Cats are the cutest pets across the world. They socialize with you and see you as part of their family. Every cat owner wants to take good care of their cats and for that, you need to be sure that what you are feeding to your cat is actually beneficial for its health.
We have been asked by a lot of cat owners whether if they can feed spinach to their cats or not. So can cats eat spinach? Is it safe for their health? Are there any side effects or not? Let’s find it out in this article.
Health benefits of eating spinach
Spinach is known to contain some healthy nutrients that are very beneficial for the overall health of your cat. Following are the health benefits of eating spinach:
- Source of Vitamins & Minerals
Spinach being a greenish vegetable is a rich source of vitamins and minerals for the cat’s body. Studies have shown that spinach contains Vitamin A, C, E, K and minerals like calcium, magnesium, folate, and potassium.
- Source of Dietary Fiber
Spinach is also a great source of dietary fiber. Dietary fiber is crucial for the cat’s body as it ensures smooth working of the digestive system and bowel movement.
- Contain Fewer Calories
Spinach contains a minimal amount of calories, which means that it won’t make your cat fatty and obese.
- Maintains Blood Pressure & Prevent Heart Disease
Spinach can significantly reduce the risk of heart disease among cats as it contains nitrate that decreases blood pressure which eventually lowers the risks of heart disease.
- Prevention of Cancer
Spinach contains certain compounds and antioxidants that slow down or freeze the growth of cancerous cells in the cat’s body.
- Improves Eyesight
Spinach contains carotenoids called zeaxanthin and lutein. They are known to have a positive impact on your eyesight. If your cat has existing eye disorders then feeding spinach to it will reverse everything to normal.
Now as you have seen all the health benefits of eating spinach, the real question that arises is that can cat eat spinach? If yes, how much spinach you should feed your cat? Let’s find out.
Can you give cats spinach?
There are two answers.
- If your cat is healthy, the answer is yes, but in moderation and a small amount.
- If your cat is suffering from urinary problems, then the answer is a big no!
Although spinach is beneficial for cats but always keep in mind that cats are carnivores and spinach is not their primary food. Therefore, feeding too much spinach to your cats can lead to serious medical problems.
Can cats eat spinach leaves?
Yes, cats can eat spinach leaves.
However, we recommend you either steam or boil the spinach leaves before feeding them to your cat. It’s because raw spinach leaves are enriched with calcium oxalate that can form crystals inside the digestive tract of your cat.
Can cats eat raw spinach?
No, cats cannot eat raw spinach and neither do we recommend feeding raw spinach to your cat.
The problem with raw spinach is that it is rich in calcium oxalate and can form oxalate crystals inside the body of your cat. So feeding a little or too much raw spinach can cause oxalate poisoning.
Instead, we recommend you either steam or boil the raw spinach and then feed it to your cat. Steaming or boiling raw spinach will decrease the risk of oxalate poisoning.
Moreover, it is much better than cooking the spinach in oil because oil cooking eliminates a majority of the nutrients in spinach and the oily content is also bad for the cat’s health. Whereas, steaming or boiling only removes a little bit of folic acid and the majority of the nutrients stay within the spinach.
Can cats eat baby spinach?
No, you should never feed baby spinach to your cat and stick with mature spinach.
Well, researches done on baby spinach suggest that it contains a higher concentration of oxalates than mature spinach. Therefore, feeding baby spinach to your cat will exponentially increase the risk of oxalate poisoning and kidney stones.
Can cats eat cooked spinach?
When it comes to cooked spinach, there are a few different types of cooking like frying, steaming, or boiling the spinach.
If you are going to feed fried spinach to your cat, stop right now! You should never feed fried spinach to your cat because it contains too much oil and unsafe fats that are hazardous for the health of cats. Moreover, the process of frying eliminates the nutrients present in the spinach.
We recommend you to cook the spinach either by boiling or steaming as it’s safer than frying and doesn’t even remove much amount of nutrients. Do not add any salt or spices over the boiled or steamed spinach as it can hurt the health of your cat.
Can cats eat canned spinach?
No! Cats cannot eat canned spinach and neither should you feed it to them.
The problem with canned spinach is that it is packed with preservatives, artificial flavours, salts, and spices that are harmful to the health of cats. Therefore, you are advised to only feed natural and fresh spinach to your cat.
Can cats eat spinach dip?
We do not recommend feeding spinach dip to cats because it contains a huge concentration of dairy products enriched with fats. Therefore, eating spinach dip can lead to many problems like diabetes and obesity.
Can cats eat spinach lettuce?
Yes, cats can eat spinach lettuce as it is one of the healthiest sources of vitamins, minerals, and other nutrients. However, we recommend feeding only a small amount of spinach lettuce to your cat because spinach lettuce is rich in calories, and consuming too many calories can make your cat obese and unhealthy.
Is spinach okay for cats?
Well, there are two things to look for.
- If your cat is healthy, then there is no harm in feeding a small chunk of steamed or boiled spinach to your cat.
- If your cat is already suffering from urinary problems, then you should never feed any kind of spinach to your cat because it can form oxalate crystals in its urinary tract and cause serious problems.
How much spinach can cats eat?
As we have told you that spinach contains calcium oxalate, so if consumed in excess, it can form oxalate crystals inside the body of your cat and lead to serious medical problems.
Moreover, cats are carnivores and spinach is not their primary diet. Therefore, you must feed them the right amount of spinach to keep them healthy and avoid any adverse reaction.
So how much spinach cats can eat?
If your cat is healthy, then you should feed it nothing more than one or two leaves occasionally. Exceeding this limit will result in the formation of oxalate crystals in the cat’s body and lead to complicated medical problems.
If your cat is already suffering from urination problems, then we don’t recommend feeding any amount of spinach as it can further worsen the existing condition.
If your cat is healthy, then occasionally feeding it a small chunk of boiled or steamed spinach will keep it healthy and provide it necessary nutrients.
If your cat is suffering from urinary or kidney problems, then don’t feed it spinach as it will lead to oxalate poisoning and worsen the existing condition.
Never feed an excess of spinach to the cats as it can form oxalate crystals in their body, and lead to serious medical problems.