Cats are sensitive creatures, and any good cat parent knows to pick their pet food carefully and steer clear of human food altogether. Any expert will tell you to stick to canned food or boiled canned fish or chicken.
However, it is not rare for our little feline friends to meow for some human food off your plate, but what human foods are good for them?
Spinach is popular and extremely healthy produce for humans, and to give you the simple answer to your question can cats eat spinach; yes, it is good for cats too!
Spinach contains vital nutrients which are good for your cat, but you should educate yourself in the specifics to avoid any collateral damage.
Even though spinach is a healthy choice, we need to learn about how to serve it and how much of it.
Why is Spinach Good for Cats?
To give you a better idea of why spinach is good for cats, it is important to explore the health benefits of spinach for cats and how much of it is good for them. It is also important to note if spinach is bad for cats and learn about the other healthy alternatives for the cat diet. Let us first understand what important components can be acquired from spinach for your cat:
- Spinach has an abundance of essential vitamins and minerals.
- It contains vitamins A, C, E, K, B2, B6, calcium, folate, magnesium, and potassium which is needed for your cat’s health.
- It is rich in fiber, which helps indigestion.
- It contains traces of Omega-3 fatty acids which is just enough to be beneficial for your furry pal.
- This is good for your cat when they get a little chunky since it is low in calories.
- Spinach can prevent cancer since it contains MGDG and SQDG, both important compounds that stunt the growth of cancer cells.
- The antioxidants in spinach are good for cats and humans alike since it helps to prevent oxidative stress premature aging.
- Eating spinach is good for cats with eye problems. Spinach contains carotenoids which help to improve vision.
- Spinach helps to regulate blood pressure due to the nitrate components.
- Feline heart disease is difficult to remedy so it is best to stay aware and work towards preventing it. Spinach is great for this since it helps to regulate blood pressure which in turn lowers the possibility of your cat getting heart disease.
Can Spinach be Harmful to Cats?
Spinach is rarely bad for cats. It is not at all toxic for felines but there are certain exceptions to the rule. If your cat has any pre-existing diseases or conditions, it can have an effect.
One should also consider the amount of spinach given to cats. Too much of a good thing can be a bad thing.
If your cat suffers from urinary problems, it is best to avoid feeding them spinach, since spinach contains calcium oxalate.
Calcium oxalate is generally good for cats unless they have existing urinary problems since it develops painful crystals in their cat’s urinary tract.
This can be harmful to your cat and lead to many more complications.
As mentioned before, oxalates can cause crystals and risk kidney stones in your cat. However, to better evaluate if you should feed your cat spinach, is to understand whether he has any symptoms of kidney stones.
Symptoms may include:
- Nausea and vomiting
- Irregular urination. Both frequent or infrequent urination patterns can be a bad sign.
- Lethargy and loss of appetite.
- Blood in stool or urine.
- Sudden loss of weight.
- Declining to eat food or inability to eat proper meals.
- Urinary tract infection (UTI)
- Abdominal pains.
Raw vs. Cooked Spinach for Cats
It is common for us to wonder whether we should feed cats raw leafy spinach or if it should be cooked. The biggest issue with raw spinach is the amount of oxalate it contains. So, it is best to avoid feeding your cat raw spinach just to be on the safe side.
Hence, if you want to add spinach to your cat’s diet, it is best to serve it cooked. It is advisable to be careful about how to cook the vegetable, so be careful about that.
How to Serve Spinach to Your Cat?
It is best to serve it steamed or boiled for your cat since it will retain all the essential nutrition that your cat needs. Never add salt, pepper, or any kind of spice to the spinach that could endanger your cat’s health.
It is best to serve it mixed with regular cat food, in small amounts. Which is something many cat food companies have started to incorporate in their wet food. Hence, we can safely conclude that small amounts of spinach with a commercial cat food can bring the perfect balance to your cat’s diet.
How Much Spinach is Good for Cats?
All food is good in moderation, and it is the same for spinach. Additionally, it is best to start off with a tiny amount, since cats can be moody and may not even eat it, to begin with. If they respond to it positively, then give them a leaf or two every now and then as a treat.
Cats are essentially meat-eaters and do not rely on greens or produce to survive. It can have additional benefits, but it is not possible to replace their regular meaty diet with greens.
If your cat is uncompromising and refuses to eat spinach, then it is alright, and you have nothing to worry about.
Your cat will likely disagree with all forms of veganism or vegetarianism.
Alternate Snacks for Your Cat
If you want to give your cat’s palette some varieties and some options, here is a list of human foods that are great additions to your cat’s diet:
- Whole grains such as rice or barley.
- Scrambled eggs or raw egg
- Properly cooked ham, beef, chicken, or turkey.
- Green bell peppers
- canned tuna
Points to Remember:
- Make sure to add small quantities of spinach to your cat’s food.
- Never replace their raw meat/ raw fish-based diet.
- If your cat has any signs of urinary tract issues or kidney problems, DO NOT give them spinach.
- For cats with urinary tract issues, look into other healthy alternatives or keep feeding them regular cat food.
- If your cat is healthy, it is best to add small amounts of spinach with their normal food.
- Always give them cooked spinach and avoid feeding raw spinach.
- It is best to feed cats boiled or steamed spinach.
- Before you introduce spinach or any new food to your cat’s diet, consult your vet first.
Frequently Asked Questions
1. Can a cat eat spinach raw?
Ans. No, cats should not eat raw spinach. Like humans, their digestive system cannot efficiently break down plant cell walls. Try to feed cats boiled or steamed spinach in small portions for the best results.
2. What greens or vegetables can a cat eat?
Ans. Cats can eat certain greens vegetables, which include but are not limited to, celery, spinach, zucchini, peas, broccoli, lettuce, green beans, and many more.
3. Can cat eat kale?
Ans. Cats cannot eat kale. It can be harmful to them and cause anemia in cats, and even be life-threatening.
4. Can Kittens eat spinach?
Ans. It is best not to give kittens spinach as it can be harmful. Kittens should only drink their mother’s milk up until a certain age and avoid any other food. If you are looking to feed your kitten something else, try out the formulated kitten food found in most stores.
It is a common misconception that cats do not require any vegetables or greens like lettuce, blueberries in their diet. Cats need vegetables but in small quantities.
Spinach is healthy for the cat, but you should remember to not skimp on the protein as it is their primary food.
So, if you are intending on feeding your cat vegetables, do so with caution.
Offer fruits and vegetables only as occasional treats since large amounts could prove to be fatal. And always remember to do your research before you mix things up. We hope by now you got a clear answer to the question: can cats eat spinach or not?