Coconut is safe for cats to eat in moderation, and may even provide some health benefits. But you should only feed it to them in small amounts, as a very occasional snack.
Coconut contains medium-chain triglycerides (MCTs), which are a type of healthy fat that can improve digestion, boost energy levels, and strengthen the immune system. It also contains antioxidants and anti-inflammatory properties, which can help support overall health. Coconut oil may offer some of the same benefits as coconut meat, but it's not advisable to feed your cat coconut oil regularly - only feed them small quantities of it rarely.
Due to the fruit's high fibre content, feeding your cat too much coconut may lead to gastrointestinal illness, including diarrhoea. Cats also don't require as much dietary fat as many other animals (or humans), so overfeeding them with coconut could lead to weight gain.
Also, keep in mind that you should never feed your pet coconut products that contain any added sugars or artificial sweeteners like xylitol, as these additives are very unhealthy for cats.
The bottom line: small amounts of shredded or flaked (unsweetened) fresh or dried coconut meat, or very small amounts of coconut oil, may be perfectly safe to feed your cat. But you should only feed them these items once in a while, not as a staple of their diet or even as a regular treat. Also, remember that cats are obligate carnivores, which means they need to get most of their nutrients from meat-based foods.
As always, before introducing a new food item into your pet's diet, consult your vet first! If your cat eats coconut (or any food) and is showing signs of illness such as lethargy, diarrhoea, or vomiting, reach out to your veterinarian immediately. If your pet requires veterinary care due to something they ate, cat insurance can help cover the cost of treatment.