Can Cats Eat Carrots?

Key takeaway

It’s safe for cats to eat carrots as long as they’re prepared properly. Any carrots you feed your cat should be cooked, but you shouldn’t use any seasonings as certain seasonings may be harmful to cats. Because carrots are rich in vitamins, they can be good for cats in relatively small amounts.

Cats can eat carrots as long as they’re prepared properly and you don’t feed them too many carrots. In some ways, it can be good to feed your cat carrots because carrots are rich in several vitamins, but it’s important to consider your cat’s nutritional needs versus a human’s. It might be best to talk to your vet before feeding your cat carrots.

The first step to feeding your cat carrots is cooking the carrots. When you’re cooking carrots for your cat—or any pet, for that matter—you shouldn’t use any seasonings, as certain herbs and spices may be toxic to certain animals.

In this article, we’ll talk about feeding your cat carrots and answer all your basic questions. Can cats eat raw carrots? Can cats eat cooked carrots with seasoning? Can cats eat carrot greens? Keep reading to find out everything you need to know about feeding carrots to cats.

Are Carrots Beneficial to a Cat’s Diet?

We’ve answered the basic question: can cats eat carrots? They can.1 Now you might be wondering how carrots affect your cat’s diet, and whether incorporating carrots into your cat’s diet may be beneficial. After all, carrots are often touted for their benefits to people, including eye health. For cats, carrots are specifically beneficial when it comes to vision2

Because carrots are rich in several vitamins and other nutrients, they can be a good source of certain nutrients in your cat’s diet. Some of the nutrients in carrots include potassium, Vitamin A, antioxidants, and beta-carotene. That being said, you should keep in mind that cats have different nutritional needs than humans do, and their smaller size means they require fewer vitamins and other nutrients.

There are some cat foods that are made with carrots as well. These foods should be safe for your cats if they’re on the shelves, but you can always talk to your vet and keep an eye out for symptoms such as diarrhea.

How to Safely Feed Your Cat Carrots

You might be wondering, how can cats eat carrots safely? As a pet parent, it’s up to you to make sure you’re taking the right precautions if you’re feeding your cat carrots. The most important thing you need to remember is that you should only feed your cat cooked carrots. You can cook them however you want as long as they’re softened up a bit from the cooking process.

While cooking carrots before feeding them to your cat is crucial, it’s not the only thing to remember. Cats can’t eat all the same things humans can, and that includes some of the herbs and spices you might like putting on your food. As much as you may want to give your cat the best-tasting meal possible, you should only feed them plain carrots.

It’s best to talk to your vet before you feed your cat anything new. Your vet can tell you about any potential problems you should watch out for and give you tips for safely feeding your cat new foods.

Start by giving your cat a small amount of carrot after you’ve talked to your vet. Keep an eye on your cat to make sure they’re not having any reactions—if they are, you can call the vet.

Why Can’t Cats Eat Raw Carrots?

Some raw foods are unsafe to consume because of bacteria or parasites they may contain, but that’s not the issue when it comes to cats eating raw carrots. Raw carrots aren’t toxic to cats, but vets recommend against feeding raw carrots to cats because they’re a lot tougher to eat and digest. Cats can’t chew things up as well as people can, so carrots can be a choking hazard for your cat.

Even if your cat does manage to swallow a chunk of raw carrot, they may have a difficult time breaking it down and passing it. This means that raw carrots can cause digestive issues for cats, which may lead to symptoms such as stomach pain and vomiting.

Keep in mind that you don’t need to cook carrots to a specific temperature to feed them to your cat. As long as you’ve cooked them enough that they’re soft, plain carrots are generally safe for cats to eat.

How Many Carrots Can I Feed My Cat?

Cats are a lot smaller than humans, and their nutritional needs are very different. While a little bit of carrot isn’t going to harm your cat, there’s certainly such a thing as feeding your cat too many carrots.

The biggest worry with feeding your cat too many carrots is the fact that carrots are high in Vitamin A. While this vitamin plays an important role in the health of both cats and dogs, high concentrations of Vitamin A can cause Vitamin A toxicity in cats. Thankfully, this is rare and takes a while to develop, so you should have no issues feeding your cat a carrot every now and then.

If you have questions about how many carrots to feed your cat, you can always talk to your vet for additional advice.

What Other Vegetables Can Cats Eat?

In addition to carrots, there are several other vegetables you can feed your cat as long as they like vegetables. Many cats don’t like to eat vegetables, but certain vegetables can provide the nutrients cats need for a healthy diet, such as vitamins, minerals, and fiber. Here are some of the other vegetables cats may eat:

  • Fresh cucumber
  • Steamed asparagus

Some pet parents also like to give their cats a small piece of a veggie burger to help get them the nutrients they need. Veggie burgers are typically safe for cats, but make sure there are no onions or garlic. The nutrients in vegetables can help your cat stay healthy, but you should always talk to your vet if you’re thinking about feeding your cat something new.

Can Cats Eat Carrots?: FAQs

Do cats like raw carrots?

The biggest concern with raw carrots and cats is the fact that raw carrots are very hard and dense. Humans can chew and swallow carrots just fine, but cats have a tougher time chewing up hard pieces of raw carrot. This means that raw carrots can be a choking hazard for cats, and raw carrots are also difficult for cats to digest even if they make it down the hatch.

As a general rule, you should only feed your cat plain cooked carrots and consult your vet if you notice any changes in their health.

How much carrot can you give a cat?

Generally speaking, you don’t want to give your cat too much of anything because cats are so small. You might eat a few carrots in one sitting, but cats can potentially suffer from Vitamin A toxicity if you feed them too many carrots over a long period of time. The good news is that Vitamin A toxicity is somewhat rare, and it takes a while to feed your cat enough carrots to cause Vitamin A-related issues. As long as you’re just feeding your cat a bit of carrot every now and then, there’s a good chance you won’t run into any problems.

Why do some cats like carrots?

Like people, cats are all different when it comes to personal preference and taste. If you’ve had a few cats throughout your life, you may have noticed that they all preferred a different type of cat food. Some cats like to eat carrots simply because they taste good to them, especially when they’re soft and easy to chew. Cats can also get nutrients they desperately need from carrots, including Vitamin A and fiber. If your cat doesn’t seem to be a big fan of cooked carrots, you can always try some of the other vegetables from the list we mentioned early.

Cat owner holding cat on shoulder

Final Notes

Feeding your cat a healthy diet is a big responsibility as a cat parent. Fortunately, there are a handful of vegetables you can feed your cat without worrying about them getting sick. As long as carrots are prepared properly—cooked without seasoning—you can safely feed them to your cat.

When you need help from an expert, Dutch has your back. With Dutch, you can use telemedicine for pets to connect with a vet online, so you can get professional advice from the comfort of your home. Dutch can even work with pharmacies to have prescriptions delivered to your doorstep. Try Dutch and schedule an online video chat with a vet today.

References

  1. “People Foods Your Cat Can Eat: Pictures.” WebMD, WebMD, https://pets.webmd.com/cats/ss/slideshow-people-foods-cats-can-eat.

  2. Jennifer Kvamme, DVM. “Do Carrots Naturally Improve Your Cat's Vision?” PetMD, PetMD, 11 Feb. 2021, https://www.petmd.com/cat/nutrition/evr_ct_can_carrots_improve_cat_eyesight.