23 May 2023

Can cats eat chayote?

By Killian

Can cats eat chayote?

Chayote, also known as cayote or air potato, is a vegetable native to tropical and subtropical areas. Its cultivation is practically non-existent in Europe, however, it is part of the traditional gastronomy of many countries in Central America, China and India.

But do you know if cats can eat chayote or not? If you want to find out, join us in the following AnimalWised article, in which we will explain everything you need to know about chayote in the diet of cats.

Is chayote good for cats?

The chayote (Sechium edule) It is a vegetable of the Cucurbitaceae family, whose cultivation originated in the highlands of Mexico and Guatemala. It is a vegetable that people have traditionally consumed in the form of stews, stews, broths and also fried. In addition, the whole plant has been used as livestock feed, especially rabbits and cattle.

But what about cats? Is it true that they can consume chayote? Indeed, can cats eat chayote since it does not contain any substance that is toxic to your body and, in addition, it can provide a series of nutritional benefits. However, although it is a suitable food for cats, a series of considerations must be taken into account when providing it to avoid unwanted effects on the health of these animals. Throughout the article, we explain how chayote should be offered to cats so that its contribution is always healthy and safe for them.

Benefits of chayote for cats

Including chayote in the diet of cats can provide various nutritional benefits. Below, we mention the most relevant:

  • It is a relatively low-calorie vegetable, since it provides between 20 and 30 kcal per 100 g of product. This makes it possible to include chayote in the diet of cats without implying a significant increase in the energy value of their ration, which can be especially recommended in cats with a tendency to be obese or overweight. If this is the case of yours, in this post we will help you: “How to know if my cat is fat?”.
  • Provides various essential amino acids, which are those amino acids that the body is not capable of synthesizing and that must be consumed through the diet. Specifically, chayote provides valine, leucine, isoleucine, phenylalanine, threonine, lysine, arginine, and histidine.
  • It is a source of vitamins and minerals. Regarding vitamins, it is rich in vitamin C, E and B9 (folic acid). As for minerals, it provides potassium, calcium, phosphorus and magnesium.
  • Contains various bioactive substances (including polyphenolic compounds, flavonoids, carotenoids, etc.) that give the fruit antihypertensive, antioxidant, anti-inflammatory and antidiabetic effects, among others.

How to give chayote to my cat?

Now that you know that cats can eat chayote, you may be wondering how to include it in your cat’s diet. If you usually offer your cat a homemade ration, you can include chayote as one more ingredient in the vegetable fraction of its diet, which should not exceed 10%, as we mentioned in the article on What cats eat. Before doing so, it is important that you take into account the following recommendations, to guarantee that your contribution is safe:

  • Immature fruits should be selected. Unlike other vegetables, chayote should be eaten when it is still immature, since during the ripening process the fruit becomes harder and more fibrous.
  • Thorns, shell and seed must be removed. Some varieties of chayote have their shell covered by small, hard and pointed spines, which can cause lesions in the oral and gastrointestinal mucosa of cats. For its part, the shell of the fruit is hard and fibrous, making it difficult for cats to digest. For this reason, it is important to peel the chayote before contributing it, removing both the shell and the thorns. The central seed, although it is edible, must also be removed, since it poses a choking risk for these animals.
  • It is preferable to cook it. Raw, chayote has a firm, crunchy texture that cats don’t usually like. With cooking, the texture becomes softer and more pleasant, thus increasing its acceptance. Therefore, it is advisable to cook the chayote. To do this, boil water in a saucepan and cook the chayote for about 30 minutes (cooking time may vary depending on the variety and size of the piece). After time, the chayote should be removed. If it can be opened in half with your hands without too much effort, it’s done. Once opened, the pulp should be separated from the skin with the help of a spoon.
Can cats eat chayote?  - How to give chayote to my cat?

Quantity of chayote for cats

As we have mentioned, chayote can be included in the vegetable fraction of the cat’s ration, alone or combined with other vegetables. The amount to be contributed It will depend on the nutritional needs of the animal., which will vary depending on age, weight, physiological state and level of activity. Therefore, as you can guess, the exact amount of chayote that can be offered to a cat will be different for each animal.

If you usually feed your kitten a homemade ration, we recommend that you ask for advice from a professional specialist in animal nutrition in order to guarantee that your diet is balanced and meets the nutritional needs of your cat.

If you want to know more foods suitable for these animals, do not miss our article on Recommended fruits and vegetables for cats.

Chayote contraindications for cats

As we have seen, chayote is a vegetable suitable for cats. However, there are certain situations in which its contribution may be contraindicated:

Side effects of chayote for cats

In general, the contribution of chayote does not have to produce any adverse effect on the health of cats. However, its inadequate contribution can cause damage such as:

  • Lesions in the oral or gastrointestinal mucosawhen the thorns of the fruit are not removed.
  • digestive disorders (such as abdominal pain, impaired digestive transit, gastrointestinal ulcers, etc.) when the chayote shell is added.
  • Choking or suffocationwhen the seed is provided.
  • nutritional imbalanceswhen supplied in excessive amounts.

Tell us, does your cat like chayote? If so, remember to feed it correctly to avoid these problems.

If you want to read more articles similar to Can cats eat chayote?we recommend that you enter our Home Diets section.


  • Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food. (2022). Sechium edule. In: Spanish Inventory of Traditional Knowledge Related to Agricultural Biodiversity.