Cats are playful yet curious animals. Like all perplexed cat owners, are you also amazed at the unusual interest of this furry feline in our dishes rather than its cat food? Cat parents are uncertain what and how to feed their cat except for cat food. So, Can cats eat okra? We have got you covered! Wondering if you can feed okra to your feline? We answer that below!
Can cats eat okra?
Yes, cats can eat okra, provided it is fed occasionally in a safe amount and adequately cooked. Otherwise, excess okra may result in gastrointestinal poisoning. Keep reading to find out more about feeding okra to your feline.
Is okra good for cats?
Since the answer to ‘Can cats eat okra?’ is imperative. Let us look at the nutritious value of okra to decide whether it is suitable for cats or not.
Okra contains nutrients like proteins, carbohydrates, fiber, fats, antioxidants, water, and various minerals and vitamins. Some of the health benefits of okra for cats are:
- 88-90% of okra’s weight constitutes water. Hence, mixing cooked okra in your cat’s kibble will keep it hydrated.
- The insoluble and soluble forms of fiber in okra stimulate stomach health and help relieve symptoms of constipation and diarrhea. It does not cause obesity.
- Okra helps treat diabetes in cats.
- Antioxidants in okra treats will prevent your feline from chronic diseases or inflammation.
- It is also beneficial for the nervous system protein and carbohydrate metabolism in cats.
- Okra is low in calories and can be alternated with commercial cat treats.
- Okra may stabilize cholesterol levels in cats. It contains sticky mucilage that prevents cholesterol absorption in the blood.
- Pregnant cats can benefit from okra as it is rich in folate.
Is okra safe for cats?
Yes, okra is safe for cats if fed occasionally as a treat. Okra or lady finger is an edible plant containing plant proteins. Plant proteins are of little to no value for cats. Cats are carnivores that rely entirely on animal proteins. Besides that, it is best to feed them a regular cat diet. However, okra can be fed to cats like some fruits, beans, and vegetables, which do not pose a health risk. But only occasionally and moderately.
A minimal amount of occasional okra treats is considered safe for cats. Solanine is a toxin present in okra, but solanine poisoning is not possible with minimal amounts of okra. Large quantities of okra can cause digestive distress or gastrointestinal disorder in cats. It may result in symptoms of vomiting, diarrhea, stomach pain, nausea, etc.
It would also help if you always kept a watch when introducing such treats to your cats. Stay alert so that your cat does not experience choking.
It is safe to start with a little bit of okra. Wash it thoroughly, chop in bite-size portions, boil or steam it and then toss in cat kibble.
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Is okra poisonous to cats?
No, okra is not poisonous to cats. However, okra contains a toxin called solanine. The gastrointestinal tract of both humans and cats does not adequately absorb solanine. Hence, only much more significant okra consumption can result in solanine poisoning.
As mentioned above, moderate and safe quantities of okra will never poison cats. Research shows that solanine consumption of 2-5 mg per kg of body mass will result in poisoning, and 3-6 mg per kg of body mass will result in death.
Symptoms of okra reactions in cats
Glycoalkaloid Solanine in okra is not deadly for cats. Overconsumption of okra may cause health hazards for your cats. These might include allergic reactions or digestive disorders like:
- Runny eyes
- Runny nose
- Pupil dilation
These symptoms will occur in 10 minutes to 12 hours on ingestion foods high in solanine.
Can cats eat fried okra?
No, cats cannot eat fried okra. Fried okra contains fat which will cause obesity in cats. Fried food items should not be offered to cats as they can cause chronic illnesses like diabetes, cardiovascular disease, etc.
Can cats eat raw okra?
Yes, cats may eat raw okra. The raw form of okra is more beneficial than the cooked form. Considering the benefits of raw okra, cat parents may want to feed it raw to their feline. Thoroughly clean it to get rid of any harmful insecticides.
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However, it is better to feed okra boiled or steamed. Cats do not have the proper enzymes to digest it raw. To be safe, offer cooked okra to ward away any digestive symptoms. Always start with a bite or two under your supervision. Then slowly increase the amount over the weeks if your cat does show any symptoms. It would be best if you did not feed your cat more than a ¼ cup of okra.
Can cats eat pickled okra?
No, cats cannot eat pickled okra. Cats cannot eat any pickles. Pickles are high in salt, vinegar, and seasoning and may contain added chives and garlic. All of this is severely harmful to cats. It may cause kidney symptoms of dehydration in cats. Hence, cat parents should avoid feeding pickled okra or any picked food item to their felines.
Can cats eat spicy okra recipes?
No, cats cannot eat spicy okra recipes. Few occasional bites of plain cooked okra are healthy for cats. But spicy or seasoned okra causes stomach distress, nausea, or vomiting in cats. The presence of capsaicin in spices will make okra hazardous for cats rather than healthy.
Frequently Asked Questions
Does okra contain a deadly poison?
Yes, okra contains a deadly poison called glycoalkaloid solanine. However, it is not that abundant in okra. Only consuming excess amounts of solanine (3-6 mg per kg of body weight) can lead to death.
Is okra harmful to cats?
No, okra is not harmful to cats in limited amounts or as an occasional treat. Okra treats are beneficial for cats.
How much okra should I feed my cat?
You should not exceed more than a quarter cup of okra. Opt for bite-sized okra treats once a week.
Now that you know the answer to your query ‘Can cats eat okra?’, You can try offering a bite to your furball. Okra or lady finger is not only a delicious treat but also nutritious for cats. Although okra contains traces of the poison solanine, it is safe for cats in small amounts occasionally. Stick to safe serving and preparation guidelines and let your cat enjoy its kibble with a kick of okra.
Always consult your veterinarian before introducing new food items to your cat apart from its usual diet. First, feed it in the smallest proportions and look out for any reactions. Proceed with slowly increasing the portion if your cat does not suffer from any symptoms. In case of any symptoms, immediately seek a veterinarian’s help.
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.