Can cats eat avocado?
Without a doubt, the avocado is among the foods that have gained the most popularity in recent times. Its high monounsaturated fat content and its antioxidant properties have made it one of the star ingredients of healthy diets. But what about our companion animals? It is true that can cats eat avocado or not?
If you want to find out, don’t miss the following AnimalWised article, in which we will explain everything you need to know about avocado in the diet of cats.
Is avocado good for cats?
Despite the fact that avocado is a healthy and safe food for people, there are several animal species in which avocado consumption can be harmful, such as cats, dogs, horses, goats, sheep, rodents and some birds.
Specifically, the avocado It is considered a food not suitable for cats due to two causes:
- On the one hand, it is a food with a high fat contentTherefore, it can favor the appearance of being overweight and other diseases associated with it (such as hepatic lipidosis, pancreatitis, diabetes, etc.)
- On the other hand, because avocado contains a substance that is toxic to the cat’s body, the persinawhich we will discuss in more depth in the next section.
Why is avocado toxic to cats?
Avocado is considered a toxic food for cats because it contains a toxic substance known as persin. Persin is an antifungal substance, present both in the leaves and in the fruit, seed and rind, which the avocado plant produces naturally to protect itself against fungal growth. Although this substance is harmless to people, it can cause poisoning in our pets.
The truth is that the published information about the severity of avocado poisoning in cats is very varied. there are sources (1) who affirm that cats are rarely affected by this poisoning. However, in parallel there are sources (2) that describe serious pictures of avocado poisoning. Therefore, given the risk that the consumption of this food may pose, it is preferable to keep it out of the reach of our kittens. Also, remember that not only does the avocado pulp contain persin, but it is also present in the leaves, the seed, and the rind, so you should prevent your cat from having access to any part of the plant and the fruit.
At this point, it is necessary to mention that, although studies have been carried out that have defined the toxic dose of avocado in some animals (such as mice and goats), currently there are no data on the dose of avocado that is toxic to cats. Carrying out studies in this regard would allow a more in-depth understanding of this intoxication picture in cats, its severity and pathogenesis.
What happens if my cat eats avocado?
Persin present in avocado is capable of producing toxicity at two levels:
- at heart level: In cats intoxicated with avocado, a pericardial effusion (fluid accumulation around the heart) occurs, with congestion and respiratory distress.
- At the digestive level: can cause an inflammatory process in the stomach and intestine, leading to clinical signs such as vomiting and diarrhoea.
Apparently many of the pictures of avocado poisoning result mild or moderate. However, there are also reports of severe poisoning in this species. Therefore, if you suspect that your cat has consumed avocado, you should be alert and aware of the potential risk that consumption of this food may entail.
As we have mentioned in previous sections, all parts of the avocado are toxic to cats, since they all contain persin. So what if my cat licks an avocado? In this case, it is likely that the amount of poison your cat has ingested is not enough to cause a poisoning picture itself. However, it is important that you constantly monitor their state of health in the following hours, and in the event that signs of intoxication such as those mentioned appear, go to a veterinary center as soon as possible.
My cat has eaten avocado, what do I do?
Knowing the potential risk that this food poses to cats, you are probably wondering what to do if your cat accidentally eats avocado. Well, in case you suspect or confirm that your cat has eaten an avocado or some other part of the plant, It is best to go to your vet trusted as soon as possible. It is true that many of the avocado poisoning in cats present with mild signs, but given the possibility of severe poisoning symptoms, it is best to go to a veterinary center to assess the health status of your cat.
In the event that signs of intoxication are detected, it will be necessary institute a treatment to avoid the toxic effects of persin. Specifically, digestive decontamination will be carried out using different methods depending on the time that has elapsed since the ingestion of the fruit (induction of vomiting, gastric lavage or administration of products that prevent the absorption of the poison, such as activated charcoal).
Other foods that cats cannot eat
As we have explained throughout the article, the avocado plant is toxic to cats. However, avocado is not the only food that can be harmful to these animals, but there is a long list of foods that are harmful to them. Here are the most important ones:
- Onion, garlic and leek: contain thiosulfate, a compound capable of destroying red blood cells and causing anemia.
- grapes and raisins: in large quantities, they can cause kidney problems and severe diarrhea.
- citrus: Like oranges or grapefruit, they cause diarrhea and stomach pain.
- Green tomatoes: green tomatoes contain tomatine, a substance toxic to cats. However, as the tomato matures, the concentrations of this toxin decrease.
- Milk: Adult cats often develop intolerance to lactose, so they should not consume milk. For their part, lactating kittens should only consume milk formulated for cats, since milk from other species (such as cow’s milk) can cause severe diarrhea.
- sausages: its high salt content can cause harmful effects on the kidneys.
- Sweet foods: In addition to cats not being able to detect sweet taste, sugar consumption can lead to hyperglycemia and liver failure.
- Raw fish or meat: may contain pathogenic or parasitic microorganisms responsible for various infectious or parasitic diseases. To avoid risks, these foods must always be provided cooked, or failing that, prior to freezing.
- chocolate and coffee: contains theobromine, a substance capable of causing vomiting, diarrhea and gastric ulcers.
- Alcohol: Although it is more than obvious, it should be remembered that alcohol can cause a picture of alcohol poisoning, which can end with the death of the animal.
In this video we talk more in depth about the vegetables and fruits that you should not give your cat:
If you want to read more articles similar to Can cats eat avocado?we recommend that you enter our Home Diets section.
- Pet Poison Helpline. avocado. Available at: https://www.petpoisonhelpline.com/poison/avocado/
- American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals. Toxic and Non Toxic Plant List.
- Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food. Avocado, Persea americana. Available in: