Can Cats Eat Jackfruit? What You Need to Know!
Cats aren’t like dogs. They don’t run up each time you make a plate of food or a mid-day snack and beg for a bite. Well, some of them don’t. For some kitty parents, their cats feel they should have everything their owners have, including things that aren’t great for them.
When it comes to fruit, you must be extremely careful. Fruits contain natural sugars that can be harmful to your cats. Others, like many citrus fruits, can be toxic for your kitty. One such fruit is jackfruit. If you enjoy jackfruit, you know it has a unique texture and sweet taste. While your cat can’t taste the sweetness, the texture could be tempting for them.
Unfortunately, like several fruits, jackfruit could be dangerous for your cat to eat. Read on below to learn more about this unique fruit and why you should keep it for human consumption and not share it with your feline friends.
What Is Jackfruit?
Many people have never heard of jackfruit. Grown in Asia, South America, and Africa, jackfruit is the world’s largest tree-borne fruit. This bumpy fruit with a thick rind can weigh up to 40 pounds or even more and is the national fruit of both Sri Lanka and Bangladesh. For fans of the stringy flesh of jackfruit, it is sold internationally in several forms such as canned and frozen.
For humans, jackfruit has a few benefits you can enjoy. Beyond the taste, jackfruit can help people control their blood sugar, works as an antioxidant, is anti-inflammatory and even antibacterial. While all these benefits are great for us, you’ll find no benefits at all for feeding your cat jackfruit.
Jackfruit is a member of the fig family. This is why it is thought to be dangerous to cats. However, jackfruit is not listed as toxic on several reputable animal poison databases such as ASPCA, petpoisonhelpline.com and University of California plant poisons list. For humans, however, this fruit is extremely popular due to its texture and the fact that unripe jackfruit can be substituted for meat in many recipes. Especially those that call for pulled pork or chicken. The ripened version, however, is sweet and fruity for those who prefer their fruit this way.
The Dangers of Jackfruit
As we mentioned above, jackfruit is a close relative of fig plants and does contain a potential toxin, psoralen. Fig plants and the fruit they produce are toxic to cats due to the proteolytic enzymes and psoralen inside. Both of these substances can attack the DNA inside your cat’s cells. Fig poisoning in cats can be mild in some cases and include diarrhea and vomiting. In others, especially if your cat has ingested a high amount of fig, for example, they may experience more distressing symptoms. It is probably better to avoid feeding jackfruit to be on the safe side. Let’s take a look at a few of the other dangers your cat may experience by eating jackfruit.
Lots of Sugar
Jackfruit contains a high amount of sugar. Your cat, unfortunately, cannot taste the sweetness of fruit due to them not having sweet receptors on their tongue. Cats also have issues with metabolizing sugar. Too much sugar can lead to worse issues for your kitties such as obesity, and diabetes. This is why you should avoid giving your kitties highly sweetened foods, especially since they can’t taste the sweetness anyway.
Jackfruit, like several other fruits, includes seeds. Considering the size of your cat, it is very possible for them to accidentally choke on one of these seeds if they happen to swallow it. For the safety of your kitty, it is best to avoid giving them any kind of food with seeds or nuts involved to help lower the possibility of choking while eating.
What to Expect If Your Cat Eats Jackfruit
With jackfruit being potentially dangerous for cats, it is important to know what to look for if they accidentally eat it. Like with most foods not good for your kitty, one of the first things you may notice is vomiting and diarrhea. While this may run its course in some cases, your cat can become dehydrated. This is why it is recommended to immediately contact your veterinarian if your cat has eaten jackfruit or any of its relatives in the fig family.
Like with fig poisoning, jackfruit ingestion calls for a trip to the veterinarian. They will closely monitor your kitty to make sure no breathing or heart issues take place. During this time, if your cat isn’t vomiting, they may induce it to help them get the jackfruit out of their system. It is also possible for your vet to use activated charcoal to adsorb the toxic substances now inside your cat’s body.
Life After Eating Jackfruit
Luckily, most cats are likely to make a full recovery after eating jackfruit. If they experience diarrhea and vomiting, your veterinarian may suggest special foods until these symptoms pass. Your kitty may be a little tired and lay around for a few days while their bodies get back to normal and they start to feel better.
A Few Safe Fruits for Your Cat
You may feel the urge to let your cat try the foods you love, but caution should always be used. While some fruits are safe for your cat to try, others can be considered highly toxic. It is also important to remember that fruits contain natural sugars. This is why they should only be given to your pets in moderation. You’ll help them avoid stomach issues and the possibility of becoming overweight or diabetic in the process. Here’s a list of a few fruits you can safely share with your kitty when you want to offer them a nibble.
- Apples (seeds removed)
- Seedless Watermelon
As you can see, jackfruit is not a recommended fruit to share with your kitty. While it may provide humans with healthy benefits, and be a vegan replacement for meat, that isn’t the same for your cat. If you love jackfruit, feel free to indulge and enjoy this fruit when you wish. As a responsible pet owner who loves their pampered kitty, make sure you say no if they try to convince you to share your snack.
Featured Image Credit: lilimey, Pixabay