Collard greens are packed with nutrients but can cats eat collard greens? Collard greens are a staple food option in southern cooking. They have dark green leaves and hard stems belonging to the cabbage family and taste like kale and cabbage. So while cooking some collard greens, you may wonder if collard greens are safe for cats?
Can Cats Eat Collard Greens?
Cats can eat collard greens in minimal quantities. As they are packed with essential minerals and vitamins, they may be beneficial for your cat. However, there are certain factors that you need to consider before feeding collard greens to your cat. It all depends on how you prepare the collard greens, how much you feed your cat, and your cat’s overall health.
Are Collard Greens Good For Cats?
In little amounts, collard greens are good for cats. They contain high levels of protein, folate, riboflavin, and even vitamin k. However, as collard greens also contain a lot of fiber, giving only small amounts to your cat is essential. Consuming large amounts of fiber can lead to stomach pains and diarrhea in your pet cat. As collard greens contain high levels of isothiocyanate and calcium oxalate, you should not give this vegetable to cats prone to bladder or kidney stones. To be safer, ask your vet about this leafy vegetable’s risk to your cat.
Can Cats Eat Raw Collard Greens?
Raw collard greens are challenging for any animal to digest except for herbivores. Cats are carnivores, so it is difficult for their sensitive digestive system to digest tough and raw collard greens. If the cat eats raw collard greens, it can cause an upset stomach.
If you want to feed your cat collard greens, remove the tough stem and cook them until they are very soft and tender.
Can Cats Eat Collard Green Stems?
You should avoid giving your cat the stems of collard green vegetables. They are highly beneficial for humans because of their healthy amount of fiber, but too much fiber can be harmful to your cat. Moreover, the stems are so hard that the cats cannot digest them even if you cook them. Even if they eat it, the fiber concentration in the stems can give them diarrhea or an upset stomach.
Can Cats Eat Cooked Collard Green?
Cats can eat small amounts of cooked collard greens. Make sure that before cooking, you have thoroughly removed the tough stems of the leaves. Wash the leaves in fresh water to eliminate all the dirt or pesticides on them. Now cook the leaves until they become nice and tender. Cooking makes it easier for your pet cat to digest the leaves. Make sure you give your cat a controlled amount of these veggies at a time.
Benefits Of Collard Greens For Cats
When you give your cat collard greens in moderation, they can give the following benefits:
- High levels of fiber in collard greens can benefit your cat’s digestive system. But be careful and only give small amounts to the cat.
- The beneficial compounds such as vitamins and minerals may be good for your cat.
- It can add variety to your cat’s diet.
Are Collard Greens Bad for Cats?
Collard greens are not bad for the cats if given in moderation. The main problem with these veggies is the amount of oxalate and isothiocyanate. These compounds can lead to kidney stones. So if your cat is suffering from kidney stone or bladder issues, take caution and avoid collard greens in their diets. If you give your cat canned collard greens or stems, they can be bad for the cat. But if you only feed it tender, cooked leaves of the collard greens in small quantities, there should be no problem. If you observe your cat showing no interest even in cooked collard greens, do not force them.
Frequently Asked Questions
Can Cats Eat Raw Collard Green Leaves?
Although leaves are the only part of collard greens that cats can eat, giving them raw collard green leaves is not a good idea. Since the leaves also contain some fiber, just like the stems, cooking them would be wise before feeding them to your cat.
Are Collards Toxic To Cats?
No, they are not toxic for the cats. The only thing to consider is not to feed raw collards and the amount of collard green. Collard greens contain oxalates, isothiocyanates, and high levels of fiber that can be problematic for the cat. So control the amount of collard green for your cat and avoid giving it fiber-packed stems.
Can Cats Eat Collard Green Flowers?
Collard green flowers are edible for cats but in small quantities. Please do not wait for them to get mature after blooming. As soon as the flowers bloom, pick them and cook them before feeding them to the cat.
Can Cats Eat Canned Collard Greens?
No, canned foods contain high quantities of salts and preservatives. They also contain many hidden harmful ingredients that the cat should not consume. So it would be better to avoid canned collard greens.
How To Prepare Collard Greens For Cats?
You can start by washing the collard greens. Now remove the tough woody stems from the leaves. Cut the leaves into ribbon-like pieces. Now take a pot and boil water in it. Add the cut collards to the boiling water and let them simmer for 20 minutes. Using a colander, drain excess water and let it cool. Do not add any spices or seasoning.
- Collard greens are nutrient-packed veggies that many people love.
- Since they have high levels of fiber and oxalates, be careful before giving them to your cat. The leaves of collard greens are the safe and edible part for cats.
- Do not feed them raw collard leaves.
- Always discuss with your vet before giving collard green quantity to your cat.
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.