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Can Cats Eat Durian? What You Need to Know!

Ashley Bates

By Ashley Bates


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.

Cats, on the other hand, should never eat durian. This overwhelmingly smelly fruit can cause some severe gagging at best and vomiting and diarrhea at worst. But why? We have the answers in this article.

What Is Durian?

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 over 30 trees in this category, only nine of them produce 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 eat.

Despite the distintice 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 sold on the market
Image Credit: Pixabay

Durian Nutrition Facts

Serving per 1 cup

Calories: 357
Fat: 13 g
Carbohydrates: 66 g
Fiber: 9 g
Protein: 4 g
Vitamin C: 80%
Thiamine: 61%
Manganese: 39%

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

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

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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 since our taste receptors are very different.

Cat vomiting
Image Credit: Nils Jacobi, 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.

Now, if your cat snuck a bite without you approving, you can stay calm. At most, durian can cause a series of gastrointestinal symptoms that will clear up within a few short hours of eating.

Some of these symptoms include:

  • Diarrhea
  • Vomiting
  • Generalized discomfort

Some cats have no side effects at all. But that doesn’t mean they should delight in this fruit frequently. If your cat shows signs of discomfort, a vet visit usually isn’t necessary, and the problem will resolve within a few hours.

durian close up
Image Credit: Pixabay

Can Cats Eat Any Fruits?

Even though durian can cause an upset stomach and most cats can’t even stomach the smell—that doesn’t include all fruits. There are plenty of cat-safe fruits your kitty can enjoy, if they approve, of course.

Some fruits are added to cat food and snacks, but you can also feed as a standalone diet. Even though cats don’t necessarily need to eat plant matter, it won’t hurt them. And if anything, an additional kick of antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals will give your cat a nutritional boost here and there.

Some kitty-safe foods include:

Of course, none of these foods substitutes their standard diets, consisting of a healthy dry kibble, wet food, or homemade cat food-specific recipe. Fruits only contain plant material, which doesn’t have the proper amino acids, protein, taurine, and other nutrients to nourish their bodies.

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


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, it’s best to say no.

If you choose to feed your cat durian, remember to give them just a small taste. It can cause some pretty severe gastrointestinal discomfort. If you find your cat is unaffected, use your best judgment on how much and make it very infrequent.

Featured Image Credit: Pixabay

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