Many commercial cat foods contain one or multiple types of vegetables. And for good reason; like humans, cats may also benefits from all the great micro – and macronutrients present in those hearty greens. But what about broccoli? It’s widely recognized as one of the healthiest vegetables known to man, but is broccoli bad for cats?
This dark green vegetable is an unlikely snack for your kitty due to its’ distinctive taste, but broccoli sprouts are actually safe for a cat to eat. However, they should only be given in very small amounts. Why?
Because broccoli contains a huge amount of fibre. While moderate dietary fibre intake is regarded as a good thing, too much of it can easily lead to diarrhea and other unwanted side-effects.
It’s hard to give an exact estimate here, but moderation is essential. Cats are obligate carnivores, meaning the majority of the proteins they eat should come from animal sources. While broccoli is a very healthy snack (more on that in the next paragraph), it should never become a major part of your cat’s diet.
Broccoli is very nutrient-dense. It contains almost all the vitamins that we humans need, but also plenty of essential minerals. There has been some debate in recent years as to whether broccoli can be classified as a superfood or not. A superfood is a marketing term for a food that is exceptionally nutritious.
While the jury is still out on that one, what we do know for sure is that broccoli is a great source of the following things:
- Vitamin A, B, C, E and K (including folic acid)
- Plant-based protein
- Dietary fibre
Raw or cooked?
So, broccoli is not bad for cats necessarily, provided your cat only eats a very small amount. But what’s the best way to serve it? Cooking broccoli removes a portion of the great minerals and vitamins. The longer you cook it, the more gets lost. But raw broccoli is very hard to digest, meaning the stomach may not be able to retrieve many nutrients from it.
The solution..? Simple, steam your sprouts! Steaming is a great way to break the cell walls of a vegetable while preserving a good portion of the super healthy stuff inside.