can Cats Eat Coconut?

Coconut

As a cat owner, you may decide to switch things up by feeding your cat something else besides tuna or beef. Perhaps, you are wondering what else a cat would eat besides meat. While others do not know what else to feed their cat, others have been grappling with this question for a while: can cats eat coconut? Amazingly, cats like coconut. According to Top Tips for Her, cats love the soft and crunchy texture of coconut flakes and the creamy part of the fruit. So, to answer the question, cats can eat coconut. However, they should consume it in moderation. Although coconut is not toxic to cats, too much of it can make them sick. So, if you wish to feed your cat some coconut, it is important to learn in what form to feed them. Also, you will learn about the dangers of giving them too much coconut in this article.

Coconut Meat

Coconut meat refers to the entire white part of the coconut. Although it is sweet, cats lack the necessary receptors to detect sweet flavors. According to Kitty Insight, they surmise that the coconut’s texture is what they enjoy. If you are going to feed your cat some coconut meat, it is best if you shred it. This is because some cats have difficulty chewing the coconut meat whole. As you feed the cat the shredded coconut, remember to give your cat a bit of it. Generally, cats are unable to digest fruits naturally. Since coconut is high in fat, cats do not need a lot of fat in their system. Too much fat means your cat could contract diseases like pancreatitis, fatty liver disease and hepatic lipidosis in the long term. As for short-term symptoms, your cat could get diarrhea.

Coconut Water

Coconut water is obtained from unripe coconuts. It is actually very beneficial to cats and other pets in general. According to Ask My Cats, coconut water contains triglycerides. Triglycerides help ease common digestive problems in pets like stomach pains and bloating. So, if you suspect your cat is bloated, you now know what to give them. As usual, giving the cat too much coconut is a problem. Just like with coconut meat, the cat can suffer from diarrhea. Another problem with coconut water is that it contains potassium, salt and magnesium. All these are components responsible for dehydration. So, if your cat needs to rehydrate, giving it too much coconut water is a bad idea. You will be glad to know how beneficial coconut water is to kittens. For instance, it strengthens their immune systems. Kittens tend to fall sick often, so their immune system will thank you if you feed them coconut water.

Coconut Oil

Of the coconut forms discussed so far, this is the one that cats should take the least. When you first feed them coconut oil, you will need to give them as little as 1/8 teaspoon daily. Once your cat gets used to the oil, you can gradually increase the amount to half a teaspoon daily. However, before you rush to give them coconut oil, first check with your veterinarian. The veterinarian will check your cat’s medical history and advise you whether or not you can give them coconut oil. Coconut oil is beneficial to your cat in so many ways, in moderation. For instance, it helps reduce inflammation in cats. The oil is able to combat inflammation since it contains many anti-inflammatory compounds and naturally occurring antioxidants. Coconut oil also blocks the formation of hairballs. A hairball is a combination of dead hair and digestive juices which form in a cat’s stomach. Eventually, the cat expels hairballs by vomiting. Sometimes when the cat grooms itself, it will accidentally swallow some bits of hair. When the hair gets into the system, hairballs form. Besides preventing the formation of hairballs, coconut oil also serves as a lubricant hence enabling the smooth passage of hairballs out of the cat’s mouth. A significant risk of too much coconut oil is obesity. Once your cat is obese, it is prone to diseases like urinary problems, GI diseases, liver disease and arthritis.

Coconut Milk

To make coconut milk, you need to soak shredded coconut meat in water and then strain it out. This is an ideal substitute for cow milk since cats are lactose intolerant. Like other coconut forms, you will need to give them in small portions. However, the cons of coconut milk far outweigh the pros. Even though it does not contain any lactose, it contains a lot of oils and fats. The only advantage of coconut milk is that it is nontoxic to cats. If you have to feed a pet coconut milk, consider doing it with a dog instead. Dogs are omnivores like humans, so they can consume non-meaty products like coconut without any adverse effects. Cats, on the other hand, are strictly carnivorous. Since cats are carnivorous, their GI tract is unable to break down plant proteins effectively. As a result, their system will have to work very hard to digest the food. When the cat cannot digest the milk, it will expel it through vomiting. Other notable symptoms of drinking coconut milk include loose stools, weight gain, diarrhea and an upset stomach. So, if you have to feed your cat any form of coconut, you can opt instead for the other forms besides coconut milk.

Conclusion

Your cat can eat coconut, but you have to do it in moderation. Before feeding them, ensure you use as little of it as possible. Though cats like it, it is not reason enough to overfeed them the coconut. Provided you feed them moderately, your cat will get some benefits from it. For instance, we saw how it could reduce inflammation and bloating. Coconut is a risky food to give to cats for some people. Remember, not everyone understands their cat’s medical history. Others also do not know the quantity they should feed the cats. Since cats are carnivorous, you can still feed them the usual tuna or beef. Unlike humans, cats do not need to eat other non-meaty foods to have a balanced diet.

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