Mango is a delicious, nutritious superfood—at least for humans. But what about cats? Maybe your kitty is curious about anything that you eat, or perhaps you just want to add variety to your pet’s diet. Either way, mango is safe for cats to eat in small amounts.
There are health benefits for cats that eat fruits like mangoes, but there are also a few drawbacks. If you are careful to keep your cat’s snacking to a minimum, a bit of mango is generally healthy. Watch out for the pits and peels, though, as these can upset feline stomachs.
Why Would Cats Like Mango?
Humans can get their nutrition from both plant and animal sources, but cats are obligate carnivores—this means they get almost all the nutrients they need from meat. They don’t need many, if any, plant sources to stay healthy. But some cats still like a little plant matter in their diet. Grasses are the most obvious source; many cats will chew on them for various reasons. But some cats also like to snack on fruits like mangoes.
Cats can’t taste sweet, so they don’t get to enjoy the delicate sweetness of a mango like we do. But some cats do like experimenting with various textures, and the smooth flesh of a mango might intrigue them. They might also like the moisture found in mangoes. Finally, some cats are interested in whatever foods their humans like to eat, whether they can taste it or not.
Possible Health Benefits of Mango
Mangoes shouldn’t replace a healthy and balanced cat diet. If they get this, cats won’t need nutrients from other sources. Even if they eat a small amount of mango, they won’t eat enough to benefit from the nutrients that it provides. We will still list the nutrients found in mangoes, but these are more for humans.
The biggest nutrient is vitamin A. It is important for boosting the immune system and helping to keep you active and healthy. Mango also contains vitamin B6, which is important in helping to absorb nutrients from fats and proteins better. This fruit also has a small amount of fiber, which can help with digestion. Finally, mango has a high water content, so it can help with hydration.
Preparing Mango Safely
Moderation is key when feeding a mango to your cat. Feed them mangoes without preservatives or added sugars. Mango has a high sugar content so it’s best to offer only a small amount. Too much can cause health problems, including dental issues, obesity, and diabetes. Some cats with sensitive stomachs might also get tummy troubles from eating the sugar in mangoes.
Another thing to watch out for is mango peels and pits. Cats may struggle to digest the fruit peels, so it’s best to remove them before offering them to your cat. The pits are dangerous because they are a choking hazard and can contain toxins. Always serve your cat mango cut away from the pit.
Does My Cat Need Vitamin C?
Mangoes are often touted as a source of vitamin C in humans, so you might think that it’s important to make sure your cat has enough vitamin C in their diet too. After all, vitamin C is an antioxidant, it helps us fight diseases like scurvy, and a vitamin C deficiency is pretty dangerous in humans.
But cats don’t need vitamin C like we do because they can produce it in their bodies. A small amount of vitamin C isn’t a drawback or a benefit to cats—they generally get small amounts in their diet naturally—but too much can be a problem. If your cat has excess vitamin C, it might build up and cause kidney or bladder stones. That’s another reason to keep mango as an occasional treat with a small serving size.
Overall, mangoes are delicious treats for humans, but most cats won’t be interested and don’t really need them. That being said, they are a safe option for cats in small amounts. If your cat is curious about mangoes, it makes a great occasional treat, but in such small portions, it doesn’t provide much of a health benefit.