Can cats eat okra?
Many people in this world love this vegetable. Even though it has quite a gooey and slimy texture when prepared, okra is a delicacy.
So you were ready to enjoy your lunch, but before you could react, your cat was already on the table. He didn’t think twice about taking a huge bite off of your plate and running off with it.
Once you got to him (damn his little fast feet), the food was already in his belly. Your cat ate an entire mouthful of okra. What now?
He seems completely clueless, sitting there and staring at you with no care in the world. But your heart’s in your mouth.
What if that was poisonous to your cat and the silly little furball still ate it? What if those eyes lose that pretty sparkle?
You couldn’t imagine a life without him, so here you are right now. You’re petrified, you’re shaking, and you feel like you’re going to cry.
But don’t lose your mind just yet, you may be surprised when you get through this article and you realize that things aren’t as scary as you first thought them to be.
Can cats eat okra?
Take a deep breath! Everything’s okay.
Your cat can eat okra. It’s completely safe for him to ingest small amounts of it from time to time. It shouldn’t be a common treat for an obligate carnivore, but there’s no harm in spicing things up in his diet from time to time.
Your cat doesn’t need fruits and veggies to function properly. Carbohydrates are necessary for his diet. However, there could be different benefits to plant-based foods, if you’re able to prepare it correctly.
If you decide to give your cat some okra, make sure that it’s cooked as it’s easier to digest this way. He could easily steal a bite of it from you, but even if you give it intentionally, make sure that it’s in small portions.
Don’t put an entire bowl full of okra in front of him, because that’ll cause big issues for his tummy. Instead, give him a small amount of cooked okra. If you see that there are no issues with it over time, then you can slowly increase the portion you give him.
Raw okra is quite hard to digest. Even to a human, it’s not the easiest thing in the world.
To a cat, it’s hard to chew through it as well as digest it. For that exact reason, I recommend you puree it. It’ll make the digestive process much more manageable.
But you still need to be careful. Just as when you prepare your own vegetables, make sure that there are no residual chemicals on it by rinsing it thoroughly under running water.
If he doesn’t like okra, then that’s completely fine. You may want to give him some other veggies like peas, cooked carrots, cabbage, sweet potatoes, zucchini, and other safe options.
Just know that these can’t be the main portion of your cat’s food. Meat should make up the bulk of his diet.
Benefits of feeding okra to your cat
When you start to Google if cats can eat okra, you get confused by why it could ever be beneficial to a carnivore. But there are a few benefits to it.
Nutritionally, per 100g, okra contains a mere 33 calories. Besides the 7.46 g of carbohydrates, 89.6 g of water, and 1.9 g of protein, it’s also a great source of fiber, vitamins (Vitamins A, B, C, and K) and minerals (magnesium, calcium, iron, and zinc).
1. Low-calorie snack
Can cats eat okra, even if it’s a low-calorie vegetable?
Many people who have furbabies rely on commercial cat food. They believe that there’s no reason to introduce anything different into their diet.
And they’ve got a good point. The truth is that it’s quite dangerous for your cat to eat foods that are high in carbohydrates and calories. He could gain weight quite fast, which could lead to obesity issues.
Okra has so many different benefits that you’re not even aware of at this point, but just the fact that it’ll keep your cat satisfied for a small amount of time should tell you enough about it. He won’t go after his usual treats right away, so it’s a great way to keep him happy until he gets his main meal.
2. Dietary fiber
Okra is an amazing source of soluble and insoluble dietary fiber. Even though it’s not the most important part of your cat’s diet, it can still be helpful with his digestion.
Okra can help promote a healthy gut, prevent diarrhea, as well as alleviate constipation. As a low-calorie snack with a great fiber content, it can stimulate weight loss in cats as well.
Besides that, a diabetic cat can thrive on this snack without any doubt in mind. But just remember that the key here is to give it occasionally and in small doses.
3. Promotes hydration
Almost 90% of okra is water. Many cats don’t like drinking water unless it’s running. In nature, they go to small waterfalls because they know that the water there is fresh.
Your cat doesn’t really have that option in your home. So when you bring him water in a bowl, he’ll take a few licks and move on from it.
For that exact reason, food serves as a great way to keep your kitty hydrated. And if he’s developed a taste for okra, then a little nibble every now and then will only help!
4. It’ll counteract blood cholesterol surges
Okra is filled with a gel-like substance called mucilage. It attaches to cholesterol during digestion, which stops its absorption into the body. Instead, it digests properly and excretes with the stools.
Therefore, okra helps to stabilize the level of cholesterol in the blood.
5. It may benefit pregnant cats
Can cats eat okra if they’re pregnant?
Well, I’ve been talking about my curious little boy, Salem. So if you also have a little gib at home, then you shouldn’t be bothered by this question. But it’s good to know that okra can benefit a pregnant cat.
Prenatal supplements contain a large amount of folate (Vitamin B9) which is also abundantly found in okra. Pregnant cats can definitely benefit from this nutrient as it lowers the risk of neural tube defects.
What are the side effects when cats eat okra?
There aren’t many side effects to eating okra. Just like with any vegetable, you shouldn’t give it to your cat as the main portion of his meals.
Everything can cause issues if it’s not controlled. So you just need to make sure to limit his okra treats and your fluffy friend will be just fine.
But, if your cat ends up eating too much, there could be some side effects. Okra contains fructans, which are sugars (in other words, carbohydrates).
In larger doses, fructans can cause diarrhea, vomiting, gas, and cramping. For your cat’s small body, that could be extremely painful.
Another thing is that okra is filled with oxalates, which can cause kidney stones if given in bigger amounts.
So, can cats eat okra? Yes, in moderation and as an occasional treat. But don’t even think about making okra a part of your cat’s regular diet. That would only upset his stomach.
Control his portions carefully and he should have no issues.