When it comes to cats, they can be categorized as finicky eaters. At times, it can be quite a hassling task of getting cats to eat new things, or it can be quite difficult to diversify their diets by adding new things. Many people think that only canned and store-bought food is perfect for cats; however, this is not true. Cat owners can easily combine commercial cat food with natural and home-diced food for them. When it comes to fish and meat, cats are quite happy to munch on them. But, one of the questions that many people ask about cats is, can they eat vegetables? Well, the answer is, yes they can, but only a few types and in moderation.
Now among these veggies, the one that catches the eyes as soon as you open the fridge is cabbage. Not seasoned ones, but the raw and fresh cabbage. So, can you give your cat cabbage?
Cats and cabbages
Should cabbage be given to cats? Yes! You can easily give some cabbage to the cats. Well, sometimes it may depend on your cat because they might not like the idea much. However, some cats may also like it, too. In such cases, adding a little bit of cabbage to their food will not be a problem. However, make sure that the cat does not eat cabbage in large quantities or then it can cause them health troubles. Also, if the cat gets fed premium high-quality packed food, then also feeding them cabbage may not be a necessity.
Since the cats are carnivores, they are meat-eaters. Therefore, it is important to make sure that they have some animal protein included in their meals. But as the animal protein can be monotonous for them, you can simply add cabbage as a side dish and give the needed crunchiness to their food. There are a few things in cabbage-like excessive vitamin C and polyhydroxyphenols which can be harmful to the cats if consumed in excess. Hence, it is clever to stick to smaller amounts of green or red cabbage and it will not have detrimental reactions to the cat’s health.
How to include cabbage in cat food
Raw green cabbage is the healthiest type and has more antioxidants than any other form. But if the cat is not too fond of raw veggies, then you can serve cabbages in the roasted, steamed, or boiled forms as well. This completely depends on the cat’s eating habits. If you want to hike the nutritional value of the cabbage diet, then simply make cooked red cabbage over the green one because the former is much richer in antioxidants.
You can simply shred the cabbage and use it as a topping on the cat’s food or use cooled-down steamed or boiled cabbage and add it to the cat food. If you are feeding red cabbage to the cat, then make sure that it is cooked. This is preferred because it helps in reducing thiocyanate which is a component that can affect the thyroid functioning in cats. One thing you should keep in mind is to not give them cooked cabbages that are prepared with garlic or onions as both these ingredients are toxic to them.
Benefits of cabbage
Cabbage is quite healthy for humans because it has many vitamins and minerals that help in creating a balanced diet. However, when it comes to animals, the same veggies may not have the same exuberant health benefits. However, it is not completely wasted as well. Cabbage can have good health benefits for cats if taken in smaller quantities.
Cabbage is rich in nutrients that will help in keeping their skin and coat healthy and also aids in better digestion. One of the main nutrients that are found in cabbages is vitamin K, and it is known for its benefits in the digestion and metabolism of protein. Also, vitamin K is helpful in proper blood coagulation which keeps the blood health of the cat uplifted. Furthermore, cabbage is rich in fiber and that means their bowel movements will be smooth and the digestive system will remain clean.
Cabbage is also rich in magnesium, calcium, and many other antioxidants that are known for their free-radical fighting capabilities. This means serving cabbage occasionally can help the catfight diseases effectively. Also in older cats, it can be effective in preventing various heart issues. The cabbages have less calorific value, which means having a bit of cabbage instead of any high-calorie additional dish along with their food can keep their weight in check.
Negatives of too much cabbage
Cats are sensitive and their digestive system is even more sensitive, and that is why their food should have a proper balance in it. Anything excessive can throw their system in disarray. Cats will never eat too much cabbage on their own because it is against their normal food habits. But as a cat owner, you should be aware that more cabbage can lead to serious health issues.
One of the common problems that cats face is bloating, which leads to smelly gassy cats roaming around the house. Cabbage can cause bloating, so if your cat is prone to digestive problems like bloating, giving cabbage may not be the ideal thing for them. Also, make sure to keep the amount to a minimum to avoid a bad stomach.
Also among the risks, there is the concentration of thiocyanate and polyhydroxyphenols. Plohydrixyphenols is categorized as any anti-thiamine as it can cause lowered levels of thiamine in the blood. Thiamine is a vitamin and is crucial for the cat’s health and feeding too much cabbage can lead to increased levels of anti-thiamine which can lead to deficiency. Thiocyanate, which is again found in raw cabbage, can be a root cause for hypothyroidism since it can stop thyroid hormone secretion.
Cats are choosy about what they eat, but they should not be given anything and everything found in the kitchen. Many people like to combine raw foods with the packed cat food to keep the taste exciting for the cats. Cabbage is an easily found vegetable in the kitchen, and can be given to cats but only in moderation. Once or twice a week, a slight bit of grated or finely chopped cabbage can be beneficial for their health. But, too much can lead to major health problems like a bad stomach and vitamin deficiency, and hypothyroidism.