I’s lunchtime, you’ve made yourself some salad, and just as you’re about to take your first bite you notice your cat staring at you.
This happens all the time and leaves (pun intended) many pet owners thinking about what foods they can or can’t share with their cats.
Many pet owners like to share their meals with their furry friends but before you do, you might be wondering, can cats eat spinach?
Lets take a look below if indeed cats can eat spinach!
Can Cats Eat Spinach?
Yes, cats can eat spinach in fact, spinach could have many health benefits for your little feline friend.
But before you run along and start including this green leafy vegetable in your feline’s daily meals, it’s important to remember two things.
- Cats, by nature, are obligate carnivores, which means they need animal meat to survive, so you can’t turn your feline friend into a vegan.
- Too much spinach in your cat’s food could have a detrimental effect on your cat’s health.
As a cat parent, it’s essential to keep in mind that the digestive tract of cats is different from that of humans. This is one of the reasons experts generally advise sticking to commercial cat food for your little feline.
But this doesn’t mean that all human foods are harmful to cats. In fact, many human foods like the ones listed below can provide some benefits for cats.
Can Kittens Eat Spinach?
While the digestive tract of healthy adult cats may be able to handle a bit of spinach now and then, you may want to reconsider feeding this leafy green to kittens.
That’s because kittens’ digestive systems are not fully developed, and as a result, they are more sensitive than adult cats. You should only be feeding kittens good quality kitten food.
Small amounts of calcium oxalate present in spinach might be harmful to kittens’ digestive systems. Don’t take any chances with your kitten or their health, stick with specially formulated kitten food.
Can Spinach Be Bad For Cats?
Calcium oxalate stone is a type of kidney stone that forms when there is a high level of oxalate in the body.
Here are some of the effects of kidney stones in cats
- Urinary Tract Infection (UTI): A medical issue that affects cats, typically those between 1-4 years old. Signs of UTI in cats may include peeing too frequently, infrequent urination, howling in pain when peeing, and blood in urine, among others.
- Abdominal pain
- Diminished energy
- Weight loss
If your feline has a history of health issues, such as kidney stones and urinary tract issues, you might want to consider skipping the whole spinach diet altogether to be on the safe side.
Are There Any Health Benefits?
When it comes to the health benefits of leafy greens for cats, spinach, in particular, is an excellent source of vitamin A, B6, B2, K, E, and C.
Besides containing important minerals like calcium, folic acid, and magnesium, these vegetables provide dietary fiber.
Here are six ways spinach is beneficial to your feline
- Regulates bowel movements and relieves indigestion: For cats that struggle with constipation and indigestion, spinach can be a healthy dietary addition. It contains insoluble fiber, a form of dietary fiber, making it a good option for easing bowel movements.
This fiber, complemented by high water content in the leafy green vegetable, helps reduce constipation in your little feline’s system significantly.
- Reduces dehydration: Thanks to its high water content.
- Maintains healthy weight: Another advantage of spinach is that it is low in calories, which means the leafy green is helpful in weight management and maintenance of your feline.
- Regulates blood pressure and prevents heart diseases: Spinach contains nitrates that effectively keep blood pressure in check and reduce the chances of developing heart diseases.
- Boosts eyesight: Spinach contains carotenoids such as lutein and zeaxanthin, which are associated with improved eyesight. In addition, these carotenoids work together to reduce the chance of your cat developing cataracts or macular degeneration.
- Helps fight cancer: Thankfully, you can ward off the dreaded illness of cancer by including spinach in your kitty’s diet. According to research, spinach contains two significant compounds; SQDG and MGDG. These compounds have been said to be effective in fighting the growth and rapid increase of cancerous cells.
How Much Spinach Can I Feed My Cat?
It’s recommended that if you want to feed your cat this green vegetable, a leaf or two served now and then should suffice.
Too much of a good thing can be a bad thing, and while the addition of spinach to your cat’s diet can have its health benefits, too much of it in your cat’s regular meal may harm your little feline.
Can Cats Eat Raw Or Cooked Spinach?
Cats can eat raw spinach. However, keep in mind that raw spinach contains oxalates, which can increase the risk of developing kidney stones and cause other medical issues for your cat, so it’s not always advised to feed your feline friend raw spinach.
Another good way of introducing spinach into your cat’s diet is by boiling/steaming it and mixing it with its food. Just remember not to add spices like salt or pepper when steaming it, as this might be detrimental to your little feline.
One of the drawbacks of feeding your cat cooked or steamed spinach is that the process of cooking may destroy some nutrients like folic acid.
So, it’d be better to feed your feline spinach in its raw form. However, ensure to always wash it before feeding it to your feline.
When you replace special treats like cookies with spinach, your little kitty will certainly benefit from a healthier diet.
Conclusion On Can Cats Eat Spinach
Now you will be able to confidently answer the question “can cats eat spinach?”
It is important to remember that if your cat has or ever had kidney problems or urinary tract infections, it should not eat spinach.
A healthy adult cat can tolerate small amounts of calcium olaxate without any detrimental effects. It can, however, adversely affect a feline that is either recovering or has recovered from these health issues.
Cats are just as safe eating raw spinach leaves as they are eating cooked spinach. To make sure your pet does not receive any toxic reactions, avoid seasonings, sauces, and toppings when adding cooked spinach to their food.
Frequently Asked Questions
Is Spinach Toxic For cats?
Spinach is not toxic for cats and contains plenty of vitamins that are beneficial to the health of cats. But due to the calcium oxalate content present in spinach, you might want to slow down on how much and how frequently you feed your feline spinach.
Why Does My Cat Like Spinach?
Cats are not herbivores, but they have a habit of munching on grass. Your cat might be mistaking spinach for grass as they share the same texture and appearance.