Cats are obligate carnivores dependent on meat but often consume various fruits and vegetables to obtain other nutrients to nourish their bodies. Silverbeet is a highly nutritious leafy vegetable, but can cats eat silverbeet? Is this vegetable suitable for cats? Read on to learn more.
Can Cats Eat Silverbeet?
Among an extensive list of vegetables, experts consider silverbeet, aka swiss chard, healthy and toxic for felines. Cats can eat silverbeet but with some exceptions. It offers numerous nutritional benefits through its good amount of essential fiber, minerals, and vitamins, helping in growth and development.
However, the oxalic acid present in its leaves is toxic to cats. Hence, it is preferred to feed cats silverbeet as occasional treats without the leaves to avoid health issues. Below are details on feeding silverbeet to cats.
Is Silverbeet/Swiss Chard Good For Cats?
Cats are picky eaters and only love to nibble on the food they find appealing. Therefore, making safe additions to your cat’s diet to promote their healthy life is essential. For example, silverbeet is a good vegetable for cats. It is suitable to include in your cat’s diet except for the poisonous leaves containing oxalates.
Silverbeet is a leafy vegetable similar to spinach and beetroot. It is a good source of iron, vitamins (A, C, K), calcium, sodium, potassium, fiber, antioxidants, etc. As a pet owner, you should feed your cat silverbeet in bite-size pieces or with a mix of other nutritional food. Some essential health-benefiting nutrients present in silverbeet are:
Vitamin C, also known as ascorbic acid, is vital in forming collagen in cats. It also helps in enhancing their dental health.
Vitamin A contains antioxidant properties, which help strengthen the immune system of cats. It also helps in improving night vision.
Vitamin K present in silverbeet helps in the blood coagulation process.
Iron combined with copper helps produce hemoglobin, which carries oxygen for red blood cells.
The presence of potassium in silverbeets keeps a balance of blood sugar levels. It also maintains proper muscle function and normal heart rhythm.
Rich fiber content reduces blood cholesterol levels to the normal value. Consuming fiber through silverbeet additionally prevents the risk of constipation by easing bowel movements and promoting gut health.
Is Silverbeet Bad For Cats?
Feeding silverbeet in high amounts is not recommended to cats, especially those of younger age. The leaves of silverbeet contain moderate levels of oxalates. Consuming it in high amounts might cause bladder stones or chronic kidney disorders led by dysfunctioning of kidneys, kidney failure, and renal calculi.
If your cat accidentally intakes a large portion of the vegetable, it might experience diarrhea, vomiting, lethargy, or allergy symptoms. In such cases, contact a veterinarian immediately.
According to observations, leaching slightly reduces the number of oxalates in silverbeet leaves compared to the raw form. Hence, it is better to leach silverbeet before feeding it to your cat in a moderate amount.
Is It Safe To Eat Silverbeet To Cats?
Silverbeet is a nutritious leafy green vegetable with fewer calories and fat content than other vegetables. Even though the vegetable promotes maintenance of health, it is still not recommended to feed a feline silverbeet in excess or as a complete meal. Ideally, you should feed it to cats in small quantities as occasional treats or snacks while keeping their age in mind. Some safety measures you can take while feeding silverbeet to your cat include:
- Rinsing the vegetable thoroughly with water to eliminate any dirt or pesticides.
- Making small servings and feeding them within a specified period.
- Serving the vegetable without the addition of any oil or butter.
- Feeding it in moderate amounts.
Frequently Asked Questions
What Happens If A Cats Eat Silverbeet?
Silverbeet is not toxic for cats, but the leaves contain oxalates which, when consumed in high amounts, can cause bladder or kidney stones. If, after ingesting, your cat suffers immediate vomiting or foam at the mouth, directly contact your vet.
Apart from the toxic element, the rest of the chard is rich in health-enhancing nutrients like vitamins A, C, and K, iron, calcium, and potassium. It is ideal for serving your cat some silverbeet that is not treated with any sort of chemical harmful to felines.
Can Cats Eat Raw Silverbeet?
Cats usually do not prefer consuming vegetables in their diet and mostly rely on proteins obtained from meat sources. But feeding vegetables can be a safe addition to your cat’s meal only if you include them in small doses.
Although silverbeet has vital nutrients that nourish your cat, feeding it raw might not be entirely safe because of high amounts of toxic oxalate. Hence while feeding your cat some silverbeet, remove the leaves or leach it to reduce the oxalate content.
Can Cats Eat Cooked Silverbeet?
Moreover, do not cook the silverbeet in oil or butter, and do not use garlic or onions to enhance the recipe as it can be harmful to cats.
Silverbeet can be served to cats in a raw or cooked form, but large portions of raw silverbeet might cause health issues. For cooking, only boil and shred them into bite-size pieces for easy digestion. Leaching the leaves of silverbeet also reduces the oxalates present in them.
- Like many vegetables, silverbeet also holds tons of nutritional benefits for cats.
- The variety of vitamins and minerals in silverbeet promotes growth and health maintenance.
- Adding silverbeet as an occasional treat to your cat’s diet can be a good palate change.
- It is preferred to avoid silverbeet leaves because of the incorporated oxalates to protect cats from experiencing adverse symptoms.
- Both cooked and raw silverbeet can be fed to cats in small portions.
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.