Jackfruit is one of the more rare and interesting fruits. It’s not toxic or poisonous to cats, so cats can eat jackfruit without any real issues. It’s still not recommended though as cats are obligate carnivores that rely on animal proteins from a meat diet.
Is Jackfruit Good for Cats?
If you only heard about Jackfruit for the first time recently, you’re not alone. I only tried one for the first time about a year ago as they’re not common where I live.
They’re interesting looking yellow fruits. From the outside, they look a bit like a rough-skinned melon, and inside they have what most people describe as a ‘meat-like’ texture.
Jackfruits are packed with good nutrition, much like most fruits. They’re nutrient-dense, containing various vitamins and minerals, potassium, iron, antioxidants, and more.
It’s not the nutritional value of the fruit that is in question – it’s the fact that cats do not need to get these nutrients from fruits.
Cats need to be fed a diet rich in animal proteins and dozens of other nutrients. All of which can be found in specially formulated cat foods, which are also easy on their sensitive digestive system.
So, the bottom line is that jackfruit is not good for cats, no. You should avoid letting your cat have any fruits or other plants, a strict (but boring) diet of cat food and cat treats is best.
Should Cats Eat Jackfruit?
Just because cats can eat jackfruit, it doesn’t mean they should – or will eat it for that matter.
Cats are obligate carnivores. This means that in the wild their diet would consist almost entirely of meat from the prey they catch.
This is because cats rely on the vitamins, amino acids, and fatty acids found in animal proteins to maintain optimal health and function properly.
These nutrients are not found in plant sources. Furthermore, cats are not able to synthesize many of the amino acids and other compounds found in plants, fruits, and vegetables.
Sure, a little bit of jackfruit and other fruits and plant matter is fine now and then. It may cause a little stomach upset, but it shouldn’t do any real harm.
Can Jackfruit Be Poisonous to Cats?
Jackfruit is not poisonous or toxic, so it’s not a fruit that you need to be concerned about.
If your cat – or dog – has eaten some, you don’t need to panic. In fact, the hard rind and seeds of this fruit are more likely to cause a problem than the fleshy part.
These present possible choking hazards, and can also potentially get stuck in your cat’s teeth or damage them.
What Fruits Are Toxic to Cats?
While we’re on the topic of cats and fruit, I thought it worthwhile to point out some of the fruits that actually are toxic to cats that should be avoided.
You should never let your cat eat:
Cherries – The pit, seed, stone, whatever you want to call it contains a small amount of cyanide. It’s a trace amount, but better to err on the side of caution.
Citrus fruits – Oranges, limes, grapefruits, and other citrus fruits are known to cause cats serious stomach issues.
Cats tend to instinctively avoid citrus as they hate the smell, but some cats just can’t help themselves so it’s important to know about the dangers.
Grapes and raisins – These are the fruits that take most owners by surprise. Not known for being toxic to humans, grapes and raisins are very toxic to cats and some other pets.
Even small amounts can cause digestive issues and stomach upset, often resulting in diarrhea or vomiting. In the long term, eating these can cause acute kidney failure.
Parts of nightshade plants/fruits – Nightshade plants are interesting, they produce a toxin called solanine to ward off pests earning them.
This is present in unripe tomatoes, the green parts of tomato and eggplant plants, and some other nightshade plants. It’s certainly something to investigate in more detail.
Tips for Feeding Cats Balanced Diets
Cats have a reputation for always being hungry, but in my experience, this isn’t really true – unless you just keep giving them loads of the good stuff, but then, who can blame them?
The staple of a cat’s diet is either dry or wet cat food given twice daily (Read this post for tips on how to keep dry food good longer).
Both provide all of the nutrition a cat needs, as long as you’re feeding them a good quality brand, of course.
If you’re wondering whether wet or dry food is best; wet food provides more moisture and is typically enjoyed more in my experience. But it spoils quicker and can attract flies on hot days.
Dry food is better for cats’ teeth. Crunching on it helps to clean their teeth and keep them strong. I give my cats some of both, literally the best of both worlds.
In addition to putting out cat food twice a day, I don’t need to tell anyone here who owns a cat that cats love treats.
While it’s tempting to share whatever you’re eating with your cat when those big eyes are staring at you, it’s always better if you stick to kitty treats.
Cats can eat a lot of human foods (like jackfruit) but honestly, few are good for them.
If you really want to give them something different from cat food, you should stick to a bit of cooked meat or fish to be straight.
If your cat has eaten some jackfruit, I hope this article has helped bring peace of mind that you shouldn’t worry.
At the same time, I hope it also helps you realize that cats have complex dietary needs that are best met by feeding them formulated cat food and cat treats.
However, I’ll leave it up to you!
Image credits – Header photo by Piotr Musioł and picture of Jackfruit by Towfiqu barbhuiya on Unsplash