There are lots of human foods that are toxic and dangerous for cats to eat. While some of these toxic foods include certain vegetables such as potatoes, there are vegetables that are perfectly safe for cats too.
Carrots are a safe and popular option for cats, small amounts of cooked carrot can actually be good for cats as long as you only offer it occasionally.
The biggest cause for concern with carrots is that they are a choking hazard so it is advised to offer cooked, mashed or pureed carrots rather than offering raw chunks.
Let’s take a closer look at the potential benefits of feeding your cat carrot and what cat owners should keep in mind when offering their favourite feline a vegetable snack.
Only Offer Small Amounts of Cooked Carrot
As a cat’s natural diet is meat-based their food should primarily be meat in order for them to get the nutrition they need to thrive. Due to this, if you do decide to offer carrot to your cat it should only be very small amounts.
As cats would not naturally consume a lot of plant-based food as part of their diet, their bodies are not able to extract all the vitamins and nutrients from vegetables. As well as this, their digestive systems cannot handle large amounts of vegetables in one go.
In addition to causing digestive problems, large amounts of carrot can give your cat too much carbohydrate and natural sugars which in the long-term can result in obesity and diabetic issues.
We’ve all been tempted to hand over some of our food to our cats, especially when they are meowing at our feet and looking up at us willingly, but it is always important to check if the food is safe beforehand.
Fortunately, carrots can be a healthy snack for your cat but never offer carrots that have been seasoned as this can cause a digestive upset and can even be toxic.
Ask a Vet
If you’re not sure if your cat will be ok eating carrots speak with a vet before feeding them any. JustAnswer allows you to talk in real-time to veterinary experts for a small fee.
Although not toxic, carrots can still be dangerous if they are given raw or whole. This is because an uncooked carrot is very hard and rigid making it a serious choking hazard. A cat will not be able to properly chew up a carrot before swallowing.
With this in mind, the safest way to offer carrot is to chop and cook it first so that it is softer and easier for your cat to eat. You can simply boil the carrot in water to soften it.
Humans tend to eat a lot of carrots, they are known for being healthy and packed with goodness but does this nutritional value translate over when we offer them to cats?
Carrots are high in Vitamin A, K, C and B and they are a great source of fibre. This can give your cat a nutritional boost, a small amount of carrot may benefit your cat’s digestion and the Vitamin A can be good for your cat’s eyesight. This vitamin boost is particularly good for kittens and young cats who are still growing.
Thanks to all this, carrots make a great option for an occasional healthy treat. They are ideal if your cat is very food orientated and is frequently wanting treats. Offering a small amount of carrot can be a much healthier option than always giving packaged cat treats, and it will likely save you some money too.
Interestingly, carrots are often used as an ingredient in commercial pet food. As the carrots are usually blended up and mixed in you normally can’t see them but there’s a good chance it’s an ingredient.
Take a look at the ingredients list on your cat’s food commercial food, you may find they are already getting a small amount of carrot in their diet.
Also read: Can cats eat bananas?
Do Cats Like Carrots?
It’s all well and good talking about the pros and cons of feeding your cat carrots but they might not actually want them.
Cats are like us in the sense that some individuals enjoy certain foods while others will simply turn their nose up and walk away. With that said, the taste and texture of carrot seems to be enjoyed by many cats.
As a carrot would simply be an occasional treat and should not make up a substantial part of your cat’s diet it shouldn’t matter too much if they don’t want to eat it.
There is some cat food available that contains carrot and you can always mix some carrot into their meal if you want to give them added nutrition and fibre every now and then.
As cats are carnivorous they are much more likely to eat a meat-based snack than a vegetable but as an occasional, low-cost treat, offering them cooked carrot is worth a try.
Other Vegetables Cats Can Eat
If you are looking for a healthy snack for your cat and they don’t seem to enjoy carrots, there are other vegetables they may enjoy.
You can try offering the following non-toxic vegetables:
- Green bell peppers
- Sweet potato
Be warned, not all vegetables can be offered to your cat.
Vegetables that are toxic to cats include:
- Green tomatoes
There is also some fruit (such as grapes) that you should never feed to your cat. If you have more questions on what cats can and cannot eat, check out this handy guide.