5 Vegetables Cats Can Eat (And 5 To Avoid!)

Good cat owners understand that providing high-quality food is essential for the optimal health of their feline companions.

However, many cat owners do not know whether or not their cats can safely consume foods other than commercial cat food. So, should you be feeding your cat vegetables? Find out if your cat can eat vegetables and if they are good for your cat’s health by reading on!

Can Cats Eat Vegetables?

The short answer is yes, although some vegetables should be avoided for various reasons.

Some cooked vegetables, like carrots or broccoli, can be a healthy addition to your cat’s diet, but others, like onions and garlic, should be avoided due to their potential toxicity.

It’s important to keep in mind that cats thrive best on a diet high in meat and should never be given only plant-based foods.

Cats are obligate carnivores, meaning that they can only get enough protein from meat to meet their nutritional needs. Feeding your cat a meat-based diet will help them thrive. Before adding something new to your cat’s diet, talk to your vet.

Safe Vegetables For Cats

#1 Broccoli

Broccoli is not only delicious, but also perfectly safe for your cat to eat. It’s super simple to make and packed with healthy antioxidants. Broccoli is high in roughage and will aid your cat in having regular bowel movements and maintaining a healthy digestive system.

#2 Carrots

Carrots, like apples, are a nutritious snack. Vitamin A, which is abundant in carrots, is crucial for the health of your cat. Snacks of carrots are delicious, but only in small quantities. Carrots contain a moderate amount of oxalates, making them unsuitable for cats prone to developing calcium oxalate bladder stones or crystals in their urine.

Carrots are safe for cats to eat either cooked or raw, though cooking them first is recommended so that they don’t become a choking hazard.

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#3 Green beans

Peas and green beans, among other green vegetables, are safe for your cat to eat and can play an important role in a balanced diet.

Green beans, whether fresh or frozen, have many positive health effects once they’ve been cooked. Make sure the canned green beans you choose are low in sodium, as eating too much salt can be harmful to your cat.

Green beans are particularly useful because they contain fiber, which aids in digestion and can even help your cat shed excess pounds. Green beans, like carrots, have a moderate amount of oxalates, so cats with a history of bladder problems should limit their consumption of these vegetables.

#4 Spinach

Spinach is beneficial for cats because it contains anti-inflammatory properties in addition to vitamins and minerals. Spinach, which contains calcium oxalate, should be given to children in very small quantities. Small amounts are safe, but prolonged exposure can cause severe problems with your cat’s urinary tract.

#5 Apples

Yes, apples are safe for cats to eat. Although many feline friends may not agree, apples are a human food that is perfectly safe for cats to eat. Apples are not digestible for cats, according to some sources, because cats are obligate carnivores.

The opposite is true. Cats are “obligate carnivores,” which means they must eat meat because they cannot get enough of the nutrients they need from plants. Apples and other plant-based foods are still digestible by cats.

Cats with diabetes shouldn’t be given apples because of the high sugar content, which can cause them to become unstable. Cats with irritable bowel syndrome (IBD), food sensitivities, or chronic gastroenteritis should be given apples with caution because they are more likely to experience adverse reactions to novel foods. Apples’ high fiber content and unique fiber composition may make them difficult to digest for some people, leading to bloating, abdominal pain, and even diarrhea.

Are There Any Negatives To Feeding Cats Vegetables?

Cat eating lettuce

Vegetables are not a good choice for a cat’s diet. The majority of these issues stem from serving either an excessive amount of vegetables or the incorrect vegetables.

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Because of their evolutionary history as strict carnivores, cats may experience gastrointestinal distress if they consume an excessive amount of vegetables.

Vegetables have carbs in addition to the fiber that is good for the digestive system. Feline obesity is on the rise, and extra calories from carbohydrates may be a contributing factor. Because of this, felines can safely consume vegetables, but only when fed in moderation.

Most vegetables are fine to feed your cat provided they are thoroughly cooked and prepared, but there are a few you should never give your cat because they are harmful or difficult for cats to digest.

Avoid these vegetables at all costs:

  • Onions
  • Garlic
  • Tomatoes*
  • Chives
  • Leeks
  • Avocados

Vegetables To Avoid

#1 Onions, Chives, and Garlic

Onions, chives, garlic, and leeks, all members of the Allium genus, are poisonous because they contain sulfur-containing oxidants that cats have trouble metabolizing. Anemia can develop if the cat’s red blood cells become damaged by these compounds and are subsequently destroyed by the body.

All preparations of these vegetables (raw, cooked, or powdered) are equally poisonous. Any amount consumed will damage RBCs, but illness only occurs when the loss of RBCs exceeds the body’s ability to replace them.

The concentration of those oxidant agents determines the amount that causes toxicity, with garlic being the most powerful of the group. Nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, weakness, difficulty breathing, pale or yellow gums, and a reddish-brown urine color are all signs of toxicity.

#2 Tomatoes

In and of themselves, ripe tomatoes pose no threat to cats. However, unripe tomatoes can cause digestive issues, and the plant’s leaves and stems are also poisonous.

#3 Avocados

While avocados may be a trendy and healthy snack for us, they can be toxic to cats. The high amount of fat in avocados is dangerous for cats. The seeds can also cause an obstruction in the intestines or cause choking.

Benefits Of Vegetables For Cats

Cat eating salad

Vegetables aren’t required for a healthy cat’s diet, but they do provide a few key nutrients.

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Keep in mind that vegetables are not required in your cat’s diet, and that they cannot be their sole source of nutrition.

Most vegetables are safe for cats to eat. They might like it when you throw some into their regular diet to spice things up a bit. Treats and supplements should not account for more than 10% of your cat’s total caloric intake. Vegetables can help your cat’s immune system and digestion because they contain nutrients like magnesium, potassium, fiber, vitamins, and antioxidants.

While your cat may enjoy vegetables as a low-calorie treat, it is always best to discuss any dietary changes with your vet first.

There is a wide variety of vegetables available, but only those that are both safe and beneficial for cats should be given to them.

How To Offer

Cut the vegetables into bite-sized pieces and bake or steam them. You can give them to your cat on their own, or you can puree them and add them to their regular food. Make low-ball offers at first. You shouldn’t feed your cat too many carbohydrates at once.

“Cats do not have a physiologic requirement for vegetables and actually lack the enzymes needed to break down this food source for efficient utilization,” Dr. Lisa A. Pierson of CatInfo.org said.

Too Much Is Bad

Check the label to see what’s in the cat food you intend to buy. Too much plant-based protein is used in place of animal-based protein in many foods, especially dry food.

The first ingredient on the label should be a muscle meat identified as such (for instance, “chicken” or “turkey”). The main ingredient should not be corn, wheat, or soy in a cat food.

Carbohydrate content in commercial cat food shouldn’t exceed 5% of the total ingredients.


Vegetables are generally safe for cats but should not replace meat as the primary part of their diet.

If you want to know what vegetables are safe for your pet, you should talk to your vet and do some research. In the event that your cat exhibits any signs of illness after consuming vegetables, you should consult your vet.

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