You may be wondering if it is safe to feed your cats cabbage with all the health benefits that it is said to have. Some cat owners are traditionalists who insist on feeding their feline only commercially produced cat food.
Fortunately, cabbage is not a harmful food for cats, but there are some things you should know before feeding your cat a head of cabbage.
Can Cats Eat Cabbage?
Cabbage is safe for cats to eat in moderation if cooked properly.
Like its close cousins the broccoli, cauliflower, and kale, cabbage is classified as a cruciferous vegetable. There are more than 400 different kinds, and their leaves can be any color from white to green to red to purple.
The protein and dietary fiber in this vegetable are good for your cat, and so are the vitamins B, C, and K.
However, due to their nature as obligate carnivores, cats have no real need for a diet rich in plant matter. They can’t meet their protein requirements without eating meat.
What Are The Health Benefits For Humans Who Eat Cabbage?
Cabbage is one of the world’s healthiest vegetables. It’s rich in nutrients like calcium, fiber, vitamin C, and vitamin K. Cabbage may help reduce joint swelling and inflammation for those who struggle with inflammation.
The high fiber content of cabbage makes it an excellent food for maintaining digestive health. Cabbage can be used in numerous ways throughout your diet.
Some of cabbage’s health benefits are lost during cooking, so try to incorporate raw cabbage into your meals whenever possible.
Do Cats Get The Same Nutritional Benefits From Cabbage?
While it’s possible that cats can reap some of the same nutritional benefits from cabbage as humans can, doing so is not necessary. A cat’s health can be negatively affected by eating too much cabbage.
Cats are strictly carnivores. Although it is beneficial to occasionally switch up your cat’s diet, it is not a good idea to force your cat to eat primarily vegetables.
Potential Risks of Feeding Cabbage To Your Cat
Cats are obligate carnivores, so even healthy vegetables like cabbage, when consumed in large quantities, can be harmful to their health.
Cabbage contains a substance called thiocyanate, so if you decide to give your cat a small amount of cabbage on occasion, it must be well cooked.
Your cat may develop hypothyroidism if exposed to this chemical in high enough doses.
It’s possible, though it would take a lot of cabbage over a long period of time and a lot of time feeding it to your cat. Cabbage is high in fiber and, if given in excess, can rapidly lead to gas, bloating, and diarrhea.
Although cabbage is safe for cats and won’t poison them, it shouldn’t be given to them in large quantities either.
What Are The Best Vegetables To Give A Cat?
We already established that cats are strictly carnivorous. Vegetables aren’t necessary for their survival.
If you’re concerned about your cat’s digestion or coat, you might want to give some vegetables a try. Here are some great choices for when you want to reward your cat with a snack:
- Peas: Peas are a simple food that your cat will love. Peas are a much better option than kitty treats for rewarding good behavior or practicing tricks. A few peas here and there won’t hurt, but you shouldn’t make them a regular part of your pet’s diet.
- Green beans are high in fiber and a healthy addition to any diet. If your cat has a weight problem and is always looking for treats, try giving it a green bean instead.
- When your cat is experiencing gastrointestinal distress, we recommend feeding it squash. Your cat’s digestive system will thank you for feeding it squash. Having said that, when your cat is experiencing an upset stomach, squash can be a great supplement.
- Carrots: Carrots can be choking hazards, so cook them before giving them to your cat. Carrots should be cooked and diced into small pieces before being served. Carrots contain a lot of beta carotene, which is good for cats.
Types of Cabbage
There are more than 400 distinct cabbage species, but the supermarket varieties you’re most likely to encounter are from just four of them. The most common types of cabbage are green, red or purple, savoy, and Napa.
The most popular and easily recognizable type of cabbage is green cabbage, but its peppery taste puts most cats off.
As it takes longer to mature and contains anthocyanin, a chemical compound found in many red, blue, and black fruits and vegetables, red cabbage is arguably the most nutritious variety.
Savoy and Napa cabbages are not as common as green or red cabbage, but they are sweeter.
How About Red Cabbage?
Many of the health benefits associated with other types of cabbage are also present in red cabbage.
Cabbage can be a tasty treat for your cat, but remember to use it sparingly. Red cabbage seems to be a favorite among some feline owners.
How Do You Prepare Cabbage For Cats To Eat?
Raw cabbage is safe for cats to eat, but it can be tough for them to chew. Cabbage is safe for cats to eat if it is cooked first.
Cooking the food removes the risk of your cat choking, but at the expense of some of the food’s nutritional value.
Cabbage should be cooked without any seasonings or oils. The cabbage can be quickly prepared by boiling and then dicing.
You can introduce your cat to the cabbage by sprinkling a small amount on top of their regular food. A small amount of a new food should be introduced into your cat’s diet at a time.
It’s better to find out with a small amount of cabbage than a large amount if it doesn’t agree with your cat’s stomach.
We have a solution that will keep you and your cat happy, even though it’s not always safe to feed them table scraps.
Feeding Cabbage To Your Cat
However, your cat may have difficulty chewing raw cabbage and it will still contain potentially harmful thiocyanates, even though it will retain most of the essential nutrients that make the vegetable healthy for your cat.
This is why it’s best to eat cabbage after it’s been cooked. To make cabbage more digestible and safe for your cat, you can steam it, roast it, or give it a quick boil.
Instead of seasoning the cabbage with salt, garlic, or any other spices, try feeding it plain or mixing it in with your cat’s regular food. Most cats will not eat cabbage if you give it to them on its own, so you should probably incorporate it into their regular diet in very small amounts.
One finely chopped cabbage leaf that has been steamed or boiled before being added to your cat’s food on occasion is safe, but you should monitor your cat closely to see how he or she reacts. Most professionals advise limiting your intake of cabbage to no more than one leaf per week.
How Much Cabbage Is Safe To Give My Cat?
Too much cabbage in your cat’s diet can be harmful. Cats, being carnivores, have no need for the cabbage, for several reasons.
If you start feeding your cat mostly vegetables instead of meat, they won’t get enough of the essential nutrients they need to grow and thrive.
Occasionally placing a boiled, chopped cabbage leaf on top of your cat’s food is safe. However, if you give your cat an excessive amount of cabbage, it can cause thyroid problems. Thiocyanate is found in raw cabbage.
Overexposure to thiocyanate can cause your cat to lose its ability to control its thyroid. It would take a lot of cabbage fed over a long period of time for your cat to develop hypothyroidism, but it is still possible.
What Other Vegetables Are Safe For Cats?
Vegetables can provide great health benefits in moderation, but cats don’t need a lot of carbs or vegetables. Some examples are:
- Tossed green beans
Feeding your cat a small amount of any of these vegetables every day will help them digest them better and is recommended.
Can a cat eat cabbage without getting sick? Yes. Is it something you need to immediately go out and get for your cat? Actually, no.
Cabbage is fine as a treat, but your cat doesn’t need it to survive, and there are probably other vegetables that are simpler to prepare and feed to your cat. If you want to make any changes to your cat’s diet, it’s important to check with your vet first.