Carrots are lauded as one of the most nutritious vegetables for humans. But can cats eat carrots? Yes, carrots are safe for cats, but just like any veggie, it should be given in small amounts. Veterinarians emphasize that cats are obligate carnivores. They need to eat meat in order to survive. With that, carrots and other vegetables should only comprise a small portion of their diet.
For this post, I will discuss the benefits and risks of carrots to cats as well as the precautions you need to take for their safety.
Are carrots safe for cats?
For humans, carrots are excellent sources of Vitamin A. It’s also rich in Vitamin K1, fiber, and Vitamin B6. It’s also a powerhouse source of beta-carotene, which the body will convert into Vitamin A. This helps fight lung cancer, cognitive decline, and eye problems.
But is it the same with cats? Well, felines have a different way of converting beta carotene into Vitamin A. In fact, a cat’s ability to convert beta carotene into vitamin A is quite limited. This is the reason why cats need a Vitamin A source that’s readily available in the body.
Aside from that, carrots contain lots of sugar, which can be a separate problem. It can mess with the cat’s digestive system if carrots are given in large amounts. Besides, cats don’t have a strong ability to pick up sweet tastes. This is why they don’t eat carrots willingly unless it’s mixed with other food.
Nevertheless, many cats like the texture, as well as the crunchiness of carrots, especially if the kitty is teething.
Carrots and feline diabetes
One thing that experts warn about giving carrots to cats is the risk of feline diabetes. As I mentioned earlier, carrots have a lot of natural sugar that also explains its sweet taste. In fact, half a cup of raw carrot sticks has three grams of sugar. Although it may not hurt humans, this amount of sugar is too much for a cat. Besides, such an amount of carrots are not advisable for felines.
Aside from that, you should avoid giving carrots to cats with diabetes. Due to the sugar content, regular and large amounts of carrots can risk your cat’s susceptibility to this condition. Over time, your kitty will also become obese.
Some feline diabetes signs are constant urination, excessive thirst, inability to jump, poor appetite, and vomiting. If you notice these on your cat, stop giving carrots and bring the kitty to the vet right away.
Can cats eat raw carrots?
Raw carrots are safe for cats if it’s diced into small pieces. Remember that raw carrots are rigid and can be a choking hazard to some cats. Also, raw carrots may damage the small daggers of kittens.
Experts recommend cooking carrots if you are to give it to your cat. Cooked carrots are soft and easier to digest. Still, you should keep the serving in a small amount. Your kitty still needs to consume full meals consisting of complete and balanced cat food.
How much carrots are ideal for cats?
A thin slice or two from time to time won’t hurt a cat. Just make sure that you factor this into their diet. You may also need to cut back on a few pieces of kibble or treats. As much as possible, don’t consider carrots as the main component of your cat’s diet.
You can also sprinkle a teaspoon of chopped carrots into your cat’s food. This will give the kitty an added dose of vitamin A, fiber, and some vitamins.
Why do cats like carrots?
Most cats don’t gravitate toward carrots. First of all, carrots don’t have a strong smell. Second, cats don’t have the ability to taste the sweetness of this veggie.
However, if your cat seems to love carrots, it might be due to the texture. Also, some cats that seek vegetables might be suffering from a nutrient imbalance. It’s important to check with the vet so you can tweak your pet’s diet accordingly.
If your cat likes carrots but refuses to eat its kibble, you must consult the vet just the same. This isn’t normal behavior and might be indicative of a more serious condition. It’s best to divert your cat’s appetite to food that suits their diet. Still, you should watch out over the serving every time.
Can cats eat carrot cake?
Cats can eat a small amount of carrot cake, but it shouldn’t be a regular thing. Also, make sure that the carrot cake you’re giving doesn’t contain toxic ingredients to cats like raisins or chocolate. Nevertheless, you should never let your kitty snack on a large slice.
If you want to celebrate and give your cat a cake, you can order a cat cake on a local pet bakery. These are made with cat-friendly ingredients and are low in sugar. It’s also an excellent alternative to carrot cakes.
While carrot cake contains beta carotene, the amount is too little that it will not be very beneficial for your pet. Also, your cat stands the chance of experiencing stomach upset.
Can cats eat carrot greens?
Carrot greens or carrot tops are not toxic to cats. Some cats won’t have problems ingesting a small amount of this. Still, it depends on how your pet will react to this food item since some experience stomach upset and diarrhea.
If you’re not sure how your cat will react to carrot greens, I suggest not giving it at all. Besides, carrot greens are not that beneficial for cats. Sure, it has fiber, minerals, and some vitamins, but it’s still a vegetable. As you know, cats don’t really need a lot of veggies. They need meat as a complete protein source.
What other vegetables can cats eat?
Aside from carrots, there are other veggies that you can feed your cat. Just remember that these vegetables must be given in small amounts only.
- Peas. Green peas are rich in fiber and proteins, which is an excellent addition to your cat’s diet when cooked. Still, you should only give a small helping of peas from time to time.
- Zucchini. This veggie is harmless for cats and a good source of potassium. It’s also rich in magnesium and manganese.
- Winter squash. If cooked and not seasoned, winter squash helps with your cat’s bowel movement. It’s also an excellent alternative to carrots.
- Green beans. My cat Watson likes cooked green beans. I give him a few pieces from time to time for an added dose of fiber. You can also use cooked green beans as a kitty treat alternative.
- Asparagus. Steamed asparagus is healthy and safe for cats. However, you shouldn’t give it to felines suffering from kidney or liver problems.
- Spinach. Chopped spinach is rich in Vitamins A, C, and K. But like asparagus, you shouldn’t give it to cats with kidney issues.
- Pumpkin. Cooked pumpkin is an effective relief for cats suffering from diarrhea. It’s rich in fiber that helps restore a cat’s digestion. Just make sure that the pumpkin isn’t heavily salted or seasoned.
Can cats eat carrots? Yes, but it should be cooked and served in small amounts. Cats don’t really need a lot of vegetables, including carrots. In the end, your cat’s diet should be meat-based, with some helping of vegetables and fruits for added nourishment.