Best Vegetables For Cats: Can They Eat Them? Benefits And Side Effects
Unlike us humans, cats aren’t omnivores. They get their primary nutrition from a carnivorous diet containing fish, chicken, turkey and other meats. The feline organism has special dietary requirements, which are met through the protein, vitamins and other nutritional ingredients found in real meat.
Even though feline furballs are carnivorous by default, they still need vitamins just like us, humans. And a well-balanced human diet includes lots of vegetables and fruits. Many domestic kitties won’t mind sharing their pet parents’ veggie or fruit-based snacks, despite the fact that they don’t contain meat.
But can cats benefit from eating vegetables?
Yes, they can! In fact, many cat foods and cat treats do offer a variety of vegetables in their recipe formulas. Vegetables are rich in a plethora of healthy ingredients like potassium, riboflavin, antioxidants, dietary fiber and vitamins. All of these things are essential for cats of all breeds, regardless of their age.
Of course, there are some vegetables, which you should never give to your fluffy friend.
Onion, garlic, mushrooms and tomatoes are just some examples of toxic foods for the feline organism.
Today, however, we’ll focus on those vegetables which are beneficial for cats and the ways they can help your pet lead a healthy, happy and thriving life. So, without further ado, here’s a list of the best veggies which you can safely give to your furry pal.
The Best Vegetables For Cats?
Can Cats Eat Broccoli? Yes!
Broccoli is one of the most popular vegetables produced for human consumption. But did you know that it’s also among the best superfoods for cats?
That’s right – it’s a superfood for felines and for good reasons. Broccoli florets are extremely rich in a variety of antioxidants and contain high amounts of dietary fiber. Constipated felines or cats with digestive system disorders can benefit from additional fiber intake. And on top of that the abundance of antioxidants will also be beneficial to every single furball out there.
You fluffy friend can safely munch on some steamed broccoli florets mixed in its typical cat food. There is one downside to too much broccoli though – too much of its fiber will cause diarrhea.
Can Cats Eat Carrots? Yes!
Feline teeth are quite different from rabbit teeth, but that doesn’t mean cats won’t benefit from eating this particular bunny food. You might be surprised, but carrots are also considered as a superfood for cats due to their numerous health benefits.
Carrots are low of fat, which makes them a great snack for overweight furballs. What’s more, they offer potassium, calcium, dietary fiber, vitamins A, C and B6. On top of that, this vegetable is an excellent source of beta-carotene.
You probably don’t know this, but many cat food manufacturers use carrots in their recipes. Since the feline organism can’t process this veggie like the human organism can, you should feed only moderate amounts of carrots to your furry companion. The best way to do so is to offer grated or finely chopped carrots and only when they’re cooked. This will make them easier for digestion and it will also prevent the cat from choking with larger chunks.
Can Cats Eat Peas? Yes!
Green peas are among the top healthiest vegetables for humans and cats alike. If you don’t believe us, just do a quick research of the ingredients in high quality cat foods – either canned or in the form of kibble. You’ll find that peas are one of the most popular veggie ingredients.
Magnesium, calcium, iron, manganese, zinc, potassium, copper and phosphorus are among the most beneficial essentials found in green peas. They also contain healthy amounts of vitamins A, K, B1, B2, B6, and C. Mixing up some steamed peas in your kitty’s food will add some carbohydrates and protein to its diet. Another way to offer green peas to your pet is to puree them prior to serving them.
Can Cats Eat Green Beans? Yes!
Among the best vegetables for cats, particularly overweight cats, are green beans. They are 100% safe for the feline organism and are rich in dietary fiber, as well as in protein.
Cooked green beans can serve as a healthy substitute to traditional cat treats. They are rich on thiamine, riboflavin, calcium, magnesium, potassium, vitamins A, B6, C, and K. As long as the cooked beans are unseasoned and don’t have any dressings, they will be perfectly safe for your kitty. Similarly to peas, you can serve them whole or pureed, but only in moderate amounts.
Can Cats Eat Zucchini? Yes!
According to the ASPCA, zucchinis are non-toxic to cats and dogs. What the ASPCA doesn’t say, however, is that this particular vegetable is among the best weight loss foods to give to an obese furball.
Diabetic or overweight pets can benefit from eating zucchinis as they’re low on calories. On the other hand, they contain high amounts of vitamins C, A, B6, as well as magnesium, iron, calcium, potassium and dietary fiber. Finely chopped steamed zucchinis can easily be hidden inside wet canned cat food. If your own feline pal is too finicky, you can mash the zucchini into a puree before mixing it with the food.
Can Cats Eat Spinach Or Is It Toxic? It’s OK For Some Cats, But Not All…
Last, but not least, is another famous human superfood, which can also be beneficial to cats – spinach. Spinach contains a plethora of vitamins and minerals, which are crucial for every living organism, including felines. One of its best advantages is that it can serve as an anti-inflammatory tool for the cat’s digestive tract lining.
However, spinach can also be dangerous to some cats, especially those suffering from urinary tract problems. It contains calcium olaxate. Even though the amounts of calcium olaxate are low, they can contribute to the possible formation of harmful crystals in your pet’s urinary tract.
Regardless of the type of vegetables you’re feeding your cat with, keep in mind that the kitty is a carnivore. A well-balanced feline diet features meat as a primary food item, whereas vegetables must be serving only as an additional bonus. They can’t substitute the essential ingredients in real meat products. And if your cat is thriving on a vegetable-based diet, it will suffer from malnourishment, which will lead to a number of health problems.