Coconut water is known for being quite healthy for human beings, and it’s a great addition to smoothies and juices while also being delicious on its own.
Cats do seem to be drawn to the smell and taste of coconut, but is it safe? Can cats drink coconut water? Read on to find out!
Can Cats Drink Coconut Water?
No, cats cannot drink coconut water. While a little bit is unlikely to harm them and each individual pet is different, the ASPCA highly advises against giving cats coconut water to pets at all.
Potential Hazards To Giving Your Cat Coconut Water
The major hazard of giving your cat coconut water is its extremely high potassium content. Cats need very balanced, stable, reliable potassium levels in their blood to ensure optimal bodily function.
Even a slight imbalance can cause harm, with slight elevations causing obvious issues like lethargy, muscle spasms, constipation, and loss of appetite that can lead to fatal complications.
Excessive blood potassium affects a cat’s kidney and heart, causing them to be unable to function correctly and potentially leading to severe illness or death.
With too much potassium, a cat will be unable to use its kidneys to excrete and remove toxins from the body, causing an unhealthy buildup.
A secondary hazard of coconut water is its high sugar content as it has a lot of sugar in just a few ounces.
This can lead to elevated blood sugar, which contributes to a risk of diabetes and heart problems.
However, you are likely to need to worry about potassium long before you need to worry about sugar when it comes to coconut water and cats.
It’s also worth noting that all coconut products are similarly not ideal for cats. While the flesh and milk of coconuts are not as potentially dangerous as coconut water, even a little bit can cause loose stools and other issues.
Cats are obligate carnivores and tend not to be able to digest coconut flesh properly! Once again, small amounts will not harm your cat, but too much can be a serious problem.
Benefits Of Giving Your Cat Coconut Water
Coconut water does have some benefits. However, please note that these benefits are typically not a good enough reason to give your cat coconut water, as the harm and downsides far outweigh the good.
The following benefits are listed for information purposes only, and you should still not give your cat coconut water.
1. High Nutrient Content
Coconut water contains a lot of phosphorus, potassium, magnesium, and calcium, making up a decent chunk of a human’s daily recommended value. A little bit of coconut water can give your cat all it needs when it comes to these nutrients.
2. Heart Health Support
Coconut water can help balance cholesterol levels, leading to improved heart health. It may also be able to reduce blood pressure.
3. Antioxidant Content
Animal research has shown that coconut water contains a lot of antioxidant properties that can fight free radical harm and oxidative stress. This can, in turn, lead to longer lifespans.
The biggest benefit of coconut water is how hydrating it is. It’s a tasty, sweet way to get some flavor in water and drinks without it being unhealthy and stuffed with artificial flavors.
5. Lowered Blood Sugar
Animal research has shown that coconut water can reduce blood insulin levels despite its high sugar content, reducing the risk of diabetes.
How Much Coconut Water Is Safe For A Cat To Drink?
Adult cats can have a tiny amount of coconut water, such as a few drops or a teaspoonful. A few drops added to some food are unlikely to harm them and can be a good supplemental boost.
However, it is worth noting that the tiny amount needed to avoid harm is also unlikely to provide that many additional benefits to a cat that you can’t get easily elsewhere. It’s simply best to not give your cats coconut water voluntarily at all.
If your cat ingests coconut water accidentally or through curiosity when you didn’t intend it to, act based on the amount.
A few drops or a few seconds of drinking will likely not be harmful, so just monitor your cat carefully for the next 24 to 48 hours.
If your cat has been drinking for a while or has consumed a cup or more, you should bring them to the vet and inform your vet what they have consumed.
Is Coconut Water Good To Help With Dehydration In Cats?
Coconut water is extremely hydrating, and cats that are dehydrated due to illnesses or scarce resources may benefit from a little bit of coconut water.
However, this should be an absolute worst-case scenario, a last-ditch attempt for pure survival, when other forms of water are either not available or worse than coconut water.
Again, it is simply best to never give your cats any coconut water voluntarily.
Coconut water is not safe for cats to drink due to its high potassium content. In tiny amounts, such as a few drops, it won’t do any harm, but there’s little point in including this substance in your cat’s diet at all.
Some people have claimed that their cats are fine drinking coconut water, but they’re likely a far exception and you should follow the ASPCA’s recommendations in most cases. You should opt for plain water or some form of cat-safe broth for your cat’s hydration instead.