While it enjoys a practically cult following with humans, avocado is a very controversial food for cats. While some people swear that avocado can be a healthy addition to a cat’s diet, others claim that avocado is toxic. There’s a lot of conflicting information out there, especially on the internet, so we want to find out the truth: can cats eat avocado?
The truth is the avocado is likely fine to feed to your cat, as long as you do so in very small quantities.
In this article, we’ll cover the following:
Avocado is an extremely popular food. Other than being used as the main ingredient in guacamole, avocado is eaten in all sorts of ways.
There are even entire cookbooks dedicated to cooking with avocado!
Despite what you may think, avocados are actually a type of fruit, like apples. They grow on trees (which is always surprising, for some reason) and are indigenous to South and Central America.
Avocado has been on the list of “poisonous foods for pets” for a long time, though it really shouldn’t be! In fact, avocado contains plenty of vitamins and healthy oils that may be beneficial to your cat.
Yes and no. The controversy behind avocados for cats can be traced to one substance: persin. Long considered toxic for cats, persin is present in small amounts in the fruit of the avocado tree (which is the part we eat!). The truth is that persin is really much more toxic to other animals, such as birds, rabbits, goats, and cows.
This is probably why rumors began about persin being poisonous for cats, too! But the truth is that avocados contain only trace elements of persin and cats would need to be ingested in extraordinary quantities to really be harmed by it.
However, small amounts of persin can cause gastrointestinal distress in cats, so you have to weigh that risk when deciding whether or not to feed avocado to your cat.
In very small quantities, the benefits of feeding your cat avocado may outweigh the risks.
This Persian cat is going to town on an avocado!
In fact, there are special foods and supplements for cats that contain avocado oil. The most well-known brand is probably Avoderm Cat Food, which also happens to be a very high-quality cat food that contains avocado and leaves out fillers such as corn, wheat, and soy.
The oil of an avocado does not contain persin, which is only on the leaves, bark, skin, and pit of the avocado.
In general, it’s best to avoid giving your kitten any type of human food. Kittens are more delicate and require optimal nutrition in order to grow up to be healthy adult cats.
There is no real reason to give your kitten avocado because they should be getting all of their nutrition from their kitten food. It’s best to feed kittens a high-quality kitten food, preferably one without lots of fillers such as corn and soy and one that lists meat as the primary ingredient, such as Blue Wilderness Grain Free Kitten Food.
If you really want your kitten to get the benefit of avocado, you can choose to feed them AvoDerm Kitten food, which contains many of the nutrients of avocado without the potentially harmful chemical, persin.
Avocados contain many vitamins that are healthy for cats, such as vitamin B, vitamin K, and potassium. Most importantly, the omega oil in avocados, along with the antioxidant nutrients, are very healthy for cats.
But before you go and give your cat some avocado, here are a few things to keep in mind:
Clara the cat is enjoying the leftovers after her owner scooped out the avocado fruit- notice that she isn’t eating the skin.
For cats, the healthiest part of the avocado is the omega oils. If you are considering giving them avocado for this reason but are worried about potential toxicity, there are alternatives to consider.
You can give your cat omega oil supplements, such as Kronch Salmon Oil, which is specially made for pets. This oil derives from salmon but has many of the same benefits as avocado oil.
These kinds of supplements are also available in pill form.
Rather than giving them the actual fruit, you can also opt for a cat food that contains avocado, such as Avoderm Cat Food.
In short, yes they can, as avocado is unlikely to be toxic in small quantities, and the health benefits can outweigh the risks.
However, you should use common sense when offering your cat a little bit of avocado. Skip the pit and skin, only offer them tiny pieces at a time, don’t give them guacamole, and watch them carefully to make sure it doesn’t make them sick.
If you’re still not sold on giving your cat avocado, you can try a cat food that contains avocado, such as Avoderm Cat Food.
Does your cat love avocado? How do you healthily incorporate it into their diet? Have you tried any avocado-based cat foods? We want to hear about it in the comments- let us know!
After moving to New York City from Rome, Italy, I began working in the nonprofit world. Despite my day job, my passion has always been animals, especially dogs and cats, and writing. What better way to combine the two? I’ve been a pet owner for 15 years, and my menagerie includes dogs, cats, hamsters and the occasional hermit crab. My beloved cat, Mozart, who I found as a newborn kitten, sparked my love for felines and is now nearly 15 years old. I am an enthusiastic volunteer at the local ASPCA, where I enjoy spending time with the cats and cleaning up after the dogs. I’ve been writing about pet ownership and care for the past five years.