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Can Cats Eat Vegetables? 17 Cat-Friendly Vegetables and 9 to Avoid

Cats are carnivores, hence, they don’t really like the taste of vegetables. That being the case, small portions of vegetables is considered good for your cat. They are rich in vitamins and minerals and is a good source of anti-oxidants. 

 


Vegetables work to maintain the health of your cat. That being the case, due to the fact that cats are carnivores, they don’t really have any need for vegetables. They can source these nutrients from elsewhere. Though that is the case, feeding your cat some vegetables is considered wise, if your feline actually eats it. They bring with them a host of benefits for your cat and will work to improve your cat’s health and wellbeing. 

 


A lot of the trouble many pet owners face is getting their cats to actually eat the vegetables. They may prefer one vegetable over another. The trouble is, not all vegetables that are safe for humans are safe for cats. Hence, as pet owners, it is important that you are aware of what you should be feeding your cat and what you should avoid. We have a list of vegetables that are considered safe for cats and a list of vegetables that you should avoid. This way, you get a good idea of the various benefits of feeding your cats some veggies and steer clear of those that are not considered safe. 

 


Hence, without further adieu, let’s dive into our first list of cat-friendly vegetables that will work to aid your cat to maintain better health. 

 

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Cat-Friendly Vegetables

Vegetables can be a good source of nutrition, but you should never feed your cat an all-vegetable diet. They require protein from meat and should always attain much of their nutrition from a meat-based diet. 

 


With that in mind, if you are uncertain about introducing plant-based elements into your cats diet, it is wise to first consult your veterinarian, to get the necessary advice before proceeding. 

 


When it comes to vegetables, some vegetables are considered perfectly fine for your cat, while others turn out to be toxic. As cat owners, we are not always aware of the types of food that are considered safe for cats, which is why you are here, informing yourself of what you need to know. 

 


Here is a list of cat-friendly vegetables that are considered safe for your cat. 

 


1. Cantaloupe

If your cat doesn’t like vegetables, chances are they may take a liking to cantaloupe. The flesh of cantaloupe has a taste and smell that resembles the protein found in meat. This may be a good way to trick your cat into eating some vegetables that are considered good for them. 

 


Cantaloupe contains copper and iron which are important aspects of red blood cell production and is a good source of folic acid. Folic acid is especially useful for pregnant cats as they help increase oxygen levels in the blood. 

 


Cantaloupe contains a host of other nutrients including calcium, vitamin K, zinc and choline which all perform specific essential roles in the body. These nutrients will work to keep your cat in good health, improving their immune system and preventing them from falling ill. 

 


Vegetables, including cantaloupes, are a good way to prevent nutrient deficiency. If you ever notice that your cat is eating grass, it may be due to the fact that they are battling a nutrient deficiency and are looking to source nutrients from grass. 

 


It is a good idea to incorporate some form of vegetable in your cat’s diet and cantaloupe is on the top of your cat-friendly list, for it has a protein like taste and aroma, which would be appealing to your cat. 

 


2. Spinach

Spinach is loaded with vitamins and minerals and is considered a superfood. It provides similar value of nutrients for your cat as for humans and delivers anti-inflammatory properties. 

 


Spinach, though loaded in nutrients should only be fed in small quantities. Large amounts of spinach are not considered safe for cats for they contain calcium oxalate. High doses of calcium oxalate can lead to serious urinary tract issues in cats. Hence, it is best to limit the amount of spinach they consume and stay within moderation. 

 


Spinach is a rich source of vitamin A, C and K which is important for improving immune system function. They also contain good amounts of iron and potassium which helps boost red blood cell count leading to better oxygen delivery. 

 


Spinach has much to serve your cat but as mentioned, you should be mindful of the amounts you feed them. Further to this, if your cat has kidney or urinary problems, it is best to avoid this vegetable, regardless of how valuable of a nutrient source it may be. 

 


When considering moderation, a leaf or two fed on an occasional basis is considered a safe amount. 

 


3. Green Beans

Green beans can have many health benefits for your cat. You can serve your cat frozen or fresh green beans, just so long as they are cooked properly. When cooking vegetables for your cat, you want to ensure that you don’t add any oil, spices or additives. Your cat doesn’t really need them and can cause irritation and various negative impacts. 

 


If you are looking to serve your cat canned green beans, you should make sure to ensure that it is low in sodium and salt, since too much can be bad for your cat’s wellbeing. 

 


Green beans are an excellent source of fibre, which means it is great for your cat’s digestive system. Apart from this, it is also known to be beneficial for overweight cats who are looking to lose weight. 

 


Green beans are also a good source of calcium, iron, magnesium, phosphorus and potassium. They also contain vitamins A, K and folate. These nutrients work to provide additional benefits to your cat’s wellbeing. Though your cat is a carnivore and doesn’t really require vegetables, serving them a vegetable such as green beans could provide them with a nutrient boost that will go a long way in benefiting them. 

 


Green beans are especially good for cats that face digestive issues. The fibre in green beans could work to balance their gut, thereby allowing them to resolve any digestive issues they may have. 

 

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4. Carrots

Carrots are too an excellent source of vitamins and minerals. They are particularly rich in vitamin A, which is an essential vitamin to keep your cat in good health. Skin, coat, muscles and nerves all require vitamin A, which means carrots are good for both your cat’s internal functions and outward appearance. 

 


Carrots can work as a great snack for your cat, however, you shouldn’t be overfeeding them this vegetable. It is best served in moderation ( a couple of slices on an occasional basis.) Remember, your cat doesn’t require a large amount of any vegetable. Though we as humans require a greater portion of vegetables in our diet, your feline friend’s diet has no such requirement. 

 


Vegetables such as carrots work as a great occasional snack, which can provide them with an extra dose of nutrients that will go a long way in improving your cat’s wellbeing. 

 


5. Broccoli

Broccoli contains a lot of helpful antioxidants that are considered especially beneficial for your cat. They are tasty and is considered safe for your cat. 

 


Broccoli is a reliable source of roughage, which actually works to improve bowel movement in your cat and works to better digestive health. They contain helpful amounts of iron and phosphorous, which is important for blood and nerves and is also a valuable source of zinc.

 


Zinc is one of the most important minerals for cats, however, can be lethal in large quantities. Hence, it is best to feed your cat broccoli in moderation. Even if your cat likes broccoli, it isn’t considered safe to overfeed it broccoli. As with most vegetables, follow moderation for the safest gains.  

 


Potassium in cats is responsible for many body functions including heart function, nerve impulses and muscle contraction. Without a good amount of potassium in the body, the heart, the skeleton, muscles and blood pressure are unable to function properly. Broccoli is a good source of potassium and a little broccoli on an occasional basis can work to maintain healthy levels of potassium in your cat’s system. 

 


6. Asparagus

Asparagus is a great source of nutrients that is both healthy and safe for your cat. They contain plenty of potassium which is important for various aspects of health. From the nerves to the muscles, potassium plays an integral role in proper function. 

 


Asparagus is also a good source of fibre and is best served cooked. Cooked asparagus is much easier for your cat to digest. Since cats are carnivores, you should only feed your cat vegetables in a form that is easy for them to digest. Otherwise, it can lead to indigestion and various digestive complications arising. 

 


The fibre in asparagus works to improve your cat’s gut health and will enable the easier removal of bowels. It will work to prevent constipation in your cat and can lead to better overall wellbeing. A happier gut is a happier cat. 

 


Asparagus is also loaded with vitamins such as vitamin A, B6 and C. The vitamins in asparagus work to improve immune health, thereby enabling their immune systems to become stronger. 

 


A few small pieces of asparagus served on an occasional basis is more than sufficient to reap the various health benefits.

 

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7. Peas

Peas are a popular addition to cat food. You can find whole peas or pea protein in many cat foods. This is because they have a high protein content, which is considered good for your cat. Cats are carnivores which means the primary source of nutrition is proteins. Peas are a valuable source of plant-based protein and if your cat eats it, you should most certainly serve it. 

 


Peas are also high in potassium and fibre. The fibre in peas works to improve digestive health, while potassium works to enable the proper function of the heart, muscles and nerves. Without sufficient potassium in the body, your cat’s heart, skeleton and muscles are unable to function properly. 

 


Peas are easy enough to mix in with a cat’s meal. They can work well as a snack or can be served in combination with the meal.

 


8. Pumpkin

Pumpkin is loaded with essential vitamins and minerals that will work to improve your cat’s health and wellbeing. Though cats don’t really need vegetables in their diet, incorporating a healthy vegetable enables them to attain added nutrients and prevent nutrient deficiency. 

 


Pumpkin has high fibre content and can be great for cats that are recovering from constipation or diarrhoea. The fibre in pumpkin works to regulate digestive health and works to resolve digestive distress in your cat’s gut. 

 


When feeding cats pumpkin, you should look to avoid canned pumpkin as they may contain spices and sugars. It is best to serve them fresh pumpkin, cooked and pureed or cooked and cut in small bite-size chunks.  

 


9. Bell Peppers

Though cats do not like spicy food, bell peppers are not really spicy. They are considered a zero-heat pepper and the name of the vegetable shouldn’t mislead you into thinking it as spicy. 

 


Bell peppers are an excellent source of antioxidants. They contain beta-carotene which works to improve immune health. The colour of the bell pepper doesn’t really matter, as all bell peppers are a good source of antioxidants and beta-carotene. 

 


They are also a reliable source of fibre, which will work to improve digestive health. Bell peppers are one such vegetable that can be fed raw. You can cut them into small bite-size pieces and hand them out for your cat to eat. That being the case, cooked bell peppers are softer which makes them easier to chew and digest. 

 

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10. Brussels Sprouts

Though this is a cat-friendly vegetable, it has a strong smell which can be off-putting for many cats. That being the case, they are loaded with vitamins K, C and A and is a healthy source of folate. 

 


The vitamins in brussels sprouts will work to improve immune health, making your cat less susceptible to disease. It also has a good fibre content, which makes it valuable for your cat’s digestive health. 

 


They contain a good portion of carbohydrates which will work to provide your cat with energy and also contain protein, making it a great all-round vegetable for your cat. 

 

You can try shredding them and slightly cooking them, which may interest your cat to try a small piece. Do not add spices and condiments in hopes that they will make the vegetable taste better for your cat. Spices and oils can be harmful to cats, hence you should be very careful of what you use to cook the vegetables. 

 


11. Cabbage

Cabbage contains a healthy dose of nutrients that are great for your cat’s skin and coat. They contain vitamin C, A and K and is rich in folate and fibre. 

 


The magnesium and potassium in cabbage work to improve various internal functions in your cat. The fibre in cabbage is great for your cat’s digestive system. 

 


You don’t need to feed them a lot of cabbage to reap the benefits; a small amount goes a long way. You can shred and cook a small amount of cabbage and add that to your cat’s food. It can be a healthy addition to a meal and will increase the nutrient value thereby bringing with it various health benefits. 

 


12. Cauliflower

Cauliflower is another vegetable that is cat-friendly and is considered a valuable addition to your cat’s meal. It contains heaps of helpful vitamins and is a rich source of antioxidants. These antioxidants help to fight free radicals in your cat’s body and work to eliminate oxidative stress. 

 


Cauliflower also has anti-inflammatory properties which can reduce inflammation which can cause joint pain. This is especially useful for ageing cats. 

 


The fibre content in cauliflower is great for maintaining digestive health, however should be fed in moderation. Too much cauliflower could have the opposite effect of improving digestive health and can lead to constipation and diarrhoea. 

 

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13. Celery

It is the water content of celery that makes it valuable. Apart from the high water content of this vegetable, it is a good source of vitamins and antioxidants making it of the most reliable nutrient sources on this list. 

 


Celery also has the added function of improving breath. It works to freshen your cat’s breath. That being the case, though this vegetable has many benefits, the flavour may be too bland for some cats.

 


Celery is a good source of vitamin A, C and K which all work to improve various internal functions and can work to improve your cat’s immune health. 

 


14. Lettuce

Adding water to your cat’s diet is important and lettuce does just that. Though your cat will not be eating large amounts of vegetables, even the small amounts of lettuce will work to provide their bodies with a good amount of water. 

 


When it comes to lettuce, the darker green and red leaves are considered the most nutritious and the most palatable. 

 


Lettuce is one of the few vegetables that can be served raw. Simply finely shred a small amount of lettuce and add it to your cat’s food. It has a helpful dose of nutrients that will work to improve both your cat’s internal and external health. 

 


15. Cucumber

This low carbohydrate vegetable is also low in fats which makes it a valuable source of vitamins and minerals. They make for a great snack on a hot summer day. 

 


The nutrients in cucumber work to lower blood pressure and increase blood flow. They also help to increase the red blood cell count which works to improve oxygen delivery. These factors make cucumbers great for cardiovascular health, which is especially important for older cats. 

 


Cucumber can work to freshen breath and is one of the few vegetables that can be served raw. Simply slice a couple of slices of cucumber and feed it to your cat on an occasional basis. Remember, cats do not need vegetables and a little goes a long way in providing them with an additional nutrient boost.

 

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16. Sweet Potato

Similar to pumpkin, sweet potatoes are a helpful source of fibre. The fibre in sweet potatoes are great for your cat’s digestive health and will work to prevent symptoms such as constipation and diarrhoea. 

 


Sweet potato also contains a healthy dose of vitamins and minerals. Especially high in vitamins C, D and B, sweet potato also contains iron, potassium, magnesium and calcium. 

 


The vitamin D and calcium in sweet potato make it great for skeletal health and will work to improve the health of teeth, bones and joints. It is especially beneficial for ageing cats and can be a valuable source of nutrients. 

 


Sweet potatoes should be served cooked. You should cut them into small bite-size pieces to prevent choking or can be pureed and added to your cat’s meal. 

 


17. Zucchini

Zucchini is yet another cat-friendly vegetable that can be served raw. It contains helpful amounts of vitamin C, which is great for your cat’s immune health. 

 


The potassium content of zucchini makes it valuable even in small amounts. The potassium in zucchini will work to aid various internal functions of the body, including improved heart health and muscle contraction. 

 


You can grate the zucchini and add it raw to your cat’s food. Otherwise, you can cut them into bite-size chunks and cook them to make it easier to chew and digest. 

 

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Vegetables to Avoid for Cats

Though there are a handful of vegetables that are considered safe and good for your cat, there are similarly a few vegetables that are considered unhealthy or even toxic. These vegetables should not be served to cats and you should work to avoid these vegetables at all costs to prevent them from hampering your cat’s wellbeing. 

 


1. Onions

Onions are toxic, for they contain thiosulphate which has the potential to harm and damage your cat’s red blood cells. This could lead to a lack of oxygen delivery in your cat, resulting in various other complications arising. 

 


Onions in any form, whether cooked or raw should not be fed to cats. They are considered toxic and it is best to avoid this vegetable to safeguard your cat’s health. In small doses, onions could bring about unpleasant reactions while in large amounts, they can be deadly. 

 


2. Garlic

Garlic is from the same family as onions and produces the same effects. They too are considered toxic for cats and you shouldn’t be adding garlic to your cat’s meals. In fact, garlic is considered more potent than onions, hence you shouldn’t be serving them even a small portion of it. 

 


Garlic can cause symptoms such as vomiting, diarrhoea and fatigue. It can also cause general irritation of the mouth and is considered a big no-no for cats. 

 


3. Chives

Chives too are toxic for cats and should be avoided at all costs. They have similar effects to garlic and onions and can lead to symptoms of digestive distress. 

 


If your cat has mistaken eaten some chives, you should be on the lookout for signs of digestive distress including vomiting and diarrhoea and consult a veterinarian if necessary. 

 

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4. Leeks

As a part of the same family of onions and garlic, leeks too are toxic for cats. They contain harmful compounds that can bring about a host of negative effects. 

 


They are considered potent and you should not look to feed your cat any portion of leeks. Consumption of leeks in cats may lead to fatigue and various cardiovascular issues. Short term symptoms include digestive distress such as vomiting and diarrhoea. 

 


5. Tomatoes

Though ripe tomatoes are not considered dangerous, unripe or green tomatoes do contain harmful compounds which could negatively impact your cat’s health. Hence, it is best to avoid this vegetable, just to be on the safer side. 

 


Tomato leaves, stems and other parts of the tomato plant are considered toxic for cats. Symptoms from consumption of unripe tomatoes include gastrointestinal problems. If your cat eats a small amount of unripe tomato by accident, be on the lookout for signs of digestive distress and consult a veterinarian if necessary. 

 


6. Scallions

Scallions are too harmful for cats can cause gastrointestinal issues. It can lead to the damage of red blood cells in the body, which will impact oxygen delivery, leading to cardiovascular complications. 

 


Any food that contains scallions should be avoided for cats. It is best to safeguard their health by avoiding these vegetables, instead of having to treat them after they develop complications. 

 


7. Shallots

This botanical variety of onions share the same toxic nature as onions for cats. They contain the same compounds that are considered harmful for cats and should be avoided. 

 


Ingesting even a small amount of this vegetable could cause digestive distress. Much like onions, shallots are too potent for cats and should be avoided at all costs. 

 

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8. Wild Mushrooms

Wild mushrooms contain harmful compounds that are considered damaging for your cat’s wellbeing. It is integral to avoid wild mushrooms as they could cause a host of issues and are considered poisonous for cats. 

 


Large amounts of wild mushrooms can be very dangerous for cats and can even lead to death. Hence, do not feed them wild mushrooms and if they consume them by accident, be on the lookout for signs of digestive distress and consult a veterinarian. 

 


9. Rhubarb

Rhubard is another vegetable that is considered poisonous for cats. The leaves of this vegetable will cause vomiting, diarrhoea and irritation of the mouth. 

 


It can lead to increase salivation and drooling, which is a tell-tell sign that you should consult a veterinarian. 

 

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Benefits of Vegetables for Cats

Cats are carnivores, hence they have no real need for vegetables in their diet. That being the case, there are some real benefits of including vegetables in their diet. Cats cannot simply attain all their nutritional requirements from vegetables. You should never feed your cat an all-vegetable diet and should look to only feed them vegetables in moderation. 

 


As you may have seen from this article, there are a host of vegetables that cats can eat. They add good nutritional value to the meal and can be a great addition to the normal diet of a cat. Vegetables are rich in minerals such as magnesium and potassium and are a valuable source of essential vitamins which are great for their skin and coat. They also contain antioxidants and fibre all of which benefit the cat’s body by helping it boost immune health and better digestion. 

 


Vegetables can be a great low-calorie alternative to cat treats and can be especially valuable if you are trying to get your cat to lose a few pounds. However, as with all dietary plans, it is best to consult a veterinarian about your cat’s particular needs before you make any changes to the normal diet or even add vegetables to the diet of your cat. 

 


Though there are plenty of vegetables in the market, not all these vegetables are safe for cats. Hence, when in doubt, be sure to check the safety of a vegetable before feeding it to your cat and consult a veterinarian for advice if necessary. 

 


To Conclude

Though cats are carnivores, they have much to gain by including small amounts of vegetables in their diet. Vegetables provide an added nutrient boost and bring with them a host of health benefits for your cat. 

 


Remember, when it comes to vegetables, not all vegetables are safe for your cat. Always be sure of what you are feeding your cat and opt for fresh vegetables as opposed to canned products. 

 


Ensure to feed in moderation, since cats do not have the enzymes in their gut to digest large amounts of vegetables. Remember that they are carnivores, however have much to gain from eating some vegetables on an occasional basis. 

 


We hope that after reading this word to word you have a better understanding of the vegetables that are suited for cats and those that should be avoided. We aimed to provide you with a comprehensive list that you can rely on for great nutritional value and safety. 

 


Happy Petting!

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