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Can Cats Eat Arugula? What You Need to Know

Arugula is a bitter and slightly spicy plant that we often put in salads. With its increasing popularity in health food recipes, it’s common to wonder if it’s safe and healthy to feed your cat. The short answer is yes. Your cat can eat arugula, but there are several things to consider before making it a permanent part of their diet. Keep reading while we discuss nutrition and any health concerns associated with arugula. We’ll also go over how much and how often you should serve it to keep your cat healthy and happy.

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Is arugula bad for my cat?

You might hear other people refer to arugula as salad rocket, rucola, rucoli, and several other names. The plant they refer to is common in the United States picked when it’s young to add to salads. It’s non-toxic to cats and shouldn’t cause any problems. However, cats are strict carnivores, and they do not need plant matter in their diet and do not have the proper enzymes to break it down and digest it completely. Feeding too much arugula or any plant fibers can cause an upset stomach in your cat leading to diarrhea and even vomiting.

If you don’t wash it well, the arugula can contain residual pesticides containing heavy metals and other ingredients that can be harmful to your cat’s health. If there is any salad dressing on the leaf, it could render it unhealthy and unsuitable for your pet.

arugula salad
Image Credit: Pixabay

Is arugula good for my cat?

Let’s take a look at some of the nutrients present in arugula that make it worth sharing with your cat on occasion.

Calcium

Calcium is an essential nutrient required by cats and many other animals. Your pet will get most of the calcium it needs from animal sources like bones, fish, organ tissue, and milk. However, a small amount can come from leafy greens, like arugula and some legumes that you will often find in their food. Calcium helps keep your cat’s teeth and bones strong, and it also helps in membrane permeability. It helps with muscle contraction, including the heart, and it helps with digestion and milk production when nursing.

Folic Acid

Folic acid is another important nutrient that you can find in arugula. It helps your cat synthesize DNA, form red blood cells, aids in digestion, boost the immune system, and more. You can find folic acid in many foods, but it doesn’t help to give them more.

arugula seedlings
Image Credit: Pixabay

Potassium

Your cat requires potassium for the proper functioning of the nerves and heart. Protein imbalances are common in cats with kidney disease, and cats with diabetes may also have low potassium levels.

Vitamins

There are plenty of vitamins in arugula that are beneficial to your cat, including vitamins A, C, and K. These vitamins are essential for a properly functioning immune system. They also help with eyesight and blood clotting.

Fiber

Fiber can help balance your cat’s digestive system, and it’s especially helpful for cats that suffer frequent constipation or diarrhea. It helps reduce the frequency of these problems by maintaining the correct amount of water in the digestive system, preventing it from becoming too dry or runny. Fiber can also help reduce the risk of colon cancer by expelling toxic chemicals faster.

sliced arugula
Image Credit: Pixabay

Low Sugar

One more positive benefit to feeding your cat arugula is that it is low in sugar and will not contribute to weight gain. Overweight cats are a major concern in America, with as much as 80% in need of a diet. It’s better to find foods that will help eliminate the problem.

How can I feed my cat arugula?

Most cats like to chew on grass, and it helps ait with digestion, so it should be hard to get your cat to try it. Ensure that you wash it well, and only provide them with about one leaf per week to lower the risk of an upset stomach, vomiting, and diarrhea.

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Summary

Arugula can be a nice change of pace from the cat grass and catnip that your pet usually chews on, especially if you grow it in your home garden and don’t need to worry about what pesticides might be on it. It’s healthy to feed your cats on occasion, and it non-toxic, so if you caught your cat eating some behind your back, there is no cause for concern.

We hope you enjoyed our look into the safety of this green vegetable and have found the answers you need. If we have helped put your mind at ease. Please share this guide to feeding your cat arugula on Facebook and Twitter.

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Featured Image Credit: Pixabay