With all of the health benefits that cabbage is said to have, you may wonder if it is safe to give some to your cats. Although some cat owners like to stick to a traditional cat food diet, many people try to feed their cats more natural meals. Luckily, cabbage is not a dangerous food for cats, but there are a few things you should know before offering a head of cabbage to your feline friend.
What Are The Health Benefits For Humans Who Eat Cabbage?
Cabbage is an extremely healthy vegetable for humans. It has tons of vitamins and minerals, including vitamin K, vitamin C, fiber, and calcium. If you struggle with inflammation, cabbage can be beneficial in reducing joint swelling and inflammation. Because of all the fiber that cabbage contains, it is also perfect for your digestive health. There are plenty of ways to prepare cabbage and use it in your diet. When you cook cabbage, you lose some of the nutritional benefits, so look for recipes and meals that include raw cabbage.
Do Cats Get The Same Nutritional Benefits From Cabbage?
There is a possibility that cats get some of the same nutritional benefits from cabbage that humans do, but it is not significant enough that your cat needs to have cabbage in their diet. Too much cabbage in a cat’s diet can be detrimental to their health. Cats are carnivorous by nature. Although it is a good thing to vary your cat’s diet from time to time, if you were to try and push your cat predominantly towards vegetables, it would not be a healthy choice.
What Are The Best Vegetables To Give A Cat?
As we mentioned earlier, cats are carnivores. They don’t need any vegetables in their diet to survive. If you feel as though it could help your cats digestion or their coat, then certain vegetables may be better choices than others. If you want to give your cat an occasional treat, here are the best options to consider:
- Peas: Peas are easy and very treat-like for your cat. If you are working on rewards for some type of trick or behavior, giving them a pea is much healthier than a kitty treat. Don’t feel as though you need to make peas a significant part of your pet’s diet, but a few here and there are not going to hurt.
- Green Beans: Green beans are a great source of fiber. If your cat tends to be overweight and is continuously looking for a cat treat, try a green bean instead.
- Squash: We would save the squash for when your cat has some bowel issues. Squash can help regular your cat’s digestive system. Again, large amounts of squash are not necessary, but they can be a great supplement when your cat is struggling with an upset stomach.
- Carrots: Carrots must be cooked before sharing them with your cat as they can be choking hazards. Cook the carrots thoroughly and then cut them into small bite-sized pieces. Cat’s will likely benefit from the extra beta carotene in the carrots.
How About Red Cabbage?
Red cabbage packs many of the same nutritional benefits that the other varieties of the cabbage do. Again, you will want to use cabbage in moderation, but you can use it for a treat in your cat’s diet. Some cat owners have noticed their cats tend to enjoy red cabbage more.
How Do You Prepare Cabbage For Cats To Eat?
While you can just give a cat raw cabbage, but it is pretty difficult for them to chew. The best way to feed a cat cabbage is to cook it first. Although some of the nutritional benefits will be lost when it’s cooked, you will not have to worry about your cat choking on their food.
When cooking cabbage, do not use any spices or oils. Simply boil the cabbage and then cut it into small pieces. To get your cat used to the idea, you may want to put a little bit of the cabbage on top of their regular food. Whenever you introduce a new food in your cat’s diet, make sure that you start with a minimal amount. If cabbage does not sit well in your cat’s stomach, it will be best to find out with a small amount rather than a significant amount.
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How Much Cabbage Is Safe To Give My Cat?
Giving your cat too much cabbage can be detrimental to their health. For starters, the fact that cats are carnivores means that they don’t need the cabbage to survive. If you start replacing a good portion of your cat’s diet with vegetables instead of meat, you will be filling them with foods that are not full of the vitamins and minerals that they need to thrive.
A cabbage leaf, boiled, cut up, and put over your cat’s food from time to time is safe. However, if you start adding too much cabbage, your cat can develop thyroid issues. Raw cabbage contains something called thiocyanate. If your cat is exposed to enough thiocyanate, they can potentially lose their natural ability to regulate their thyroid. Having your cat contract hypothyroidism would take a significant amount of cabbage fed over a long period, but it is still a risk.
Is cabbage safe for cats to eat? Yes. Is it something that you should run to the store and purchase and prepare for your cat right now? Not at all.
Cat’s don’t need cabbage to survive, and although it works for an occasional treat, there are likely other vegetables that are easier to prepare and feed to your cat. Every time you decide to change your cat’s diet, it is essential to contact your vet and make sure you are following the best protocol.
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