Can Cats Eat Broccoli?
If you are reading this, there are high chances that you have an overweight cat. Or probably you don’t but are just here to feed your curiosity. Can cats eat broccoli? Can cats go completely vegan? Well, we might not fully address the issue of converting your cat into being a complete vegan (note it is slightly more complex than you might think), but what we shall answer, almost to its entirety is, can cats eat broccoli.
As a responsible cat parent, it is very understandable that you want to ensure your cat is healthy at all times. However, you should note that cats do not need vegetables and fruits to remain healthy. Bear in mind that they are carnivores. Yes, I often find myself forgetting this point since for some reason my mind is wired to think of carnivorous animals are all dangerous and well, wildly aggressive. But despite your cat’s calm and peaceful nature, it is a carnivorous animal. That said, your cat will require animal protein to meet all its nutritional needs.
On the flip side of things, if you are looking to replace your cat’s diet for more vegetables and fruits, there are some safe options you should consider. I cannot echo this next bit enough. Preceding this diet change, you should always check in with your vet. Different cats react differently to diet changes. Your vet can help make the change successful.
Do Cats Even Love Broccoli?
It is highly unlikely that your cat will sniff your plate full of broccoli. However, if it does, it could get you thinking. Can cats eat broccoli? Is it safe? Well, yes, this sweet tasting green vegetable is safe for your cat to consume.
Like humans, some cats tend to be a bit more experimental compared to others. Some love broccoli and others cannot even bear the thought of sticking it into their mouths. If this happens, be sure to give your cat a bite. Share a small piece of broccoli or mix it up with its kibble.
Generally, broccoli is non-toxic and safe for your cat. As a matter of fact, broccoli does not appear on the list of plants that are poisonous to your cat. It is a simple vegetable and does not include shells or seeds. It is easy to grow, prepare, cook and even serve. Sharing broccoli with your cat may be of benefit to it. Note that cats do not need this plant food in its diet. But adding it in its diet once in a while will not put your cat at any risk or danger.
Benefits of Broccoli
Rich in Antioxidants
Broccoli is one of the few vegetables that comes packed in antioxidants. Because of these elements, the vegetable is deemed to be one of the healthiest foods that can help rid the body of unhealthy free radicals. In the end, cancer is averted, or at least its risks of developing are reduced. Antioxidants play a big role in boosting the immune system, and potentially extend your life and that of your cat.
Lowers the Cholesterol Levels
Another benefit of this vegetable is that it works to reduce cholesterol levels. Yes, you need to keep a watchful eye on your cat’s cholesterol levels just like you do yours. You of course do not want to b have an overweight or obese cat on your hands as this will most likely mean dealing with sub sequent health problems related to this condition.
Aids with the digestive process
Being a plant food, broccoli provides great help to a cat’s digestive process. Since the food is rich in fibre, broccoli encourages bowel movement. You might have seen your cat eating grass from time to time. This is to help aid in their digestion. Your cat might be having a tummy ache or experiencing diarrhoea. But rather than leaving your cat to chewing grass, feed it on some broccoli and alleviate the prevailing digestive system problems.
Factors you should bear in mind
While it is true that your cat can eat broccoli, and that they feature a host of nutrition and health benefits, it is important to bear in mind that your cat is unlikely to extract all the above mentioned benefits. Why is this?
Well, cats are obligate carnivores. Over the years, they have experienced a significant amount of evolution. They mostly benefit from animal protein. As such, broccoli might be useful as a health supplement and not the main diet. If you have your cat relying on broccoli and other vegetables, there are high chances of it developing vitamin deficiency diseases and conditions.
If you do decide to feed your cat with broccoli, you should ensure that you do so in moderation. Make the introduction slow. As mentioned above, cat’s digestive systems are designed to breakdown animal proteins and not plants. Feeding your cat with a lot of broccoli will mean your cat will either vomit most of it later, or poop it in a matter of hours.
How to serve Broccoli
Given that cats do not digest plant foods properly, it is important that you cook your broccoli thoroughly. I prefer my broccoli crunchy. But I cannot feed this to my cat as it is ‘barely’ cooked. After proper cooking, ensure that you cut the broccoli into tiny pieces to ensure that your cat is not choked while it is feeding.
Following the feeding, be sure to keenly monitor your cat for any diarrhoea and vomiting episodes. While these symptoms should not be a cause for alarm, it is important that you consult your vet before trying the diet again. Though the vomiting may be due to indigestion – broccoli is not poisonous.
Treats Containing Broccoli
When choosing the treats, you should ensure that the broccoli does not contain butter and salt as these tend to have negative effects on cat health. If you cannot land treats that are simple in nature without the extra and potentially harmful ingredients, plan broccoli will have to do.
Getting back to the initial question, can cats eat broccoli? Yes they can. Hopefully this has come out all too clearly in this piece. Broccoli is not toxic. As mentioned above, you should cook the plant food thoroughly to make it easier for your cat to digest. In addition to this, you will need to cut your broccoli into tiny pieces to ensure that your cat does not get choked in the process. Last but not least, ensure that the introduction to this food is slow and cautious. Do not jump right into it as your cat may experience numerous complications in the process.
If you do notice your cat showing signs of distress, contact a vet. But generally, the problem might be as a result of indigestion. Remember cats do not break down plant matter as easily as they do animal protein. And too much of the broccoli has the potential to land your cat in a vet’s office faster than you can blink.