Coconuts, a popular summertime fruit in tropical climates, can be found in everything from pies to fruity cocktails.
The coconut, which is actually a fruit, nut, and seed all in one, is harvested from trees and then refined into a wide range of consumable goods.
Its potent and revitalizing scent could attract some nosy kitties. The cat looks like it could use some coconut, though.
Can cats eat coconut?
Is it okay for cats to eat coconut, or should they stay away from it? Cats can safely eat coconut flesh, but only in its purest form and on rare occasions.
Too much coconut can cause diarrhea, so it’s important to only give it to your cat occasionally.
As with any ‘human’ food, it’s best to check with your vet before giving it to your cat; that way, you can be sure it’s safe in light of any existing health conditions.
Is Coconut Safe for Cats?
Offering your cat some plain shredded coconut shavings isn’t the same as sharing a slice of coconut cream pie.
Since added sugars and other ingredients can be harmful to pets, only the most natural, unprocessed form of coconut should ever be given to your cat.
Experts agree that cats who enjoy the taste of coconut can enjoy it on occasion without risk.
If the occasional bout of diarrhea is acceptable to you, then feel free to give your cat a small amount of coconut every now and then.
Nutrition Info Of Coconut
Coconut meat is high in protein and contains many essential minerals that are good for a cat’s immune system, digestion, hairballs, and breath.
Coconut is high in both saturated fats and calories, despite being a healthy snack. Because of this, it’s important to monitor your cat’s food intake closely to prevent excess weight gain, diarrhea, and other health problems.
What you need to know
While coconut is generally safe for cats, there are some products you shouldn’t give your cat.
Only give coconut in its purest form, unsweetened and unadulterated, on rare occasions. Virgin or expeller-pressed coconut oil is preferred.
If your cat has special dietary needs or you have any health concerns, it is best to check with your vet before introducing any new foods.
Some cats, especially those with pancreatic inflammation or sensitive stomachs, may have an adverse reaction to coconut.
If you decide to give your cat coconut, do so cautiously and in small amounts.
Other Good Uses of Coconut Oil To Benefit Your Cat
Coconut oil’s benefits when applied topically are numerous.
- Dry Skin
- Coat Condition In General Your cat will likely lick any oil that you apply from their fur, so be careful.
- A few drops of coconut oil placed in your cat’s ear during routine ear cleaning can relieve itching, loosen ear wax, and kill ear mites.
Dangers of Feeding Cats Coconut
There are exceptions to the rule, of course. Before giving your cat any human food, it’s best to get the OK from your vet; different cats have different nutritional requirements, and your doctor can help you figure out what’s best for your furry friend.
Furthermore, coconut has a high fat content, and the medium chain triglycerides (MCT) found in coconuts is toxic to pets when consumed in high doses.
Hepatic lipidosis is a disease that occurs in cats when the liver stores too much fat. Consuming too much coconut over time can cause a buildup that can lead to this disease. This is a serious and potentially fatal condition.
The high amount of fat in coconut also increases the risk of hyperlipidemia and pancreatitis.
Because of its high caloric content, consuming coconut on a regular basis can lead to weight gain and health problems in felines.
Feeding your cat coconut
You probably already know that there are various forms of coconut that your cat should avoid. If your cat enjoys the flavor of coconut, fresh shredded coconut is the best treat you can give them.
Small amounts of shredded coconut can make a tasty treat for our feline friends, but only if you don’t make a habit of it.
Can we talk about different kinds of coconuts? First, let’s talk about coconut water, which is the fluid inside of unripe, green coconuts.
Hyperkalemia (unhealthy high levels of potassium in the blood) can develop rapidly, so it is imperative that this not be given to cats under any circumstances.
Coconut milk is also not recommended because it is extremely high in fat but does not pose the same health risks to our feline friends.
Coconut oil is a great way to satisfy your cat’s craving for the coconut flavor. We don’t recommend giving it to your cat undiluted, but a few drops can be mixed in with their regular food or some homemade treats.
Due to its high fat content, coconut milk should be consumed in moderation, as should all other coconut-based products.
What About Coconut Milk, Water, or Oil?
Coconut meat was the white, pulpy interior of the coconut. Your cat will benefit most from shredded coconut meat.
Green coconuts contain a high concentration of potassium in their juice, which is known as coconut water. Green coconuts also contain little fat.
Cat owners should know that the high potassium content of coconut water can lead to hyperkalemia.
Coconut milk, unlike coconut water, isn’t something that grows on trees. Shredded coconut meat is soaked in water until it reaches a milk-like consistency, at which point it is strained.
If you buy coconut milk from the store, look for one without added sugars. Again, coconut milks have a high fat and calorie content and should be avoided.
It has been argued that coconut oil is the most beneficial form of coconut to give to a cat. It has almost no flavor, so it’s perfect for cats that are picky eaters, and it mixes well with wet food.
Coconut oil, like coconut meat and milk, is high in fat and calories, so a small amount can have a significant impact. You can give your cat coconut oil by itself, or you can mix it into their wet food.
Foods that are safe for cats
Any responsible pet owner should know what foods are safe and unsafe for their feline companions. Here are a few more human foods that are fine for cats to eat as a starting point.
- Simply prepared meat
Natural coconut has health benefits for your cat both internally and topically (oil).
Never give your cat coconut water, as the high potassium content can be fatal. When it comes to your cat’s health, moderation and small portions can go a long way if your vet approves.
Has anyone tried giving coconut to their cat and noticed any positive effects? How did the outcomes pan out? Leave a comment and tell us about it.