Cats are carnivores that get most of their nutrients from animal protein. They have little need for the carbohydrates and plant foods that we humans require to stay healthy. However, this does not mean that cats cannot eat some plant foods that we might have in our kitchens. For instance, can cats eat quinoa? Yes, they can!
There are a few things that you should know before deciding whether to give your cat quinoa as a snack or part of their regular diet. For example, how much quinoa should your cat eat? How can quinoa affect a cat’s health? How should quinoa be fed to your cat? The answers to these questions and more can be found here.
The Health Benefits of Quinoa for Cats
Quinoa is full of protein, but that is not the reason that you should feed it to your cat, as they get enough protein in their regular diet as it is. That said, there are other health benefits that your cat may benefit from when quinoa is a small but regular part of their diet.
First and foremost, quinoa is high in fiber which can help keep your cat regular.
Also, quinoa is a good source of vitamins and minerals such as B6, folate, copper, iron, manganese, and magnesium. Quinoa is also full of antioxidants, which are known to reduce the risk of developing health problems such as heart disease and cancer. This grain is easy on the digestive system and can be fed to your cat as part of a bland diet when they are not inclined to eat their commercial food at mealtime.
How Much Quinoa a Cat Should Eat
Quinoa should not be the main staple in a cat’s diet. Since cats are carnivores, the best way to meet all their nutritional needs is to provide them with quality commercial food at mealtime. Their food should include an animal protein source such as chicken, fish, or beef as the first ingredient.
Your cat’s food may already contain quinoa, in which case, they need no extra from you to stay healthy. Whatever the situation is, you should not feed your cat more than a few tablespoons of quinoa a week, broken up into separate feedings. Too much quinoa intake can result in a loss of appetite for commercial food and a nutrient deficiency problem as time goes on.
Quinoa Serving Suggestions for Cats
There are several different ways to serve quinoa to your cat if you want to include it in their diet. The most convenient way is to mix a little cooked quinoa into their dry or wet cat food at mealtime. Another option is to mix quinoa with a little sodium-free chicken or beef broth and offer it up at snack time. Or just give your kitty a nibble off your plate while you are eating a meal (make sure it is plain quinoa, however, with no seasonings or aromatics).
There is no right or wrong way to feed quinoa to a cat. Just remember that added spices, especially onion and garlic, should not be included with quinoa. If you want to add flavor to the quinoa that you are serving your kitty, you can always cook it with sodium free chicken or beef broth instead of water.
While there is no reason to feed your cat quinoa to keep them healthy, it will not hurt them for you to do so in moderation. Cats tend to digest quinoa well, and it can provide necessary vitamins and minerals that can help fill in any nutritional gaps. There are several different ways to feed quinoa to your cat, so be creative! You can even feed your cat quinoa off your own plate if it isn’t seasoned with garlic or onion.