Oh boy… the controversial topic of cats and veggies. Let’s attack it. Okay, so anyone who’s read cat food ingredients on canned or kibble doesn’t ask ‘can cats eat vegetables’, but many ask if they should.
Because felines are obligate carnivores, many people believe that they should only consume meat and bones. But will eating vegetables harm our cats? Let’s look into the different points of view and find the facts.
- Myth: Cats do not produce the enzyme – amylase – required to break down and absorb vegetables into their bodies.
- Fact: While cats do not produce amylase in their salivary glands like humans do, their pancreas’ create ample amounts of this enzyme. Plenty to utilize the nutrients.
- Myth: In the wild, cats do not eat vegetation.
- Fact: Cats in the wild will consume grass and sometimes other vegetation to help aid digestion. In addition, they will eat the stomach contents of their herbivore prey (like rabbits) which consists of digested vegetation.
- Myth: Vegetables are not good for cats.
- Fact: Vegetables are good for all mammals! As humans, we know that vegetables have a whole host of health benefits. The antioxidants, vitamins, fiber and potassium found in veggies help boost overall health… cats included.
- Myth: Cats can be vegetarians.
- Fact: Nope. While vegetables offer health benefits, our cats are obligate carnivores and will not survive long on a vegetarian diet. In fact, felines don’t need vegetables to thrive… they just are purrfectly capable of consuming them and reaping the benefits.
As you can see, there’s no real need for this topic to be controversial. Obviously we need to do our research first and never feed our cats a toxic veggie, like onions. It’s also best to keep the percentage of vegetation in their diet to a minimum – and don’t feed a bunch of starchy veggies. We like to stick to the green, leafy veg.
Cats may not need vegetables in order to balance a healthy diet for them but they can certainly take advantage of eating some veggies.