Just because a human can eat a certain food, it does not necessarily mean that the same food is safe for other animals to eat. There are huge differences between the nutritional needs of each species, and the biological makeup of animals means that some ingredients are safe for one species but not for others. If you are a cat owner, it is essential that you check whether it is safe to feed your cat any food that is not specifically created for cats. One food that you may enjoy and consider feeding to your cat is avocados. So, is avocado a food that is safe to feed to your cat?
What is Avocado?
Avocado is a fruit that is produced from a tree of the same name. They are similar in size to a pear and have a hard, rippled green skin. The flesh of the avocado is creamy in color and smooth in texture. It has a creamy, savory taste, so it is generally used as a savory ingredient rather than a sweet ingredient like other fruits. Avocados have a large green pit in the center that humans discard as they simply eat the flesh.
Avocados have become an increasingly popular ingredient to use in cooking. Mexico is the primary exporter of this fruit, and 1.73 billion pounds of avocados are exported from Mexico to the United States each year. Not only do humans love them, but they are also a healthy option. They are low in sugar, high in monounsaturated fats, and contain 20 vitamins and minerals.
Are Avocados Toxic for Cats?
According to Catster, avocados do not contain anything toxic to cats. Therefore, they are perfectly safe for your cat to eat and you should not worry if they nibble a little avocado off your sandwich or lick your guacamole. Eating avocados will have no ill-effects on your cat at all. However, this fruit is not safe for all animals, and it is particularly dangerous for birds.
Are Avocados Good for Cats?
So, now that you know that avocados are not dangerous for cats, you might wonder if they are actually a good addition to their diet. According to animal experts, cats can enjoy the same nutritional benefits from eating avocados as humans enjoy. They are good for them because they are rich in healthy fats, they contain amino acids, and they have high levels of vitamins E and B6. Each of these contributes to your cat eating a healthy and balanced diet. The nutritional benefits of this fruit can support skin and hair health in cats. Therefore, you should consider feeding your cat a little avocado occasionally.
What About the Pit?
Humans generally discard the pit and, although they are not toxic for cats, you should not give them to your pet to eat. They are very hard and your cat would struggle to bite into an avocado pit. According to Avoderm Natural, they pose a potential choking hazard to both cats and dogs. If you have a larger cat and it did manage to swallow a whole or partial avocado pit, this would not get digested easily. Therefore, it could cause an intestinal blockage which is very serious.
Can Cats Eat Avocado Skin?
The skin of an avocado is quite hard, so humans generally throw this part of the fruit away. It is also advised that cats do not eat this part of the fruit. Veterinarians report that cats who eat avocado skin can experience an upset tummy.
What About Guacamole?
Avocado is the main ingredient in guacamole, which is a popular Mexican dip. As avocados are safe for cats to eat, you may also assume that it is safe to give them guacamole. However, it is recommended by experts that you do not feed this popular dip to your cat. While the avocado that guacamole contains will do your cat no harm, it is the other ingredients that are the issue. Guacamole contains ingredients such as garlic, onion, and spices. This can irritate your cat’s digestive system and make them poorly.
Do Cats Like Avocado?
Just like humans, what cats like to eat is a matter of personal preference. Therefore, some cats will like a snack of avocados, while other cats will turn up their nose if they are offered this fruit. It will do no harm to test whether your cat likes avocado or not.
How to Feed Avocado to Cats
If you have tried to feed your cat a little avocado and they like it, then it is easy to incorporate this fruit into their diet. The best way to do this is to cut a slice of avocado and then cut it into small pieces. You can then mix the small pieces of avocado flesh in with your cat’s regular food. You can also offer them small pieces of avocado on their own as a treat. When offering any new food to your cat, you should only give them a small amount occasionally to make sure they are not intolerant to the food.
Can All Cats Eat Avocado Flesh?
Feeding cats avocado does come with a word of caution as it is not suitable for all cats. If your cat has a history of pancreatitis or gastritis, then you should avoid giving them avocado flesh. This is because this fruit is high in fat. Cats with a history of these medical conditions may suffer serious stomach upsets when giving this food, and it can increase the risk of pancreatic inflammation occurring.
Overall, avocado flesh is a safe and healthy food to give to your cat and there are some nutritional benefits to including this in their diet. However, you should not give them the skin or the pit, and cat’s with a history of pancreatic or gastric problems should avoid eating this fruit because of its high-fat content.