Avocado swept the nutrition stage as a so-called superfood, packed with antioxidants and other nutritional benefits. It was so popular that for many people it practically defined the millennial generation (Avocado toast anyone)?
Now, the fervor has died down, but avocados are still a common enough sight in many homes, allowing people to make things like guacamole.
They are also something that is easy enough for cats to get into, particularly the skin which is thrown out and curious cats may try to reach. If this sounds like your cat, is it something you should be worried about? Can cats eat Avocado skin?
Short answer: while cats can eat the meat of avocado, in small doses, the skin is toxic and should be avoided. It’s not life-threatening toxicity (usually), but it’s still not something you want to put your cat through!
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Do Cats Like Avocado Skin?
Fortunately, most cats probably won’t want to eat avocado skin very much. It’s tough, bumpy, and doesn’t taste like much. If your cat is going after avocado skin, it’s likely more due to curiosity or the cat is after something to chew.
There’s really nothing in the skin itself that would attract a cat and most cats have a fairly innate sense of when food is going to make them ill. But I never like to assume with cats either. Some cats really have more of love food than a desire to stay feeling better, so you may have some cats who need to be chased away from the avocado skin!
It’s definitely worth putting in the work to keep your cat away so that they stay healthy.
Do Cats Hate Avocado Skin?
Most cats will likely avoid avocado skin and not bother trying to eat it. There’s nothing in the skin to attract a cat, they probably wouldn’t much for the flavor, and many cats know when food is not good for them to eat.
The problem arises if your cat wants to chew on avocado skin, either for fun, boredom or to relieve aching or itching in the jaw.
So, it’s not something that cats necessarily hate, but it’s not something that they would tend to eat either. Chew on or play with might be another matter, depending on the cat.
Can Eating Avocado Skin Kill My Cat?
If your cat did get into the avocado skin and start chewing on it, do you have to take them straight to the vet?
Probably not, thankfully. Avocado skin is toxic due to the persin, which is an organic compound that is mildly toxic to cats and dogs and majorly toxic to birds, rabbits, horses, and goats.
This high toxicity to horses and birds probably translated to people assuming it was also highly toxic to cats and dogs. It isn’t, but it can have some pretty uncomfortable effects, including:
- Stool obstruction
- Pancreatitis, which is an inflammation of the pancreas. This can be life-threatening to cats; fortunately, it’s rare. Symptoms include nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, dehydration, fever, lethargy, increased heart rate, difficulty breath, a swollen and tender abdomen, jaundice, and loss of appetite. A severe attack can cause bleeding, shock, or death, so it’s important to get your cat to the vet if you notice these or a combination of symptoms
Persin is more potent in Guatemalan avocados than in other types, so that’s something to keep in mind as well.
Most of the time, persin will just cause a cat to feel unwell for the rest of the day, but if the symptoms worsen or persist past a day or so, talk to your vet.
The other risk of chewing on or eating avocado skin is that it does present a choking hazard and can cause obstruction in the digestive system.
The choking hazard is obviously a risk to life for the cat, while obstruction can cause a great deal of discomfort and make it much harder for them to pass stool. In this case, you may have to take your cat to the vet to get the obstruction removed.
How Much Avocado Skin Can My Cat Eat?
Your cat shouldn’t eat avocado skin. It may not be fatal to cats, but it will cause a lot of discomforts and there is always the risk of choking or blockages. Cats should also avoid avocado pits for the same reason (and even higher on the choking hazard since the pits are very hard).
Cats can eat avocado meat, but it should only be in small amounts and as an occasional treat. The avocado meat contains a lot of good vitamins and proteins that cats can benefit from. But the skin should be carefully pulled away and they shouldn’t be playing with or chewing on the pit.
It’s also important to properly dispose of the avocado skins and pits if you have a particularly curious cat who has no problem dumpster diving after food. Cats can be sneaky!
Cats should also not have too much avocado meat anyway – it can cause gastrointestinal problems like pain, vomiting, and diarrhea. They also should just have it plain, so no guacamole since it usually has other things like garlic that can be fatal.
Guacamole also tends to have onion and too much salt, so it’s just not good for cats on any front.
Avocado may be a staple in many households, used in a huge range of recipes, and as a good way to pack in some vitamins, antioxidants, and proteins, but they aren’t so good for our cats. A small amount of the meat can be beneficial and harmless, but avocado skin should be avoided.
Make sure to dispose of it out of a curious cat’s reach, don’t let them chew on it, and if you notice toothmarks in the skin, monitor your cat for a few days to ensure that they didn’t get too sick or have obstructions.
Cats should not eat avocado skin. There are far better things for them to eat and chew on!
Does your cat get far too curious about the avocado skin when you’re preparing it? How do you keep them away?
Pam is a self-confessed cat lover and has experience of working with cats and owning cats for as long as she can remember. This website is where she gets to share her knowledge and interact with other cat lovers.