Can Cats Eat Avocados?

Read this before giving your cat guac 🥑

If you’ve ever had some guac on the table and wondered if you could let your cat have a little bite, you should know it’s probably not the best idea.

While avocados aren’t the absolute worst thing your cat can have, they still aren’t great and can cause all sorts of stomach upset for your pet — and sometimes worse if she eats too much of it.

The Dodo reached out to Dr. Stephanie Liff, a veterinarian and medical director at Pure Paws Veterinary Care in Brooklyn, New York, to find out more about if cats can eat avocados.

Can cats have avocados?

While some people have said that avocados are OK for cats to eat, they really shouldn’t be given to your cat as a snack.

Avocados are considered toxic due to the presence of persin, which is in the leaves, bark, seeds and the soft fruit (edible part). “Although not highly toxic, it can cause damage to the heart and mammary glands and should not be offered to cats because of this,” Dr. Liff told The Dodo.

Additionally, avocados are high in fat, and high-fat meals can be associated with inflammation of the pancreas that can cause vomiting, diarrhea, abdominal pain, poor appetite and, in severe cases, can be fatal.

Signs of persin toxicity in cats

For cats, there aren't really clinical signs specific to persin toxicity, but if your cat develops pancreatitis from the high fat content, you might notice some health problems. “If the pet is having difficulty after ingesting a large volume of avocado, you will notice vomiting, diarrhea and anorexia due to pancreatitis,” Dr. Liff said.

  • Abdominal pain
  • Diarrhea
  • Poor appetite
  • Vomiting

“Additionally, you have to note the main risk of avocados in pets [is] the seed causing obstruction if swallowed,” Dr. Liff said.

What to do if your cat eats avocado

Depending on the volume that your cat eats (which probably won’t be much since cats don’t usually snack in the same food-obsessed ways dogs do), you can typically monitor for any evidence of illness, including vomiting, diarrhea or poor appetite.

“If you notice this, you should take your cat to the vet for diagnostics and care,” Dr. Liff said.

Healthy snacks for your cat

Instead of giving your cat avocado, these are some other fruits and veggies your cat can safely eat:

  • Apples
  • Bananas
  • Broccoli
  • Carrots
  • Pumpkin
  • Strawberries

And keep in mind that you want your cat to avoid grapes, onions and garlic, which are all toxic to cats.

So while it’s probably OK if your cat has a small amount of avocado that fell on the floor, you should never give her a bowl of mashed avocado as a snack — and if she does have some accidentally, just monitor her for signs of distress and head to the vet if needed.