If your cat has ever sneaked a bite while you’re preparing dinner or harvesting fresh vegetables from the garden, you might be wondering whether cats can eat peas. The short answer is yes, cats can eat peas. In fact, many commercial cat foods include peas as an added ingredient.
As with any new food, though, if your cat has never eaten it before, be sure to consult with your vet before adding peas to your cat’s diet. In addition to doing that, here is everything that you need to know about cats and peas.
Are Peas Good for Cats?
Peas have some health benefits for cats, including a boost in micronutrients like vitamins, lutein and zeaxanthin, and choline. Peas also contain fiber and can be a useful addition to your cat’s diet. They are low in calories, making them great snacks or treats for cats that struggle with maintaining a healthy weight.
There are many varieties of peas to choose from. Feel free to select from snow peas, garden peas, or sugar snap peas to feed your cat. As long as they aren’t too hard for your cat to chew, you can even feed frozen peas to your cat as crispy, cool treats.
How to Safely Feed Peas to Cats
It’s important that when feeding peas to your cat, you stick to fresh or frozen varieties. Avoid canned peas. It’s also recommended to remove peas from their pods before giving them to a cat. While pea pods can be safely digested by cats, they are choking hazards. Some cats can eat them, but it’s best to err on the side of caution and only feed shelled peas to your cat.
These legumes can provide your cat with some nutrients and be offered as low-calorie snacks. That said, while peas do contain protein, it’s important to remember that cats are obligate carnivores. The majority of their diet should come from meat-derived proteins. Plant-based proteins are not complete and do not provide a cat with all the nutrients that they need. Even though cats can eat certain plant-derived foods, they really do not need them. In the wild, cats only ingest the plant and grain content inside their prey’s digestive system and nibble on some grasses occasionally.
What Other None Meat Options Can Cats Eat?
There are five veggie options that are safe to feed your cat. The benefits that they may provide include fiber and antioxidants. But remember that cats are obligate carnivores and do not really need vegetables in their diet.
1. Cooked Carrots
Carrots are packed full of vitamins, minerals, and beta-carotene. Be sure to cook carrots before feeding them to your cat, and chop them up into small, easy-to-chew pieces to avoid choking.
Steamed broccoli in your cat’s bowl is a great way to keep them from chewing on other, not-so-healthy green plants around the house. It has the added benefit of providing fiber to help your cat’s digestion.
Zucchini is found in many commercial cat foods, and it can make for a healthy, low-calorie treat.
4. Green Beans
Green beans are good substitutes for traditional cat treats if your cat is overweight. They’re safe and don’t have many calories.
5. Winter Squash
Plain winter squash contains large amounts of fermentable fiber that can help normalize your cat’s bowel function and relieve any constipation or diarrhea that they may have.
Components of a Healthy Feline Diet
Ultimately, discussing your cat’s diet with your vet will help you determine what is best for your cat based on their individual needs.
Cats can consume peas in moderation. They are a source of fiber and provide some nutrients to your cat’s diet. Since they are also low in calories, they’re great options for cats that struggle with maintaining a healthy weight. However, it’s important that peas aren’t your cat’s primary food or listed among the first ingredients of your cat’s commercial food, as cats require animal protein to make up most of their diet.