Are you the one who’s crazy about broccoli since the first time your mum put it on your plate? You probably never understood those kids who didn’t enjoy eating it. But, you’re not here to find out the reasons why people hate it. We have to find out can cats eat broccoli. Are you ready?
Broccoli may be on your list of favorite foods or even your all-time favorite, but what about your feline? Do you think she may like it as well?
We’ve been told that there are a lot of health benefits for us in this green flowery plant. There are a lot of fibers, vitamins, and minerals that are highly beneficial for our health and the normal functioning of our bodies.
Oh, and we know how to prepare it in a bunch of ways to mask that savory taste if someone doesn’t like it. There are a lot of different flavors that can help us with that and we’ve learned every single one of them.
We eat raw broccoli, cooked, baked with cheese, or as a soup. It can be a part of a colorful salad or simply served as a side dish for our main course on the menu.
And we enjoy it completely, no matter how we prepare it. Or at least I do.
But is it possible to feed our feline with broccoli? After all, most of the things we can eat are good for them as well, right? I guess we’ll have to tackle the topic together and figure out if this veggie is an actual brock-star or not. So, buckle up and let’s not stalk it anymore.
Can cats eat broccoli harmlessly?
I have one simple answer – yes.
You’re well aware that it’s not highly recommended for our little felines to eat human food, especially veggies and fruits. After all, they are obligate carnivores and they need all the important nutrition from meat.
They may get some nutrition from plants as well, there’s no doubt about it, but if they can choose, they’ll rather eat meat. Back in the day, the only way for them to survive in wild was to hunt their prey. They weren’t eating grass (if we don’t count catnip or upset stomach, though).
When it comes to broccoli, however, it’s safe for your furbaby to eat it from time to time. This is generally one of the safest things you can offer her. It’s not toxic like some other vegetables (onion and garlic for example).
In some rare cases, eating broccoli can cause slight irritations if consumed in large amounts. It’s not usual, but some cats may be allergic, so consult your vet before feeding her any kind of human food.
Broccoli is full of beneficial compounds that can boost your feline’s immune system and help her digestive system to function better. Your furbaby may even crave this veggie because she wants to calm her upset stomach, similar to some cats eating grass for this reason.
What are the benefits?
We both know that broccoli is extremely beneficial for us. They are full of good substances such as sulforaphane, vitamin C, fibers, carotene, and many others that influence our body in a great way.
For instance, eating broccoli often reduces levels of bad cholesterol in our blood and thus lowers the risk of heart diseases and other cardiovascular problems.
Sulforaphane we mentioned is responsible for its bitter taste, but it is also one of the “cleaners” of our body since it helps detoxification. Some research suggests it may reduce the risk of certain kinds of cancer as well.
Carotenoids, lutein, and zeaxanthin are playing a major role in keeping our eyes healthy. Beta carotene from broccoli easily transforms into vitamin A in our bodies and it helps with night blindness.
It is also good for hormonal balance and the strengthening of our immune systems. And we can go on to talk about this brock-star for hours! But what are the benefits for our feline friends?
First of all, nobody can guarantee that your cat’s stomach won’t be a little rebel and make her feel sick a bit. There can always be some chemical compounds in human food that their digestive system may not process – especially if they’re trying something for the first time.
In case you notice that she’s feeling a bit under the weather, or she vomits and has diarrhea, call your vet right away.
Broccoli is not listed as toxic food for cats anywhere, so you can serve moderate amounts for your cat to eat. In fact, consuming this veggie can only make her healthier. You can serve her small portions of carrots, zucchini, lettuce, spinach, and even pumpkin.
All of these will help her digestive system. Besides this, broccoli will lower her cholesterol levels, and eating this veggie will keep her fit. Brock-star is also very important as an anti-carcinogenic vegetable and it will immensely boost her immune system.
Generally speaking, when you can name all the reasons why broccoli is good for your health, you can also make a list of perks for serving it to your furball.
So, what are the main compounds from broccoli that cats can benefit from? Time to find out.
Broccoli is filled with fibers. This helps your cat to stay full for a longer period of time and it also helps a lot with her digestion. So, serving this wonderful veggie from time to time can do wonders for your feline’s digestive system.
We already mentioned a couple of times that broccoli is packed with antioxidants. They are extremely beneficial for us humans, as well as for our little feline friends. Consuming this compound is going to reduce the risk of a variety of cancers.
3. Folic acid
In order to have normal DNA synthesis, cats actually need folic acid. Almost all greens contain folate and when it comes to broccoli, the cooked one has more of it than raw. So, if you want to serve your feline friend this nutrient, make sure you cook it beforehand.
We know that red meat contains higher doses of iron, which is great for your little carnivore. And, just like us, cats need iron for their bodies to function normally. Most of the cat’s food will provide her great amount of iron, but broccoli here and there won’t hurt her.
This electrolyte helps with muscles. Mostly, it is important for regulating the heart’s beating and it also controls nerve impulses. Without a proper amount of this compound, the cat’s body wouldn’t be able to function normally.
6. Vitamins A and K
Even though cats don’t need too much vitamin A, it is required in their diets. This vitamin helps their teeth, and bones and keeps their eyes healthy, just like ours.
Vitamin K is important for the same reason that it is important for us – it regulates the blood flow and it’s essential for producing normal blood clotting proteins. It also helps with liver problems.
7. Indole-3-carbinol (I3C)
This substance is found in most veggies such as Brussels sprouts, cabbage, cauliflower, and broccoli. It prevents tumor cells from developing and it’s used for cancer prevention.
Can cats eat raw broccoli?
Indeed they can! It’s actually one of the best ways to serve this treat to your little feline. If she’s used to chewing on your houseplants, this will save her. However, raw broccoli is more likely to cause some stomach issues.
Cats may vomit or have diarrhea just a couple of hours after eating it. But, they’ll definitely enjoy the crunchiness of raw broccoli and will ask you for another bite.
Can cats eat cooked broccoli?
Of course, they can! Your cat can eat broccoli that was steamed or prepared in boiled water but without seasonings. You know that salty food needs to be avoided in your cat’s diet since salt is extremely toxic to these little creatures.
I guess I don’t have to mention that you have to cool it down as well. Some cats may prefer it this way since it’s easier for them to chew it. You can serve it as a part of her main course or simply as a snack.
If you’re giving her your leftover broccoli, make sure it doesn’t contain some ingredients that are harmful to cats like oil, butter, salt, or any other seasoning.
The best way to serve cooked broccoli to your feline is to simply add smaller parts to her regular meal, like kibbles or her wet food. This way, she’ll get all the important nutrients from the cat’s food and you’ll mask the broccoli flavor in case she may not like it.
Can cats eat broccoli cheddar soup?
Unfortunately no. The fact that broccoli is healthy on its own, means nothing right now. Most adult cats are lactose intolerant and therefore, they are not able to eat cheese, drink milk or consume any dairy product in fact.
However, when it comes to some kinds of cheese, like feta cheese, hard cheddar, or mozzarella, they have lower amounts of lactose, so they may be safe in smaller doses.
In the end, I can only tell you that it’s not a bad thing that you’ve decided to feed your cat this veggie; it’s actually a great choice! Next time, when you’ll be cooking broccoli for lunch, count on your furbaby as well.
If you’re serving her broccoli for the first time, make sure you’re giving her a small dose and keep an eye on her in case there may be some side effects.
I’d say that this applies to all human food that you want your cat to try. That way, you’ll be able to react on time and seek medical attention if needed.