Avocado Toxic to Cats

The avocado's leaves, seeds and bark contain a toxin unhealthy for pets.

Posted: July 16, 2012, 7 p.m. EDT

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Avocado with pit -- Avocado Dangerous to Cats
While there are a few foods that both humans and pets can enjoy, some foods that are healthy for us can be dangerous to cats and other animal companions. One example is the avocado.

“Avocado leaves, fruit, seeds and bark contain a toxic principle known as persin. The Guatemalan variety, which is the most common variety found in stores, appears to be the most problematic,” according to Dana Farbman, CVT, of the ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center.

The primary concern is with gastrointestinal irritation, such as with cat vomiting and diarrhea. Typically, these effects are seen in cats and dogs that have ingested significant quantities of fruit or branches. Avocado ingestion causes more severe symptoms and even death in birds, goats and cattle.

On the other hand, just the right part of the plant in just the right amount in commercial food and medicine has its health benefits for cats and dogs. An extract derived from avocado and soybean oils is used in the feline joint supplement Dasuquin, which you can only get from your veterinarian, because the ingredient is reported to benefit joint health and remedy osteoarthritis. Avocado meal and oil are also used in the cat food and dog food Avoderm, because of nutrients that support healthy skin and coat.

If you suspect that your cat has eaten a potentially dangerous substance — call your veterinarian or the Poison Control Center's emergency hotline at (888) 426-4435 for 24-hour telephone assistance.

For more information on poison prevention, visit the ASPCA Poison Control Center.
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Reader Comments

Natalie    Cohasset, MA

11/3/2014 6:33:17 AM

Just got off the phone with ASPCA because my cat ate part of a Avocado Leaf. They stated that she MAY throw up or have diarrhea,but is going to be fine. Is toxic to birds and large animals. I am glad I called the poison control hotline. They put my mind at ease and did not have to go to the vet. As always call your vet if you think your pet ate something toxic, time is key to helping them.

Kris Trinidad    Kansas City, MO

1/4/2014 3:14:18 PM

Research was done by a group of animal doctors one including doctor Justine Lee. This research concluded that avocados and the chemical Persin is in no way poisonous to cats or dogs here is a direct quote from her symposium “Despite the rumors, avocado is not poisonous to dogs, nor to cats,”.

lisa    elkhart, IN

12/6/2013 3:02:58 PM

good to know

Lorna    Poplarfield, MB

11/18/2013 6:24:48 PM

interesting

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