Can cats eat broccoli?

broccoli on brown wooden chopping board

Can cats eat broccoli? It is safe for them to have some! Some cats might even enjoy it. 

Feel free to add a bit to their regular food or use it as a treat from time to time. Be careful not to give too much, as it could affect their appetite for the meaty food they need or upset their stomach.

Cats are meat-eaters, and they get essential nutrients from red meat, poultry, and fish. Taurine, an important amino acid for their brains, eyes, and muscles, comes from animal-based foods. While veggies like broccoli won’t provide enough taurine, they can add other helpful nutrients. Although most commercial cat foods don’t have broccoli, you can find some small-batch options at pet stores.

Let’s weigh the pros and cons of giving your cat broccoli occasionally.

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Can cats eat broccoli
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While broccoli shouldn’t be the main part of a cat’s diet, it can offer some benefits in moderation. Here are a few potential advantages:

  1. Additional Nutrients: Broccoli has various nutrients that can contribute to a cat’s health.
  2. Fiber: The fiber in broccoli can aid digestion and prevent constipation.
  3. Variety: Adding broccoli to a cat’s diet can bring variety and enrich their eating habits.

However, it’s crucial to control the amount and ensure the cat still gets a balanced diet. Broccoli is rich in antioxidants, which can help trap free radicals in the body. Some studies even suggest it might help prevent cancer, though more research is needed, especially concerning cats.

While not a typical cat food, some types of cat food contain small amounts of broccoli. Some cats also eat greens like salad or grass to soothe an upset stomach, possibly caused by a hairball. In such cases, vomiting might occur, but the digestive system might not have been in good condition before, and it’s not necessarily due to broccoli, salad, or grass.

green broccoli on white background
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What the broccoli contains.

Like other green vegetables, broccoli has healthy ingredients. When you cut broccoli for cooking, it releases an enzyme called myrosinase. 

This enzyme reacts with different compounds to create sulforaphane, known for its ability to kill cancer cells. Sulforaphane, a sulfur-containing compound, also has other benefits like supporting heart health, having anti-diabetic properties, and protecting against brain damage.

Broccoli contains another beneficial ingredient for cats – indole-3-carbhttps(I3C). This compound helps suppress tumor growth, a major factor in cancer development.

Is it okay to include broccoli in my recipes for my cat?

It’s okay to add broccoli to some yummy treats for your cat. You can mix it with an undercooked egg or put it in a tasty muffin. Try making a smoothie with cat milk, fruits, and veggies, including cooked broccoli. 

There are lots of recipes to explore, like cheese-covered treats, cat-safe popsicles, or salmon bits stuffed with cheese and broccoli. You can get creative with options like broccoli and chicken muffins, broccoli and tuna cakes, or broccoli and beef stir-fry. The possibilities are endless!

Feeding broccoli to your cat 

Be careful when giving broccoli to your cat, even though it might be good for them. Cats can sometimes have trouble with human food, and broccoli is no exception. Some cats may get tummy issues like diarrhea or gas if they eat too many greens.

To be safe, start with a very small amount, like a tiny piece of broccoli. It’s better to cook it a little so it’s easier for your cat to digest. Keep a close watch on your cat when introducing new foods. If she vomits, gets diarrhea, looks weak, or acts strange, contact a vet.

How much broccoli can I give my cat?

Check with your vet before giving your cat broccoli, to be safe. If it’s approved, start with a tiny amount to see how your cat reacts. Look out for any allergies or tummy troubles. Chop the broccoli for easier eating and digestion, and steam or boil it without spices, fats, onions, or garlic.

Remember, treats like broccoli should only be 10% of your cat’s daily calories. Even though broccoli is low in calories, too much of it can cause tummy issues. Offer a small, boiled piece, cut into cat-friendly sizes. A teaspoon of chopped broccoli per day is a good measure, considering a cat’s small stomach.

broccoli on brown wooden chopping board
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How to give broccoli to your cat

The best way to give your cat broccoli is to cook it and let it cool completely before serving. Avoid giving your cat hot food.

If you want to share from your plate, make sure the broccoli has minimal salt, spices, butter, or sauces. These aren’t good for your cat.

Cooked broccoli is better than raw because raw veggies might cause tummy issues. Cats aren’t used to eating plant-based foods, so they struggle to digest raw vegetables.

Summary – Can cats eat broccoli?

Broccoli is safe for cats and can be eaten. It’s not harmful and has phytochemicals that are good for cats. The fiber in broccoli can help with their digestion.

However, it’s best to cook the broccoli a bit before giving it to your cat. Raw broccoli may not be suitable for them.

When you introduce broccoli, start with a small amount and watch for any side effects after your cat eats it. Share your experiences with us in the comments!