3 min read

Can Cats Eat Apricots?


By Adam Lee-Smith

Published: 09/29/2022, edited: 10/02/2022

Reviewed by a licensed veterinary professional: Dr. Linda Simon, MVB MRCVS

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While apricots would lose a popularity contest with their sweeter sister, peaches, it's still worth knowing if you can share this fuzzy orange fruit with your feline friend. Apricots aren't a part of a cat's diet, and you'll be hard-pressed to find them as an ingredient in commercial cat food. But can your cat eat apricots?

The answer is yes! Apricots are safe for cats to eat, as long as they don't eat the stems, leaves, or pits. These parts of an apricot contain cyanide, which is poisonous to cats

In fact, apricots have a few health benefits for cats, making them a healthy treat for your tiny tiger. Read on to find out how to feed your cat apricot. 

Do cats like apricots?

There's no straightforward answer to this question. Whether cats like apricots depends on a cat's personal preferences. Like humans, cats have individual senses of taste.

Unlike humans, cats can barely taste sweetness, so this will affect whether they like apricots. Cats have around 470 taste buds compared to humans' 9,000+ taste buds, meaning their sense of taste is more limited. 

That said, cats do have taste receptors for sourness; however, there is no hard evidence that suggests cats prefer sour tastes to others. So, it really depends on your cat — if your cat likes sour flavors, they might like apricots.

Three whole apricots and two apricots cut in half on a wooden cutting board

Health benefits of apricots for cats

Cats are obligate carnivores and don't need to eat fruit to live a long, healthy life. Good-quality meat is all cats need to get enough nutrients. While cats don't need to eat fruit, that doesn't mean there are no health benefits from eating apricots.

Apricots can help fight cancer

Apricots contain high levels of potassium and beta-carotene, which can help fight cancer. They're also high in fiber, vitamins, and minerals. 

Apricots can help regulate and support the immune system 

Apricots contain vitamin A, which supports the immune system. They also have high levels of vitamin C, which aids in metabolic functions like tissue growth and immune regulation. 

Apricots help maintain healthy eyesight

Apricots contain several carotenoids, such as beta-carotene, lutein, and vitamin A. Carotenoids help improve vision in low light and aid in overall eye health. 

Apricots contain a variety of other vitamins and minerals

Apricots boast a range of other nutrients that can be beneficial to cats, from niacin to copper. Here's a breakdown of some of the key nutrients in raw apricots per 100 grams: 

  • Energy: 48 calories
  • Protein: 1.4 grams
  • Niacin 0.6 milligrams
  • Fiber: 2 grams
  • Calcium: 13 milligrams
  • Copper: 0.078 milligrams
  • Magnesium 10 milligrams
  • Phosphorus: 23 milligrams

Source: FoodData Central

A bowl of dried apricots with one balanced on a wooden spoon

How much apricot can I give my cat?

Fruit should never be a significant part of a cat's diet. As mentioned, cats are obligate carnivores and don't need to eat fruits or vegetables. 

You should only give your cat some apricot as a special treat. Apricots contain high levels of fiber; if you feed your cat too much apricot, they could get diarrhea

If you're going to feed your cat apricot, give them just a spoonful occasionally. Giving your cat a spoonful of apricot once a week generally won't cause your cat any harm. As a rule of thumb, treats like fruit shouldn't constitute more than 2% of your cat's caloric intake. 

Just remember to prepare the apricot you're feeding your cat carefully. An apricot's seeds, pits, leaves, and stems contain cyanide, which can be potentially fatal to cats when ingested.

Can cats eat dried apricots?

Yes, cats can eat dry apricots. There's no real difference between feeding your cat a raw apricot and a dried apricot. Some pet parents might think a dried apricot is dangerous for cats as some other dried fruits, like raisins, are poisonous. 

However, raisins are poisonous to cats because grapes are also toxic. As long as you remove all the stems, seeds, and leaves and just give your cat the flesh of the fruit, apricots are safe for cats, whether they're raw or dried. 

Apricots are safe for cats to eat and even offer some health benefits, ranging from immune support to improved vision. You should never give an apricot to a cat whole, as they could chew on the apricot's pit, which contains cyanide. Always cut up an apricot when feeding your cat, and only feed them an apricot as an occasional special treat.

Worried your cat has eaten something they shouldn't?

While apricot is safe for cats to eat, some parts of this fruit can be toxic. Protect your pet against accidental poisoning with a pet insurance plan. Our pet insurance comparison tool gives you custom qutoes from leading providers in one convenient place.

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