Can Cats Eat Broccoli?

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These days, many people are into fitness and nutrition to stay healthy. If you’re one of them, you might find yourself trying to reach your five-a-day target of fruit and vegetables and switching your side of fries for a salad. You might also be aware of various so-called “superfoods” that are packed with health-promoting nutrients like antioxidants.

One of these superfoods is broccoli, and like it or loathe it; you can’t deny it’s good for you and your family! But what about your furry family members? Can cats eat broccoli? Well, you’ll be pleased to know the answer is yes. Broccoli is perfectly safe for your furry friend, but they might not like it much!

Broccoli Nutritional Stats

You can find the nutritional information for one raw 20-gram floret of broccoli in the table below. Remember though, the exact nutrient content will vary slightly and will also be altered by cooking.

Calories (kcal) 6.8
Protein (g) 0.5
Fat (g) 0.09
Carbohydrate (g) 1.3
Fiber (g) 0.5
Sugar (g) 0.3
Sodium (mg) 6.6
Calcium (mg) 39.5
Phosphorous (mg) 10.3
Zinc (mg) 11
Potassium (mg) 50.5
Iron (mg) 0.1

Broccoli Nutritional Facts

Believe it or not, broccoli is nearly 90% water! However, it still contains plenty of nutrients and very few calories, making it a great option as a healthy snack. Broccoli is low in fat and sugar, but packed full of vitamins, minerals, and fiber. The vitamins you’ll find in broccoli include vitamins C, K, and B9, while the minerals include iron, manganese, and potassium. Broccoli also contains beta carotene, which your cat’s body converts into vitamin A. Compared to other veggies, it’s high in protein, too.

Benefits Of Broccoli For Cats

One of the benefits of broccoli is its high fiber content. This means that it will help keep your cat’s gut healthy, as well as make them feel fuller, and help to prevent obesity. However, don’t get carried away—your cat’s commercial cat food is nutritionally balanced to give them all the ingredients they need. If you tamper with your cat’s diet by adding lots of extras, you could cause problems.

Compared to other vegetables, the relatively high protein level makes broccoli perfect for treating your feline furball. After all, cats need protein to grow and repair their body tissues, just like we do. The vitamins and minerals have benefits throughout your cat’s body, from their eyes and skin to their immune system, bones, and internal organs.

Perhaps the greatest benefit of broccoli is that it is low in calories, fats, and sugars. So many of the treats we give our pets are full of these, which is OK if they’re only offered occasionally. But, when it comes to broccoli, you don’t have to worry about your pet piling on those extra pounds!

How Much Broccoli Can A Cat Eat?

Plain cooked broccoli is safe for cats, but don’t give cats broccoli cooked with other ingredients and seasonings.

Whenever you offer a new food to your cat, do it gradually and start with a tiny amount. This will help your cat’s gut become accustomed to the new food and prevent your cat from getting an upset tummy. So, at first, offer a small amount of fully cooked broccoli the size of your little fingernail.

If you don’t notice any unwanted symptoms in your cat within a couple of days, you can continue to give broccoli more regularly. Stick to reasonably small amounts, though. Your cat’s treats and any titbits shouldn’t account for more than 10% of their daily calories. Two or three small pieces the size of the tip of your thumb should be fine.

How Often Can A Cat Eat Broccoli?

Ninety percent of your cat’s daily food intake should be a nutritionally complete-and-balanced cat food. If you overdo it on the treats, your cat might feel too full to eat the cat food they need, which could lead to nutritional deficiencies. Be mindful to keep any little extras as a treat rather than daily or with every meal. Feeding your cat a small amount of broccoli every week, or twice a week at most, is quite reasonable.

Is Broccoli Used In Commercial Cat Food?

Most cat foods contain at least one kind of vegetable, and there’s no reason this couldn’t be broccoli. However, it’s more common that high-carbohydrate veggies like potatoes or sweet potatoes are used.

The Risks Of Eating Broccoli For Cats

Broccoli is safe for cats to eat, but only if you follow a few basic guidelines. First, you should only feed your cat fully cooked broccoli. This is because raw broccoli is quite hard for your cat’s stomach to digest, and it also poses a choking risk.

Skip any seasoning when feeding your cat broccoli. Seasonings, whether salty or spicy, might put your cat off eating your offerings. As well as aggravating your cat’s guts, too much salt can lead to salt poisoning. Therefore, you should make sure any broccoli that you offer your cat as a treat is plain.

If you’re going to feed your cat some broccoli, it’s best to steam or boil it. Cooking with fats or oils could lead to pancreatitis or an upset stomach. If you are cooking broccoli as part of a dish, cook some separately for your cat to avoid giving them human foods that are toxic to cats, like garlic or onions.

Do Cats Like The Taste Of Broccoli?

Just because broccoli is healthy and full of vitamins and minerals, it doesn’t mean your cat will enjoy it! If you offer your cat some broccoli and they turn their nose up, don’t be offended; it’s just not their thing! Besides, there are plenty of other healthy treat options you can try.

Summary

We all want the best for our kitty companions, and this includes making the best diet and treat choices. If your cat enjoys broccoli, they can benefit from this superfood just like we can. But make sure it’s well cooked and unseasoned before offering it to your cat!

Frequently Asked Questions

What happens if cats eat broccoli?

If your cat eats plain, cooked broccoli, it shouldn’t make them unwell or cause them harm. However, they shouldn’t eat broccoli that is seasoned, cooked in fat, or raw, as this could cause your cat to become ill. Remember not to offer your cat part of a dish that contains broccoli because the other ingredients might not be safe.

Which vegetables can cats eat?

Vegetables are a great source of nutrients for your kitty, and most are low in calories and fat. If your cat isn’t into broccoli, don’t worry, there are some other cat-safe veggies they can eat. Try offering some cooked carrot, peas, asparagus, or green beans.

About Dr. Joanna Woodnutt, MRCVS

Dr. Joanna Woodnutt (MRCVS) is a small animal veterinarian and writer who is passionate about helping owners to learn more about their pets in order to improve animal welfare. She loves to write and wants to empower owners to make the best decisions for their pets by giving them all the information they need. In her spare time, she takes consultations on the small island of Guernsey.

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