Kale, known as a super food, is highly nutritious, and we love to have kale in our daily life, but can cats eat kale?
This question came into my mind when I saw my cat gradually eating raw kale from the leftover plate in the kitchen.
So, is it safe to share kale with your feline friend?
The short answer is yes; cats can eat kale. Fortunately, kale isn’t harmful to cats, but cat’s carnivores and experts do not recommend veggies in their diet. So, if your cat loves the taste of kale, then you can offer them but not more than once or twice a week.
Kale is high in fiber, vitamin A and copper, so feeding is occasionally is highly beneficial for your cats.
Finely chopped boiled or steam vegetable mixed with other high protein meaty food is the best way to serve vegetables to your feline friend.
Now, let’s talk about the good and bad about kale!
Can Cats Eat Kale? Yes!
Kale is not toxic for cats, and you can safely feed it to your cats, but it should be in a limited amount and not more than 5% to 10% of their total diet. Cats are obligate carnivores, and a significant amount of kale can cause gastrointestinal problems such as vomiting, diarrhea, lethargy, loss of appetite, and weight loss.
Besides, kale can cause critical illnesses like anemia which is life-threatening for your feline friend.
So, kale isn’t toxic for cats, but if ingested in a reasonable amount, it can cause several health issues, which means it’s best to avoid serving kale to your cats unless your vet suggests it.
Related: Can Cats Eat Pork?
Is Kale Good For Cats?
Of course but, it depends on how you utilize this green vegetable!
Kale is undoubted a healthy vegetable for both cat and you, but the way we consume it is different.
Like, a human can consume it in large amounts with salt, spices, and seasoning, but cats cannot.
If you want to feed kale to your cats, you must mix it with other meaty food to create a balanced meal for your cat; otherwise, your cat may be unable to digest the vegetable.
Kale is rich in fiber, which means it helps in bowel movement, and if your cat is facing gastrointestinal problems such as constipation, diarrhea, vomiting, and stomach ache, you should feed kale to your cats but with an expert observation.
Besides, kale’s antioxidants can reduce the stress level, prevent cancer, and anti-inflammatory properties will keep the diseases away from your feline friend.
Can Cats Eat Raw Kale?
Firstly, yes, they can, but should I offer it raw?
No! You should never force your cat to eat vegetables.
Cats are meat eaters, and the digestive system of a cat is not designed to handle raw vegetables and the best way to include veggies in your cat’s diet is by mincing boiled vegetables with other meat products like chicken or fish.
Feeding raw vegetables like kale can create digestive problems like vomiting, diarrhea, and stomach pain.
Also, cats don’t really like the taste of vegetable unless it’s highly aromatic so, they only eat a vegetable to set their upset stomach.
What Are The Health Benefits of Kale For Cats?
Cats are carnivores, yet they get not all but some nutrition from vegetables.
The digestive system of a cat is primarily different from ours, which means vegetables essential for us aren’t the same for the cats.
Having said that doesn’t mean cats shouldn’t eat veggies or grass. In fact, several times, you might have seen your can in the garden chewing on grasses.
Thus, vegetables have health benefits for cats even though their primary diet is meat.
So, is there any health benefit of kale for cats?
Kale is called the powerhouse of nutrition due to the number of essential vitamins and minerals it contains, whether it’s vitamin A, B6, C, and K.
Besides, it’s rich in fiber, calcium, copper, and manganese with slight calories.
There are several health benefits of kale if you can adequately feed it to your cats. But make sure you don’t overdo it otherwise; it can turn back and cause mild to severe health problems.
For Digestion: Kale is rich in fiber which keeps your feline friend energetic and full for longer and avoids obesity; that is why its experts suggest including kale in your cat’s diet.
If your cat is having gastrointestinal problems such as constipation, diarrhea, and stomach ache, the dietary fiber in kale can smooth bowel movement and eases digestive issues.
Prevent Cancer: Antioxidants like beta-carotene, polyphones, flavonoids, and vitamin C lowers the free radicals, which further reduces the oxidative stress in cats and prevents them from developing chronic diseases such as cancer, arthritis, and diabetes.
Strengthen Bones: High calcium, vitamin K, and potassium in kale are known to improve the structural strength of the bone and teethes.
Although kale is highly nutritious, you should not force your cat to eat kale as they are obligate carnivores, and their digestive system is entirely different and solely designed to process meat rather than a vegetable.
How Much Kale Is Safe?
Start with a tiny amount!
If your cat isn’t habituated to eating vegetables, you should serve a small amount of kale at first and then keep an eye on your cat and observe their reaction.
There is no definite answer on how much kale exactly you should feed kale to your cats, but cats shouldn’t eat more than 5% to 10% of their total diet as a general rule of thumb.
If your cat isn’t showing any allergic or gastrointestinal problems, you can offer kale to your cats once or twice a week.
As carnivores, most of the nutrition comes from meat, so; cats don’t really need veggies to fulfill their daily nutritional requirements.
What About Kale Poisoning in Cats?
Kale isn’t directly poisoning, but it can be life-threatening if your cat is obsessed with it because kale functions as an oxidizing agent, leading to anemia. One of the dangers is called the Heinz body anemia.
It breaks down the red blood cell to certain medicines, stress, and infections.
Some of the common symptoms of Heinz body anemia are:
- Back Pain
- Abdominal Pain
- Pale skin
- And Fatigue
However, kale’s side effect doesn’t last long, and it usually goes away naturally without any medical attention.
Otherwise, take your cat to your vet immediately before it’s late.
Besides, the best possible solution is to avoid overfeeding kale to your cats.
Sometimes you should act a little strict when your cat comes to you and meows in a cute voice; you must not meltdown.
But, strictly stick to their thigh quality canned food if you are unable to prepare it at home, whether it’s wet or dry, both are equally healthy.
You May Like: Can Cats Eat Cereal?
How To Introduce Kale To Your Cat?
Unlike dogs, cats don’t really eat vegetables, so; it’s important to properly prepare and serve the dish as cats can turn up their noses if the dish is not their favorite.
So, how to introduce kale to my cats without being turned down?
Firstly, boil some fresh kale leaves, then finely chop them and mix them with their favorite food, whether it’s fish or chicken.
But don’t add salt, seasoning, or any herbs to enhance the flavor, as it may be toxic to your cats and can lead to several health issues.
Simply mix the minced kale leaves with a meat dish and let your cat enjoy it.
Although your cat shouldn’t have any problem with a tiny amount of kale, still observe your feline friend afterward and if anything goes wrong, immediately visit your vet.
Alternative Healthy Greens For Your Cat
If you are still uncertain about kale, there are some healthy alternatives that you can easily find in your household.
If you don’t have them in your house, don’t worry, they are easily available in supermarkets.
Try one of these, and keep your feline friend out of danger and toxicity. In addition, make sure you regularly visit your vet for check-ups.
Eating grass is a usual habit of cats, and if your cat is eating kale sometimes, you shouldn’t worry about it and let him/her enjoy the vegetable.
But, cats are obligate carnivores that mean if they eat or fed too much grass or vegetables, it can cause several short and long-term health issues.
So, feeding kales occasionally isn’t bad but avoids overfeeding as it, and of course, there are many other better alternatives available in the market you should opt for.