If you’re a cat lover, you’re always looking for new ways to make your cat happy and healthy. There are many different fruits you can give your cat to try, but it’s important to know which ones are safe and how you should go about preparing them to offer to your cat.
Apricots are a delicious snack fresh or dried. But can cats eat apricots?
Read this article to learn everything you need to know about apricots for cats.
Can Cats Eat Apricots?
You can give apricots to cats, but to do so safely there are some guidelines you’ll need to keep in mind.
If you want to let your cat try an apricot, make sure you give them the fruit only. Be very careful not to let them have any of the pit, leaves, or stems.
When you let your cat eat apricots, just like any other treat, cut the fruit into very small pieces for them.
There are some potential healthy aspects of apricots for cats, but it’s best to only offer them as a treat and not as a health supplement.
Benefits of Apricots for Cats
While cats have very strict nutritional needs, there are a few benefits to letting your cat eat apricots in reasonable amounts.
Apricots contain healthy vitamins and minerals, potassium, and beta-carotene. They also contain a lot of beneficial fiber and antioxidants and can be good for your cat’s gut and liver.
Dried apricots are also safe for cats to eat, but they are more difficult to chew so they might not be interested. You should only let your cat try dried apricots that are very plain, with no added sugar or other ingredients.
In general, letting your cat experience new things, including different foods, is a great way to get them some extra mental stimulation. It’s also a great chance to bond with them a bit more.
Even if they don’t want to try it, just allowing your cat to sniff at the apricot will introduce them to a new scent they probably haven’t experienced before. It might seem simple, but it’s a chance for your cat to use their brain in a novel way.
The Flip Side: Risks of Feeding Cats Apricots
The most important thing to know about apricots for cats is what to avoid when offering them.
While the flesh of the apricots is safe for cats, the leaves, stems, and pit are toxic. This is because they all contain cyanide. The amount is small, but not worth the risk to your kitty.
If you notice any unusual symptoms, such as your cat’s pupils dilating, difficulty breathing, vomiting, bright red gums, or panting, your cat may have gotten apricot poisoning from ingesting the leaves, stems, or pits and should be seen by a veterinarian immediately.
These parts can also pose a choking hazard to your cat, so it’s best to leave them out of the equation entirely.
Apricots for cats do have health benefits, but in general, it’s important not to throw your cat’s delicate nutritional balance off too much with extra foods, even if they’re healthy.
Too much sweet fruit can also upset their digestion and make them feel unwell, so be on the lookout for any changes in behavior. Cats’ digestive systems are made to process high levels of protein, so it’s important not to throw too many curveballs into their diet.
Speaking of sweetness, the sugar in apricots for cats can lead to dental problems just like it can for humans. In addition to only letting your cat have limited amounts of apricot, making sure the pieces are small so they don’t have to chew them too much and expose their teeth to more sugar can be helpful.
If your cat has certain health concerns, especially if they are diabetic or overweight, you should avoid extra sugar of any kind. Fruits are not a good treat for cats in these situations.
If you want to try giving apricots to your cat, be sure to offer only a tiny bit the first time and keep a close eye on your cat so you know right away if it doesn’t agree with them.
How to Feed Your Cat Apricots
If you’ve decided you want to feed your cat apricots, start by completely removing any leaves and stems.
Then, cut the apricot in half and remove the whole pit. Make sure to get rid of the leaves, stems, and pit right away so your cat won’t be able to access them. You definitely don’t want to give them the whole fruit or there’s an increased risk that they’ll ingest or chew on the toxic parts.
Cut a few small pieces of apricot and remove any bits of skin. The skin isn’t really dangerous for your cat, but it might be more difficult for them to chew fully and it’s best to avoid any potential problems.
You can offer apricots for cats plain, or you can see if they like them on top of or mixed into their regular food.
You can even see if your cat wants to give apricot jam a try, but you’ll want to give them even less jam than just the fruit itself. The sugar content of jam is even higher than plain fruit. A very basic apricot jam with no preservatives or added sugar would be a safer bet if you want to go this route.
No matter how you offer it, limit the amount of apricot you let your cat eat at one time, and don’t feed it to them all the time. It should only be given as a special treat here and there.
Do Cats Like Apricots?
Just because cats can safely eat apricots doesn’t mean they’ll want to.
If you know that your cat is a bit more adventurous and likes to try different and more unusual things, they just might love apricots.
However, cats are notoriously picky about what they like to eat, and many may not be interested in even trying apricots.
Even so, apricots do seem to be appealing to cats so it’s possible they’ll love them even if they don’t like most other treats. It’s worth a try!
Apricots Might Be Your Cat’s New Favorite Treat
While cats shouldn’t eat too many special treats outside of their regular diet, apricots can be beneficial in small amounts.
It can be fun and interesting to let your cat try apricots for something new, and who knows? They might end up really enjoying a sweet, juicy apricot.
Head over to our Apricots page to learn even more about these delicious fruits!