Sunflowers are non-toxic to our feline friends, the seeds are edible, and cats tend to love the snack. Sometimes, you might find out that they seek snacks beyond the meal you provide for them if you own a cat. It’s normal, and sunflower seed is an excellent snack for cats; not only are they delicious, but they are also very nutritious.
Yes, they can. Cats can eat sunflower seeds. It is a nutritious seed abundant in protein and vitamins, beneficial to your cat’s health. Yet, there are things you need to know when planning to feed your cat sunflower seed.
Cats are one of the most delicate furry friends, so you should be careful with what they consume as a cat owner. We often find it hard to turn away from our cats when they seek snacks, and we get tempted to give them what they want. But, we have to note that feeding them the wrong snack can be quite dangerous and cause serious health complications.
Important Aspects To Consider Before Feeding Your Cat Sunflower Seed
Sunflower seeds are considered one of the healthiest snacks. Their sources are abundant in protein, healthy oils, vitamins such as E, B1, and B5, minerals such as iron, folate, zinc, etc. Their seeds also contain high fibre content, aiding digestion if consumed moderately.
Still, there are things you need to be aware of before feeding your cat these seeds. Such as how many should you feed them, how often, and so on. Let’s get into it.
Cats can eat sunflower seeds and kennels but shouldn’t eat the shells. This should be avoided because the bodies are sharp and complex to digest. There is a possibility that they will scratch your throat or, at the worst, cause internal damage.
If your feline does not chew correctly, sharp bits may also enter the stomach. These bits may pierce the digestive tracts, causing pains and discomfort to your cat or causing other internal complications. As a cat owner, you should watch out for these symptoms when your cat consumes sunflower seed so that you can contact the veterinary doctor immediately if your cat feels any discomfort.
Also, ensure that when you go to the store to buy the sunflower seed for your cat, you purchase natural, unsalted, and unseasoned sunflower seeds. Then proceed to remove the shells before feeding them to your cat. Although it is a good snack, it shouldn’t be consumed all the time but moderately by your cat.
Cats are carnivorous animals. Hence, plant-based meals cannot replace meat in their diet, so ensure you feed them enough meat products because they need it for protein and taurine.
In addition, sunflower seeds can reduce body inflammation and boost the immune system. Sunflower seeds will help your cat’s internal systems remain healthy, so it’s an excellent plant-based protein to treat your cat now and then.
Will Sunflower Seeds Hurt Cats?
No, sunflower seeds cannot hurt cats. Only the consumption of the shell can. APSCA says that sunflower plants are non-toxic to a cat. Hence, they can eat the seeds. However, you might wonder how much of a sunflower seed your cat can consume because we know that too much of anything isn’t healthy.
By now, you should not doubt that sunflower seeds are highly nutritious and beneficial to your cat’s health when consumed moderately.
Experts say that we should only give cats sunflower seed once or twice a week as a treat. However, if your cat enjoys sunflower seeds so much and is always seeking them, you might want to reevaluate your cat’s diet.
Note that if you are giving your cat the seeds for the first time, you should give her one or two seeds at first and observe to figure out if your cat is allergic to sunflower seeds or not.
If your cats eat too many sunflower seeds, some of the symptoms you might notice are labored breathing, changes in appetite, vomiting, stomach ache, frequent urination, among others. You should immediately call your veterinary doctor’s attention when you see this.
Are Seeds Safe for Cats?
Yes, seeds are safe for cats. Sources are generally full of vitamins B5, B9, E and minerals such as calcium, magnesium, and iron. Aside from this, they contain fiber that can aid the digestion process of your cat to prevent constipation. Hence they are very beneficial to your cats.
Yet, there are some things you should note and be aware of when feeding your cat seeds. There are several seed types, and each has its benefits and limitations. Let’s take a look at some below.
Sunflower seeds are great snacks for cats; they can aid digestion when given moderately. Still, they have high-fat contents, around 51g per 100g. This high-fat content can cause your cat some stomach discomfort. Hence, it would be best if you only fed it to your feline friends in moderation.
Chia seeds are rich in carbs, fibers, and amino acids. Opposite to sunflower seeds, they have low-fat contents and can boost the immune system and strengthen your cat’s bones. As with everything, moderation is key. Yet, blended chia seeds are recommended for easier digestion.
Pumpkin seeds are rich in zinc, iron, calcium, vitamin E, and K. They are also rich in fiber which can aid digestion. Pumpkin seeds are also used in treating intestinal worms. However, they need to be adequately crushed for easier digestion, and you can also mix it with your cat’s meal.
Quinoa is high in protein, fiber, magnesium, and copper. It is an excellent snack for your cat, due to its richness in copper which makes it a perfect addition to their meal of meat products. The snack should be boiled plainly without salt or spices when feeding your cats because raw quinoa can affect your cat’s intestines.
While all these seeds are great snacks, they have their limitations, and as a cat owner, you have to ensure that these limitations are followed to avoid your cat getting ill or in discomfort.
In addition, you shouldn’t feed poppy seeds to cats because they are hard to metabolize for cats due to the opium alkaloids in them. When consumed, your cats might have dilated pupils or experience dizziness. You should contact the veterinarian immediately when this happens.
Are Sunflower Seeds Poisonous?
There are claims that sunflower seeds are poisonous, but there is no evidence of these claims. Sunflower seeds are not only great snacks for cats; they are also great snacks for dogs, horses, and even humans. They are perfectly safe for consumption and an excellent addition to a healthy diet.
Additionally, sunflower seeds also offer many health benefits to cats and humans as we may use them to lower blood pressure, blood sugar, and cholesterol.
Yet, consuming too much can lead to unwanted weight gain due to their high-fat content. Therefore, it’s better to stick to 1 ounce or 1/4 cup, the recommended intake. Regardless, it is a healthy seed and will do more good than harm when consumed in moderation.
Sunflower seed is a great treat for cats. You can give it to them in moderation and be rest assured that nothing is going to happen to them. On the other hand, seeds in general are better plant-based snacks for cats than nuts. Yet, you should ensure you confirm if your cat is allergic or if the content of the seed will affect your feline friends before feeding them with these snacks.
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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.