In recent times, drinking coconut water has been linked to good health and wellness for humans.
And your cat might have been wanting to take a sip of your coconut water whenever you pour yourself a glass at home.
But is this beverage something that you would want to give your cat to drink?
Stay with us, as we unravel the suitability of coconut water for our feline friends.
Is It Safe For Cats To Drink Coconut Water?
Cats can drink a small amount of coconut water without any issues.
But you need to only use fresh coconut water or natural coconut water.
Natural coconut water is low in low in both carbs and sugar which makes it safe for cats.
There are some commercial brands of coconut water that can contain a high amount of sugar, preservatives and artificial flavoring.
All of which are bad for your cat.
And anything that is high in sugar like vanilla pudding isn’t good for cats.
Your cat doesn’t need sugar in its diet and too much sugar can lead to feline obesity and a host of other health issues.
Preservatives and artificial flavoring can also be toxic to cats and should be avoided.
Is Coconut Water Beneficial To Cats?
There’s no denying that coconut water does carry some health benefits.
A study conducted in 2015 has shown that natural coconut water can reduce blood sugar levels in rats.
However, there is a big caveat here.
The known benefits of coconut water are more geared towards humans than animals.
I wouldn’t regard coconut water as the next superfood for cats but some of its benefits can rub off on our cats.
Rich In Electrolytes
Coconut water is rich in natural electrolytes such as potassium.
By drinking one cup of coconut water, you can get 600mg of potassium.
Potassium is an important nutrient for the body it helps to:
- Support internal cell pressure
- Normalize blood pressure
- Contract muscles
Your cat does not need that much potassium daily.
Too much potassium in cats can cause heart problems, depression and muscle weakness.
But some potassium is good for cats that aren’t feeling too well especially those having chronic diarrhea or nausea.
The extra electrolytes can help keep the cat better hydrated.
Please do not give your cat sports drinks like Gatorade as such beverages are very bad for cats.
Rich In Nutrients
Not only is coconut water rich in potassium but it is also rich in other nutrients such as:
These are nutrients that can also be beneficial for your cat but since its coconut water intake will be very limited, the benefits will be very limited.
But some is better than none.
It Contains Anti-Oxidants
Anything that is safe for consumption and contains antioxidants is held in high regard.
And coconut water is one of them.
Coconut water is rich in antioxidants which help to combat oxidative damage and fight off free radicals.
Too many free radicals in our bodies can lead to:
- Heart problems
- Internal inflammation
A study conducted on rats in 2016 found that coconut water could actually reduce their cholesterol levels.
Before you start stocking up on coconut water for your cat at home, do note that these rats were given a very high dosage of coconut water.
This is something that I would not recommend you do at all for your cat.
Is It Good For Cats To Eat Coconut Flesh?
Coconut flesh is the white meaty portion that sticks to the inside of the husk.
It can be hard and chewy or soft and tender, depending on the type and age of the coconut.
Coconut flesh is very high in calories as it contains saturated fat, vitamins B, C, E and minerals. It is also rich in fiber.
The fat that is from the coconut flesh is called medium-chain triglycerides (MCT).
MCT has been shown to lower bad cholesterol and the risk of heart disease in humans.
As beneficial as MCT is for humans, too much of this nutrient over time can cause serious harm to cats.
Your cat will be at risk of hepatic lipidosis which is the build-up of fat in the liver. In serious cases, the cat can be jaundiced which might lead to death.
The high-fat content in coconut flesh does not suit a cat’s digestive tract. It can cause stomach upset in your cat.
Feeding your cat food that is high in calories will lead to obesity or your cat being overweight. Such cats are also prone to hepatic lipidosis.
If you really need to feed your cat this, make sure it is just very small amounts of coconut flesh and only as an occasional treat.
How Much Coconut Water Can Cats Drink?
Before I give my cat something that is outside of a cat’s regular diet I will ask myself two questions.
- Is this a requirement in a cat’s diet?
- Are there any proven benefits for cats?
Coconut water isn’t something that is in a wild cat’s natural diet when it comes to hydration.
Cats are not coastal mammals and won’t seek out coconut water as part of their diet.
Most of their fluids come from the food that they eat and natural water sources.
That being said, coconut water has good properties like being water and electrolyte dense.
There’s no recommended amount when it comes to giving your cat coconut water.
But like for all new additions to a cat’s diet, keep the amount small and infrequent.
A few teaspoons or a tablespoon a few times a week for your cat to lap up should be more than enough.
It could be good for cats that don’t drink enough water which is one of the main causes of kidney diseases and failures in cats.
Cats need to drink water to flush out impurities in their kidneys and urinary tracts.
If you have a cat that isn’t big on water and has kidney issues or is having diarrhea, your vet might recommend a small amount of coconut water for extra hydration.
Where Should Your Cat Get Its Water From?
99.9% of your cat’s hydration should just be from plain water. There are some cat breeds like the Maine Coon and Siberian that are drawn to water.
You can help encourage your cat to drink more water by providing it with a running water source.
I’m not talking about a hose or a tap but a water fountain for pets will be a great feature to have.
Many cats prefer to drink from a flowing source of water as it is supposed to be fresher and pose a lesser contamination risk.
Another way to encourage your cat to drink more water is to add some water or homemade tuna water to his food.
Speaking of food, dry food or kibbles is exceptionally bad for cats as it contains very little moisture.
We always recommend feeding your cat a raw food diet which gives the best diet possible for cats.
Is Coconut Milk Safe For Cats?
Coconut milk is not harmful to cats but as with coconut flesh, it is high in fat and calories.
Too much fat in your cat’s diet can lead to obesity, heart disease and pancreatitis.
Coconut milk is made by soaking grated coconut flesh in water and then straining it.
The good thing is that coconut milk is lactose-free. However, that does not mean that it is good for most cats who are lactose intolerant.
This is because as cats pass the kittens stage, their body no longer produces the enzyme that can break down lactose.
This is why dairy products can cause loose stools and tummy upset.
The flesh and milk of the coconut contain lots of fat and cat owners are advised not to give their cats such foods.
If you are nursing kittens who can consume milk, do not feed them coconut milk as it doesn’t contain the proper nutrients to support the growth and development of kittens.
Get a proper milk formula from your vet.
Is Coconut Oil Safe For Cats?
Coconut oil has been gaining in popularity over the years when it comes to treating certain ailments in cats.
Coconut oil can be made by fermenting coconut milk and then removing the oil.
It can also be extracted by using a centrifuge which spins the coconut milk at high speeds to separate the oil from water.
Here are some well-known benefits that coconut oil can do for your cat.
Support Better Skin And Coat
If your cat has dry skin, skin allergies or just a poor coat, you can give your cat coconut oil topically or orally.
Just rub some coconut oil onto your hands and spread it well onto your cat’s well.
The consumption of coconut oil allows it to work its benefits from the inside out.
Gets Rid Of Parasites
If your cat is having a flea, tick or mange infestation, coconut oil can do a good job in getting rid of it.
By rubbing coconut oil on your cat’s fur, these parasites get suffocated by the fat content in the oil.
Feeding your cat some coconut oil allows the oil the enter your cat’s bloodstream which helps to get rid of these pests as well as they don’t like the taste and smell of coconut oil.
Cats are known to hack up or poo out excess hair in their tummy as hairballs.
This is because cats can spend up to 5 hours a day grooming themselves and licking away the loose fur.
If you find that your cat has some problems vomiting or pooing out these hairballs. You can help lubricate its digestive tract by giving it some coconut oil.
For cat parents whose cats don’t like coconut oil or have a coconut allergy, here are some natural remedies that can help manage hairballs.
How Much Coconut Oil Should I Give My Cat?
For cats that do not have any skin issues, you don’t have to feed them coconut oil daily. 1-2 times a week would suffice.
Start off slow and with just a very small amount as some cats might not take well to coconut-based products.
Anything from 1/8 to 1/4 teaspoon is a good starting amount.
Be careful to not overfeed your cat coconut oil as it is also very high in fat and calories like most coconut based products.