If you’re a cat person, you’re always on the lookout for novel approaches to cat care. You can offer your cat a wide variety of fruits, but only if you know which ones are safe and how to properly prepare them.
Both fresh and dried apricots make for a tasty snack. Can a cat eat an apricot, though?
If you have a cat, you should read this article to find out all about apricots.
Can Cats Eat Apricots?
There are some precautions you should take before feeding apricots to your cat.
Don’t worry about the pit if you want to give your cat an apricot. Take great care to ensure they don’t get their hands on the stems, leaves, or pit.
Like any other treat, apricots should be cut into very small pieces before being given to your cat.
Although apricots may have some positive health effects for cats, they should be given only in the form of a treat and not as a nutritional supplement.
Benefits of Apricots for Cats
Although cats have very specific nutritional requirements, there are some advantages to providing them with moderate amounts of apricots.
Apricots are a good source of beta-carotene and potassium, among other beneficial nutrients. They are high in fiber and antioxidants, which are good for your cat’s digestive system and liver.
Although dried apricots are safe for cats to eat, they may not be interested because of their tougher texture. Dried apricots without any additional ingredients, such as sugar, are safe for cats to try.
Cats benefit greatly from being exposed to novel environments and experiences, including new foods. It’s a wonderful opportunity to grow closer to them.
Just letting your cat sniff the apricot will introduce them to a new scent they haven’t encountered before, even if they don’t want to try it. It may not seem complicated, but it gives your cat a chance to exercise its brain in a new way.
The Flip Side: Risks of Feeding Cats Apricots
If you have a cat, you should know that apricots are toxic to them.
Cats can safely eat the fruit, but should avoid the pit, stems, and leaves of apricots. This is because cyanide is present in every one of them. The sum is negligible, and you shouldn’t put your savings at risk over it.
Your cat may have ingested poisonous apricot leaves, stems, or pits if you notice any of the following symptoms: dilated pupils, difficulty breathing, vomiting, bright red gums, or panting.
Your cat should not come into contact with these pieces because they present a choking hazard.
While apricots have some positive health effects for felines, you shouldn’t add them to your cat’s diet unless absolutely necessary.
Keep an eye out for any behavioral changes if they eat too much sweet fruit; this can cause gastrointestinal distress and illness. It’s important to remember that cats have digestive systems that are optimized for processing high protein diets.
Speaking of sugar, the kind found in apricots can give cats cavities just like it can give people. In addition to limiting your cat’s apricot consumption, cutting it into small pieces will reduce the amount of sugar your cat’s teeth are exposed to while chewing.
Cats with certain health issues, such as diabetes or obesity, should not be given any additional sugar. Cats are not the best candidates for eating fruits as a treat.
If you want to try feeding your cat apricots, start with a very small amount and keep a close eye on it so you can tell right away if it has any adverse reactions.
How to Feed Your Cat Apricots
If you want to feed your cat apricots, you should first clean them thoroughly, getting rid of all of the leaves and stems.
The apricot should then be halved and the pit completely removed. To prevent your cat from eating the leaves, stems, and pit, dispose of them as soon as possible. You shouldn’t give them the whole fruit because they might swallow or chew on the poisonous parts.
Remove the peel and cut the apricots into small pieces. The skin isn’t harmful to your cat in any way, but it may be more challenging for them to chew, so it’s best to remove it.
You can try feeding your cat apricots on the side of their regular food, or you can try mixing them in with their food to see how they react.
You can also try feeding your cat some apricot jam to see if it likes it, though you’ll need to give it even less of the jam than you would of the fruit. Jam has even more sugar than regular fruit. A safer option would be an unsweetened, all-natural apricot jam with no added preservatives.
You shouldn’t feed your cat apricots regularly, and you should control the amount they eat whenever you do. It’s fine on occasion, but only as a rare reward.
Do Cats Like Apricots?
Even though apricots are perfectly safe for cats to eat, that doesn’t mean they actually will.
You may find that apricots are a hit with your cat if you know that they have a more adventurous palate and enjoy trying new and unusual foods.
However, cats are notoriously picky eaters, so it’s possible that many of them won’t even try the apricots.
Even if your cat doesn’t like most treats, there’s a good chance it will enjoy apricots because they seem to have a special appeal to felines. Why not give it a shot?
Can Cats Eat Dried Apricots?
The same precautions should be taken when feeding dried apricots to cats as when feeding them fresh apricots. Don’t give them too much and make sure there aren’t any traces of other plant parts in there.
The only real difference is that dried apricots are much harder for cats to eat, so I doubt many of them would try.
Can Cats Eat the Pits, Leaves, and Stem of Apricots?
Wikipedia and PetPoisonHelpline, two reputable online resources, both confirm that cyanide can be found in apricot tree seeds, leaves, and stems.
This isn’t the first time I’ve mentioned it on the blog, and I doubt it will shock anyone. When I was a kid, my parents taught me not to eat the seeds of most fruits because they often contain harmful chemicals or large stones.
If your cat (or you) have accidentally consumed even a small amount of any of these apricot parts, there is no need to freak out. Let’s face it though, even if it did happen, it’s still highly improbable.
It’s still important to be mindful of this. The pits and any remaining fruit leaves or stalks get thrown away.
What Fruits Can Cats Eat?
Many different kinds of fruit can be enjoyed with your feline companion. Common and healthy fruit choices include:
- Apples (but not the seeds, like apricots).
- Seedless watermelon.
It’s interesting to note that unlike dogs and other pets, cats aren’t attracted to the sweetness of fruits.
Cats are primarily sensory animals, but they have significantly fewer taste buds than humans. Even though it makes perfect sense, their diet consists mainly of prey in the wild.
They don’t have as strong of a sweet tooth, either. Some sources I’ve read claim that cats have no taste for sweetness, while others say they do.
Either way, it’s obvious that sugary treats aren’t what most cats care about. Fats and proteins in foods have a greater allure for them.
Which Fruits Are Bad (Potentially Toxic) To Cats?
Some fruits are not safe for cats to eat. Some are even toxic and can lead to serious health problems, even death.
The following are examples of harmful fruit:
Don’t eat any citrus fruits like oranges, lemons, limes, or grapefruits. Which isn’t too hard, considering most cats despise anything citrus-related.
Citric acid, found in all parts of citrus fruits, can cause symptoms ranging from mild stomach pain to severe debilitation of the digestive and nervous systems.
Small amounts of grapes and raisins, according to the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, can cause kidney failure.
Avocado – The fungicidal toxin found in the skin, pit, and other parts of the avocado plant can be harmful to your cat.
Can Cats Be Allergic To Fruits?
Some cats, like some humans, may have food allergies. All stone fruits, such as apricots, cherries, nectarines, peaches, and plums, share a common allergen.
In humans, the reaction typically manifests as a mild itching in the mouth and an upset stomach. This is probably possible, albeit less frequently, in feline species as well.
Keep an eye on your cat for the next 48 hours if you give it any apricots or if it finds some on its own.
Diarrhea, vomiting, lack of interest in food or water, etc. are all reasons to contact your vet for advice.
This is the rule I follow whenever I introduce a new food to my cats. Which, to be frank, doesn’t happen too often these days. When it comes to my cats, I prefer not to make any changes to their regular diet.
Apricots Might Be Your Cat’s New Favorite Treat
Cats shouldn’t get too many extra treats, but apricots are good for them in moderation.
Giving your cat apricots is a novel experience that could be both fun and beneficial. They could end up loving a ripe, juicy apricot.
Visit our Apricots page to find out more about these tasty treats.