Feeding

Can Cats Eat Vegetables?

One of the most appreciated sources of vitamins for us is the large selection of fruits and vegetables that we have at our disposal. Since these are so beneficial for us we might ask ourselves: can cats eat vegetables? It’s only natural that we want our pet to have the same health benefits as us so let us find out the answer together.

Just like us, cats need vitamins but they are obligate carnivores so fruits or vegetables aren’t required in their diet. Animal proteins provide all the nutrients they need so the best idea is to stick to what your veterinarian recommended.

Yet this doesn’t mean that there aren’t some vegetables they can safely enjoy in small amounts. You might have seen your cat nab on some grass leaves from time to time and some theories say they do this as a way of helping their digestion (aiding in the movement of hairballs) or due to the folic acid they contain.

The idea of adding some vegetables might be good if your cat is overweight but never replace their entire diet with vegetables. Vegetables can also improve the cat’s immune system and reduce the effects of aging. The best choice is probably a cooked carrot since they have many vitamins and can be easily chopped once it was boiled.

Many cats find it tasty but never serve it raw since it poses a choking hazard. Other vegetables that are accepted are the peas (offering proteins and carbohydrates), broccoli (due to the antioxidants they contain), green beans (offering fibers while also helping them lose some weight), winter squash (it can help with stomach problems like constipation or diarrhea), asparagus or zucchini (containing magnesium, potassium and manganese).

Some of these are used in commercial cat foods since cats really do enjoy their taste and the best way to cook them is by simply steaming them and then cut them into bite sized portions for your furry friend to ease their ingestion. Wash them before just as you would do with the ones that you cook for yourself and avoid any spices on them since they will probably do more harm than good.

If you want to feed vegetables or fruits to your pet remember that these should never exceed 10% of their diet since they are in no way essential to them. Going overboard with vegetables will be bad for them because they don’t have the enzymes we have to break down large quantities of veggies. When it comes to fruits cantaloupe is a good choice as well as other melons because they seem to really enjoy the taste. Pay attention to the seeds though because the choking hazard is very real with them!

Among the vegetables that should never be offered to your cat the most important ones to avoid are garlic, onions, tomatoes, avocados and mushrooms since they are toxic or difficult to digest so always keep them out of the reach of your pet.

Short answer:

No. There is a list of vegetables they can eat but they are in no way essential to them.

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