Updated: March 8, 2021 by Kristen Chapple
Carrots are widely used in dishes today and the fresh carrot juice is also an amazing treat since they are so full of vitamins while also tasting great at the same time. As we know about the many benefits they offer we might want to offer our pet some of them as well, so then comes the question: can cats eat carrots? Let us find out together all about the subject!
Carrots contain alpha and beta-carotene, a lot of vitamin A, K and B6 and they were said to improve the vision of people eating it, especially during nighttime. This is, of course, a myth but they definitely increase your physical condition through the minerals and vitamins contained in them.
Beta-carotene is one of the most essential ways that help us create vitamin A so since carrots have a lot of it then you can say that these vegetables help you with the health of your eyes. The same process happens to your cat if they eat carrots but not to the same level because they don’t assimilate all the nutrients.
Luckily these vegetables don’t have anything in them that is harmful to your cat (if you wash them properly) and thus you can add some into their diet. But since your cat is an obligate carnivore this shouldn’t replace the meat in their bowl and if you suspect some vitamin A deficiency it is important to also talk to a veterinarian about treatment instead of simply feeding them carrots all day.
Raw Or Cooked?
Carrots are really cheap and you can find some anywhere, you can bake them, steam them, boil them, eat them raw or even put them in a cake. Now as you probably know they are quite difficult to chew when they are raw and that is with our teeth that are more adapted to eating vegetables. Cats will have problems with large chunks and there is even the risk of choking so it’s much safer to cook them and then chop them into small pieces.
You can find several cat food products that have carrot as one of the ingredients and these might also be a good option since they are designed to provide a balanced diet.
Vitamin A Deficiency
The circuit of the beta-carotene inside a cat’s body starts when the substance is absorbed by the intestines and is afterwards transported to the liver. Here it is combined with other consumed fats to be transformed into vitamin A which is stored there until it is needed. If there isn’t enough of it then the cells won’t reproduce as fast as they should and their eyesight will suffer. The problem is that since they don’t assimilate carrots as well as we do, cats can actually end up with vitamin A problems even if you feed them these vegetables so don’t rely on them alone to keep your cat healthy.
Yes, they aren’t toxic for cats but they should never replace their normal diet.