Cats are beloved pets due to their playful nature. However, they are mysterious and unpredictable at times! This makes cat parents curious about what exactly their feline is up to. Many cat owners get baffled when their furry companion goes crazy after certain foods.
Is your cat eyeing those green broccoli florets? Your ultimate thought would be, “Can cats eat broccoli?” Yes, cats can eat broccoli. Keep reading to know why and how!
Can Cats Eat Broccoli?
Cats are carnivores rather than omnivores. This means that they fulfill their specific nutritional requirements from meat consumption. Are you curious to know if you can feed vegetables to your feline companion?
Including a small portion of suitable vegetables in your pet’s diet may help relieve stomach problems. But some vegetables might cause serious health issues or aggravate the disease. An example is spinach. Feeding spinach to your cat with kidney disease will worsen its illness.
Not all foods that are healthy for humans are equally healthy for cats. Broccoli is one exception. You can allow your cat to eat broccoli in moderate portions if it has acquired plant-eating preferences.
Are cats allowed to eat broccoli?
The ASPCA (American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals) has listed known toxic plants that cause life-threatening issues to cats. This list does not contain broccoli. This means that cats are allowed to eat broccoli.
Research shows that feeding broccoli to cats is not harmful. Besides broccoli, several other vegetables are safe for cats. These include green beans, green bell peppers, winter squash, asparagus, cucumbers, carrots, alfalfa sprouts, zucchini, etc. Vets usually recommend such vegetables to promote healthy digestion in cats.
What happens if cats eat broccoli?
Like kids, cats may refuse if you toss them some broccoli. Some cats might enjoy broccoli because of its bright green color or chewy texture. It is okay to give your cat a little piece of broccoli. Your cat might defecate or vomit right after eating it.
This does not necessarily mean that broccoli is not suitable for cats. Cats can not digest it as they lack the enzymes needed for vegetable digestion.
Is broccoli good/bad for cats?
Can cats eat broccoli? Yes, they can, as they have teeth to chew this green veggie. But the right question should be: ‘Is broccoli good or bad for cats?’ How do you decide if a particular food is good or bad for your cat? Indeed, by checking its nutrition value. The nutrition from meat and cat food is enough for a cat’s diet.
Apart from proteins, certain other nutrients are essential for your cat’s health. Thus, you can feed your feline certain vegetables and fruits safely to meet the cat’s dietary needs. However, these should only be fed to add variation to the diet and limited portions. Let us have a look at the nutrients present in broccoli:
- Vitamin A, C, and K
Health benefits of broccoli for cats
- Non-fatty snack– Fats make cats obese. Broccoli does not contain fats; hence it is a good snack that will not cause obesity.
- Anti-cancerous– Giving your cat tiny treats of broccoli in its diet will reduce its risk of developing cancer and other diseases. Broccoli is high in antioxidants that prevent the formation of free radicals. Hence it boosts immunity.
- Improves digestion– The fiber content in occasional broccoli treats will help improve your cat’s digestion. It will help regulate bowel movements and prevent stomach disorders.
- Healthy growth– Folate aids in DNA synthesis. The proper cell multiplication will result in the healthy growth of your feline.
- Cardiovascular support– Potassium and other minerals reduce cardiovascular disease risk in cats. It will also help regulate the activity of muscles and nerves.
- Iron source– If there is any lack of iron in your cat’s diet, small broccoli treats will fulfill the requirement.
- Normal blood flow– Vitamin K in broccoli will promote normal blood circulation.
- Bone support– Cats should not get excess vitamin A. However, a tiny amount stimulates healthy bones, eyes, and teeth.
- Lowers cholesterol– Broccoli treats will help regulate your cat’s cholesterol level.
Cons of broccoli for cats
Although broccoli is non-toxic to cats, it should not be the primary source of nutrition for them. The reason is that cats, being carnivores, rely on meat for most of their sustenance. Excessive broccoli feeding will deprive them of adequate protein consumption, ultimately leading to health problems. Therefore, if your cat is interested in broccoli, offer it a bite or a limited quantity.
How to feed broccoli to your cat?
Now that you are sure that cats can eat broccoli. You must also know how to feed them broccoli appropriately:
Can cats eat broccoli raw?
Is it safe for cats to eat raw broccoli? The answer is no since cats do not have enzymes to digest raw plant-based foods. Veterinarians recommend properly cooked broccoli for cats. Your feline can experience bowel movements, vomiting, or stomach troubles due to raw broccoli consumption.
Also, raw broccoli may choke your pet. Toxic metabolites in raw broccoli may cause gastrointestinal illnesses in your cat.
Can cats eat cooked/steamed broccoli?
Yes. Boiled or steamed broccoli sprouts do not contain any harmful free radicals. Your cat can chew it easily. Want to satisfy your pet’s broccoli craving? Follow the instructions below to prepare a perfect broccoli treat:
Choose fresh broccoli and wash thoroughly. Remove the long stems and chop them into bite-size pieces for your cat to prevent choking. Cat’s teeth can tear meat, but not vegetables, so make sure to cook the broccoli until tender. Then combine it with kibble. Finally, add a little floret to it.
Remember: Do not add seasonings, toppings, herbs such as salt, butter, oil, cheese, etc. These might cause health problems for your cat.
Frequently Asked Questions
Will broccoli hurt cats?
When properly cooked, broccoli will never hurt cats. It serves as a wholesome, nutritious treat for cats. Broccoli helps treat digestive disorders and prevents heart diseases and cancer risks in cats.
Is broccoli poisonous to cats?
No, broccoli is not poisonous to cats. It is instead a healthy snack for cats but in small quantities, occasionally. It prevents the risk of cancer and heart disease, relieves stomach disorders, and lowers cholesterol in cats. However, raw broccoli is dangerous for cats.
Can kittens eat broccoli?
Yes, kittens can eat broccoli. It is non-toxic for kittens but must be given occasionally and in tiny portions. Proper portions help stimulate overall growth.
Can cats eat broccoli? Is it safe for them? Certainly, yes! Like humans, broccoli has various health benefits for cats as well. Broccoli is a rich source of carotenoids, vitamin C, antioxidants, and dietary fiber that make it a pretty suitable snack for your cat.
All these nutritional properties mark broccoli as one of the healthiest snacks for a cat. The ideal way to serve it is in a steamed or boiled broccoli form for digestion. Since broccoli is not poisonous for cats, you can start with a tiny piece when introducing it to your cat.
Make sure to consult with your vet and feed it under your supervision. You can add tiny portions of broccoli to the cat’s diet as an occasional treat if it enjoys munching.
Hi, Dr. Louise Cosgrove from Queensland, Australia. A veterinarian for 10+ years. I and my husband Jason Gray running a veterinary business at eevs.com.au. decided to create a blog about cats. I wanted to create a – what you can call a cat-o-pedia for people who don’t have a veterinary partner and often need to rely on the internet for quick and useful information about cats.