cat next to a bowl of sliced avocados and whole avocados

Can Cats Eat Avocado?

Last Updated on January 31, 2023 by admin

Avocados are a staple in many people’s diets as a very healthy food that can be eaten on it’s own, in salads, or used to make guacamole. Is it good for cats too? Unfortunately avocados contain persin which is toxic to cats and dogs. So you should avoid giving avocados to your cat in any form. Persin is only found in small amounts within the avocado fruit and the level of toxicity to cats and dogs is relatively mild although there are some severe cases reported for dogs. It can still cause problems for your cat. For example, the fatty content of the flesh can cause gastrointestinal upset in your cat.

When giving your cat something new and unusual, exercise caution and do your own research or consult with a vet. As long as you stick to food that is known to be healthy and nutritious for cats from reputable companies you are less likely to expose your cats to unnecessary health risks.


What Is Persin? Why Is It Toxic to Cats and Dogs?

Persin is a fungicidal toxin found in the leaves, fruit, bark and seeds of the avocado plant. It is an oil-soluble toxin that can cause serious health issues and death if ingested by some animals. Birds are the most sensitive to the toxin persin. Ingestion of persin can cause damage to mammary glands, respiratory distress, fluid around the lungs and heart, liver and kidney failure, and sudden death in animals. There is not enough data on what would constitute a lethal dose in cats and dogs or what symptoms would be specific to cats. While dogs and cats are rarely affected by persin, overconsumption can cause digestive issues such as vomiting and diarrhea. Therefore, it is best to not let your pet ingest any part of the fruit.

Persin Poisoning in Animals

Persin poisoning in animals can manifest with several signs. Agitation, aggression, vomiting, salivation/drooling and diarrhea are common symptoms. In addition, mammary glands may become edematous and reddened with watery, curdled milk. Animals with cardiac insufficiency can experience congestion of the lungs and heart. Intoxication is more likely to be seen in livestock ingesting the leaves of the avocado plant, however cats can be affected too if they have consumed large amounts of the fruit or other parts of the plant.

Persin poisoning in animals can present a variety of symptoms based on the animal type and the amount ingested. In dogs, the most common signs are vomiting and diarrhea, while cats may either remain completely well or develop mild gastrointestinal upset. Birds affected by persin poisoning may display inability to perch, difficulty breathing, fluid accumulation around the heart and lungs, as well as liver and kidney damage. Consumption of large amounts of persin can be toxic to any type of animal, so it is best to avoid any exposure to avocados. If a pet does ingest any avocado parts, it is recommended to watch them for 24–48 hours and report any vomiting, diarrhea or other symptoms to a veterinarian.

Can Cats Eat Avocado?

While the flesh of the avocado are not as toxic as other foods like chocolate or garlic, it still does contain small amounts of the toxin persin. The high fat content of avocados can also cause pancreatitis or pancreatic inflammation in cats if given large amounts. It is better to be safe than sorry and not let your cat have any avocado if you want to avoid anything that is harmful to your cat. If your cat eats or ingests any part of the avocado you should pay attention for any signs of poisoning if you notice something wrong.

Are There Benefits to Feeding Avocado to Cats?

Avocado, like many other fruits and vegetables, is a source of healthy fats and vitamins. Avocado contains a range of vitamins and minerals, including vitamin E, A and B6, as well as amino acids, which are essential for a healthy diet in humans. It also contains monounsaturated fatty acids, which can help to keep your cat’s coat and skin healthy.

It’s important to remember that cats are carnivores, so fruits and vegetables shouldn’t make up the bulk of their diets. While avocado toxicity is mild for cats and lower on the spectrum of potential risk, all the benefits provided by avocados can be obtained through a combination of food and supplements that are completely safe for your cat.

Is Avocado Safe for Cats to Eat?

The toxin persin is only present in small amounts within the flesh of the avocado and the toxicity is mild unless consumed in large amounts by your cat. While you could argue that it is relatively safe it is still poisonous to cats. People have the ability to evaluate such risks and decide whether they are willing to take a chance either because they want the potential benefits or like the taste. Cats are at the mercy of their owners. As a pet parent if you want the best for your cat and want to avoid anything that may remotely make your cat sick then avocados and avocado products should be avoided.

What Parts of the Avocado Can a Cat Eat?

Only the avocado flesh should be given in any form to your cat and in small doses because it has the least persin content. The skin, leaves, and pit of the avocado have a higher concentration of persin and are much more toxic. Giving the cat avocado flesh is still not recommended because persin is still a toxin and there are no health benefits from avocados that cannot be obtained from other sources better suited for cats.

Are Cats Able to Consume Guacamole?

The short answer is no, cats should not eat guacamole. In addition to the small amounts of the toxin persin in avocado flesh, guacamole contains many more harmful ingredients. Guacamole is typically made with a combination of ingredients such as garlic, onions, and other spices that are toxic to cats. In addition to the ingredients being toxic, guacamole also has a very high-fat content which can also be dangerous for cats.

Final Words

While cats can eat avocado flesh and it is considered generally safe the small amounts of persin contained is still considered toxic to cats. Persin is mostly concentrated in the leaves and pit of an avocado. Avocados are also high in fat which can cause inflammation in the pancreas. Small amounts of avocado may not be bad for cats but also pose a small risk of toxicity. Specially formulated cat food or cat treats will be much more beneficial that feeding your cat avocado. If you give your cat avocado it is important to know that the health benefits of avocados will also expose your cat to small amounts of a toxin called persin. If you want what is best for your feline friend or kitty avocados should be avoided even if cats can safely eat avocado in small amounts.