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Can Cats Eat Brussels Sprouts? Is It Healthy for Them?

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	Dr. Tabitha Henson (Vet) Photo

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Dr. Tabitha Henson (Vet)

The information is current and up-to-date in accordance with the latest veterinarian research.

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Cats are obligate carnivores, and their main source of nutrition comes from eating meat. You might be tempted to feed your cats greens every once in a while because greens can supplement their diet with vitamins and minerals that you don’t always find in meat.

Cats can eat brussels sprouts, but that doesn’t mean they need to become a regular part of their diet. Humans think of Brussels sprouts as little balls of nutrient-dense flavor. Even though they have a high nutritional value for us, cats don’t have the same health demands that we do.

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Do Cats Like Brussels Sprouts?

The most important thing to keep in mind when contemplating feeding your cat something new is that they are carnivores. They do not need anything other than animal protein to survive. This doesn’t mean vegetables can’t benefit your cat in some way, but don’t expect your cat to enjoy eating them. Some felines take a nibble of human food because it looks or smells enticing. Still, expect your cat to prefer meat to any sort of fruit or vegetable you offer them.

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Is It Safe to Feed Cats Brussels Sprouts?

The answer to this question depends on the context. If your cat took a few bites of some Brussels sprouts, then you don’t need to worry about them becoming ill. These green veggies are non-toxic to animals. However, feeding Brussels sprouts to your cat does become dangerous in certain situations. They should never be your cat’s primary food source. They can also become dangerous if they are cultivated in warm and humid atmospheres that cause potentially hazardous bacteria to grow.

brussels sprouts
Image Credit: Pixabay

Can Cats Eat Raw Brussels Sprouts?

Cats should never eat raw Brussels sprouts because it increases the risk of food poisoning. There are a few signs of bacterial illness that you need to look out for within the first 72 hours after eating the raw sprouts, including:

  • Stomach pain
  • Diarrhea
  • Vomiting
  • Fever
  • Muscle Spasms

Vomiting is one of the most common signs of food poisoning or poisoning in general for cats. Still, there might be times when your cat vomits up the sprouts without actually being ill. Either way, we suggest that you seek medical attention from a local veterinarian if they are showing even minor symptoms.

Cat vomiting
Image Credit: Nils Jacobi, Shutterstock

Can Cats Eat Cooked Brussels Sprouts?

The best way to feed your cat Brussels sprouts is cooked. Cats lack the ability to break down cell walls inside the plant and cooking or steaming the sprouts softens the cell walls, making it easier for them to digest. It also kills any harmful bacteria that could be lurking on the raw leaves.

Are There Any Health Benefits in Feeding Brussels Sprouts to Cats?

Brussels sprouts are veggies that are similar to cabbage. They have substantial amounts of vitamin C and K and as a result, small amounts of these veggies do offer some benefits. Aside from being rich in vitamins, they are also high in fiber, minerals, and antioxidants.

brussels-sprouts vegetable
Image Credit: Pixabay

How to Prepare Brussels Sprouts for Cats

A cat’s diet can change over time and include occasional vegetables, although it isn’t necessary. If you insist on feeding your cat Brussels sprouts, then make sure you are preparing them properly.

Remove the buds from the stem with a knife. Wash the piece under cool running water and then boil or steam them until cooked through. Cut the buds into small, even-sized pieces that will be easy for your cat to digest. Do not season or cook the sprouts with any additional ingredients because they could be dangerous for your cat—plain sprouts are best for cats to eat. After feeding your cat, make sure to watch them for the next few days to ensure that they feel alright and there are no changes in their behavior.

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Final Thoughts

While there isn’t any reason that cats need to eat Brussels sprouts, felines are a bit quirky, and some might like eating them from time to time. If you do decide to feed your cat Brussels sprouts, make sure that you cook them properly and cut them into small, bite-sized pieces. The most important thing to remember about cat health is that the only true food that they need to live healthy lives is animal protein, and no veggies will ever safely replace their main food source.

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Featured Image Credit: Pixabay

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