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Can cats eat broccoli?

Can Cats Eat Broccoli?

Broccoli may seem like an unlikely snack for most cats, but there are some sneaky benefits to be had for any kitty brave enough to take a taste.

By Chad Taylor January 20, 2021
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Broccoli is not the first thing people tend to think of when it comes to snacks for cats. Vegetables in general are not something that should ever make up a significant part of any cats diet, as cats are obligate carnivores. But for the cat parents who find their felines are curious enough to give broccoli a try, there’s some good news to be had here.

Can Cats Eat Broccoli Safely?

Yes, broccoli is completely safe for cats of all ages and breeds to enjoy, if they’re so inclined. In fact, getting your feline companions interested in broccoli could even provide some nutritional benefits.

cat in front of a background of broccoli pattern; can cats eat broccoli?
Credit: baibaz / GlobalP / Getty

First of all, broccoli is absolutely packed with antioxidants. This can help reduce free radicals in the body, as well as help your kitty with regular bowel movements and calm upset stomachs. As an added bonus, the bright green florets might even satisfy your kitty’s plant chomping urges, offering a reprieve to your houseplants!

RELATED: 16 Houseplants to Avoid if You Have Cats

One caveat here: make sure you’re only giving your kitty plain, unseasoned broccoli. Steaming it beforehand will make it easier for them to chew, but stay away from cooking in butter or oil, and don’t coat the broccoli in salt, pepper, cheese, or any other toppings. Additionally, be aware of how large the florets are, in relation to small kitty mouths.

«Cats don’t tend to rip and chew foods in the same way that dogs do,» says Kaci Angelone, DVM, MS from Denver, Colo. «Giving them smaller, softer bites is important because it will help cut down on the risk of choking.»

RELATED: How to Save a Choking Cat

How Much Broccoli Can Cats Eat?

Thanks to its antioxidant count and lack of toxicity, broccoli is a safe and even healthy snack for your cat. However, your cat will probably enjoy a variety of other antioxidant-rich foods (including a balanced diet of regular cat food) more than broccoli. And because cats are obligate carnivores, the majority of their caloric intake should be coming in the form of meat or a good quality cat food (which will have a high percentage of meat protein). Which means that, as with any snack, moderation is key.

Other Cat-Safe Vegetables

Broccoli isn’t the only vegetable that cats can eat safely, or that provides some kind of additional benefit. Other healthy options include:

  • Asparagus
  • Carrots
  • Some types of squash such as zucchini
  • Green bell peppers
  • Corn
  • Cucumbers (though make sure you cut it up thoroughly before serving, as some cats are afraid of cucumbers!)

When it comes to vegetables, watch out for onion, garlic, leeks, scallions, shallots, and chives, as these are all toxic for cats and can cause some pretty serious health issues.

Keep in mind that everything your cat eats that’s not meat protein leaves less space in their bellies for the nutrients and vitamins they need to grow and stay healthy. So it’s always a good idea to talk with your cat’s veterinarian before changing or adding anything new to your cat’s diet.

Can Cats Eat Broccoli

Can Cats Eat Broccoli: Green broccoli is a vegetable belonging to the Brassicaceae family Broccoli contains a plethora of nutrients, such as vitamins and minerals, making it a healthful vegetable.

Although it is a good option for humans, many cat owners may be unsure if it is secure for their feline friends to consume.

The good news is that cats can eat modest amounts of Can Cats Eat Broccoli because it is not poisonous to them. However, because cats are obligate carnivores and need a diet high in meat for good health, it shouldn’t be a main meal in their diet.

When cats are fed excessive amounts of broccoli or other vegetables, their digestive systems may become disturbed because cats cannot digest plant-based meals as effectively as people can.

It’s crucial to keep in mind that high-quality protein sources should make up the majority of a balanced and species-appropriate diet for cats.

Can Cats Eat Broccoli

Benefits Of Broccoli For Cats

Benefits Of Broccoli For Cats

Every time you introduce a new meal to your cat, do so gradually and at first, just a little bit. This will assist your cat’s digestive system adjust to the new food and keep your cat from experiencing stomach discomfort.

Thus, start by giving them a small serving of completely cooked broccoli about the size of your little fingernail.

You can continue giving broccoli to your cat more frequently if you don’t observe any unfavorable effects in the next couple of days.

Nevertheless, limit yourself to a modest amount at a time. Treats and other nibbles for your cat shouldn’t make up more than 10% of their daily caloric intake.

It should be good to use two or three tiny pieces, each around the size of your thumb.

✦ Can Cats Eat Broccoli Safely?

Certainly, cats of all ages and breeds are perfectly safe to eat broccoli if they so choose. In fact, introducing broccoli to your feline friends may even have some nutritional advantages.

First off, broccoli is certainly a powerhouse of antioxidants. This can assist your cat with normal bowel movements, soothe upset tummies, and aid lower free radicals in the body.

The brilliant green florets may even sate your cat’s appetite to munch on plants, saving your indoor plants as an added bonus!

✦ What if kitten eats broccoli?

When they finish weaning, you can give your kitten broccoli as a treat if you think they’ll like it. Giving them solid food while they are still nursing will upset their tummy.

Kittens only require breast milk for nutrition during the first three to four weeks. Specially formulated milk replacers (KMR) will work in the absence of the litter queen.

Regular milk is too fatty to offer to them. Later in life, the majority of cats develop a lactose intolerance. A concern with plant-based milk is its high calorie content, which applies to soy and almond milk in particular.

Your kitten can be kept alive on a regular diet of KMR and water until they are old enough to eat on their own. The feeding plan can then be started with regular doses of kitten food and expanded with a variety of snacks.

  • Chicken
  • Turkey
  • Liver
  • Lean deli meat
  • Salmon
  • Tuna
  • Sardine
  • Mackerel
  • Prawns
  • Shrimp

How to prepare broccoli for your cat

Fresh broccoli could be given to your cat, but there is a potential that it contains toxins. The presence of pesticide residue in the vegetable will depend on where you purchased it.

Cats are possibly fatally affected by even minute amounts of pesticides, slug baits, and other pest management chemicals.

  • Bring water to a boil in a large saucepan or deep pan.
  • Bok choy should be cut into bite -sized pieces. Don’t use the stem, only the florets
  • Place the broccoli in the boiling water and cook for three to four minutes. Avoid overcooking the vegetable as it may begin to smell.
  • Remove the broccoli from the water &let it to cool.

Broccoli Nutritional Facts

Calories (kcal)6.8
Protein (g)0.5
Fat (g)0.09
Carbohydrate (g)1.3
Fiber (g)0.5
Sugar (g)0.3
Sodium (mg)6.6
Calcium (mg)39.5
Phosphorous (mg)10.3
Zinc (mg)11
Potassium (mg)50.5
Iron (mg)0.1

The Best Way to Serve Broccoli to Cats

Boiling broccoli just a little bit before serving it to your cat is the finest method (ensuring you wait for it to cool afterward).

If the broccoli was on your dinner plate, make sure it wasn’t covered in the salt, butter, or oil that we love to eat with our vegetables but that is terrible for cats.

Like with other raw food diet options, raw broccoli has a higher likelihood of causing stomach pain in your cat because it is more difficult for their digestive system to break down.

Can Cats Eat Broccoli

The Risks Of Eating Broccoli For Cats

Only if you adhere to a few fundamental rules can you safely feed broccoli to cats. First, only offer thoroughly cooked broccoli to your cat. This is due to the fact that raw broccoli can choke your cat and is difficult for its stomach to digest.

Don’t season the broccoli you give your cat. Salty or spicy seasonings may discourage your cat from eating your food. Salt sickness can result from consuming too much salt.

which can also upset your cat’s stomach. As a result, you have to be certain that any broccoli you give your cat as a treat is plain.

It’s recommended to steam or boil broccoli before giving it to your cat. An upset stomach or pancreatitis could result from using fats or oils when cooking.

To prevent giving your cat human foods that are harmful to cats, such garlic or onions, while you are cooking broccoli as part of a dish, cook some for them separately.

FAQs – Can Cats Eat Broccoli

FAQs - Can Cats Eat Broccoli

➥ Is broccoli safe for cats to eat?

Cats can consume broccoli in tiny amounts as a treat on sometimes because it is not hazardous to them. However, because cats are obligate carnivores and need a diet mostly composed of meat, it shouldn’t make up a large portion of their diet.

➥ Can broccoli benefit a cat’s health?

Broccoli has minerals including vitamin C, fiber, and antioxidants that, in small doses, are good for a cat’s health. But, eating too much broccoli can upset your stomach.

➥ Are there any risks associated with feeding cats broccoli?

Isothiocyanate, a substance found in broccoli, can irritate cats’ gastrointestinal tracts when taken in excessive quantities. Also, cats’ digestive systems do not process plant-based foods as well as those of humans, so consuming too much broccoli may disturb them.

➥ What other vegetables can cats eat?

Cats must consume predominantly meat since they are obligate carnivores. However other veggies, such roasted carrots, pumpkin, and green beans, can be served as a rare treat in tiny portions. It is important to always talk to a vet before adding any new items to a cat’s diet.

➥ What happens if cats eat broccoli?

Plain, cooked broccoli shouldn’t hurt or make your cat sick if they eat it. But, they shouldn’t consume broccoli that has been spiced, fried in fat, or is uncooked because doing so could make your cat sick. Keep in mind that if a dish has other components except broccoli, you shouldn’t give your cat any of it.


Broccoli can be given to cats as an occasional treat in tiny doses, but it shouldn’t make up a large portion of their diet. Although broccoli is not poisonous to cats, consuming large amounts of it can induce gastrointestinal distress.

Cats must also eat primarily meat because they are obligate carnivores and need this for good health. When introducing any new foods to a cat’s diet, it is always wise to speak with a veterinarian to be sure they are secure and appropriate.

Never give your cat raw broccoli; instead, give it cooked broccoli in little portions as a treat. A cat’s health and wellness depend on eating a food that is balanced and suited for its species.


Hi, I’m Ravi Paladiya, a certified nutritionist with a Bachelor’s degree in Food Science and Nutrition and a postgraduate diploma in Dietetics and Applied Nutrition. I created to provide accurate and reliable information on everything related to broccoli, including its health benefits, growing tips, and delicious recipes. My articles are written in an easy-to-understand format, making it accessible to everyone. Join me on this journey towards a healthy lifestyle by incorporating broccoli into your diet. Thank you for visiting View all posts

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