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Can Cats Eat Avocado? Nutrition Facts & FAQ

Can Cats Eat AVOCADO
Last Updated on November 16, 2023 by Catster Editorial Team

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Avocados are a staple in many households, known for their creamy texture and numerous health benefits for humans. However, when it comes to our feline friends, things aren’t as straightforward. Your cat can eat avocado, but the real question is, “Should your cat eat avocado?” In this article, we’ll explore the potential risks and benefits of feeding avocados to cats.

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Are Avocados Toxic to Cats?

If you dropped a piece of avocado on the floor or a naughty cat stole a lick of your avocado toast, there’s no need to worry. While certain parts of the avocado can be harmful to cats, the fruit’s flesh is not considered highly toxic to them.

Avocado contains a natural antifungal called persin, which is highly concentrated in the peel, the pit, the leaves, and the immature fruit pulp. If you cat ingested one small piece of ripe avocado, it shouldn’t be a problem because the persin concentration in mature avocado pulp is usually low. However, you should be aware that variable amounts of persin can be present in avocados of different varieties and genetics, so never purposely feed this fruit to your cat.

It’s essential to understand the potential risks associated with avocados and to take precautions to ensure your cat’s safety. That means keeping the skin and seed away from them and monitoring the amount they eat.

How Much Avocado Can a Cat Eat Before They Get Sick?

avocado friut with spoon
Image Credit: barmalini, Shutterstock

The amount of avocado a cat can eat before experiencing adverse effects varies from one individual to another. Factors such as the cat’s size, weight, overall health, and sensitivity to avocado can influence their reaction to the fruit. Likewise, the avocado variety and maturation state influences their persin concentration.

As a general rule, it’s best to err on the side of caution and keep cats away from the avocado. After all, this is not something that they need or would eat in the wild. In fact, avocado is also toxic to birds and rodents, so not even felines’ natural prey animals ingest this fruit.

Therefore, there is absolutely no need to feed this human food to cats. Nutritionally balanced, high-quality cat food should be the primary focus of your cat’s diet, with treats like avocado being offered only occasionally and in small amounts.

According to the Pet Poison Helpline, cats and dogs are rarely affected by persin, while it can be deadly to birds and large animals. Still, ingesting persin can cause vomiting, diarrhea, and other gastrointestinal issues in felines.

Treatment for Persin Toxicity

If you suspect that your cat has ingested the avocado’s skin, leaves, or bark, contact your veterinarian. Details like when your cat ate it, how much, and any signs that they are showing will guide your vet’s treatment options.

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Avocado Nutrients: What’s Inside for Cats and Better Alternatives

1. Healthy Fats for Felines

While avocados are high in healthy fats, specifically monounsaturated fats, which can be beneficial for human heart health and maintaining a healthy weight, it’s essential to keep in mind that cats require a different balance of nutrients in their diet. Consuming too much fat can lead to obesity and other health issues in cats.

Better option for healthy fats

Cats need the right balance of different kinds of fats in their diet and high quality cat food will contain the correct amounts to keep your pet healthy. Essential fatty acids are ones your cat can’t make themselves and need to have in their diet. For cats this includes the omega 6 fatty acids linoleic and arachidonic acid.  Arachidonic acid is found in animal fat and fish oil.

2. Vitamins and Minerals for Cats

siamese cat eating food from bowl at home
Image Credit: Pixel-Shot, Shutterstock

Avocados are packed with essential vitamins and minerals such as potassium, vitamin E, vitamin K, and folate, which help support various bodily functions in humans. However, cats have different dietary needs, and some of these nutrients may not be as beneficial to them as they are for us.

Better options for vitamins and minerals

To ensure your cat gets the right balance of vitamins and minerals, provide them with high-quality, complete, and balanced commercial cat food. This type of food is specifically formulated to meet their unique nutritional requirements.

3. Fiber for Feline Digestion

Although avocados contain a good amount of dietary fiber, which aids in digestion and helps maintain a healthy weight in humans, cats are obligate carnivores and typically get their necessary nutrients from a meat-based diet. The impact of fiber on cat digestion may vary compared to its effects on humans.

Better options for fiber

If your cat requires additional fiber in their diet, consider adding small amounts of cat-safe vegetables, such as pumpkin or green beans, to their meals. Always consult your veterinarian before making changes to your cat’s diet.


Other Potential Risks of Feeding Cats Avocado and Their Required Treatments

1. High Fat Content

While the healthy fats found in avocados are beneficial for humans, cats require a different balance of nutrients in their diet. Consuming too much fat can lead to gastrointestinal upset and pancreatitis. Over time, it can contribute to obesity and other health issues in cats, such as diabetes.

Better options for fiber

  • Treatment for Health Issues Related to High Fat Content: Pancreatitis requires swift supportive medical therapy from your veterinarian. If your cat experiences health problems due to ongoing excessive fat intake, your veterinarian may recommend a prescription diet, weight management program, or specific medications to address the issue.
  • Better Option for Healthy Fats: Cats need the right balance of different kinds of fats in their diet, and high-quality cat food will contain the correct amounts to keep your pet healthy. Essential fatty acids are ones your cat can’t make themselves and need to have in their diet. For cats, these include omega-6 fatty acids linoleic and arachidonic acid. Arachidonic acid is found in animal fat and fish oil.
cat and vet
Image Credit: Stock-Asso, Shutterstock

2. Choking Hazard

The large pit found in the center of an avocado poses a choking hazard, as does the peel. Ensure that your cat does not have access to the pit or peel if you decide to share avocado with them.

Treatment for Choking Hazards

If your cat begins choking on an avocado pit or any other foreign object, seek emergency veterinary care immediately.


How Can Cats Safely Eat Avocados?

In small amounts and with proper precautions, cats can consume avocado without experiencing harmful effects. However, given the potential risks, it’s essential to monitor your cat closely for any adverse reactions.

How to Safely Serve Avocado to Your Cat

If you’re considering feeding your cat avocado, follow these steps to ensure their safety:

  • Remove the skin and pit.
  • Mash or chop the avocado into small pieces.
  • Offer a small amount to your cat and observe for any negative reactions.
  • If your cat enjoys the avocado and shows no signs of distress, you can continue to offer it as an occasional treat.


Other FAQs About Cat Nutrition and Avocados

Do cats need fruits and vegetables in their diet?

Cats are obligate carnivores, which means they require a primarily meat-based diet. While they can benefit from some plant-based nutrients, it’s not essential to include fruits and vegetables in their diet.

orange cat eating wet food
Image Credit: Pixel-Shot, Shutterstock

Can cats be allergic to avocado?

Yes, any food has the potential to trigger an allergy. However, foods most typically associated with food allergies in cats are beef, chicken and dairy. If your cat shows any signs that you are concerned may be linked to a food allergy, such as itchy skin or gastrointestinal signs, discontinue feeding avocado to your cat and consult your veterinarian.

Can kittens eat avocado?

It’s best to avoid feeding avocado to kittens, as their developing digestive systems may be more sensitive to potential toxins and dietary imbalances.

What should I do if my cat ingests avocado skin or leaves?

If your cat consumes avocado skin or leaves, contact your veterinarian, as these parts of the fruit contain higher amounts of persin, which can be toxic to cats.

nebelung cat in vet clinic
Image Credit: Juice Flair, Shutterstock

Can cats eat guacamole?

No, cats should not eat guacamole. Besides avocado, it often contains ingredients like onions and garlic, which are also toxic to cats.

What other fruits and vegetables should I avoid feeding my cat?

Fruits and vegetables to avoid include onions, garlic, grapes, raisins, and unripe tomatoes, as these can be toxic to cats.

What are some healthy treats for cats?

Healthy treats for cats include freeze-dried meat or fish, cooked lean meats, and small amounts of cooked vegetables like green beans or carrots.

Should I feed my cat a plant-based diet?

Cats are obligate carnivores and require a meat-based diet to thrive. Cats should not be fed a plant-based diet.

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While avocados aren’t considered highly toxic to cats, they do pose potential risks that pet owners should be aware of. We don’t recommend sharing avocado with your feline friend; it is not something that they would eat in the wild nor something that their prey would consume. Remember, your cat’s health is your top priority, so always consult your veterinarian if you’re unsure about introducing new foods into their diet.

See also:

Featured Image Credit: silverstylus, Pixabay

About the Author

Christian Adams
Christian Adams
Christian is the Editor-in-Chief of Excited Cats and one of its original and primary contributors. A lifelong cat lover, now based in South East Asia, Christian and his wife are the proud parents of an 11-year-old son and four rescue cats: Trixie, Chloe, Sparky, and Chopper.

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