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Tasty But Potentially Dangerous: Can Cats Eat Avocado?

Occasionally, it happens to everyone despite the best efforts of even the most vigilant pet parent. Your furry little friend eats something they shouldn't have, and now you're worried about them. In this case, your cat has found your stash of avocado toast or guacamole fixings and had a snack.

So Is Avocado Safe For Cats?

Avocado fruit has a mild toxin in it called persin. It is an organic compound, and in the wild plant, it acts as an anti-fungal, but there is so little of it in the parts of avocado that we eat that it is not considered toxic. A US Library of Medicine study also covers the toxicity of avocado fruits to cats.

Persin exists in greater concentration in the rind and leaves of the avocado fruit. If your cat gets ahold of the avocado skin, the brown part you discard, you probably want to take it away.

Since your cat is a lot smaller than you, even the tiny amount of persin in the avocado flesh might be dangerous and life-threatening for them if they eat enough.

Another good reason to limit the amount of avocado in your cat's diet is the high amount of calories and cholesterol. Avocado contains high-fat content, which means too much avocado may cause cats with sensitive stomachs to have diarrhea, pancreatitis, or other gastrointestinal problems.

Avocado toxicity can also cause an upset stomach, vomiting, and diarrhea, which is never fun for anyone. If your pet shows some signs of discomfort after ingesting avocado, take them to the vet immediately.

You should also be very cautious of the hard avocado pit at the center of the fruit. Avocado pits (seeds) can seem like a ball or toy to your kitty companion, but they may be a choking hazard, and it is big enough to block airways and cause other problems. It may also be dangerous for dogs and other animals in your household.

Can Cats Eat Avocado Oil?

Avocado oil on table

Avocados can be healthy for humans, containing lots of fiber and essential minerals. After all, the avocado toast was touted as a healthy but tasty alternative to more sugary breakfasts.

Avocado oil is often used for similar reasons because it can add a subtle flavor to whatever you're cooking.

Nevertheless, the same concerns about avocados can also be applied to avocado oil. In particular, oils can often contain higher amounts of persin toxin, as the rind or leaves of the plant are sometimes used when they are made.

Avocado oil shouldn't be a regular part of your cat's diet, nor should it be used as a dietary supplement.

Can Cats Eat Guacamole?

While avocado isn't great for cats, seeing your cat take a bite or two isn't any reason to panic. Guacamole, on the other hand, should not be on the menu. We're sure your cat won't mind missing out on the chips and dip anyway.

You can probably find a dozen amazing recipes for avocado with a few moments of searching. However, there are a few key ingredients that you'll find in any good bowl of guac. Top of the list is garlic, usually accompanied by onions. It's a classic pairing that tastes delicious in all sorts of dishes.

However, both these tasty ingredients are very bad for cats. Garlic is harmful, in particular, and is considered to be about five times as toxic as onions. Your pet doesn't need a lot of either to have stomach problems. More can lead to severe problems.

The most concerning part is that symptoms may not show up immediately, instead taking a day or two to appear. To sum up, cats and guacamole don't mix. Really, they should avoid most Mexican food.

Is An Avocado Plant Poisonous To Cats?

The avocado plant can be a lovely houseplant, mainly as it's cheap as can be. You can just suspend the hard pit in some water and wait until it sprouts.

Transfer it into a pot of soil, and it will grow into a tall and leafy tree perfect for a home. Unfortunately, most of the plant, including the bark, leaves, and branches, contain persin in much larger concentrations.

It may seem like you can keep an eye on your cat and prevent them from chewing on a leaf. However, it's essential to understand that small amounts of poison can cause a problem by ingesting small amounts over time.

Even if you miss one leaf occasionally, it will add up to a more significant problem. Avocado trees probably don't make a great combination with pets.

Why Do Cats Like Avocados?

Cat waiting for avocado shake

As anyone who has opened a can of cat food can tell you, cats enjoy strong smells and flavors. Things like fish, liver, and other foods with pungent odors are what bring them running to their food dish.

While avocados may not seem like a powerful odor, they have a rich flavor that cats enjoy. Give a cat one little bite of your avocado toast, and it may keep coming back begging for more.

Animals are also often instinctually drawn to foods that provide the nutrients they need to stay healthy. Avocados meet a lot of those needs. As we've mentioned, avocados can be a great source of fiber.

They also contain iron, amino acids, and vitamins C, K, B6, and E. Avocados even have more potassium than a banana. The oils and fats in avocados are also great for their fur and digestion.

All of those benefits can be gotten from other, safer sources, however.

Is Avocado Bad For Other Pets?

While dogs or cats might be able to handle some amount of avocado, other animals can't even tolerate that much. The amount of persin in the avocado is unnoticeable for humans, a minor concern for pets like cats and dogs, large animals, and potentially deadly for smaller pets.

Birds can have the most severe reaction, seeming weak or agitated. It can also cause them to pull their feathers. Enough avocado is potentially harmful and can cause heart damage.

Rabbits, rats, and other rodents are also susceptible to the toxins in avocados. A sheep or a goat should be kept far from avocados, as they can develop swollen necks or heads.

Horses, while much bigger, are also quite sensitive to persin and shouldn't be given avocado. Perhaps surprisingly, avocado poisoning can be highly toxic for many animals.


Can cats eat avocado leaves?

As mentioned above, avocado leaves contain a toxin called persin, which can be toxic to cats in large doses. The amount of persin varies depending on the type of avocado and where it was grown, so it's best to avoid feeding your cat any part of an avocado plant.

Can cats eat avocado oil?

No. It's probably safest not to feed your cat avocado oil, as it may contain traces of persin from the fruit. Additionally, many store-bought oils may have been processed with solvents like hexane or other chemicals that aren't safe for dogs and cats.

Can cats eat avocado ice cream?

Avocado ice cream usually contains dairy, sugar, and artificial flavors unsuitable for cats. Furthermore, the preservatives used in store-bought ice cream can upset a cat's digestive system. So while it might be tempting to share this treat with your cat companion, it's best to keep them away from any forms of avocados - even in dessert!

Cats are more than just pets. They are essential members of our families. Let the world know how much you care for your furry feline friend with some cat apparel for humans.

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evrim - March 18, 2019

omg, I am so relieved!! Thank you so much!

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