Can Cats Eat Avocado?

Sandra C. Mitchell, DVM, DABVP
By Sandra C. Mitchell, DVM, DABVP on Mar. 1, 2024
tabby cat looking down at a bowl of avocado

Adobe Stock/zhannaz

If you catch your cat sniffing around your avocado toast or bowl of guac, you might wonder, “can cats eat avocados? Is avocado OK for cats?” The answer isn’t as straightforward as a simple yes or no. Here’s what to know about avocado and cats so you can keep your kitty safe and healthy.

Are Avocados Bad for Cats?

The short answer is … it depends.

Parts of the avocado—specifically, the skin, pit, and leaves—contain a toxin called persin, which can make some animals such as birds, cattle, horses, and rabbits very sick. Luckily, persin isn’t as much of a concern when it comes to cats and dogs. However, don’t let your pet eat any part of the avocado that contains this high level of persin, such as the skin or pit. Additionally, the avocado pit is a very significant choking hazard.

That said, the meat (or flesh) of the avocado has very low amounts of persin and is considered safe for cats in small quantities. It is, however, high in calories and fat, and therefore should be added to your cat's food bowl very sparingly even though it’s not considered toxic.

Avocado Flesh

Plain avocado flesh is the only part considered safe for cats, and only in very small and infrequent amounts. Avocado contains a lot of empty calories for cats, and because it can be safely fed only in very small quantities it has no nutritional benefits for our felines.

Avocado Skin

The skin and the pit of the avocado is always off-limits to your kitty. These parts of the avocado contain higher levels of persin and are also a choking hazard. Cats shouldn’t be allowed access to trash or compost bins where these parts of the avocado have been discarded.

Signs of illness from persin toxicity include:

Call your veterinarian immediately if you think your cat may have chewed on avocado leaves, skin, or the pit.

Can Cats Eat Guacamole?

As delicious as it is, guacamole is a no-go for cats. In addition to avocado, guacamole contains ingredients that may make your kitty sick, including garlic, onion, and other spices.  No matter how much your cat begs, just say no to sharing your guacamole dip.

Can Cats Eat Avocado Oil?

The fats found in avocado meat are considered anti-inflammatory and safe in small quantities, but the opposite is true in avocado oil. Cats can develop inflammation in the pancreas (pancreatitis) if allowed to eat avocado oil. Even small amounts can trigger a problem in sensitive cats, so it’s best to just avoid this oil altogether.

How Much Avocado Can Cats Eat?

If you decide to share avocado with your cat, feed very small amounts of the plain flesh infrequently—no more than half a tablespoon once every few weeks. Be sure to remove all traces of the skin and avoid feeding them any part of the pit.

Other Foods To Feed Your Cat

If you are looking to feed your kitty some special treats, consider sticking to meat-based treats such as cooked chicken, turkey, beef, or fish. 

If you want to go the extra mile and cook for your kitty, consider some fun recipes like:

Sandra C. Mitchell, DVM, DABVP


Sandra C. Mitchell, DVM, DABVP


Sandra Mitchell is a 1995 graduate of the New York State College of Veterinary Medicine. Since graduation, she has worked in many fields...

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