Acai is a common ingredient used in smoothie bowls; beyond its good look, there’s more to this berry that continually appears on your Instagram feed. Acai has lots of nutritional benefits, which we will soon reveal, but are they safe for your cats?
When giving cats treats and food, your main priority should be your feline friend’s nutritional needs. Cats don’t have receptors for sweet taste, which means they can’t taste sugar, plus their body needs mainly proteins(but common! You can’t just be giving them proteins, you need to complete their daily nutritional intake with 10% of treats.)
in this article, we will examine acai for cats, its benefits, and risks, and at the end, you will be able to know if your cat can have some or not.
What is Acai?
Acai is a small, dark purple berry that grows on the Acai palm tree. The Acai palm is a tall, slender tree native to Central and South America. It has been gaining popularity in recent years due to its health benefits and high nutrient content.
Because of its high nutritional content, Acai is often referred to as a “superfood.” Acai is a type of berry that is high in antioxidants, dietary fiber, vitamins and minerals, and omega fatty acids. It has been used by indigenous people of the Amazon for centuries as a natural remedy for various ailments, including fatigue, digestion issues, and skin conditions.
The Acai berry is a drupe, which means it has an outer skin, a fleshy middle layer, and a hard inner core. The Acai berry is harvested from the tree and processed into a powder, juice, or puree, depending on the desired end product.
Is Acai Safe For Cats?
Yes, but in moderation. It’s important to remember that cats should never be given acai as their primary source of nutrition. It is always best to supplement a cat’s diet with other healthy foods, such as meat, fish, and vegetables. Also, it is vital to make sure that the acai is fresh and free from preservatives, as some of these can be harmful to cats.
Acai can be a beneficial addition to a cat’s diet in certain situations, but it should not be the main source of nutrition.
You might be unsettled by the theobromine content of acai, but the theobromine levels in acai berries are so low (0.0014mg/g), your cat may need to ingest more than a bowl filled with acai berries for it to become hazardous to your pooch.
What Are the Benefits of Acai for Cats?
Heart disease: While there may be no research backing the deduction that Açai can be good for your cat’s heart, as a rule of thumb,
2. Weight loss: We all know how hard it is to get our cats to participate in certain activities like brushing their teeth or exercising. Likely, your cat won’t get the needed exercise unless they are outdoor cats or you put in extra effort to get them exercising by purchasing an exercise wheel or engaging in some games. Using Acai as a treat instead of unhealthy human snacks can help your cat maintain a healthy body weight.
3. Helps fight arthritis: over 70% – 90% of aging cats over 12 years will likely suffer from arthritis (a chronic, painful, progressive condition involving the joints of cats.) Acai contains anthocyanins that possess anti-inflammatory effects that aid in reducing the symptoms associated with arthritis.
4. Acai will significantly impact cholesterol levels: when your cat consumes fiber from vegetables, fruits like Acai, and beans, their cholesterol levels will be lowered.
What Are the risk of Acai for Cats?
While there are many benefits in giving your cat some acai berries, there are also many risks that you should be aware of, so you can know the amount to give and the action to take in case of poisoning.
Allergy: just like different things could evoke allergy in humans, you can’t be sure what could cause your cat to have an allergic reaction. Acai contains ficin and ficusin, which are known to cause allergic reactions in cats. Monitor your cat closely the first time you give it some acai to eat.
Theobromine: For humans, theobromine does a lot of good, from stimulating our muscles to being a blood vessel dilator to being a heart stimulant. But for cats, theobromine is a significant threat as it causes chocolate poisoning in cats. Cats can not metabolize theobromine, so if consumed in a significant amount, it becomes highly toxic.
Can cats Eat Acai?
Acai seems to be more beneficial to humans than to cats. For your cat to get the nutrient that acai has to offer, it has to consume a significant amount daily, which may not be safe.
In small quantities, conventionally, cats can eat acai without problems, except your cat is allergic to the fruit’s ficin and ficusin content.
There is also the risk of theobromine poisoning if you constantly keep feeding your cat acai, but if you feed your cat acai reasonably, you may not need to get rushing to the vet.
Read: Should cats eat guava?
Is Acai Safe for Kittens and Senior Cats?
In as much as Acai has anthocyanins that could relieve aged cats of most of their arthritis pains, it is not advisable at all to give senior cats acai. To help them enjoy the remainder of their stay on earth, you should be very cautious about what goes into their body.
As for kittens, here is a report from a pet parent on the death of her kitten from consuming acai tablets. Although, I can’t fault acai berries for kittens on this basis, as what the kittens in the report consumed were a concentrated form of acai(which is the peel) and would have likely contained other ingredients that could be potentially harmful to a kitten’s system.
If you’re convinced and want to hand your cats some acai, you should give little quantities and watch how they react to it before making it a conventional treat.
Proper Serving Size and Frequency of Acai for Cats
To stay on the safe side, you’re better off giving your cat one to two Acai berries once or twice a week. Since this berry doesn’t necessarily do significant good to you or your cat, you don’t want to cause your cat some discomfort over what isn’t so beneficial in the first place.
Can Cats Eat Acai Bowls? Final thoughts
You may have to give the cat the entire bowl or more before you see any signs of poisoning. Theobromine (a potentially dangerous chemical present in chocolate) is the main compound that people are afraid of when trying to feed acai to their cats, but your cat has to take 200 milligrams for each kg of body weight to suffer from toxicity.
Because theobromine levels in acai berries are so low (0.0014mg/g), your cat may need to ingest more than a bowl to become hazardous.
Acai has its benefits and its risks also, which you should take into consideration when deciding if your cat should partake of these lovely berries, and if you notice anything strange, always contact your vet.