We all know that eating veggies are amazingly healthy for our bodies and that the primary food group should consist of vegetables, raw or cooked. But did you know that cats can also eat them? Even though our furry feline friends are considered to be primarily carnivores, eating an occasional vegetable can improve their health and longevity, making them stay with us for a long, long time.
Now, we are not arguing that your cat should become a vegan because it most certainly should not, but sharing a bit of your food with it is not scary or dangerous, just make sure that it is safe for your kitty to eat. Giving your cat a treat from your own table once in a while is perfectly fine, you just have to find the foods that will meet your kitty’s nutrient needs.
Let’s be real here for a second. Essentially, your cat does not really need vegetables in order to survive. Cats are carnivores, not omnivores, unlike dogs, which means that they only really require animal protein to fulfill their nutritional needs. Therefore, eating a high quality commercially produced cat food should be enough, but, if you wish to cut down on the calories for whatever reason (fat cats and such), giving few fruits or vegetables to your furry friend can shed a few inches off of its waist. Just to be safe, check with your veterinarian before giving your kitten any veggies.
So, now that we know that some vegetables are safe for cats to eat, let us see which ones can we feed to our lovely feline friends
Popeye’s favorite snack and one of the healthiest greens you can eat yourself happens to also be perfectly suitable for a cat as well. Spinach is packed with vitamins and minerals, such as vitamin A, vitamin K, vitamin C, calcium, iron, copper, vitamins B2 and B6, vitamin E, potassium, and manganese, among others.
This is a perfectly fine treat for cats, but, if your kitty has ever had calcium oxalate bladder stones, it might be best to avoid this one. Otherwise, go for it!
Peas are just amazing! They are high in fiber and a very good source of manganese, vitamin B1, vitamin K, vitamin C, folate, phosphorous, zinc, magnesium, potassium, and vitamin B6. Peas are considered to be a perfectly cat-safe people food, as you can often find them in the commercially produced cat food.
However, you can feed your feline friend home-made peas as well, raw or frozen, as you wish. If you cook them though, make sure you don’t go crazy on the spices, as cats are not foodies like us humans, and too much sodium can do them harm.
Carrots are not just bunny treats, your cat will love them as well! Carrots are a known source of vitamin K, vitamin C, vitamin B6, potassium, biotin, packed with fiber and healthy vitamin E and copper.
When feeding them to your cat, make sure they are cooked or baked. If left uncooked, carrots are very hard and can present a choking hazard for your kitten. They are also quite difficult to digest, so just stick them in an oven or cook them in a pan before giving them to your feline friend.
Winter squash is a great source of many vitamins and minerals such as Vitamin A, vitamin C, vitamin B6 and B2, as well as vitamin K, and of course manganese, copper, potassium, and folate. It is also packed with dietary fiber which is great for digestion. Winter squash should be cooked before being fed to your cat.
Just keep in mind that these healthy treats should not make up over 10 percent of your kitten’s diet, even if she likes them, as the primary source of nutrients should come from meat.
Your mom used to make you eat broccoli when you were a child and it probably was not one of your favorite vegetables, but nobody can deny that it is amazingly healthy. They are a good source of dietary fiber, vitamin E, phosphorus, vitamins B1 and A, zinc, calcium, niacin, and magnesium.
If you want your cat to benefit from the numerous healthy traits of broccoli, feel free to give it some, just make sure to steam the vegetables first and not give them to the cat raw.
Green beans are not only tasty but also very healthy. They are packed with copper, magnesium, potassium, calcium, niacin, omega-3 fatty acids, as well as vitamins B1, B6, and vitamin E. So next time you have a tasty dinner which includes green beans, feel free to give some to your furry friend.
Asparagus is another healthy vegetable most humans do not eat enough of, but did you know that it is also a very good cat treat? Asparagus is a great source of vitamin K, vitamin C, and vitamin E, as well as selenium, folate, copper, iron, zinc, and pantothenic acid.
Full of nutrients and delicious, when steamed it becomes a perfect healthy treat for a cat. Note that when cooking, you should avoid adding butter and oil to the veggies to avoid making your cat an overweight one.
Zucchini (or courgettes if you will)
Zucchini, or if you are British – courgettes, are a well-known superfood especially helpful for weight loss since they are low in calories and high in nutrients. Courgettes (zucchini) are packed with vitamin A, vitamin C, vitamin K, folate, manganese, and are an outstanding source of dietary fiber.
Zucchini is also a common ingredient in many commercially produced cat foods, therefore perfectly harmless for them. Cook them lightly and feed them to your cat without worry, or, alternatively, mix them in with your kitten’s regular food for an extra boost of health.
No summer is really perfect without fresh cucumber, and, as it turns out, cats kind of like it as well. Disregard the funny cat videos on the Internet which show various felines jump like Michael Jackson when presented with this green vegetable – in reality, they are very good for your cat’s health!
Cucumbers are a great source of molybdenum and Vitamin K, as well as a good source of pantothenic acid. They also contain copper, manganese, vitamin C, magnesium, and vitamin B1, so slice some of that lovely fresh cucumber and let your kitten much on it occasionally.
Pumpkins have numerous benefits for your cat’s health, so it is no wonder that it is a common ingredient in higher quality cat food. Since pumpkin is a great source of fiber, it can help with constipation and diarrhea when pureed. As pumpkins also contain essential fatty acids and antioxidants, they are a wonderful source of vitamin A and beta-carotene, which means that they also help with urinary issues and are great for weight loss if you are dealing with an overweight pet.
For weight loss purposes, replace a portion of your cat’s regular food with some canned or lightly cooked pumpkin. Trust us, your pet will thank you.
Bell peppers, whether red, green, or yellow, are among the healthiest of foods for people, and completely harmless to cats. Since they are full of antioxidants, bell peppers can help your kitten’s overall health, as well as be a great resource if you are looking to shed off some pounds off your overweight cat.
But, as with all veggies, make sure to give only small doses to your feline friend, as too much bell peppers can upset your cat’s stomach and cause diarrhea or vomiting.
While you are having your fresh spring salad full of tasty lettuce, you might consider giving some to your cat as well. Lettuce is not toxic to cats, so it is perfectly safe for them to eat it, however, if you are dressing your salad with vinegar, avoid giving your pet the vinegary lettuce leaf. Small amounts of fresh lettuce added to your cat’s food bowl will give her a health boost, as lettuce is full of vitamin A and contains a great amount of water.
Just like lettuce, cabbage is also perfectly safe for your cat in small amounts. Fresh cabbage is packed with vitamin B6, magnesium, and calcium, all of which are great for your feline friends. But, beware, large amounts of cabbage can cause pretty unpleasant gasses to form, which are not comfortable neither for your cat nor for the person in the same room as it. Moderation is key in this case.