Can cats eat apricot: Ginger kitten with apricots

Cats can enjoy apricots as a treat, provided they are fed in small quantities and prepared the right way.

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Is it safe for cats to eat apricots?

By Greta Inglis Dog Behaviourist | Animal Behaviourist

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We know they have lots of health benefits for humans, but can cats eat apricots? Read on for what you need to know about feeding this fruit to your cat.

While your cat may try to share as much human food as they can get their paws on, this doesn't necessarily mean they know what's best for them. 

As obligate carnivores, meat is a biological necessity for your cat's digestive system, and they don't need to eat fruit or vegetables to maintain a healthy diet. That said, certain fruits can offer health benefits when fed the right way. 

What are the health benefits of apricots for cats?

 Apricots are rich in fibre, antioxidants, beta carotene and vitamins, all of which have health benefits for cats. 

Potassium and beta carotene can help fight cancer, while vitamin A promotes a strong immune system. Carotenoids like lutein help with your cat's eye health. 

The fruit also contains high quantities of fibre, which can be good for your cat in small amounts. Too much fibre can lead to diarrhea, so care should be taken when feeding any kind of fruit to our feline friends.

Do cats like apricot?

Cats have far fewer taste buds than humans, with around 500 compared to our 9,000. The sweet flavour profile is also absent or very weak, meaning that just because your cat can eat apricot, this doesn't necessarily mean they're going to like it.

What makes your cat's food appealing is usually the taste as much as the smell, so don't be surprised if your pet turns their nose up at this fuzzy fruit. 

If they're willing to give it a go, you may find your cat views apricot as a treat. Just be sure to take precautions when it comes to preparing the fruit, as apricot poisoning in cats can cause serious health concerns requiring veterinary treatment.

The risks of feeding apricots to cats

If you feed your cat apricots, it's essential that the fruit is prepared the right way. The flesh of the fruit is safe for your cat to eat in small quantities, but the leaves, stem and pit contain cyanide, which is poisonous to cats.

An extremely toxic compound, cyanide blocks cells from taking in oxygen, and can be fatal if left untreated. Symptoms of apricot poisoning in cats include difficulty breathing, dilated pupils, panting and vomiting. 

If you suspect your cat may have ingested a leaf, stem or the pit of an apricot, you'll need to get them to your vet immediately. The sooner they're seen, the higher the chance they will have of making a full recovery. 

How to feed apricots to cats

Remove all leaves, the stem and the pit and dispose of these safely out of your cat's reach. While the skin isn't dangerous for your cat, it can be quite hard to chew, so they may prefer the fruit if this is removed as well. Once you're left with the flesh of the fruit, this can be cut into bite size pieces

Can cats eat apricot fresh or dried?

They can, as long as it's in small quantities. If you're feeding your cat dried apricot, ensure that no additional sugar or flavouring has been added. Typically cats can find dried fruit harder to chew, so they may not see this as an exciting treat. 

How much apricot can cats have?

Too much sweet food and sugar can upset your cat's digestive system. A small spoonful each week (a little less if it's apricot jam) should be safe for your pet, bearing in mind that treats should make up no more than 2% of their calorie intake. 

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