Most commercial cat food recipes contain at least one type of vegetable, and often multiple. And for good reason: like humans, cats also benefit from the nutrients present in those hearty greens. But what about broccoli? It seems an unlikely choice, but this vegetable is widely recognized as one of the healthiest in the world. So is it good for cats?
While Broccoli is probably not the tastiest kitty snack in the world, its sprouts are loaded with nutrients and perfectly safe for cats to eat in small amounts. However, it is never a good idea to make any vegetable a significant part of your cat’s diet.
So what are the benefits?
Broccoli is widely regarded as a superfood; It contains almost all the vitamins that animals need, while also providing large amounts of essential minerals and healthy antioxidants. Take a look at this impressive list of things you’ll find in broccoli sprouts:
- Vitamin A, B, C, E and K (including folic acid)
- Plant-based protein
- Dietary fibre
Looking at this list, you might conclude that cats should eat as much broccoli as they can! But that is only part of the story..
Is it safe?
While we’ve seen that broccoli is incredibly nutrient-dense and rich in anti-oxidants, it also contains a large amount of dietary fiber. Eating enough fiber contributes to a healthy stool, and is generally regarded as a good thing. However, too much of the stuff can lead to less-than-pleasant side effects such as diarrhea, vomiting, and more.
That’s why broccoli should never be a major part of any cat’s diet. A few broccoli sprouts here and there are not necessarily bad for your kitty, but stick to very small amounts to avoid unwanted side effects.
The healthiest way to serve broccoli
Boiling broccoli removes a good portion of those healthy minerals and vitamins. And the longer you boil it, the more gets lost. On the other hand, raw broccoli is very hard to digest, meaning the stomach may not be able to retrieve many nutrients from it.
So what is the best option? Simple: steam the sprouts! Steaming is a great way to break the cells of a vegetable while preserving a good portion of the healthy nutrients inside.
Moderation is key. Cats are obligate carnivores, which means the majority of their protein should come from animal sources. While broccoli is a very healthy snack, you should never give your cat more than two sprouts at a time.