Papaya is a delectable tropical fruit loaded with tons of health benefits for humans and cats alike. So yes, papaya is safe for cats to eat – but only in moderate amounts.
Papayas are low in calories and high in vitamins A, C, and E, making them a healthy treat that can supplement your cat's diet. Papayas also contain an enzyme called papain, which helps digest protein quickly and efficiently. This makes it easier for cats to absorb nutrients from their food. In fact, some digestive enzymes found in cat foods come from papaya extracts.
Again, you should only feed your cat papaya in moderate amounts. Eating too much papaya can lead to gastrointestinal problems such as diarrhea or vomiting; the fruit has high sugar content and fiber-like properties that may upset your cat's stomach in large quantities. But feeding your furry companion small amounts of ripe (fresh or dried) papaya once or twice a week can add nutritional value to their diet and keep them happy and purring.
Finally, just keep in mind that papaya should never be fed to your cat as a staple of their diet, or as a replacement for their regular cat food. As obligate carnivores, cats 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 with your veterinarian first. If your cat eats papaya (or any food) and is showing signs of illness such as lethargy, diarrhea, or vomiting, reach out to your veterinarian immediately. If they require veterinary care related to eating any unsafe foods, pet insurance can help cover the cost of treatment.