Can cats eat papaya?

What happens if my cat eats papaya? Is papaya good or bad for cats? This fruit is a very sweet food, rich in sugars and vitamins. Despite being good for human health as a fruit, it is not the most suitable food for cats due to the feeding nature and metabolism of these animals. Papaya is extremely rich in carbohydrates, nutrients that cats are not used to eating in large quantities, so they should not abuse the consumption of this fruit despite the fact that it has, as you will see if you continue reading, numerous nutritional benefits.

Can cats eat papaya

Can cats eat papaya or not?

By proxy, yes, cats can eat papaya . It is not a toxic or dangerous fruit for cats, such as green fruits, raisins or grapes, but it is also true that it is not the most ideal due to its nutritional composition.

Papaya is a very hydrating fruit, but quite rich in carbohydrates and sugars, compounds that cats should not eat in large quantities because they are not adapted to consume or take advantage of them. Cats are strict carnivores , so their diet should be based on the consumption of protein and fat obtained from animal tissue, something that is far from fruit. Therefore, if a cat consumes a lot of fruits and vegetables and little meat, it will undoubtedly present nutritional deficiencies and health problems derived from this type of diet. In addition, cats do not usually like the sweet taste more than anything because they lack the taste buds that detect it, so papaya is not a food that your little cat will ask for.

Benefits of papaya for cats

The great benefit of papaya is its water and fiber content , which favors normal intestinal transit and prevents delayed disorders and constipation. It also promotes the dissolution of fats, supports colon cleansing and allows the breakdown of proteins because it contains papain , a proteolytic enzyme that promotes these actions.

Another benefit of this fruit is that it protects eye health, since it prevents macular degeneration and the appearance of cataracts due to its lutein, zeaxanthin and beta-carotene content . On the other hand, papaya is also rich in antioxidant substances such as vitamin C , carotenes and flavonoids, compounds that prevent premature aging and reduce free radicals, protecting the cells of our cats.

Although it contains large amounts of sugar, it is also an important source of vitamins such as B complex vitamins (vitamin B1, B2 and B3), vitamin A and vitamin D, and minerals such as potassium, magnesium, sodium, phosphorus, iodine, iron and zinc.

Amount of papaya for cats

As we have mentioned, and despite its great health benefits, cats cannot eat large amounts of papaya. Their main diet should be based on protein of animal origin, and to avoid nutritional deficits, the ideal is to purchase a food already designed for this species, be it dry feed, wet food, or homemade food prepared by experts. Thus, we make sure that you ingest all the nutrients you need in their proper proportions to maintain your health and metabolism under normal conditions.

However, as we have said, cats can eat papaya in moderate amounts. In this way, an average-sized adult cat could eat a maximum of one fifth of a papaya once a week , more quantity can be indigestible or reduce the consumption of its usual food, with the consequences that it can have for its health.

How to give papaya to my cat?

Giving papaya to your cat can be interesting if it is going through a process of constipation or if it drinks little water to reinforce hydration and intestinal transit. If you want to try giving your little cat papaya, you should remove the skin completely and all the seeds , since they could choke. Once this is done, cut the papaya into small pieces or crush it and mix it with your homemade ration (if you have it), but never offer it dehydrated because, apart from not having the main benefit that is hydration, the amount of sugars increases enormously. , being even more contraindicated.

Do not walk away from your cat while you offer papaya, as this way you can more quickly detect any signs of choking or allergies, which would show digestive symptoms or bloating.

Side effects of papaya in cats

What happens if a cat eats papaya incorrectly? The main side effect that the consumption of papaya can have in cats is derived from the acceleration of intestinal transit that this fruit produces if consumed in excess, which would cause symptoms such as diarrhea or loose stools , as well as other digestive signs such as nausea, vomiting and abdominal pain. This is more common in cats with a digestive problem or intestinal inflammation that causes diarrhea.

The other problem that regular consumption can cause is that, due to the sugar content, cats may be more prone to becoming overweight or obese , which in turn increases the risk of developing chronic diseases such as arthritis , heart disease or urinary problems .

Contraindications of papaya for cats

The consumption of papaya would be contraindicated in cats that :

  • They present some gastrointestinal disease that makes their digestive system especially sensitive.
  • They are going through a process of acceleration of transit, loose stools or diarrhea , as it can worsen all these disorders and make them feel worse.
  • Are undergoing treatment for weight loss or maintenance due to problems of overweight or obesity, since after all it is a very sweet snack that encourages weight gain in these animals, with the risk to their health that this entails.

For all these reasons, despite the fact that cats can eat papaya, it is very important to respect the amounts and frequency of consumption in order to avoid nutritional imbalances.