In this post we are going to answer the question of can cats eat spinach? For us humans, leafy greens are one of the best options when it comes to health and weight management. When it comes to leafy greens, spinach is one of the most popular. But with cats being carnivores, can cats eat spinach?
The short answer is yes, cats can eat spinach and it actually provides essential nutrients for your cat, but there can be side effect and there are a number of important things you will need to know first. So in this article we are going to look at the health benefits of spinach, is spinach bad for cats?, how much you should feed to your cat, and healthy alternatives.
Is spinach good for cats? The Health Benefits
Spinach can be beneficial to your furry little friend by providing some excellent nutrients. This is the reason why some cat manufacturers are actually using tiny amounts of spinach inside of their food. Let’s take a look at some of the health benefits of spinach:
- Rich in vitamins and minerals: Contains Vitamin A, C, E, K, B6, B2, magnesium, folate, calcium, and potassium.
- Fiber: Which will help digestion.
- Low in calories: This is great for weight management.
- Omega-3 fatty acids: Only in small amounts but enough to be beneficial.
- Regulation of blood pressure and prevention of heart disease: This is a condition that is difficult to treat, so the best way to fight feline heart disease is to do everything you can to prevent it happening in the first place. Spinach contains nitrates which help to keep blood pressure low and decrease the development of heart disease.
- Prevents cancer: Spinach contains SQDG and MGDG which are two compounds that can slow down the growth of cancer cells. High amounts of antioxidants are also found in spinach which help prevent oxidative stress premature aging.
- Boost eyesight: Carotenoids such as lutein and zeaxanthin are found in spinach which is associated with improved vision. They work by preventing the development of cataract or macular degeneration. If you cat currently has an existing eye condition then eating spinach can have a reversing effect and improve vision.
As you can see from the list, there are a lot of benefits to feeding your cat spinach and something you should also be eating yourself. As with everything, there are also some downsides and precautions so let’s take a look at these in the next section.
Is Spinach Bad For Cats?
Spinach can be bad for cats in some cases. It’s not actually toxic but it can worsen pre-existing health conditions you may not know about or if given in large quantities. If your cat is suffering from urinary problems then you shouldn’t be giving spinach to your cat.
Spinach also contains calcium olaxate which can make your cat develop harmful crystals in it’s urinary tract. This could then lead to further complications. Calcium olaxete is generally safe if your cat is overall healthy, but we will discuss more dangers on this substance in the section below.
Can Cats Eat Raw Spinach?
We have so far looked at the good and bad points of feeding your cat spinach, you know may be asking which is the better option between cooked and raw spinach? The main problem with raw spinach is that it contains oxalates. As we mentioned above, this can cause crystals in the urinary tract and also a risk of kidney stones.
Your cat may be suffering from an existing health condition that you don’t even know about, so feeding your cat raw spinach is an absolute definite no. Here are some symptoms of kidney stones.
- Frequent or infrequent urination
- Nausea and vomiting
- Loss of appetite and diminished energy
- Blood in urine, sometimes in stool as well
- Abdominal pains
- Urinary tract infection
- Sudden loss of weight, occasioned by the inability to eat.
Can Cats Eat Cooked Spinach
If you want to to introduce spinach into your cats diet, then the best way to offer this is by cooking it first. The way you cook the vegetable is also an important factor. The best way to cook spinach for your cat is to either boil or steam. Cooking in this way will allow most of the essential nutrients to remain intact.
If you go with the option to boil then make sure to never add pepper, salt, spices, or anything else that’s going to be a danger to your cats health. The recommended way to serve is to mix small amounts of spinach into your cats regular food.
Can Cats Eat Spinach Or Is It Bad For Them? The Verdict
Here’s a quick summary of tips of what we have learnt. Can cats eat spinach?
- Never give your cat spinach if they currently have or as ever had a urinary tract infection or kidney problems. There are other safe alternatives out there or just stick to a regular cat diet.
- If you have a healthy cat that has never suffered from a urinary tract infection, you can feed small amounts of spinach to them but make sure to cook it first by either boiling or steaming.
- Before you introduce spinach or anything new to your cats diet, always seek the advice of a veterinarian first.
How Much Spinach Should I Feed My Cat
You now be asking yourself “how much spinach should I feed my cat”? You should never give them huge quantities at anytime. When starting out, offer them a very small amount to see if they even eat it in the first place. Cats are very well known to be picky eaters.
If your cat responds well to the spinach and they like it, even then you should only use in moderation such as a leaf or two served occasionally. Cats are carnivores and spinach is not an essential that they need in their diet to survive. It has a lot of additional nutrition that is great for your cat but it should never replace their regular diet.
Can Kittens Eat Spinach?
Although it may not be harmful, the answer and advice for this is a definite no. As kittens are not fully developed like adult cats, this means they are far more vulnerable. Kittens up to a certain age drink milk from their mother. There is also special formulated kitten food out there which is a better option for your cat.
Healthy Alternates Snacks
If you want to add variety to your cats diet, then here are some other human foods that are safe for your cat to eat:
- Plain and thoroughly cooked ham, beef or turkey
- Some whole grains like brown rice or barley
- Celery (they love the crunch!)
- Scrambled eggs
- Green bell peppers
- Peas (Often found in many prepackaged foods for cats and dogs as a vitamin-filled addition)
- Pumpkin (Pumpkin is used often as a way to get fiber in your cat’s diet)
Again just like with spinach, always introduce to your cats diet in small quantities and never replace their regular diet.
Can Cats Eat Spinach Conclusion
Hope you enjoyed this post on can cats eat spinach? If you have any questions then drop them in the comments section below.
Other Articles that may interest you:
Can Cats Eat Ham: https://caredicat.com/can-cats-eat-ham/
Can Cats Eat Yogurt: https://caredicat.com/can-cats-eat-yogurt/