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Can Cats Eat Papaya? Vet-Approved Nutritional Science & Info

Written by: Christian Adams

Last Updated on June 20, 2024 by Catster Editorial Team

Can Cats Eat papaya

Can Cats Eat Papaya? Vet-Approved Nutritional Science & Info


Dr. Luqman Javed Photo


Dr. Luqman Javed

DVM (Veterinarian)

The information is current and up-to-date in accordance with the latest veterinarian research.

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Papaya is not poisonous or toxic for cats. However, that doesn’t mean they should eat as much as they want. Cats do not benefit much from fruits and often don’t derive meaningful nutrition from them. In addition, they can experience issues like diarrhea after eating large portions of papaya.

Broadly speaking, as obligate carnivores, there’s no need to incorporate fruits into your cat’s diet – they rarely offer them any meaningful nutritional benefits. In addition, not all fruits are safe for cats. Avocados for instance are toxic for cats.

Luckily, papayas are safe for cats to eat but are best if avoided. In this article, we’ll examine everything you need to know about cats and papaya.

Cat ball divider 1Can I Give Papaya To My Cat?

If you have a papaya, you can give a piece to your feline without endangering their life. However, you shouldn’t give your cat papaya. This is because papaya doesn’t really offer your cat much in terms of meaningful nutrition, and therefore, isn’t a good food option for them. However, if your cat curiously nibbles on some papaya fruit, they aren’t in immediate danger.

As obligate carnivores, cats don’t derive much meaningful nutrition from fruits. For example, the vitamin A found in fruits is actually beta-carotene, a precursor of the vitamin itself. Many animals and humans can utilize beta-carotene to synthesize vitamin A within their bodies. However, cats do not possess this ability.

Likewise, many fruits contain Vitamin C, an essential nutrient for humans and some animals (such as guinea pigs). Cats, however, can make their own vitamin C, and this vitamin isn’t essential for a healthy cat. Therefore, the perk of vitamin C in fruits isn’t transferable to cats.

Finally, though many fruits have varying amounts of fiber, cats don’t have a strict fiber requirement in their diet – and offering them high amounts of fiber out of the blue can lead to digestive distress.

papaya fruits in a wooden pot and a straw basket and rustic fabric at the background
Image Credit: itaci, Shutterstock

Do Cats Like Fruit?

Fruit is not one of the foods that cats would commonly eat in the wild. Usually, cats eat fresh prey, which is high in protein and fat. Cats would not typically show interest in fruit or go out to find it. However, our pet cats may be interested in whatever we’re eating.

Some cats may be interested in eating papaya, but it is impossible for them to have a sweet tooth as cats cannot taste sweetness. Generally speaking, felines are very poor at moderating their food intake, so the task of controlling what they are eating (and in which amounts) is a task that’s up to us as their caretakers.

3 cat face divider

Is It Okay For Cat Food To Contain Papaya?

While papaya isn’t a common ingredient in cat food, it may appear in some recipes. In those cases, it is usually incorporated to complete the diet in terms of its vitamin and mineral content (based on what’s lacking from the base recipe). You should check the food’s protein and fat content to ensure that carbohydrates like papayas aren’t used in large amounts.

Generally, you shouldn’t be concerned whenever papaya is included. Standard guidelines for choosing a high-quality cat food place meat as the first ingredient followed by other high-quality ingredients. Papaya and other fruits should either be absent from commercial food recipes or in a very minute amount.

Photo Credit: sandid, Pixabay

Can Cats Eat Papaya Seeds?

As a rule, cats should not be given seeds from any fruit. They generally don’t have much nutritional value and can also be a choking hazard. The extract of papaya seeds is used in some medications and formulations, however, this doesn’t mean it’s safe to feed your cat the seed of the fruit because the risks do not justify it.

Your cat has little reason to eat papaya seeds, so we recommend avoiding them whenever possible. If your cat accidentally eats one, there isn’t anything you need to be worried about. However, you should do your best to keep them (and fruit) away from your cat. You also shouldn’t purposefully feed your cat the seeds for obvious reasons.

Can Cats Eat Dried Papaya?

You should avoid feeding your cat dried papaya. It’s incredibly high in sugar, and dried papayas are closer to candy than fruit, so they should be avoided. Your cat would be much better off consuming dried meat.

Instead, feed your feline species-appropriate foods that will benefit them more.

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cat paw dividerConclusion

Papayas are not toxic or poisonous to cats. They can safely eat a few bites. However, papaya isn’t particularly healthy for cats. If anything, they can experience an upset stomach if they overeat papaya.

You shouldn’t make papaya a large part of your cat’s diet. It doesn’t mimic what they would naturally eat in the wild, so it should generally be avoided. However, a few bites won’t hurt your cat, and papaya extract (not the fruit itself) is an ingredient in some cat foods on occasion.

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Featured Photo Credit: 3centista, Pixabay

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