Cats can eat apricots, yes. In fact, apricots are rich in good minerals and vitamins, which will complement a cat’s diet in small amounts. However, the seed (pit), leaves, and stem contain a small amount of cyanide and should be avoided.
Are Apricots Healthy for Cats?
It’s important to note that cats do not need fruits to supplement their diet. They are obligate carnivores by design, which means that not only do they like to eat meat – it’s vital to their health.
Obviously, domestic cats do not eat prey or meat every day. Cat food is specially formulated to contain all the animal proteins and other nutrients they need to maintain optimal health.
Some fruits – and this includes apricots – do offer some interesting and beneficial nutrition though.
The dietary fiber in apricots will aid digestion. They are also rich in a range of vitamins, potassium, and beta-carotene. All nutrients that are great for us and cats alike.
So, the answer to “can cats eat apricots?” is yes. It’s perfectly safe, and even a good idea in small amounts.
As to whether or not your cat will want to eat apricot is another matter. In my experience, most cats will have a lick and maybe a small nibble. But unless they’re very hungry, they’ll know there are more enjoyable foods coming.
Can Cats Eat Dried Apricots?
Dried apricots are equally as safe for cats as fresh apricots and the same rules apply. Only let them have a little amount, and make sure no other parts of the plant are mixed in.
The only real difference is that cats will find dried apricots a lot harder to eat, and I wouldn’t think many would actually eat any.
Can Cats Eat the Pits, Leaves, and Stem of Apricots?
According to reliable sources, such as Wikipedia and PetPoisonHelpline, the seeds, leaves, and stems of the apricot tree contain cyanide.
I’ve mentioned this before on the blog, and it won’t come as a surprise to most. I remember growing up I was always warned not to eat the seeds of most fruits, especially those with large stones.
The risk is minimal, so don’t panic if your cat (or you) have eaten a small amount of any of these parts of an apricot. But let’s be honest, it’s incredibly unlikely anyway.
Still, it’s something to be aware of. As a rule of thumb, I throw away the pits and any leaves or stalks left on the fruit.
What Fruits Can Cats Eat?
There are a lot of fruits you can try sharing with your feline friend. Some of the most popular and safest fruits are:
- Apples (not the seeds for the same reason as apricots)
- Watermelon (minus the seeds)
The interesting thing is that cats aren’t drawn to fruits because they’re sweet like dogs and some other pets are.
Despite cats relying on their sense for most things, they have very few taste buds compared to us. While it makes sense really, in the wild they live on a rather bland diet of prey for the most part.
Their sweet taste buds are not as powerful either. I’ve read some accounts that say cats can’t taste sweet things, while some people think they can taste them a little.
Either way, it’s clear that sweet things are not what attract cats for the most part. They are attracted more so by fats and proteins in foods.
Which Fruits Are Bad (Potentially Toxic) To Cats?
Not all fruits are fine for cats. In fact, some are toxic and can cause some potentially life-threatening health issues.
A few of the fruits that should be avoided at all costs are:
Citrus fruits – Oranges, limes, lemons, grapefruits, should be avoided. Which isn’t usually too difficult as cats tend to hate the smell of citrus.
All parts of citrus fruits contain citric acid, which can cause anything from an upset stomach to more serious problems like vomiting, diarrhea, and nervous system depression.
Grapes and raisins – The ASPCA says grapes and raisins can cause kidney failure, even in small amounts.
Avocado – The skin, pit, and other parts of the avocado plant contain a fungicidal toxin that can cause some harm to your kitty.
Related – Looking for other fruits to share? Check out, can cats eat mango?
Can Cats Be Allergic To Fruits?
Just as some people are allergic to certain fruits, cats can also be. There is a certain allergy connected to stone fruits, which includes apricots, cherries, nectarines, peaches, and plums.
The reaction in humans includes mild itchiness in the mouth and an upset stomach in most cases. It’s safe to assume that this is also possible, although rare, in cats.
If you decide to give your cat some apricot, or if they help themselves, keep an eye on them for the next 48 hours.
Any signs of ill-health, such as diarrhea or vomiting, or if they’re not eating, drinking, etc. call your vet and act on their advice.
This is the general rule I follow when feeding my cats anything new. Which isn’t often nowadays, to be honest. I like to keep my cats to their standard food and kitty treats.
Now you know some of the fruits that are fine for cats you can share a little next time you’re eating any of the aforementioned.
The important thing to keep in mind is that human foods like fruits are treats for cats. Only feed them small amounts in moderation.
If your kitty always seems to have the munchies pick up some cat treats. These are specially formulated to be tasty while delivering some awesome nutrition.
Image credits – Photo by Anastasiia Balandina and Dainis Graveris on Unsplash
Stone Fruit Allergy – Healthline.com
People foods to avoid feeding cats – American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals