Rabbits like carrots but does your cat? If so, are they safe for them to eat? Carrot does offer humans many nutritional benefits but do they off the same for your cat? Carrots have been cultivated for over five hundred years and give us 100% of our daily vitamin A requirements. It is just natural that your cats want what you are eating, or at least being given the chance to see if they want them.
Although it is advisable to check with your veterinarian before introducing human food to cats, it is okay to give your cats carrots. They are not dangerous or toxic for your cat. It is recommended that you feed your cat-cooked carrots instead of raw ones. The reason is that raw carrots are crunchy and it is difficult for them to chew raw carrots and digest them. Carrots, when cooked, have a fruity, sweet taste to them that some cats really seem to like.
In addition to vitamin A, some of the other vitamins and minerals that carrots have that are good for your cat in moderation include:
- Vitamin K
- Vitamin E
The one thing that cats really need, nutritional-wise, is protein, and there is no protein at all in carrots. A cat’s diet is an animal-based diet and they need to feed on meat. Although carrots do have some of the vitamins and minerals that a cat needs, carrots will not be able to give the cat the nutrients that animal flesh can give. This means that you should never use carrots as a substitute for their main diet.
There are some benefits to feeding your cat cooked carrots.
Cats have great vision, even in the dark but they still need vitamin A to remain healthy and have good eyesight. When you add carrots to the diet or giving them cat food that contains carrots, it will help to keep their vision strong. For humans, a high concentration of vitamin A helps to clear up or improve vision if you have cataracts or macular degeneration disease but not so in cats. This is because they have a low conversion rate of beta-carotene. If your cat has cataracts, extra vitamin A will not help with that condition. It is something a vet will have to address.
When vitamin A in the cat’s body is reduced, the liver releases stored vitamin A into the bloodstream so it can travel to the retina of the cat’s eye. The retina is made of millions of cells called cones and rods, which are sensitive to light and used in eyes worldwide. It is what tells the brain what the eye sees. The rods are what are important in situations with low lights and if the cat is vitamin A deficient the rods start to become weaker, with the cells not being restored as fast as they should. A cat’s domain is night so they need great vision and when they have enough vitamin A it can improve their eye-sight, especially the night vision
This vegetable will help boost their immune system. The beta-carotene found in carrots is transported to their liver, where it is turned into vitamin A, which is a very powerful antioxidant compound. One thing to note is that cats can only convert a small amount of beta-carotene so they will store that vitamin to help with cell reproduction and growth. Carrots are very good to give to younger cats and kittens that are still growing.
Digestion and weight control
Eating just a few pieces of cooked carrots a few times a week or giving them food with carrots as an ingredient will help to improve their gastrointestinal function. When you give cats cooked carrots, it is a good substitute for a food that has a lot of extra carbohydrates.
Too much vitamin A
Yes, there is a thing of a cat getting too much vitamin A, which can lead to a disease called hypervitaminosis. This can lead to muscle weakness and bone problems. Too much vitamin A can cause a vitamin deficiency, which can lead to night-blindness. This can impair their vision during the night and cause them to have the inability to see in the dark. If you notice your cat being lazy and looking sad, you should take them to the vet because they could have a vitamin deficiency. The deficiency will cause their skin to not look shiny.
The correct way to feed your cat carrots
- Carrots should always be cooked, whether they are boiled, baked, or steamed plain with no seasonings on them.
- Never serve raw carrots to a cat. Since they are so hard, they could chip a tooth when trying to eat a raw carrot. They are also hard to digest when raw and can cause stomach problems.
- Cut the cooked carrots into small pieces or you can mash them up and mix them with their wet food.
As with any human food that is safe for a cat to eat, it is best done in moderation. It is also better if you can find cat food, wet or dry, with carrots as one of the main ingredients. It has been found that if you depend on carrots cooked to supply the cat with all its vitamin A needs, you could end up causing a vitamin deficiency. The reason is that they can only absorb and store a small amount of beta-carotene, which is converted into vitamin A. They need vitamin A that their body can use immediately, which they can get from hunting their food or eating cat food, wet or dry, with carrot listed as the main ingredient. Vitamin A is very important for cats that are pregnant and the kittens they are carrying. It is necessary for them to have a healthy pregnancy but do not give them too much. Use cat foods that contain carrots as their main ingredient.