Updated: August 9, 2022 by Kristen Chapple
It’s not the most desirable vegetable in the world. It’s never had a Popeye to popularize it with kids. It’s just one of the most common and convenient veggies, and it nearly always happens to be in your fridge. While the kitty is sitting nearby and observing your every move as you rummage through the kitchen, you might be wondering: to share or not to share some cabbage with the curious rascal? Can cats eat cabbage in the first place? And would they eat it if they could?
Many felines are known to be finicky eaters, causing us headache whenever we want to diversify their meals. Or basically, feed them anything that isn’t a juicy slice of meat or yet another food can. This may sound weird, but some of them actually love cabbage – raw or cooked, or both! Now, we aren’t talking sauerkraut or any other salty or sour cabbage dish. We just mean regular, unseasoned cabbage.
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Is Cabbage Safe for the Kitto?
To put it simply: yes. Just like any other veggies, it isn’t necessary, especially if your cat regularly feasts on premium quality food. The only way it could do it any harm is if consumed in large quantities – which isn’t very likely to happen. Especially if the cat has a say in this – which they always do. And, as always, there are rules to follow if you don’t want to cause any harm.
Cats Can Eat Cabbage, But Small Amounts Will Do
Felines have very different nutritional needs than humans. They are obligate carnivores, which means their diet should never lack in animal proteins. So, you should only introduce cabbage and other veggies in small amounts, as a side dish. Just enough to add some crunchiness to the meal. Note that cabbage is packed with vitamin C, which can even be harmful if your cat enjoys too much of it, some studies say. Stick to moderation, as in all other kinds of food that isn’t specially prepared for cats.
Pros of Garnishing the Saucer with Some Cabbage
Cabbage is a valuable source of vitamin K, which is essential for blood coagulation and metabolism of proteins. It’s also rich in fiber, helping those little bowels work smoothly.
Plus, it has calcium, magnesium, as well as antioxidants that are responsible for dealing with dangerous free radicals. Further positive effects include reducing the risk of cancer, heart disease and other health issues with older cats. And let’s not neglect the kitty’s proud looks: eating cabbage from time to time can even slightly improve their skin and coat quality.
Since it’s low in calories, occasional use of a leaf or two could also help if your cat belongs to nearly 60% of the US felines that are overweight.
Possible Cons if You Overload
If your feline is prone to bloating, cabbage will be a poor choice as a supplement. And it’s not only a question of those rude sounds or unpleasant odor finding their way through your room full of guests. Bear in mind that cats have a sensitive digestive system. Serving a little bit of cabbage every now and then is okay, but don’t overdo it.
Some consequences of having too much of it could be more serious. It could affect the cat’s thyroid function due to thiocyanate. But fret not – it’s highly unlikely that a self-respecting cat would ever want to eat so much of it. Even if yours happens to grow a special affinity for it, there is no reason to worry unless you have a garden full of cabbage.
How to Serve It?
Raw, boiled, steamed, or roasted – it’s generally up to the kitty’s eating habits. However, note that raw cabbage preserves most antioxidants, the use of which we considered above.
There are many ways to make this a fun experience too. You can shred or grate some cabbage and spread it over regular canned food. If you opt for boiled or roasted, make sure it cools down completely before serving. Just like with any other home-cooked kitty meal, never add any onions or garlic, since these are extremely toxic for cats.
And which type to choose? It’s really up to you, but it’s worth noting that purple cabbage has an even greater nutritional value than green or white.
So, there you have it! No reason your cat can’t enjoy St. Patrick’s Day (or any other) by nibbling some leafy greens along with their share of beef.