Carrots are colorful and crunchy, and it feels like it would be awfully adorable to watch our cats crunching on one. Are carrots safe for cats? The short answer is yes; cats can consume carrots without fear of being poisoned.
Carrots are long taproots from the Umbelliferae family. Many different people and cultures enjoy having these as staples in their diet, and their greens are even tasty in a salad. As a crunchy, delicious veggie that we consume regularly, it’s enticing when we consider giving our cats a little taste. Obviously, carrots are healthy for humans, but what are their benefits, if any, for cats? Should we really be encouraging felines to eat these roots?
Are Carrots Safe for Cats to Consume?
There are certainly some foods that our pets should never pick off of our plates, but carrots are some of the few vegetables that cats can eat without you having to worry about them afterward. Of course, you don’t ever want to give your cats a carrot that has been cooked with other spices. For example, garlic and onion are two foods that could be deadly to your fur kid.
Do Carrots Give Cats Health Benefits?
There are a lot of important nutrients found in carrots. They have beta-carotene that is believed to aid a cat’s digestive system. They also give your feline friend vitamin A. With that said, the majority of your cat’s diet should be meat-based. They are, after all, natural carnivores, and eating too many plants could create some long-term health issues.
Raw Vs. Cooked Carrots
Between raw and cooked carrots, is one better for your cat than the other? Cooked carrots are your safest option if you decide to get them a little carrot treat. Make sure that they are plain and free from any seasoning, including salt and pepper, before tossing them your cat’s way. Cooked carrots are a lot softer than raw and go down a lot smoother.
Raw carrots won’t hurt your pet, but they are hard and rigid and could be a choking hazard for your pet, who doesn’t know how to chew as well as you do. Whether using cooked or raw carrots, cut them up into very small pieces before feeding them to your animals. Do not give them whole carrots under any circumstances, and always observe your cats when they’re eating any type of human food.
Do Cats Enjoy Eating Carrots?
Even though carrots are a safe food for them, cats won’t always jump at the chance to eat them. Some cats are pickier than others, just like humans, and it’s possible that they refuse to eat them.
Believe it or not, cats don’t actually have tastebuds that detect sweetness, and carrots taste very different for them than they do you for. Since the sweetness isn’t enticing them, try giving the carrots to them in different forms and textures. You could make a cooked carrot puree and mix it into their regular food as a way of enticing them.
How Many Carrots Can Cats Eat?
Treats of any kind should only consist of 10% of your cat’s daily caloric intake. Less is even better than that. Too many high-sugar and high-carb foods make your cat obese and open the door for all sorts of dangerous health issues.
Other Veggies That Cats Enjoy
If you’ve tried feeding your cats carrots and they aren’t taking the bait, don’t be afraid to try out some other cat-safe veggies. Some of the safest foods to feed cats are broccoli, pumpkin, spinach, peas, green bell peppers, pumpkin, zucchini, and celery. Give them an assortment of options until you find one that they enjoy. If they don’t end up liking any vegetable, then accept their decision and try to find healthier store-bought treats or making your own at home. Here is one homemade cat treat recipe we love:
Salmon Cat Treats
- 10 ounces canned salmon
- 1 large, beaten egg
- 2 cups whole wheat flour
Preheat your kitchen oven to 350°F. Pour the canned salmon into a food processor and chop it as finely as possible. In a stand mixer, beat the chopped salmon, egg, and flour together until it forms a dough. If the salmon dough is too dry, stir in 1/3 cup of water. If the dough gets too wet, slowly add a little bit more flour. Roll your prepared dough onto a floured surface until it is ¼-inch thick. Use a cookie cutter shape of your choice to cut out your treats. Set the cat treats on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper and bake them for 20 minutes until they’re brown and crunchy. Let them cool all the way to room temperature before serving them to your cats.
It feels nice to give our purr-fect pets something special. Whether adding cooked carrots to their food bowl or making something from scratch, always keep the health of your pets in mind to show them that you truly care.
We have more articles about what cats can eat, including:
- Can Cats Eat Avocado? What You Need to Know!
- Can Cats Eat Turkey? What You Need to Know!
- Can Cats Eat Garlic? What You Need to Know!
Featured Image Credit: Armando Arauz, Unsplash