Is Mango Safe for Cats? Here's What You Need to Know About the Sweet Pitted Fruit
Mango is a hard fruit to turn down. The bright yellow flesh, sweet scent and flavor, and just the tropical feel of the fruit can make them a favorite for many human. And while your dog might find mango to be a compelling, fun treat, cats may be less inclined. Though if your cat does find themselves drawn to the bright fruit, there's good news in store.
Can Cats Eat Mango?
The short answer is: yes. Mango is non-toxic for cats, and there's nothing to prevent them from enjoying a small amount as a treat. The real question, however, is: will they actually want it?
Dogs can sometimes be attracted to fruit like mangos because the natural sugars in the fruit can serve as a tasty treat aside from traditional dog biscuits. However, cats aren't able to taste sweet things, so mango's primary selling point is going to be lost on them.
Additionally, while mango is a great source of vitamin C for humans, cats are capable of synthesizing their own vitamin C, meaning that the fruit isn't going to provide much nutritional benefit to them, either.
How to Prepare Mango for Cats Safely
Despite the caveats listed above, some cats may still enjoy the texture and moisture of fresh mango. In those cases, mango is a safe option as a snack for cats in moderation. Removing the pit from the flesh is absolutely necessary, as fruit pits can be toxic to cats and could be a choking hazard.
Peeling the mango is another good idea. "The peels of fruits can sometimes be difficult for dogs and cats to digest," says Kaci Angelone, DVM, MS. "Peeling fruits before serving them can prevent choking hazards but also just helps keep everything moving through them smoothly."
And although fruits are a healthy, vitamin-packed food group that humans need, the natural sugars in fruit can potentially be harmful for pets. "Anytime you give your pet large amounts of fruits, sugars are going to become a concern," Angelone continues. "But there are pet foods that contain apples or other fruits. So they're safe, but the size of the bite is going to be the biggest concern."
Finally, keep in mind that cats are obligate carnivores, so they get their most useful protein and nutrients from meat sources. This means that some cat-safe fruits and vegetables can serve as a fun snack, but should always be given in moderation and never in place of nutritionally balanced, good quality cat food.
Other Fruits and Vegetables Cats Can Eat
Mangos aren't the only fruits cats can eat safely. Some human foods will provide more nutritional benefit while others could be toxic or have toxic aspects that need to be avoided (definitely don't give your cat grapes!). Also keep in mind that human foods are only sometimes safe for healthy cats, meaning if your cat has a condition such as diabetes or heart disease, steer clear of anything other than your vet's recommended diet.
If you're looking for a safe snack you can share with your cat, here are some potential options, though meals consisting of normal cat food are always best for your cat's overall health.