Can Cats Eat Carrots?
So the other day a friend asked me can cats eat carrots? She probably had cooked way more than she could have that particular day. At the time, I was unsure of the reply to give her. But being the curious cat parent that I am, I took the liberty of researching if cats can eat carrots on my own. After all as a pet owner, (I thought to myself) the knowledge could come in handy at some point.
Now we all know that carrots are not a cat’s thing – they are more of a bunny thing. We have all seen it in movies and cartoons right? The notion of carrots are designed for bunnies has been pushed to humans for a long time that we cannot picture any other animal eating carrots.
So now in this article we are going to address the question that has been lingering in your mind now, ‘can cats eat carrots?’
Is Carrots Safe for Cats?
From your high school science, you were taught that chicken are designed to peck on grains, cats eat fish and cows gnaw grass. But the best of them all, and one that has grown to be a stereotype, is that of rabbits loving carrots. So why in the world would any cat parent question is cats can eat carrots? Where does this even come from?
Well, shockingly, as I have come to learn, cats love carrots as well. As a matter of fact, most experts term that the association of rabbits and carrots is a diet myth. But away with that, we are here to learn more on cats and carrots.
Carrots are delicious orange vegetables. If you love carrots, you probably want your cat to enjoy the same fruity taste. Baby carrots are even more sweet and delicious. Carrots are full of beta-carotene. Beta-carotene is an anti-oxidant and is the cause of the carrot’s orange color (fun fact, there are carrot varieties that come in different colors including yellow, red, purple, black and white).
The digestive system converts the beta-carotene into Vitamin A which is great for your cat. Actually, carrots potentially contain the highest levels of vitamin A compared to other vegetables. But aside from the vitamin A, they also contain Vitamin E, Vitamin K, folate, potassium, manganese, magnesium, zinc, phosphorous and fiber.
Cats could make use of the listed nutrients in their bodies. But here is the thing about carrots, they do not contain the one nutrient that cats needs to live out their nine lives – they lack in protein. Cats are carnivores. As such, they need meat to survive. Since carrots are vegetables, they cannot provide all necessary nutrients cats need. They cannot be a substitute for animal-based diets.
But be it as it may, can you still feed your cat on carrots?
Can my Kitten Eat A Carrot?
The simple reply to this is yes, to can cats eat carrots? You can feed your cat and kitten on carrots without worrying of your cat getting poisoned. Additionally, it is important to note that carrots can hardly result in allergic reactions.
But even as all this is the case, you should not go ahead to build a carrot garden to feed your cat. As mentioned earlier, carrots are safe for cats but this does not mean that you should feed them to your cat on a daily basis. If you were thinking of replacing meat with carrots, think again.
Always remember that above everything, your cat needs protein more for energy and growth of muscles.
Now that we have established that your cat can eat carrots, it is high time that we discuss just how we can prepare the vegetable so that your cat does not develop any complications. There are several creative ways you can go about this. Now at this point you are probably thinking of how best you can present your food to your cat. While it is easy and pleasing to human eyes, cats could care less about presentation. All your cat cares about is eating the carrots.
Below are some quick preparation tips.
- Always serve cooked carrots. You could have the carrots steamed, baked or boiled, whichever you prefer. Cooked carrot is safer than raw carrots. Why? Because cooked carrots are harder to digest. As such, raw carrots may cause digestive problems.
- Second, always slice the carrots into tiny pieces. This is still to avoid digestive problems.
- Third, you will be shocked to note that there are canned cat foods that contain carrots as an ingredient. This type of food is designed so that your cat does not have to worry about lacking in some essential nutrients. In the event you come across one at the store, be sure to get it – your cat will love it (thank me later)
- Four, you should never feed your cat only carrots. Your cat needs foods high in protein as well to survive. Carrots do not have protein and feeding it only carrots will cause health complications.
- Last, with regards to preparing carrots for your cat, there isn’t any special or fancy recipe that you should follow. Your priority should always be the safety of your cat whether the cat is boiled, baked or steamed.
Benefits of your Cat Eating Carrots
If you want to replace high calorie foods with some fruits and vegetables that you love, you should throw in some carrots as well.
There is no doubt that fat cats appear to be cute. But despite their cute nature, being overweight is unsafe for your cat. In addition to providing your cat with healthy foods, ensure that it exercises regularly or is at the very least active.
Carrots are a perfect substitute for high calorie snacks. It would help with your cat’s weight compared to the bad fatty cat treats and foods you feed it.
Carrots are full of Vitamin A which is gotten from beta carotene. Vitamin A improves eye sight in both cats and humans.
Full of Nutrients
Other than this, carrots do not have any other essential nutrient that can prove to be of value to your cat.
Effects of Vitamin A deficiency
If you feed your cat on carrots and skimp on the cat supplements, your cat will ultimately develop vitamin A deficiency. Some of the effects of this include;
- Night blindness – In this condition, your cat will not see clearly both during the day and at night. Lacking the ability to see in the dark can be disastrous for cats as they are nocturnal animals.
- Lack of vitamin A can also lead to a deterioration of your muscles and general body weakness. In this state, you will notice your cat becoming less active, and even sad.
- Vitamin A is important to maintain a shiny and healthy coat on your cat a vitamin A deficiency would mean that your cat is less cute and attractive, it will look malnourished.
Can cats eat carrots? Yes they certainly can. However, this can only be done in moderation and the feeding should not be frequent. Aside from this, you should not feed your cat on carrots only. Bear in mind that your cat is a carnivorous animal. It needs meat to survive. Vegetables and carrots are by no means enough to meet its nutritional need.
Hopefully, this advice gets to you loud and clear. Failure to do this will mean that your cat will suffer from Vitamin A deficiency. Following the little simple rules outlined will see your cat enjoy carrot snack without any side effects.