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Can Cats Eat Durian? Vet-Reviewed Facts & Safety Guide

Ashley Bates

By Ashley Bates

Can Cats Eat durian

Vet approved

Dr. Marta Vidal-Abarca Photo

Reviewed & Fact-Checked By

Dr. Marta Vidal-Abarca

BVSc GPCert (Ophthal) MRCVS (Veterinarian)

The information is current and up-to-date in accordance with the latest veterinarian research.

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Have you seen videos of people and animals reacting to the, well, pungent smell of the durian fruit? It can be pretty amazing that a fruit that smells so bad is highly nutritious and heavily sought after by humans all over.

Durian is not toxic to cats, but at the same time, it is not part of their normal diet. If your cat steals some durian flesh off the ground, there is no need to worry, and your cat should be fine. However, it is possible that if your kitty eats durian, they develop mild digestive signs depending on the amount eaten and your cat’s unique characteristics. This overwhelmingly smelly fruit can cause some nausea, vomiting, and/or diarrhea. But why? We have the answers in this article.

What Is Durian?

durian sold on the market
Image Credit: photosforyou, Pixabay

Durian is a very large, distinct-smelling fruit from Southeast Asia, particularly Malaysia. It has spikes on the outside with an edible pulp inside. Many chefs rely on durian to create all sorts of delectable dishes—if you have the stomach for it.

The durian fruit comes from several different trees in the genus Durio. While there are around 30 trees in this category, only six of them produce edible fruit.

In some areas of Singapore and Malaysia, you aren’t even allowed to eat this stinky treat in public. However, durian fruits are non-toxic, despite their putrid smell.

While durian is all the rage in certain areas, some can barely stomach the smell. If you ask, you might get some mixed results on what durian smells like. Realistically, it’s a combination of oniony, fruity, and savory tones, making for quite an enjoyable meal.

Despite the distinctive scent, the taste tells a different story. People would describe the flavor as a mix of caramel and vanilla with a smooth, cheesecake or custard-like texture. So, even though it might stink you out of house and home, the taste is a delicacy for most who dare eat it.

Durian Nutrition Facts

Serving per 100 grams

Kilocalories: 147
Fat: 5.33 g
Carbohydrates: 27.1 g
Fiber: 3.8 g


1.47 g

6 mg

Vitamin C: 19.7 mg
Thiamine: 0.374 mg


30 mg

436 mg

As you can see, durian offers a wide range of nutritional benefits. In addition to those valuable nutrients, it’s also quite high in calories, so snacking on this stinky fruit too much will pack on the pounds.

Since cats are obligate carnivores, they don’t “need” fruit. However, some might simply enjoy the strange and powerful flavors and scents, while others will snub it in disapproval.

Do Cats Like the Flavor of Durian?

This question is really not something one can answer. All cats are different. Some are incredibly picky, while others eat bizarre things without reason.

Durian is the same—most cats will turn up their nose, but there will always be those strange felines like love to chow down on this garbage plant.

Maybe this entire question was prompted by watching a cat chow down on durian—or one totally gags at the smell. Both reactions are relatively standard, but it’s hard to say how one cat will react over another.

Most cats won’t even give durian a chance. The smell is enough to ward them away without looking back. But other more adventurous felines might take that plunge into the unknown.

Since cats cannot taste sweetness, they won’t experience the flavor the same way a human would anyway.

orange cat smelling something
Image Credit: MariyaL, Shutterstock

Can Cats Eat Durian?

The short answer here is technically yes, but ultimately no. Durian is simply not a part of your cat’s natural diet, and they gain no real benefit from eating it. However, if you would like to offer durian to your cat, you should speak to your vet first

Now, if your cat snuck a bite without you approving, you can stay calm. At most, durian could cause some mild digestive signs since it is not a common food item, but it is not considered toxic.

Some of these symptoms include:

  • Lip Smacking
  • Diarrhea
  • Vomiting
  • Lack of Appetite

Some cats may eat it without a problem, but that doesn’t mean they should delight in this fruit frequently. If your cat shows signs of discomfort, make sure you consult with your vet.

Can Cats Eat Any Fruits?

If your vet gives you the green light to offer your cat some fruits, there are plenty of cat-safe fruits your kitty can enjoy, but only if they approve, of course. Some fruits are also added to cat food and snacks.

Some kitty-safe foods include:

  • Apples
  • Bananas
  • Blueberries
  • Strawberries
  • Pineapple
  • Raspberries
  • Mango
  • Watermelon
  • Cantaloupe

Of course, none of these foods substitutes their standard diets, consisting of a complete and balanced dry kibble, fresh food, wet food, or homemade vet-approved cat food. Fruits contain mostly carbohydrates, and this is not an essential dietary nutrient for cats.

So, while some fruits are perfectly safe occasionally, they should only serve as a little treat here and there.

Now that you know what you can safely feed your cat, it’s just as important to find a bowl that supports their health and well-being. With whisker-friendly bowls and a wide tray to catch any spills, our Hepper NomNom Cat Bowl is our favorite option.

hungry white cat hepper nom nom bowl licking lip


Durian will likely cause your cat to sniff and run for the hills instead of salivating and snacking. However, some cats are really drawn to the flavor of this strong-smelling fruit. So, if you find that your cat wants to join the party anytime you have durian, you should check with your vet if it is ok to offer a tiny bit of the flesh.

If you choose to feed your cat durian, remember to give them just a small taste. It may cause them some digestive signs, or they may seem unaffected. After all, your cat’s nutritional needs are covered by your chosen diet, which will always be complete and balanced.

Featured Image Credit: DinhCo, Pixabay

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