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Can Cats Eat Broccoli? Is Broccoli Safe for Cats?

It is an unlikely scenario that you would want to feed your cat broccoli, or that your pet would come over and sniff the dinner plate with broccoli present, however for those wanting to know if cats can in fact eat this rather delicious green vegetable – the answer is yes they can.

In fact, broccoli is completely safe for cats to eat. It is nontoxic to felines and does not appear on the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals’ toxic plant list or list of human foods unsafe for pets.

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Cats and Broccoli – Any Feline Health Benefits?

Broccoli is actually packed with anti-oxidant properties. The fact that broccoli can help ward off free radicals in the body, has meant some studies suggest that broccoli in the diet can assist in the prevention of cancer.

In 1997, a research study carried out at the John Hopkins University in the U.S found that broccoli sprouts have 10 to 100 times the amount of anti-oxidant, cancer prevention value as the head of the broccoli. So for extra free-radical fighting punch, boil up the odd broccoli sprout for your cat to eat, (and yourself for that matter – these benefits apply to humans too).

Broccoli is also a good source of roughage, thus enabling better bowel movement and a healthier digestive system for felines.

Some cats may be drawn to broccoli as a method of calming an upset stomach, the same way that some cats will eat grass. However, this may also lead to vomiting as a result of the fact the cat’s stomach was already is a slight state of disarray.

A nice little treat containing broccoli that you might want to offer your cat are Sassy Cat treats. A rather wonderful sounding rabbit and duck flavored treat with broccoli and cranberry additives is available from these guys.

The meat ingredients balanced against the vegetables and fruit make this a very healthy choice. What’s more, the treat can boast being grain and filler free with no artificial preservatives. You can check out the treats here. 

Cats and Broccoli – Any Precautions?

cat looking at bowl of raw veggies
Image Credit: Scharfsinn, Shutterstock

While a cat may gain the above health benefits from eating broccoli, you should still exercise caution the first time your cat eats this vegetable.

Along with any type of human food you decide to introduce to your pet, it is best to feed them a small amount first. While there are no toxic elements present in broccoli (from a cat perspective), there are still no guarantees that your cat’s stomach will respond to the new food without complication.

Your cat may have problems processing some of the chemical compounds found vegetables such as broccoli, (cats are obligate carnivores after all). Or if fed too much they may have tummy ache merely due to the fact it is a newly introduced food that they are just not used to.

Whenever you feed your cat a new food, watch for any symptoms afterward. If vomiting or diarrhea occurs, or they seem weak and under the weather – it might be time to call the vet.

The Best Way to Serve Broccoli to Cats

The best way to serve broccoli to your cat is to boil it a little first, (ensuring you wait for it to cool afterward). If the broccoli has come from your own dinner plate, ensure that it hasn’t been coated in oil, salt, or butter – ingredients that we enjoy over our vegetables that are just plain bad for cats.

Raw broccoli (like other raw food diet options) has more of a chance of leading to stomach pains after consumption by your cat, as it is simply harder for their digestive system to break down.

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Broccoli is safe for cats to eat. Nontoxic and containing adequate dietary health benefits to make its introduction worthwhile, a little boiled broccoli for your cat can be a good health move.

However, do not feed them too much that very first time, and be sure to watch for any adverse effects.

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Feature Image: Shutterstock, Tertyshnyk Oksana