You might be thinking of adding plants to your cat’s diet and wonder which one is healthy for your feline friend. Well, it is important to know that not all plants are beneficial for your cat’s health. Based on their nature, some plants work fine in their diet, improving their health, and your cooking alongside.
Can cats eat plants?
Cat are obligate carnivores, so they feed mainly on meats. However, cats have different nutritional needs, even more than humans. Offering your kitty small portions of certain plants or vegetables in their diet can provide some health benefits.
But note that while a diet that contains lots of vegetables may work fine for us, it may not be healthy for our feline friends. You need to keep it moderate for your cats.
Perhaps you’re vegan and would love to include plants in your cat’s diet, here are the 11 best plants to keep your cat healthy and improve your cooking:
Broccoli is safe and healthy for both cats and humans. This plant is loaded with vitamin C, fiber, carotenoids, and it is an excellent source of antioxidants for your four-legged friends.
In fact, broccoli is one of the healthiest plants you can include in your cat’s diet. However, for digestibility, it is best to serve this plant blanched, steamed, or boiled.
One more thing –Broccoli is an excellent plant option to satisfy your cat’s plant-chewing cravings. So if you notice that your kitty is ruining your houseplants, you can serve them plain and unseasoned broccoli instead.
You can offer them a small bite first to see how they would react. If they accept it, you can add more broccoli to their food portion.
Potatoes are also one of the good vegetables to serve your kitties. Little wonder, cooked potatoes are added in some cat foods to provide gluten-free and grain-free carbohydrates as a supplement addition.
However, you need to cook it well to avoid digestion problems. Mashed potatoes are not too good for cats. Such recipes often add butter, cheese, and milk to their makeup, and this may not be accepted by your kitty.
Also, do not feed your cat raw potatoes as it contains a compound called solanine, which can be toxic to your cat’s digestion and nervous system.
Spinach is rich in vitamins and minerals, and it is a good source of dietary fiber. Many cat food manufacturers add spinach to their products due to its high fiber content, high vitamin content, and low calories, which are all needed for a cat to stay healthy.
You can steam spinach to make them more digestible for your kitty, especially if your cat’s overall health is fine. However, if your cat has a history of having calcium oxalate bladder stones, it is advisable not to feed them spinach.
Carrots contain numerous vitamins and minerals and are rich in beta carotene. More so, this vegetable is a good source of fiber, which is beneficial for your cat’s digestion, especially when they tend to be constipated.
However, note that it might be hard for your feline friend to chew and digest carrots in their raw form. Hence, you should cook, boil, blanch, or steam carrots before serving your cat. And do not add any salt or seasoning in their preparation.
Asparagus is good for cats’ health, but you need to feed them this plant in small amounts. More so, the high fiber content of asparagus makes it good for managing your cat’s weight. It supports digestion and makes your feline friend feel full longer.
However, as mentioned earlier, do not give your cat too much asparagus because it has a high alkaline content. So taking too much of this plant can affect the pH of your cat’s urine, which can lead to the development of bladder stones.
So it is best to add asparagus as a supplement to your cat’s meaty meal or feed it as a snack.
Lettuce is one good plant to supports a cat’s hydration due to its high-water content. This plant is also low in calories, reducing the risk of your cat gaining much weight if they eat it as a snack.
More so, lettuce is rich in vitamin A, K, and folate. And it contains a high amount of fiber.
If your cat is fond of gnawing houseplants, lettuce is a safe and healthy pick to offer them.
Celery is not only good for humans, but also for cats when you add it to their diet in moderation. Cats generally have a liking for celery leaves. And that’s more reason cats tend to rub and roll themselves on celery leaves. They also like to munch on it. You don’t have to worry, it’s safe, but you just have to ensure they take it in small amounts.
Celery contains a high amount of fiber, vitamins, and minerals that confers health benefits. However, ensure they don’t overeat this plant to avoid stomach irritation. In extreme cases, your cat might suffer severe diarrhea.
Also, note that celery can become a choking hazard. So, it is important and a must that you slice celery before serving your feline friend.
Ginger offers many health benefits and can support your cat’s gastrointestinal system, even in a mild case of food poisoning.
However, do not feed your cat too much ginger as it can irritate your feline friend’s stomach. More so, if your cat has gallbladder issues, keep ginger out of their diet completely.
Thyme is rich in dietary fiber, antioxidants, vitamin A & C, calcium, copper, manganese, magnesium, and riboflavin. It is safe for felines and can help improve their immune system. This way, including thyme in your cat’s diet, can help prevent bacterial and fungal growth.
Rosemary is non-toxic and safe for cats, and it is rich in vitamin A and C, and minerals, such as iron, calcium, manganese, and folate. Cats naturally do not take over a few nibbles of this herb as they become easily discouraged by the intense flavor of the herb.
However, too much rosemary may be harmful to your feline friend. Besides, this herb contains volatile oils that can cause stomach upset in your kitty.
But we know that it is unlikely for cats to consume too much rosemary due to the intense flavor of the herb.
Cilantro is one good plant that you can add to your cat’s diet. The raw form of this herb is rich in vitamins (A, B1, B2, B3, B5, B6, B9, C, E, and K), and minerals (calcium, iron, magnesium, manganese, phosphorus, sodium, and zinc). More so, it has anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties that support overall health.
That said, you should not add too much Cilantro to your cat’s diet as it can cause stomach upset, vomiting, diarrhea, and gas. Besides, if you have it in your garden, you should limit how your cat gets access to it.
ConclusionCats can benefit from the nutritious properties of some plants like the ones highlighted above. So, if you live a vegan lifestyle and/or eat any of the plants above, it makes it easier for you as you prepare for every member of your family, including your feline friend.
However, you should keep in mind that not all plants are safe and healthy for cats. In fact, some plants to avoid include garlic and chives, marijuana, St. John’s Wort, Chamomile, Lemongrass, Oregano, Mint, and Tarragon. Also, some plants should only be allowed in little amounts in your cat’s diet, as we’ve mentioned in some plants above.
You can consult your veterinarian to learn about the safety of a particular plant or herb before including it in your cat’s diet.