28 April 2023

Can cats eat coconut?

By Killian

Can cats eat coconut?

It is normal for people to share food as a sign of familiarity and affection. When an animal lives in the home, this distribution usually includes it. Thus, caregivers feel happy when feeding their cat, especially if it is asking. It is an understandable habit, but it can be dangerous if the food we choose is not suitable for cats or we give it an excessive amount that becomes harmful.

For this reason, as a prevention, before sharing food with our cat, we should make sure that they cannot cause any harm. Specifically, in this AnimalWised article, we are going to answer the question of whether cats can eat coconut water or oil coconut. Although cats CAN eat coconut, they don’t need it in their diet, so it carries more risk than benefit.

Is coconut good for cats?

First of all, we have to know that cats are carnivorous animals. This means that your diet should be based on protein of animal origin, which can come from meat or fish. It is true that they can consume other foods, such as legumes, oils or fruits, but always in small quantities and as a complement.

Among this group of foods apart from meat we could include coconut. It is not a toxic food for cats, but it will make sense to offer it only if our cat likes it. You don’t need it in your diet and it can be substituted with other healthier ingredients for cats. It should not be forgotten that coconut stands out for its fat and caloric content.

Can cats drink coconut water?

Coconut water is located inside it and is not synonymous with coconut “milk”, since it is obtained by mixing the ripe and crushed pulp with water. As we have explained for the coconut, coconut water is not a food that the cat will need, so it does not need to be part of your diet. In addition, its composition, which includes considerable amounts of potassium, does not make it advisable for cats.

Can cats eat coconut oil?

Coconut oil or fat is obtained by pressing the fresh or dried meat. It can be used in the kitchen, like any other oil, but also in cosmetic products for skin or hair care (it is advisable to have a vet’s prescription for these uses) and it is even recognized as a repellent effect against external and internal parasites. . It can be included in the diet in small doses..

Can cats eat coconut?  - Is coconut good for cats?

Benefits of coconut for cats

In addition to its caloric content, which could make it suitable for cats that need to gain weight or extra energy, coconut stands out for your intake of vitaminssuch as E, which is an antioxidant, and B complex vitamins. On the other hand, includes minerals such as calcium, magnesium, phosphorus and, above all, potassium.

Likewise, it is noteworthy fiber and water content, which help, respectively, good intestinal transit and the achievement of a feeling of satiety and the maintenance of hydration, especially in times of high temperatures. In short, in coconut we can find valuable nutrients for the proper functioning of the cat’s body.

Benefits of coconut water for cats

Although coconut water is a drink appreciated by people and to which multiple benefits are supposed, it is not advisable to give it to cats. As we have mentioned, its high potassium content does not make it recommended for cats. If we want them to drink or cool off, we can use homemade broths or other fruits with a lot of water that are suitable for them.

How to give coconut to a cat?

In view of what we have explained, only if our cat shows interest in the coconut will it make sense for us to offer it. If this is the case, we will give it to you as is, natural, peeling and cutting a small piece of the pulpremoving the inner bark, as if we were giving it a prize.

Presentations such as grated coconut or similar should be avoided, since in some cases they contain additional ingredients that may be harmful, such as sugar.

Regarding coconut water, it is not recommended for cats and coconut oil can be mixed directly with food at the rate of a quarter or half a teaspoon a day, as long as we are talking about adult and healthy cats.

Can cats eat coconut?  - How to give coconut to a cat?

Amount of coconut for a cat

As we have commented, the coconut can be given occasionally as a prize. For example, a small piece of pulp once a weekas long as there is no contraindication for its intake (we will talk about it in the next section).

Coconut oil can also be offered a minimal amount. we have talked about a quarter or half teaspoon a day, but we must follow the instructions of the veterinarian or the manufacturer of the oil. Of course, in the face of any adverse symptoms, these amounts will have to be reviewed or even suppress the coconut intake in the diet.

Contraindications of coconut consumption in cats

Throughout the article we have already been mentioning the not very beneficial aspects of coconut and its derivatives for cats. It is not the most suitable food for specimens with:

  • problems of overweight, obese, or a tendency to gain weight.
  • pancreatic disorders: due to the amount of fat it contains and that this organ is responsible for helping to digest.
  • A diet with reduced fat intake or suffering from any digestive disorder they should not consume coconut.

The potassium content does not make it the ideal food for cats with electrolyte regulation problems due to difficulties in renal excretion. That is, care must be taken, especially with cats suffering from acute or chronic kidney disease. Logically, if the cat has been diagnosed hyperkalemia (high level of potassium in the blood) we should not add more potassium to your diet.

Side effects of coconut in cats

We have already seen that the high fat and caloric content of coconut can promote the accumulation of extra kilos in cats. In addition, fats can trigger digestive disorders, such as diarrhea or decomposition, or even cause pancreatitis, a potentially fatal condition that usually manifests itself as a picture of lethargy, anorexia, abdominal pain, vomiting, and diarrhea. The same happens with its fiber and water content, since they can excessively mobilize the digestive system, achieving a laxative effect.

On the other hand, the appreciable potassium content of coconut could trigger hyperkalemia, the clinical signs of which include generalized muscle weakness and serious cardiac changes, to the point that it is considered a veterinary emergency.

In short, in the face of any suspicion that coconut or its derivatives have not been good for our cat, the recommendation is go to the vet so that, if necessary, establish a treatment with the aim of controlling the symptoms. Of course, we shouldn’t give him coconut more times either.

If you want to read more articles similar to Can cats eat coconut?we recommend that you enter our section on balanced diets.


  • Veterinary Portal. (2003). “Potassium disorders: hypokalemia and hyperkalemia”.