Apricots are one of the most commonly consumed fruits which we love. But this tasty food doesn’t only look like a treat only to us – many cats have begged to try it.
However, can cats really eat apricots? Can cats eat apricot jam? Are there any risks or benefits involved? And how many apricots can you safely feed your cat?
Those questions and more will be answered down below including a recipe to make your own homemade apricot jam for your cat.
Can Cats Eat Apricots?
Cats can eat apricots in small quantities since apricots have many beneficial nutrients and can even help fight against major diseases like many other fruits.
While canned apricots are just a pureed version of fresh apricots, most store-bought products contain unhealthy ingredients such as preservatives, sugar, food coloring, and pesticides.
But too much of that healing potion could go the other way and you will have to be careful when feeding your cat certain amounts or different flavors.
Below is a detailed list of many benefits that your cat can obtain from eating apricots:
- Low in sodium, fat and calories
- They are full of antioxidants that help protect against free-radicals
- Contains lots of calcium and phosphorus for strong and healthy teeth, bones and nails
- Apricots offer plenty of good dietary fiber to help your cat's digestive tract.
- Vitamin C can help with degenerative conditions like joint diseases
- Contain antioxidants like vitamin E and vitamin C that can boost your cat's skin properties.
- Rich in vitamin A, beta-carotene, and other carotenoids that promote eye health.
- Promotes weight loss (only unprocessed apricots)
- Reduces the risk of diabetes
One medium apricot (1.2 oz) can contain 11 g carbs, 2 g fibre and 48 calories. Keep in mind that this may vary depending on the type of apricots you choose.
However, removing the skin will leave you with only half the fibre and a lot less nutrients. But why is the peel so much more nutrient dense?
Antioxidant levels can be 300 times higher in the skin compared to the flesh.
This is essential to protect the fruit from the environment and possible microbes such as bacteria or fungi.
They will also keep the fruit from oxidizing in the air (enzymic browning).
When you cut open an apricot you will notice that it turns brown very quickly because there is nothing that protects the injured plant tissue.
How Many Apricots Can I Feed My Cat?
Just like anything containing fibrous fruits, apricots should not be eaten regularly and rather as a yummy treat for your cat once in a while.
It can cause digestive issues if consumed in larger quantities.
Apricots should only constitute 5% of your cat's diet. It’s better not to feed it every day to reserve it as a special treat for certain occasions.
You can also feed your cat fresh apricots cut into slices without the core and seeds which can be a choking hazard as well as poisonous due to the containing amygdalin which is a sugar, and cyanide-based compound.
Apricots can be sliced, cut into pieces, and added to your cat's food or chilled to use it as a cool treat in the summer.
What I like to do is make my own apricot chews. These are super simple and only require apricots.
You will need to cut them into thin slices, arrange them on a baking sheet and bake them at 210 °F (100 °C) for 2 hours (flipping halfway through).
Can Cats Eat Dried Apricots?
It is safe for cats to eat dried apricots, as well as dried apricots with other mixed ingredients, if they do not contain other added ingredients such as sugar.
Alternatives to using sugar would be – cinnamon!
Cinnamon is a very healthy spice with many benefits for cats and humans. It’s anti-inflammatory properties can help with joint pain, arthritis and swelling.
It can also regulate your cat's blood sugar and insulin levels by slowing down the absorption of sugar.
A serving of 1/8 teaspoon for every 15 pounds of body weight should be sufficient and will add a nice touch to the apricots.
Make sure to thoroughly stir the cinnamon into the apricots as the powder can severely irritate their lungs and mouth.
Also, avoid feeding your cat cinnamon sticks as they could lead to digestive issues.
Can Cats Eat Apricot Leaves, Pits And Stems?
Cats should not eat the seeds, leaves, and stems of the apricot tree because it contains a chemical called cyanide, which can be quite deadly and dangerous if taken in large quantities.
Many other fruit-producing trees produce cyanide as well in their leaves, however, make sure as a rule of thumb, to throw away the pits and any leaves or stalks left on the fruit.
Don't be too alarmed because risk of your cat getting a cyanide poisoning is almost nonexistent. Just make sure to not include any of the apricot leaves, pits and stems in the special apricot snack you are preparing for our cat.
Apricots For Diarrhea In Cats
Apricots can be a part of the BRAT diet which is a common home remedy to treat diarrhea in cats, consisting of bananas, rice, apricots and toast.
As continuing feeding your cat his normal food could further irritate her digestive tract, opting for something more gentle will give him a chance to heal.
More severe diarrhea should be treated with a 24-hour no-food diet.
Make sure to choose the plainest apricots you can find that have zero additives and is preferably organic.
Apricots are also great for constipation as fibrous fruits stimulate more frequent bowl movement.
Can Cats Eat Apricot Jam?
Cats can eat apricot jam as it is low in calories, high in fiber, antioxidants and vitamin C – all of which strengthens the immune system and helps in managing your cat's weight.
Adding strawberries to your cat's apricot mix is an awesome way to incorporate even more fresh and healthy fruits to his diet.
Strawberries are also very similar to apricots benefit wise.
But most strawberries flavored apricots are sweetened, that’s why we recommend making your own version using the recipe below.
In the end, you can just mix in blended strawberries.
Other safe fruits and berries you can add to homemade apricot mix are blueberries, bananas, apples, orange and mango.
Can Kittens Have Apricots?
Kittens can have apricots however their digestive tract is not fully developed yet and can’t handle the usual adult amount. Be really cautious and only feed your kitten tiny amounts just as a special treat.
Apricots do contain a high amount of vitamin C which is important for normal kitten growth. Nevertheless, they don’t need apricots to become healthy and strong adult cats.
Whenever you are feeding your cat or kitten something new, watch their physical reaction.
Do they respond with diarrhea, bellyaches or vomiting? Do you notice your kitten drinking excessive amounts of water after consuming apricots?
Those are signs that you have either fed them too much too fast or that they simply cannot digest it properly.
Difficulty breathing or hives could be an indication that that your cat is suffering from an allergic reaction. All apricot consumption should be stopped then.
Homemade Apricot Jam For Cats
Preparing your cat and yourself some homemade apricots is the safest and healthiest option and it’s incredibly easy!
You will just need 1.5 lbs of apricots (choose any kind you like and you can even mix them up), 2 oz of water water, 1/2 lemon, 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon, and ½ tsp nutmeg.
Simply slice up the apricots, core them carefully (make sure that there are 0 seeds left) and put them together with the rest of the ingredients in a large pot.
Cook them over medium heat for about 40 to 60 minutes.
To puree them, just use a blender and adjust the chunkiness of the apricots to your liking.
Instead of cinnamon, you can also choose 1 teaspoon of honey which is also safe for cats.
Sterilize and fill the jars, store in the fridge up to 3 months or freeze for 3 months. If you don't sterilize the jars, the jam will last up to a week in the fridge.
Best Unsweetened Apricots For Cats
There are many different brands online and in stores that sell different kinds of apricots like Terrasol, Mariani, Jansan Valley and fortunately, a lot of them are unsweetened.
We have chosen the Bionaturae organic apricot fruit spread to be our top pick.
It is not only unsweetened and organic but has also nothing else added to it, just apricots.
If this is not available online or you cannot find it in your store, Mott’s unsweetened apricots are also an alternative.
Let me know in the comments down below how you like preparing your apricots and if your cat likes tasting it.