We’ve all seen fat cats — they can barely chase a mouse across the room, and while they are no joke, it would be better to do all you can to keep your feline friend healthy.
Since you’re reading this, you’re probably wondering whether your cat can and/or should be eating fresh fruits and veggies, and you might already be thinking about ways to add fruits and vegetables to their diet.
But, felines aren’t like us. They have a differently wired digestive system.
So, what is safe for your feline friend? Stick around and I’ll give you the skinny on fruits and veggies for your Kittie.
Here’s the deal.
Your Kittie doesn’t need fruits and vegetables for nutrition. Here’s the thing, cats are not omnivores but obligate carnivores.
Which means they are genetically programmed to eat tissue of other animals — meat. They may eat fruit, vegetables, and grains every once in a while, but meat is their main source of nutrients.
A high-quality, commercial diet typically does the job, but if you’re looking to introduce fresh produce then there are a few safe options. However, be sure to check with your local veterinarian before mixing up your feline’s diet.
Carrots – Cooked
Yes, I had the same look when I found out. But carrots happen to not only be a favorite for rabbits, but also for cats. Who Knew? In fact, most cats love them but always be sure to provide cooked carrots since raw ones could potentially choke your feline companion.
Winter Squash — Cooked
A cooked winter squash is the perfect seasonal snack for your furry little friend. However, you should remember that treats should be less than 10% of your feline’s friend diet. So, no matter how much he/she purrs or rubs against you, don’t give in.
I know it can be hard, but don’t you dare.
Broccoli — Steamed
Does your cat always want to reach out and grab a piece of your broccoli? Well, don’t worry it’s okay to let her have some, but make sure it is properly steamed.
Green Beans — Steamed
Now, this is for all my vegan friends whose dinner table spreads tend to include a lot of green beans compared to broccoli. No. I’m not judging. In fact, you’ll be pleased to know this succulent green straw is a delightful treat for your feline companion.
Of course, in moderation.
Cantaloupe and Melons
Here is a quick fact, felines can’t perceive sweetness, which means a majority of the fruits we love won’t do. Fortunately, we found out that they are crazy for melons and cantaloupes. However, be sure to properly wash the melons and get rid of the seeds and rinds.
Asparagus — Steamed
Now getting your little ones to eat this is quite the challenge, but your feline friend might hold a different opinion. For safety, be sure to keep it plain and simple — steam it and don’t use anything fatty like oil or butter.
The following fruits and vegetables are considered safe for your feline friend: apricots, blueberries, bananas, mangos, cranberries, pears, raspberries and strawberries.
Avoid offering your cat cherries, raisins, or grapes since they could cause kidney damage.
Additionally, fruits like grapefruit, orange, lime and lemons (citrus) can cause stomach complications, so it would be best to avoid them.
And Other Veggies
As for other vegetables, you can safely share bell peppers, cabbage, cauliflower, cucumber, celery, pumpkin, spinach, peas, lettuce, sweet potato, zucchini, and Brussel sprouts. However, be sure never to include garlic or onions in the mix since they are toxic to your cat, cooked or not.
This includes onion powder as well. What happens is that they damage the red blood cells which subsequently causes them to rupture. Additionally, you should steer clear of mushrooms, rhubarb and corn — all common allergen in pets.
How to prepare fresh fruits and vegetables for cats
You’re going to want to either steam or bake them after chopping them into tiny pieces. You can serve the veggies alone, or you can puree them and add them to your cat’s diet. However, be sure to give only a little at a time unless you want to overload your feline friend with carbs! And again, please be sure to check with your local veterinarian before mixing up your feline’s diet or sharing your fruits and vegetables.
According to Lisa A. Pierson, DVM, cats have no physiological requirements for veggies and are unable to break them down efficiently to utilize them. So, there you have it.
Do you think cats should eat fresh fruits and vegetables? Do your cats like something in particular for a treat? Let us know in the comments below.