Can Cats Eat Quinoa? 9 Things You May Not Know

The consumption of quinoa has increased in both the Western world and the United States. Due in part to its high fiber content and gluten-free status, quinoa provides numerous health benefits.

It’s common knowledge that humans all over the globe enjoy eating quinoa, but can cats digest it?

You can feed quinoa to your cat. Although quinoa is technically a grain, it provides numerous health benefits.

Quinoa’s near-ideal ratio of protein, fiber, and carbohydrates makes it a great food supplement for cats. Cats probably don’t subsist entirely on this, but it could make up quite a bit of their diet.

If you’re wondering whether or not quinoa is good for your cat, you can learn the pros and cons by reading on.

Can Cats Eat Quinoa?

Can cats eat quinoa? They sure can! Even a small amount of the protein, fiber, magnesium, iron, and potassium found in quinoa can be beneficial to a cat’s health. You shouldn’t try to replace other foods in your cat’s diet with quinoa.

Contrary to popular belief, quinoa is actually beneficial for your cat’s health and is not just a filler ingredient like other grains.

More About Quinoa

If you’re a quinoa fan and also the proud owner of a cat, you may occasionally find yourself wondering, “Can my cat eat quinoa?”

True, quinoa is safe for feline stomachs. But before we get into the dos and don’ts of quinoa for cats, it’s important to note its origins.

The botanical relatives of quinoa include amaranth and spinach. Because it is not actually a cereal, quinoa is classified as a pseudocereal. Actually, it’s a seed, to be precise.

The quinoa plant is an annual flowering herbaceous plant from which the grains or seeds are harvested. The amaranth family includes this plant, which is widely grown as a crop.

The Andean region of northwest South America is where the quinoa plant originated. Evidence from the Lake Titicaca basin in Peru and Bolivia suggests that people have been cultivating and eating this plant for at least the past 4,000 years.

Eventually, sometime between 5200 and 7000 years ago, quinoa was domesticated and used as fodder for livestock.

Although it was first domesticated in South America, quinoa is now grown in over 70 countries. The United States, India, Kenya, and a number of European countries are all notable producers.

Is Quinoa Good For Cats?

Examining the grain’s nutritional profile is the best way to figure out if quinoa is safe for cats. Now, the following nutrients can be found in a cooked quinoa serving of 100 grams (3.5 ounces)


  • 503 kJ (or 120 kcal) of energy.
  • 4.4 grams of protein
  • 21.3 g of carbohydrates
  • Total fiber content: 2.8 grams
  • 1.92 grams of fat
  • Half a gram of monounsaturated fat
  • 1.08 grams of polyunsaturated fat
  • Hydration: 72 g
  • 0.11 milligrams of vitamin B1, or 9% of the daily value (DV).
  • 9% of the Recommended Daily Value for Vitamin B2 (0.11 milligrams)
  • 3% of the Recommended Daily Value (RDV) for vitamin B3 (0.41 milligrams).
  • 0.12 milligrams of vitamin B6, or 9% of the Recommended Daily Value
  • 42 micrograms of vitamin B9, or 11% of the daily value
  • Choline – 23 micrograms, or 5% of the RDI
  • 4% of the Recommended Daily Value in vitamin E (0.63 mg).
  • 7 milligrams of sodium, or 0% of the daily value
  • Calcium – 17 milligrams, or 2% of the daily value
  • 4% of the Recommended Daily Value (RDV) in potassium (172 milligrams).
  • 0.19 milligrams of copper, or 10% of the daily value
  • 1.09 milligrams of zinc, or 11% of the daily value
  • Iron: 1.49 milligrams (11% of the RDI)
  • Magnesium – 18% of the RDI at 64 milligrams
  • There are 162mg of phosphorus, which is 22% of the recommended daily value.
  • With 0.63 milligrams, manganese provides 30% of the recommended daily value.
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The RDIs are calculated considering the fact that people eat quinoa. Very little evidence supports the claim that quinoa provides direct health and nutritional benefits to cats at this time.

However, felines have nearly the same responses to quinoa as humans do. The fact that they are both mammals and have similar nutritional needs explains this. Except, of course, for the fact that people eat a wide variety of foods while cats are only supposed to eat meat.

Benefits Of Quinoa For Cats

Possible perks of quinoa for feline health include:

1. Quinoa Is Rich in Protein

Cats can only survive by eating meat.Animal products make up the bulk of their diets..

Still, there’s no harm in adding some plant-based protein to your kitto’s regular diet. This is where quinoa and other vegetables come into play. Each 100 grams of cooked quinoa contains 4.45 grams of protein.

Amino acid chains, which are provided by protein, are the structural basis for an organism’s muscles, tissues, and even bones. It’s essential for the survival of most animal species. Your cat’s internal organs and skeletal structure can both benefit from a high-protein diet.

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2. Quinoa May Aid Digestion

The dietary fiber content of quinoa is high. There are as much as 2.8 grams of fiber in a 100g serving of cooked quinoa cereals. There are a few ways in which fiber can help your cat’s digestion.

To begin with, fiber has the effect of bulking up one’s feces. Constipation and diarrhea are just two of the digestive issues it may help with.

That begs the question: is quinoa safe for cats with stomach problems?

Yes, quinoa may aid cats with diarrhea or vomiting. That’s because the fiber in these grains can ease digestive distress and prevent bloating.

Cats may also benefit from fiber because it supports healthy gut microbiota. The term “gut microbiota” is used to describe the beneficial microorganisms (most notably bacteria) that live in an animal’s digestive tract.

These microorganisms are essential to the digestive process. In addition, they have been linked to lower risks of chronic diseases like IBD.

3. Quinoa May Promote Hydration

It is common knowledge that cats are notoriously picky eaters. It is not uncommon for cats to develop a sudden distaste for the food they have eaten for the better part of their lives.

Even cats can be picky about what they’ll drink. Some days, these animals have no problem drinking, while other days, they develop an aversion to water for no apparent reason.

Fortunately, you can increase your cat’s water consumption to the recommended levels by following a few simple guidelines. Hydrating foods, such as quinoa, can be fed to the animal as one such method.

The water content of quinoa is over 70%. That amount is plenty to ensure your cat stays hydrated.

In addition, water may have additive effects with fiber in easing constipation.

4. Quinoa May Support Weight Loss

Fiber, protein, and water all work together to make weight loss easier. The fact that quinoa is so rich in these nutrients makes it an excellent choice for cats that are struggling with weight issues.

Diets high in fiber, water, and protein will not only help your cat feel fuller for an extended period of time, but will also help maintain that full feeling. This will help control your kitto’s appetite and reduce the amount of food he eats at each meal.

In the long run, quinoa may aid in weight loss or prevent unhealthful weight gain for your feline friend.

Quinoa for Cats

5. Quinoa May Prevent or Treat Diabetes

Dietary fiber has many benefits, including easing digestive symptoms, promoting weight loss, and relieving constipation. Chronic metabolic diseases, such as diabetes, may also benefit from this.

Due to its high fiber content, quinoa can help regulate your cat’s blood sugar. This is due to the fact that fiber is rarely digested in the digestive process. Therefore, it carries with it harmful sugars and blocks their entry into your cat’s bloodstream.

Then, is quinoa safe for diabetic cats to eat?

The beneficial effects of quinoa on blood sugar levels may be especially helpful for diabetic cats.

6. Quinoa May Prevent Seizures and Muscle Spasms

Several minerals and vitamins found in quinoa have been linked to antispasmodic effects. The mineral magnesium is an example.

Magnesium has been shown in numerous studies to reduce the severity of seizures and spasticity in involuntary muscles.

Since cats spend so much time sleeping, magnesium may also help with their chronic lack of energy.

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7. Quinoa Is High In Antioxidants

Quinoa has a lot of antioxidants, just like the other amaranth family grains. Subduing the damage caused by free radicals in the body is one way that antioxidants help the immune system.

Prevention of chronic diseases and an increase in overall longevity can be achieved by providing your cat with antioxidant-rich foods.

Flavonoids such as kaempferol and quercetin are common quinoa antioxidants.

The mineral content of quinoa determines its other advantages. Vitamin B9, for instance, may aid in fetal development, and calcium may promote healthy tooth and bone growth. Furthermore, many cats may enjoy the mild flavor of quinoa.

How to Feed Quinoa to Your Cats

Keep in mind that moderation is key when it comes to your cat’s diet. Supplements and treats are fine, but they shouldn’t replace your cat’s regular kibble or species-appropriate wet food.


The hardest part of getting your cat to eat quinoa is probably serving it to them. Cats can be finicky eaters, especially if they’ve developed ingrained habits.

When quinoa is cooked, it gains a fluffy texture. It’s got a taste all its own, too. Always make sure it’s fully cooked before giving it to your cat.

As a food additive, some cats will love this, while others will ignore it completely. To help them get used to the taste and texture, you could try hiding it in something else.

The simplest way to feed quinoa to your cat is to mix it into their regular bowl of food. It’s best to proceed cautiously, adding the quinoa in small amounts and mixing everything together so that they can enjoy a taste of everything. This prevents them from picking out all of the kibble or quinoa and leaving the rest.

Can Quinoa Make Cats Sick?

After reading about the possible benefits of quinoa for cats’ health, you may be more inclined to feed it to your feline friend. However, quinoa may be bad for your kitto, just like other plant-based foods. Especially if they are overfed.

To begin, quinoa has a decent amount of dietary fiber. Your cat’s digestive system will benefit from a moderate amount of fiber. However, it may have a laxative effect if consumed in large quantities.

So, the question arises: Does quinoa make cats sick?

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Yes, quinoa could cause diarrhea in cats. You’re probably giving your cat more than he needs when you feed him quinoa if he always has an upset stomach after eating it.

Another potential risk of quinoa for cats is weight gain. We’ve already pointed out that the grain may aid in keeping your cat’s weight in check, so this may seem contradictory.

However, one should be aware that quinoa is a calorie-dense food. There are a lot of carbs and fats in the grain, too.

Instead of preventing weight gain, this combination may cause it. However, as you may have guessed by now, the likelihood of your cat gaining weight as a result of quinoa depends on the portions served and the methods of preparation used.

Finally, you should be aware of the potential for allergic reactions. This leads us to wonder: do cats have a sensitivity to quinoa?

Cats rarely have reactions to quinoa. However, since quinoa is a plant-based food and cats are naturally predisposed to eat animal products, your feline friend may experience negative reactions to the grain.

In cats, an allergy to quinoa can cause a wide variety of symptoms, from vomiting and diarrhea to difficulty breathing. There may also be mood swings, a rapid heart rate, a change in skin color, etc.

Can Cats Have Uncooked Quinoa?

There are four main factors to think about before deciding whether or not to feed uncooked quinoa to your cat: nutritional profile, taste, digestibility, and toxicity.

Nutritional Profile

The nutritional value of raw quinoa for cats far exceeds that of cooked quinoa. That’s because it’s common knowledge that cooking kills off most of the nutrients in food.


Saponin is a chemical found in raw quinoa. This chemical makes raw quinoa taste soapy and bitter, which deters cats from eating it.


Quinoa contains bitter compounds called saponins. Cats also don’t have the enzymes needed to metabolize these substances. In addition, your feline friend may have difficulty chewing on uncooked quinoa.

Do cats have no trouble digesting quinoa?

Depending on how it’s prepared, quinoa can be difficult or easy for cats to digest. Your cat may have trouble digesting raw quinoa.


No known toxins can be found in quinoa. And so the question arises: is quinoa safe for cats?

Inasmuch as it contains no natural toxins, uncooked quinoa is fine for cats to eat. However, the grain could contain germs that make your cat sick. Raw quinoa can be decontaminated through washing, but there is still a chance of cross-contamination.

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Can Cats Eat Cooked Quinoa?

Cooked quinoa is safe for cats to eat. Cooking this vegetable before giving it to your kitto is actually recommended by experts.

There are many advantages to cooking.

The first benefit is that it makes the quinoa grains more palatable and digestible. Raw quinoa may contain pathogens and other harmful chemicals, but cooking it eliminates them. Additionally, it enhances the vegetable’s flavor, making it more palatable to the feline.

These days, you can prepare quinoa for human consumption in a variety of ways. However, not all quinoa preparations are safe for feline consumption.

So, how do you cook quinoa for cats?

Quinoa is safe for cats if it is steamed or boiled over low to medium heat. The grains can benefit from a light seasoning. Avoid adding excessive salt or fat. The vegetable will turn out better if you just boil it in water.

Extra fat causes unhealthful weight gain. Sodium ion poisoning, on the other hand, is fatal for cats and primarily affects their kidneys. Changes in appetite and temperature, as well as increased thirst and urination, are all signs. Other severe symptoms, like seizures and coma, can occur if the disease is not treated.

Cooking quinoa without seasonings is also recommended, especially those from the Allium family like garlic and onion. Flavor enhancers are widely used in human cuisine, butCats are susceptible to a severe form of anemia when exposed to onion and garlic., also called Heinz-body anemia. Symptoms of the disease are similar to those of anemia and include weakness, fatigue, and a pallor of the skin.

When it’s done cooking, add a few grains of quinoa to your cat’s regular food.

Can cats eat steamed quinoa?

Steamed quinoa is safe for cats to eat. Both steaming and boiling produce the best results when preparing quinoa for cats.

gray cat licking his paw

How Much Quinoa Can I Give My Cat?

When it comes to how much quinoa to feed your cat, there is no set formula. That’s because variables like the animal’s age determine how much of each ingredient to use.

That might make you wonder if kittens can actually digest quinoa.

The nutritional and health benefits of quinoa are the same for kittens as they are for adult cats. Kittens may be more susceptible to the quinoa’s negative effects due to their delicate digestive systems.

Caution should be exercised when feeding quinoa to kittens. The rule of moderation, which has been emphasized throughout the article, is universal. Put in two or three whole quinoa grains, or up to a tablespoon of ground quinoa, to start. The next step is to keep an eye out for any negative reactions from your cat before giving larger servings.

In addition to your cat’s weight, activity level, and general health, these variables can help determine how much quinoa you should feed it.

Given this, does anyone know if quinoa is beneficial for cats with pancreatitis?

Constipation is one symptom of pancreatitis in cats, and quinoa cooked in water may help alleviate this problem. It’s important to remember that pancreatitis symptoms tend to worsen when fatty foods are consumed.

Is quinoa good for cats with kidney disease too?

If the quinoa is low in salt and other ingredients known to exacerbate the symptoms of kidney disease, there is no harm in feeding it to a cat with kidney disease.

Other Frequently Asked Questions About Cats and Quinoa

Can cats eat black quinoa?

Nutritionally, different types of quinoa are very similar to one another. It’s true that all colors of quinoa are safe for cats to eat. That answers the related question of whether or not cats can eat red quinoa.

Can cats have tricolor quinoa?

As we’ve just discussed, all quinoas have roughly the same effects on felines.

Is quinoa flour healthy for cats?

Cats can benefit from a limited diet of quinoa flour.

Can cats eat quinoa bread?

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Bread made with quinoa flour and other ingredients that are safe for cats to eat is acceptable for feline eaters.

Can cats eat quinoa every day?

Quinoa is not a healthy staple diet for cats. Vegetables should be served infrequently and in small quantities.

Is quinoa better than rice for cats?

The health benefits of quinoa far outweigh those of rice.. However, rice is superior to other foods when it comes to relieving gastrointestinal issues like constipation.

In Summary

Quinoa is safe for cats to consume and makes for a nutritious snack or addition to their regular food. It can assist those with diabetes in managing their condition through diet and exercise.

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