A favorite dessert for a lot of people, coconuts are one of the most popular tropical fruits. From adding it to delicious curries to making mouth-watering cocktails, coconut is one ingredient that can enhance the flavor of every dish. But can cats eat coconuts? Let’s find out.
Can Cats Eat Coconuts?
Yes, when fed in its most natural form, coconuts are safe for cats. However, not every by-product of coconut can be called safe for cats. If your cat has a special diet recommended by a vet, it's best to consult the doctor before introducing them to any new ingredient. When it comes to coconuts, a lot of cats are sensitive to them and aren’t able to digest them well. If you do want them to try it out, serve it to them in very little quantity.
Nutritional Value of Coconut for Your Cat
Coconuts are loaded with essential minerals and are a rich source of protein. All of which can benefit your cat’s digestive system and immunity. It can also help with stinky breath and hairballs. But these benefits affect your cat only when they are served in their natural form.
While it is a healthy snacking option, coconut also contains a higher amount of saturated fat which can cause unhealthy weight gain for your cat. Apart from this, it can also bring discomfort, vomiting, diarrhea, and issues in digestion.
Let's look at some parts of coconuts cats can eat and those that are best avoided.
The white flesh inside a coconut that amounts to the most important part of the coconut is the coconut meat. In its purest unadulterated form, it's safe and healthy for cats to snack on. You can either shred them or slice them thin to give it to them as a treat.
Fresh coconut water from tender coconut is extremely healthy and loaded with nutrients for us humans. But it's unfortunately not the same for your furry friends. Coconut water contains high levels of potassium which is unhealthy for cats. They can easily cause hyperkalemia and it's best avoided for cats.
Coconut milk is extracted from coconut meat through soaking and straining. Very rarely does one use coconut milk to drink it, and it is mostly added to a recipe to either thicken the consistency or for the flavor. In that case, coconut milk has very little effect on your cat’s overall health. However, if you opt for store-bought milk, avoid serving it to your cat as it contains a high amount of fat.
Cold-pressed virgin oil is one of the best forms of coconut you can give your cat. It has very little taste on its own making it super easy to add to your cat’s food. Especially if your little friend is a picky eater, there is no way to tell the difference. While you can always serve the coconut oil directly to your cat, it is best to mix it in their wet food. And always remember, moderation is the key.
Uses of Coconut Oil to Benefit Your Cat
Helps prevent dry skin and soothes scabs.
Helps maintain overall fur health.
Can be used to clean their ears.
Helps remove ear wax.
Risks of Feeding Coconuts to Cats
When it comes to introducing your cat to any kind of food, it is always best to first consult your veterinarian. Because cats are obligatory carnivores, they ideally don’t rely on veggies or fruits to get their nutrients, which is why it is best not to replace coconut with any kind of dietary needs.
If your cat has had a history of stomach-related issues, or pancreatitis, they already have a sensitive stomach. This is why it is a bad idea to feed them coconut as they may not be good at digesting it well. Some signs to look out for are diarrhea, vomiting, and stomach discomfort.
If you do want to feed it to your cats for the first time, it's best to start slow. And in small amounts only.
High In Potassium:
Coconut water is extremely potent when it comes to potassium. While potassium is extremely helpful for bodily function, too much of it can be dangerous. Extreme levels of potassium can cause hyperkalemia and ultimately lead to a heart attack.
In many cultures, coconut is an ingredient added to the meal as an alternative to cow’s milk. While a little of its taste won’t harm your cat, it’s best to avoid it altogether. Because cats are generally also lactose intolerant, serving them coconut milk which is high in fat could cause them severe stomach pains. If your cat has trouble digesting food or is undergoing an upset stomach, please visit a vet and seek help.
How Spot Pet Insurance Can Help
Spot’s Accident-Only and Accident and Illness plans can help with the eligible costs of treatment if your cat is experiencing stomach issues after eating too much bell pepper. Spot's cat insurance plans can provide up to 90% cash back on eligible vet bills, so you can choose the best treatment for your pet with less worry about the cost. Get a free quote today!
Although the answer to the question of whether “Can cats eat coconut?” is yes, it is always best to feed them just a little bit of it. In its most natural form, coconuts can be beneficial for your cat’s health, but the key is in moderation. Never offer your cat coconut water as it might be dangerous for their health. Be mindful of what you feed your cat and if they are loving it equally. If you notice your cat vomiting, facing issues with digestion, or with overall discomfort, it is best to consult a vet and get your cat tested for stomach-related issues.