Considering that cats are supposed to eat a diet of strictly meat in order to be healthy, it may seem weird to see some cats going after vegetables and fruits!
They may lick at bits of vegetables that get dropped or even gobble it up. (My cat likes lettuce of all things).
Fortunately, most vegetables are perfectly safe for cats to eat, as long as they aren’t living on them, and this includes cooked carrots. So, if your cat has been helping you cook by eating anything that falls on the floor, you probably don’t have to worry too much.
Cats can absolutely eat cooked carrots and there are some benefits for them. However, it’s important to ensure that the carrots are well cooked (simply to prevent choking) and that it’s not a daily part of their diet as they still need to have the vast majority of their nutrition come from quality cat food and meat.
Do Cats Like Cooked Carrots?
When a cat likes to eat carrots, they probably either like the crunchy texture or something else about the taste beyond the sweetness (Cats cannot taste sweet foods).
They may also just want it because you’re eating it – if it’s good enough for the human, it’s definitely good enough for the cat. Cooked carrots are liked by cats too because they are softer and a little more mellow, so cats can eat them more easily.
Do Cats Hate Cooked Carrots?
It would be pretty hard to say that some cats hate cooked carrots – they probably just don’t care about it. Carrots aren’t something that cats are naturally evolved or inclined to eat, so if they aren’t curious about them, they won’t bother trying to eat them.
I think my cat might try if she got hold of them, but cats I have owned in the past didn’t really care about them.
While carrots do have some nutritional benefits for cats, it’s nothing that quality cat food and cat treats cannot make up for, so if your cat isn’t interested in cooked carrots, don’t try to force the issue.
Will Eating Cooked Carrots Kill My Cat?
No, cooked carrots are not going to kill your cat unless carrots are all they are allowed to eat, and then malnutrition would do them in. There is nothing that is toxic in carrots for cats, and they do have a little bit of a health benefit.
However, carrots should only be fed as an occasional snack and in small amounts. This is because carrots are lacking in essential amino acids that cats require in order to stay healthy (notably taurine), have no protein or healthy fats in them, and have sugars which, if cats eat too much of, can lead to weight gain and diabetes.
Cats also have a hard time digesting any sort of plant since they aren’t built for it. Beta-carotene, which is found in carrots and is why they are so good for humans, can be very hard for cats to digest because it doesn’t get converted to Vitamin A without the help of other foods to pull the vitamin A out. This means that your cat could be missing out on that nutrient and not getting anything out of it anyway.
Raw carrots can also be problematic because they pose a choking hazard. While raw carrots are better than cooked in terms of nutrition, they have to be carefully prepared so that your cat can eat them without choking or gagging. Cutting them up very small will do the trick. Carrots also have to be carefully washed to remove any pesticides that can make your cat ill.
Cooked carrots should never be served to your cat with any seasonings because too many of them can make your cat sick. For example, garlic and onion are very toxic and the symptoms can take up to two days to manifest.
Butter or margarine can also make cats sick, so plain cooked carrots are all a cat should have and that should be cut up or pureed.
Otherwise, assuming the carrot is properly prepared and served only once in a while, there’s nothing wrong with giving your cat part of a carrot to eat. It shouldn’t make them sick or have any problems afterward and it can make a nice change of pace.
How Many Cooked Carrots Can My Cat Eat?
Cats definitely shouldn’t eat too many carrots as it can ruin their appetite for their actual food and cats cannot take advantage of many of the nutrients found in them anyway. Furthermore, most cats aren’t going to care about carrots to the point of eating too much of them anyway!
A good rule of thumb is to let your cat have a piece about the size of your thumb no more than once a day, and less is fine too. Cooked carrot is preferable since it’s easier for a cat to eat.
And if it’s the first time your cat has ever had carrot, go with an even smaller amount and monitor your cat for a couple of days afterward to make sure that they don’t have any side effects from it (it’s unlikely, but some cats are allergic to carrots and it can cause itching and discomfort).
The Health Benefits of Feeding Carrots to your Cat
Cats will not derive as many benefits from carrots as humans do, but there are a couple of things, nonetheless.
Primarily, cats can benefit from the water content found in carrots (particularly boiled ones that soak up a lot of water) and the fiber. Fiber is good for cats to have, in small amounts, because it helps their digestive system.
Water is good because cats don’t get a lot of water outside of whatever they are eating, so the more you can encourage them to eat food with water, the better.
Carrots are also high in antioxidants which cats can get out of carrots as long as they are eating other foods with it that can help pull it out. Antioxidants are good for cats because they help regulate cellular activity and protect from oxygen-free radicals.
For some cats, carrots are also just a nice change of pace or something that can be added to their regular food. It’s a much healthier treat than many commercial cat treats which are basically junk food.
Cats can certainly eat carrots and many of them will! It’s important to keep the serving size small though and make sure your cat doesn’t have any allergic reactions.
It’s also important to make sure that carrots are only a small part of a cat’s diet. Remember: cats are obligate carnivores and so they require meat in order to be healthy. Carrots make for a healthy enough treat, but they should not be the bulk of a cat’s diet.
Does your cat like carrots?
Pam is a self-confessed cat lover and has experience of working with cats and owning cats for as long as she can remember. This website is where she gets to share her knowledge and interact with other cat lovers.