Carrots are very nutritious vegetables highly recommended due to their low-calorie content. You may include them in your diet in various ways, whether steamed, raw, or baked, and they will positively contribute to your health, but is this the same case for cats?
Cats can eat carrots. You could feed it to them as a treat every once in a while but be very careful not to include them in their daily diet. Even though they have lots of macro and micronutrients, this vegetable is high in carbs, a nutrient cats find difficult to metabolize.
100g of carrot contains roughly 10g of carbs and very low protein, cats are meat-eaters for a reason. Their bodies cannot efficiently absorb carbs, making their digestion process longer and leading to serious health issues. Let’s find out more about this vegetable and how you can feed it to your cat.
Do Cats React To Carrots?
Some people claim cats love carrots. It is said that cats could act weird around carrots, playing with them and rubbing them all over their faces. Many stories about cat owners relate to how they have seen their pets jumping into the shopping bags to take out only the carrots after returning from doing the groceries.
These effects are often compared to the ones caused by catnip, and many people affirm cats get high by sniffing carrots.
But some hypotheses asseverate this could be a reaction towards chemical compounds used by some producers and markets to preserve vegetables.
Anyways, there’s not a definite conclusion about it, and the internet is flooded with videos and stories of cats acting funny around carrots.
Are Carrots Healthy For Cats?
Carrots contain high amounts of a nutrient human bodies transform into vitamin A called beta carotene. When it comes to cats, they can absorb beta carotene as an antioxidant that helps with their immune system even though their metabolism does not convert beta carotene into vitamin A.
Biotin, also known as vitamin H, is another nutrient found in carrots, which plays a crucial role in the development of skin and hair cells. Additionally, biotin is known to aid with the digestion of fatty acids often found in meat products.
Vitamin K1, also known as phylloquinone, is highly present in carrots, this nutrient helps cats to maintain proper blood coagulation. This vitamin is so beneficial for cats that it is usually administered as a treatment for serious health conditions such as rodenticide poisoning, acute liver failure, and many other conditions where internal bleeding could occur.
Potassium is an important substance that helps muscles and bodily systems with their normal function. Low potassium in cats is associated with fatigue and muscle weakness, this deficiency often makes it difficult for them to maintain a standing position and could potentially lead to paralysis.
Vitamin B6 helps with the metabolization of amino acids found in proteins and also contributes to a healthy immune system. Cats need a constant intake of vitamin B6 because their bodies are not able to store them.
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How To Feed Your Cat A Carrot
There are very important aspects to consider before choosing how to feed a carrot to your cat. You could try different ways to see which one your feline companion prefers since cats are not attracted to the sweetness of these vegetables, the texture is probably the characteristic you want to focus on:
Raw carrots can represent a choking hazard, it is suggested to avoid feeding raw carrots to a cat. You might find raw carrots can be appealing to your cat, but most likely its interest has nothing to do with eating, some cats would only like to play with carrots. Some people compare its effects to catnip.
You may wonder if it’s correct to discard the pulp when preparing carrot juice, if you are a cat owner worry no more, the resulting leftover pulp could be suitable for your cat to eat and will provide fibers and antioxidants.
This is the most popular way to feed carrots, you can either steam them, bake them or boil them. Cat owners should wait until it reaches room temperature before serving, and make sure carrots are cooked without seasoning as it might upset your cat’s stomach. To serve you can choose to mash it or do a soup-like mixture using the result boiling water.
Can Cats Eat Carrots And Become Allergic?
Long exposure to the same food can lead to allergic reactions in cats, this is not exclusive to carrots. Bear in mind cats are meant to eat meat, their bodies, and basic instincts are hardwired this way, it’s possible cats could be attracted to a carrot because it’s something new to them, and not because he wants to try some out.
Nevertheless, research has shown that meat products are the main cause of food allergies in cats, the allergens have not been identified yet, but this is certainly a relief to those caregivers who worry about the effects of feeding plant-based food to their cats.
How To Add Carrots To Your Cat’s Diet
Start incorporating carrots as an occasional treat, and keep track of your pet’s reaction to it. If your cat displays a positive interest in carrots, you could slowly increase the frequency or the portion size.
If you see any irregular symptoms, do not hesitate to contact your local vet, they will diagnose if there’s any particular health issue going on with your feline companion.
Carrot Products Hazardous To Your Cat
A variety of food and dishes using carrots as their main ingredient could be suitable for your cat, but be cautious about the names in the following list:
- Apio is a Jewish dish prepared with braised celery root, carrot dish, lemon, vinegar, and spices. While the vegetables in this dish pose no risk to a cat, you must keep an eye on its seasonings.
- Carrot bread is a big no, mostly because of its yeast content. Bear in mind yeast could affect your cat’s stomach.
- Carrot chips, this snack is usually made of sliced carrots that have been fried or dehydrated.
- Morkovcha, this Korean salad is prepared using garlic, onions, and a wide variety of spices. Garlic and onions are toxic for your cat. Eating them will cause your cat to have nausea, vomiting, and gastrointestinal distress. You will most likely end up paying a visit to the vet.
- Hutspot, is a dutch dish made of potatoes, carrots, and onions. As we already mentioned, Onions are considered toxic to cats.
- Porkkanalaatikko, a Finnish baked dish containing carrots, eggs, rice, and few spices. It is also known as Carrot casserole.
- Tzimmes, a Jewish stew consisting of vegetables such as yams combined with dried prunes or raisins. The latter is known to be highly toxic for cats. Symptoms can start with vomiting, upset stomach. These fruits are also associated with kidney deficiencies in cats, and if left untreated, it can lead to death.
Due to their high sweetener content, desserts are not recommended for cats. This kind of treats are not appealing to cats anyways. Their bodies are incapable of identifying this flavor; thus sugar does no affect a cat’s brain.
Additionally, sugars are simple carbs that don’t add any nutritional value to your cat’s diet and are difficult for them to digest.
Here are some examples of dessert dishes created using carrots:
- Carrot cake, you can create a cat-friendly version of this cake, but stay away from store-bought carrot cake.
- Carrot cake cookie, this recipe includes sugar, cooking oil, and spices that are no good to your pet.
- Carrot pudding, this dish is a sweet dessert that includes sugar, spices, and breadcrumbs.
- Cezerye, this Turkish dessert may be delicious to humans due to its combination of nut flavors. However, nuts add no nutritional value to your cat’s diet, and its high-fat content is a big reason not to consider this dish for your furry pet.
- Gajar ka halwa, a sweet pudding made out of grated carrots and garnished with nuts.
- Glazed carrots
Carrot Products Your Cat Can Eat
Here are some carrot dishes you can prepare at home to feed your cat:
- Carrot Juice
- Carrot salad
- Chai tow kway, also known as fried carrot cake
- Mashed carrots
Other Vegetables A Cat Can Eat
Hereunder a list of other vegetables your cat can eat safely as long as they are cooked:
- Brussels sprouts
We have covered some of the most common questions cat owners have in regards to carrots and now you know as long as they are cooked, there’s no harm in feeding carrots to your cat every once in a while.
These vegetables are great for both humans and cats, some treats are better than others, and in the end, you decide.
If your cat is not interested in eating this vegetable rather than playing with it, this sounds like a good way to make them move. You may want to record some videos, and who knows, your cat could end up being the latest internet sensation.
We hope this information serves you to make appropriate decisions in regards to your cat’s diet.
Shawn Manaher is a serial entrepreneur but when he isn’t working, he loves dogs. He’s owned different pets over the years, and always gives a part of his heart to each pet.