Can Cats Eat Jackfruit (Or Could It Make It Sick?)
If your cat has eaten some Jackfruit, or you are just curious, you may be wondering if it is OK for them…
Can Cats Eat Jackfruit?
Jackfruit is not recommended as a safe food for cats to eat. The jackfruit is in the same family as figs, which are known to be toxic to cats if they ingest them. While figs are completely safe for humans to eat, they are not recommended for cats.
So, now you know it is not ideal. But, what is the nutritional content of these fruits? Are there any health benefits from them? What about kittens, can they eat them? Keep reading for these answers, and so much more…
What is Jackfruit?
Jackfruit is a very close relative of figs and breadfruit. You will find jackfruit growing in tropical areas in Southeast Asia, Africa, and Brazil. Jackfruit is even the national fruit of Bangladesh and Sri Lanka.
While jackfruit grows in tropical areas, it can be bought internationally. It is commonly sold in a can or frozen, but you can also find it in forms such as noodles or chips.
Jackfruit is the largest fruit grown on trees, as the fruit can grow to be 35 inches long, 20 inches wide, and up to 120 pounds. One jack tree can produce between 200 and 500 jackfruits per year, depending on how old it is.
When eaten ripe, jackfruit is sweet and is commonly used in desserts. As for canned jackfruit, it has a milder taste and a texture that is more similar to meat. It might be a fruit, but it has a consistency that is closer to pork or chicken. For this reason, it is commonly referred to as “vegetable meat”.
What is the Nutritional Content of Jackfruit?
Source: USDA (per 100g) *
* See the source for the full list
Jackfruit is a great source of potassium, vitamin C, dietary fiber, as well as other essential vitamins. It is also one of the few fruits that contain a high amount of vitamin B. Jackfruit is also high in water content.
In one single cup of raw, uncooked jackfruit there are 157 calories, 2.84 grams of protein, 1.06 grams of fat, 38.36 grams of carbohydrates, 2.5 grams of dietary fiber, 21.48 grams of sugars, 48mg of magnesium, 739mg of potassium, and 22.6mg of vitamin C.
Are There Any Health Benefits of Jackfruit?
Jackfruit has properties that can help control blood sugar. It has a low glycemic index, which measures how quickly your blood sugar rises after eating something. This is because of the fiber provided by jackfruit which slows digestion and prevents blood sugar spikes.
01. Help with blood sugar control?
In addition to aiding in blood sugar management, jackfruit has also been known to support cancer treatment. The antioxidants in the jackfruit neutralize free radicals and can even prevent some types of cancer.
Jackfruit might also be able to help protect against disease. The fruit is high in antioxidants that provide several health benefits, including lowering your risk for disease.
Antioxidants work to protect your cells from inflammation and oxidative stress. The antioxidants include vitamin C, carotenoids, and flavanones.
03. Help to prevent skin issues?
Being high in antioxidants and water means jackfruit can also prevent skin issues. It can keep your skin looking young, fresh, and glowing. Jackfruit can also help slow down the signs of aging that your skin might experience.
Are There Any Health Risks of Jackfruit?
There was a case report released in 2015 stating that someone with an allergy to latex went into anaphylactic shock after eating a jackfruit. It is said this reaction was triggered by proteins that are similar to latex.
Trigger allergic reactions?
Another case report suggests that jackfruit can trigger allergic reactions, according to this site, if you are allergic to birch pollen. It is unlikely, however, that you will be allergic to a jackfruit.
Impact Blood coagulation?
If you have a blood disorder, you should be aware that jackfruit could impact blood coagulation. You should avoid jackfruit if possible, or eat it in extreme moderation.
Should You Feed Your Cat Jackfruit?
It is not recommended to feed your cat jackfruit. This is because jackfruit is in the same family as figs, which are highly toxic to cats and can cause what is called fig poisoning.
Every part of a fig or similar fruit should be avoided by your cat. The leaves, sap, and trees, in general, are toxic and can irritate your cat.
If you think that your cat has ingested any amount of jackfruit, you should contact your vet immediately to see what they suggest you do.
Is Jackfruit OK for Kittens?
Kittens have sensitive bellies, so you must make sure you are feeding them things that are good for them. It is best to steer clear of feeding your kitten jackfruit because you don’t want them to experience any negative side effects.
Are There Better Fruit Alternatives than Jackfruit for Cats?
Primarily cats need animal protein. But, there are some way better fruit alternatives (what about lemons or lemonade? click here) than feeding your cat jackfruit.
Some fruits that are safe for cats to eat in moderation are apples, bananas, blueberries, cantaloupe, strawberries, and seedless watermelon.
Apples are high in fiber and protein, as well as vitamins A and C. Feed your cat 1 to 2 slices for a nice treat.
Bananas are a great source of potassium and carbs. Slice into 1-inch pieces and give your cat a piece or two.
Blueberries are packed full of antioxidants and are considered a superfood for humans and pets alike. Two or three blueberries are a perfect serving for your cat.
Cantaloupe has beta-carotene, which helps eyesight. Give your cat one 1-inch chunk.
Strawberries are rich in vitamins B1 and B6, which are great for your cat’s muscles. Half a berry is plenty for them to experience the benefits of these vitamins.
Finally, seedless watermelon contains 92 percent water, which helps your cat to remain hydrated when it starts to get hot outside. One slice will be a great snack for them in the summer!
Some vegetables are safe and yummy for your kitty to eat. These vegetables include steamed asparagus, baked or steamed carrots, winter squash, green beans, broccoli, cucumbers, and more!
If you are unsure what is safe or not safe for your cat to eat, give your vet a call and they will be happy to answer any questions you may have to be completely sure.
Does Jackfruit Cause Diarrhea?
When eating a ripe jackfruit, it can act as a laxative. If you eat too much of it at one time, it can cause diarrhea. Be careful not to eat too much in one sitting, or you might experience a stomach ache and some diarrhea.
Does Jackfruit Stink?
The flesh of the jackfruit is dense and very sweet, so it has a reputation of not smelling very well. It is a scent that some people love and others can’t stand. It all depends on your personal preference and what you like.
The more you are around jackfruit, the more adapted you will become to the smell. You may not grow to love it, but you will become more tolerant of how it smells.
Is a Durian the Same as Jackfruit?
Durian is not the same as a Jackfruit. It is not even related to jackfruit. The two fruits look similar at first glance due to the fact they are both spiked and green on the outside. Once you get a closer look you can tell them apart. A durian is smaller, closer to the size of a coconut.
The similarities between a durian and jackfruit end at the exterior. They may look alike, but they are not at all similar. Durian is part of the Mallow family, while jackfruit is part of the Mulberry family with figs.
Why Are Figs (Same Family As Jackfruit) Known To Be Toxic For Cats?
Figs and jackfruit are unfortunately toxic to cats because they contain proteolytic enzymes as well as psoralen. These two things are essentially poison for your cat, even if they are not always recognized as such. They have a way of causing damage to your cat’s cells which can be detrimental to their health and wellness.
Outside of their toxicity, jackfruit doesn’t contain any relevant nutrients or minerals that your cat would be lacking from eating high-quality cat kibble. As a result, feeding them jackfruit would not be of any benefit to them if it were a safe fruit for cats to consume.
What Can Happen If My Cat Eats Jackfruit?
Your cat could end up becoming quite sick and uncomfortable depending on how much jackfruit they manage to eat. Jackfruit can be difficult for many cats to eat, so they may not end up wanting to eat enough of it to make them sick.
Typically, cats will experience a level of gastrointestinal discomfort after eating jackfruit which can result in some bloating, vomiting, and diarrhea. This will often be temporary and your kitty should find some relief after a couple of days. Don’t hesitate to reach out to your vet or an emergency vet clinic should you be concerned about the amount of vomit or diarrhea you see.
However, even if your cat has a mild reaction to jackfruit, you must do your best to encourage them to drink water so they don’t become dehydrated as a result of vomiting or diarrhea. Some wet food could also help them regain some strength while getting in some much-needed water.
What Should I Do If My Cat Accidentally Eats Jackfruit?
If your cat manages to get their paws on some of your jackfruits, try and determine how much they managed to eat. You should contact your vet and report to them how much jackfruit your cat ate, if it was cooked with anything such as seasonings or oil, and see what your vet recommends.
Your vet may advise you to monitor for certain symptoms and bring your cat in should something concerning occur, or they might advise you to bring your cat in for an examination if they managed to eat a large amount of jackfruit.
You should not attempt to treat your cat in any way on your own, especially if you haven’t had any discussions with a vet. You don’t want to do anything that puts your beloved kitty in harm’s way. Be sure you give them some extra loving as they recover and be mindful of where you leave your jackfruit in the future.
What Is A Better Alternative To Jackfruit For Cats?
Cats don’t need any alternatives to jackfruit as they get a sufficient amount of healthy and nutritious food sources in their dry food that gives them what they need to remain well. Your cat should be eating a meat-rich, high-protein diet of mainly dry food, with the occasional wet food and treat mixed in.
Should your kitty seem to be enticed by sweet food, fruit, or human food, there are some much safer foods to let them have a couple of bites of once in a while. Small amounts of mango, strawberry, and pineapple, should your cat enjoy these fruits, are safe for kitties.
It’s not uncommon to see fruits such as blueberries in small amounts in cat food, as this is probably one of the best fruits that cats can eat. Cats are also able to safely sample some small amounts of apples without seeds, bananas, watermelon, and cantaloupe. With any fruit, seeds need to be removed for cats to safely consume.
Why Is Jackfruit Known To Be A Choking Hazard For Cats?
Within jackfruit’s bulbs of fruit that you can eat are some very large and hard seeds that could be a very dangerous choking hazard. Your cat could end up getting these seeds in their mouths, and wouldn’t be able to chew them. Fruit seeds in any capacity should never be fed to cats.
Younger cats may not have the foresight to avoid things they cannot chew and swallow such as jackfruit seeds. It’s good for any cat parent to know how to assist a cat who may be choking, while also preventing them as much as possible from coming into contact with choking hazards.
Jackfruit can also be chewy, especially if it’s not cooked. While cats do have very strong teeth, it may be difficult for them to chew through jackfruit and so they might end up swallowing pieces of the fruit before it’s small enough for their throats. Jackfruit can also be stringy when broken up which can also potentially result in a choking hazard.
Can Jackfruit Cause Diabetes In Cats?
Jackfruit is full of natural sugar which, for humans, is easy to break down and metabolize. For cats, the amount of sugar in jackfruit is way too much for their little bodies and could cause diabetes.
Diabetes is a very difficult disease for cats to live with, and it also requires a lot of extra care for their pet parents. Cats who are already diabetic or overweight could experience worse symptoms due to the number of calories in jackfruit as well.
The high amount of sugar in jackfruit is also a risk factor for cats developing pancreatitis. One of the effects of this condition is an increase in appetite, which of course, can cause your cat to eat more to find some relief. This can lead to weight gain which can increase your cat’s risk for diabetes.
It’s very rare, if not impossible, for cats to actively crave sweet food. The taste receptors in their mouths do not taste sweets and sugar in the same way that we do. As such, not sharing any kind of sweet fruit with your cat isn’t going to deprive them of any pleasure.