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Can Cats Eat Apricots? Are They Healthy for Them?

Apricots are a delicious fruit and an excellent source of essential vitamins and antioxidants. Many people enjoy this amazing fruit and might consider sharing pieces with their feline friends, but can cats eat apricots? Is it healthy for them?

Ask an experienced veterinarian, and you will learn that, yes, cats can eat apricots. However, you have to be careful about what parts of an apricot your pet consumes.

The pit, stem, and leaves of apricots are dangerous for cats because of their toxicity. Keep reading to learn more about how your cat can enjoy apricots safely.

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Health Benefits of Apricots

Health-conscious people eat apricots for the benefits the fruit provide, such as high amounts of vitamin A, vitamin C, vitamin E, potassium, and antioxidants. On top of this, there is no denying that apricots’ sweet and delicious qualities make them a favorite fruit for many.

Apricots get their yellowish color from beta carotene, which functions as a precursor to vitamin A. Because of this, this fruit is often associated with eye health.

With all of this in mind, it is reasonable to ask whether cats get the same health benefits from apricots as humans do or not. The answer is no because cats do not need many carbohydrates or plant matter. As obligate carnivores, cats cannot properly digest nutrients from either fruits or vegetables.

A cat’s diet should consist mainly of protein-rich food. Wild cats eat rodents, birds, reptiles, and very little else. A domesticated cat’s diet should not differ much when it comes to animal-based protein content.

Is My Cat in Danger if They Eat Apricots?

Your cat might or might not enjoy an occasional apricot treat. If that is the case, you should know that small amounts of apricot are safe for them. Giving your cat pieces of apricot once in a while is perfectly fine.

Just make sure that apricot stems, pits, or leaves are never part of the menu. The toxicity of these apricot parts has to do with cyanide, a poison that can be fatal in high doses.

If your cat eats apricot stems, pits, or leaves in any amount, you should get him to a veterinarian immediately. Those parts of the fruit contain trace amounts of cyanide. While your cat would need to eat a large amount of stems, pits, and leaves for it to lead to cyanide poisoning, it is best to avoid giving those parts to your furry friend.

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Signs of Cyanide Poisoning

Cyanide poisoning lowers the ability of the tissue to take in oxygen. Signs that your pet might be in trouble due to cyanide poisoning from apricot parts or another toxic source include:

  • Sudden rapid breathing
  • Dilated pupils
  • Red mucous membranes
  • Watery eyes
  • Vomiting
  • Muscle spasms

Cyanide poisoning in cats is a serious medical emergency. Failing to get your cat help promptly after cyanide poisoning from apricot stems, pits, or leaves can lead to death in extreme cases. We cannot stress how important professional assistance is for your cat in such a situation.

Some cat owners turn to the Internet for help when their cat appears to be in distress. However, it is best to follow specific instructions from a veterinarian. Inducing vomiting, administering activated carbon, and other first-aid measures should be an option only when you get a green light from a qualified veterinarian.

The Best Food for Your Cat

It is okay to feed your cat bits of apricot here and there. The thing is that you also have to make sure to feed him a proper diet derived from animal protein since cats need the amino acid taurine. Remember that apricots do not have a lot to offer cats in terms of essential nutrients.

More nutritious food options for your cat include dry and wet food. Let’s have a quick look at the benefits of both of these types of cat food.

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Image Credit: Kylbabka, Shutterstock
Dry Cat Food
  • Cost: Unless you always buy super-premium cat food, dry cat food tends to be much cheaper. This is especially important if you happen to have a lot of feline friends. You can buy a lot of quality dry cat food for a fraction of the cost of quality wet cat food.
  • Calories: Dry cat food has a lot more calories than wet cat food. With a calorie content ratio of 0.8–1.5 kcal per gram, wet cat food pales in comparison to dry cat food which contains 4 kcal per gram or higher.
Wet Cat Food
  • Hydration: Some cats can suffer from dehydration because they do not get enough water. Dehydration can result in Chronic Renal Failure (CRF) or other conditions. The water content in wet cat food averages over 75%.
  • Weight Management: Since wet cat food contains fewer calories than dry cat food, it is an excellent option for cats dealing with obesity. If your cat is much heftier than he should be, you might want to make this an important consideration.

While some people choose to feed their cats either just dry or wet cat food, a combination of both might be best. You might want to try mixing both at some meals or offering wet food as a treat just like apricots!

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Final Thoughts

You can certainly feed your cat bits of apricot as long as you stick with the skin and flesh. Do not give your cat apricot stems, pits, or leaves to avoid a dangerous situation.

Being obligate carnivores, cats do not need fruits or vegetables and will not absorb the nutrients properly. Your feline companion deserves a proper diet to stay healthy and live a long and beautiful life at your side. Feed him apricot bits as a treat but make sure to provide him with a proper diet of dry and/or wet cat food.

Make sure to contact a veterinarian immediately if cyanide poisoning from apricot parts or other sources is an issue.

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Featured Image Credit: RitaE, Pixabay

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