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Can Cats Eat Brussel Sprouts? Benefits And Risks To Expect
Cats are carnivores; however, including some vegetables in their daily meals can be a good idea to provide them with valuable nutritions. Unfortunately, those animals are not tolerant of all veggies.
Can cats eat Brussel sprouts? You may wonder this question when considering the rich content of the sprouts. But to keep your cats safe, you should check this guide before feeding them those vegetables.
We will discuss the advantages and disadvantages of Brussels sprouts for cats. You can also learn extra tips to offer them for your lovely pets safely.
Let's see what we suggest!
Can Cats Eat Brussel Sprouts?
Yes, they can. Brussels sprouts are safe and nutritious for your pet. However, you should only feed them in moderation.
Thanks to their high nutrition content, Brussels sprouts are ideal vegetables to feed cats. However, you can't just give them raw veggies.
Brussels sprouts can be raw, cooked, or frozen. Besides, certain parts of the vegetables are soft to eat, while others may be too tough for cats to consume easily. We will discuss each case right here.
Raw Brussels Sprouts
No. Raw brussels sprouts may come with more infection risks. Hence, you should check for symptoms of food poisoning in your pets if they accidentally raw Brussels sprouts.
The first signs are dysentery and diarrhea. It may take your felines about three days to show these symptoms. Pay attention to the following signs too:
- Muscle spasms
Vomiting is a typical sign of many problems, such as food poisoning and general poisoning.
Hence, your pets can vomit without getting sick. In this case, check for additional signs to determine if the Brussels sprouts cause the problem.
If more symptoms show up, look for medical assistance from a vet. Your cats need an exact diagnosis and therapy to recover.
Cooked Brussels Sprouts
Yes, cooked Brussels sprouts are safe for cats. It could be the only way your pets can consume sprouts because the raw ones will harm their health.
Cooking Brussels sprouts can get rid of potential pathogens in those veggies. Moreover, during cooking, they can enhance their mineral and vitamin content.
Cats prefer cooked sprouts, too. They are soft to consume. You should chop the sprouts into small pieces to assist their digestive systems.
Brussels Sprouts Leaves
Yes. However, Brussels sprout leaves are only safe when cooked. Do not add seasonings to those veggies, as they will upset a cat's stomach.
Brussels Sprouts Stalks
No. The stalks of Brussels sprouts are too rough for a feline to consume. Before giving them to cats, you might want to cook them for longer.
Frozen Brussels Sprouts
Freezing is a popular food-storing method because it helps destroy bacteria. Hence, cats can consume frozen Brussels sprouts.
Yet, you should defrost the frozen vegetables to room temperature before feeding them to your cats. Their sensitive teeth will prevent them from enjoying their meals.
Benefits Of Brussels Sprouts To Cats
You will be impressed with the nutritional profile of Brussels sprouts. In 1000 grams of raw sprouts, we can get:
- Kilocalories: 43
- Carbohydrates: 9 grams
- Sugar: 2.2 grams
- Protein: 3.5 grams
- Fat: 0.3 grams
- Fiber: 3.8 grams
- Water: 86 grams
- Vitamin A: 4% of the RDI (Recommended Daily Intake)
- Vitamin B1: 12%
- Vitamin B6: 17%
- Vitamin B9: 15%
- Vitamin K: 160%
- Zinc: 4%
- Calcium: 4%
- Magnesium: 6%
- Potassium: 8%
- Phosphorus: 10%
- Manganese: 16%
- Iron: 11%
These nutrients help improve digestion, weight loss, hydration, and other health benefits for your cats.
There is a lot of dietary fiber in Brussels sprouts. Both insoluble and soluble fibers in these vegetables can support digestion.
Soluble fibers add nutrients to the gut microbiota in cats. And gut microbiota are microorganisms in the animal's digestive tract, promoting digestion.
On the other hand, insoluble fiber assists cats in digesting by weakening and building the consistency of the stools. It makes bowel movements easy, which may cure several digestive problems like diarrhea.
The fiber in Brussels sprouts means more for your cats than just helping with digestion. Fiber-rich foods will be an excellent choice for weight loss too.
So how does fiber help? When eaten, it will keep you full for longer. It's what you need to fight hunger pangs and food cravings.
You can try mixing Brussels sprouts with your feline's daily food. The portions of their meals will reduce significantly, and your pets won't feel hungry soon.
As a good owner, you may not want your cats to lose weight. However, controlling their weight is necessary. That's why you should consider Brussels sprouts.
Vegetables in cruciferous groups have large water content. Hence, feeding Brussels sprouts to your cats means that you are promoting hydration.
Sometimes, your furballs don't like to drink water. So instead of forcing them to do things you don't like, mix sprouts into their regular diet to avert dehydration.
Cats love sleeping. They spend most of their time of day in bed. However, these adorable furballs often have excessive energy while active.
Although sneaking around the home or interacting with their fellow furry companions, cats may easily hurt themselves. Moreover, due to cats' extreme territorial behaviors, turf wars may cause injuries.
Your cats won't recover soon after returning from the vet. Luckily, vitamin K, which can speed up sound healing, is abundant in Brussels sprouts.
Vitamin K helps with wounds when they induce the production of blood clots to stop your cats from bleeding.
Besides that, vitamin K can enhance bone growth. As a result, it will protect your cats against bone-degenerative diseases, such as feline osteoporosis.
See more cat pictures at: Cat Images
In 100 grams of Brussels sprouts, your cats can take 2.2 grams of sugar and up to 9 grams of carbohydrates. It seems like a lot, but only a small amount of them can get into a feline's bloodstream.
The considerable fiber content in Brussels sprouts balances any possible negative consequences of the vegetable's carbohydrates.
Remember that a large portion of the insoluble fiber in the veggies travels through the stomach unprocessed. In the meantime, it inhibits the breakdown of sugars in the animal's bloodstream.
Many studies have proven that increased consumption of cruciferous vegetables can reduce the chance of diabetes in cats.
Cats with diabetes can eat Brussels sprouts too. These veggies are members of the cruciferous family. Thus, they may have anti-diabetic properties.
As a bonus, Brussels sprouts contain a lot of alpha-lipoic acids, a well-known antioxidant with numerous advantages on insulin and blood sugar.
Similarly, the omega-3 fatty acids found in these veggies may help prevent diabetes by lowering blood triglycerides.
You will also like the low-fat content in Brussels sprouts. So feel free to let your cats eat them without concern about cholesterol problems.
You can treat various feline medical conditions with Brussels sprouts, not only diabetes. The vegetable has many antioxidants that protect your pét against medical ailments. And vitamin C shines in this regard.
Vitamin C is one of the main antioxidants for the cat's body. It also influences the development and recovery of tissues. Proteins benefit from this vitamin as well.
Aside from vitamin C, these veggies are a good source of kaempferol, an antioxidant widely recognized for its anti-inflammatory qualities.
Risks Of Feeding Brussels Sprouts To Cats
Brussels sprouts are not toxic to cats. However, it doesn't mean that they can be absolutely safe. Feeding these veggies to your little furballs may bring out some trouble.
Cats are carnivores. Hence, they mostly rely on animal-based foods. Brussels sprouts, as a plant-based food, may pose some gastrointestinal risks for your pets.
Some cats are allergic to these vegetables. They will show symptoms like:
- Dilated pupils
- Runny nose or eyes
- Difficulty breathing
Keep in mind that the cultivation practices will determine these veggies' toxicity. So they may be harmful in some cases.
Farmers often cultivate Brussels sprouts in humid and warm conditions. Meanwhile, moisture environments trigger bacteria development.
Most of these microorganisms are tolerable to different degrees. However, some of them may cause food poisoning.
Unfortunately, you can't always check where the Brussels sprouts in grocery stores came from. The only thing you could do is keep a close eye out for indications of food poisoning in your pets.
Brussels sprouts may also cause flatulence and bloating. Bloating occurs when your cats have abdominal discomfort. Meanwhile, the symptom of flatulence is constant farting.
The fact that Brussels sprouts make your pets feel bloated also implies those veggies could make them fart. But make sure to rule out any further gastrointestinal issues.
There are more risks of choking depending on the part of the vegetable and the serving size your cats eat. For example, Brussels sprout stalks are tougher to consume, posing more choking risks.
The best way to avoid this problem is to feed your cats Brussels sprouts in moderation. Vets also advise preparing them carefully.
How To Prepare Brussels Sprouts For Cats?
Adding some vegetables to a carnivore's daily diet can be a good idea to give it more nutrients. Brussels sprouts are one of the best choices.
If you want to include Brussels sprouts in your cats' meals, do not combine them with other vegetables or fruits. So if your pets have any symptoms of food poisoning, you can identify the cause.
Moreover, some cats can be sensitive to Brussels sprouts, while others love them. You should introduce these veggies to your cats in moderation first. Then, increase the serving sizes if they don't cause health problems.
You shouldn't feed your cats raw Brussels sprouts. Here is the best way to prepare the vegetables:
- Cut the buds off the stems.
- Choose tiny buds.
- Cross-cut the center so you can cook the buds easily. But be careful, as those cuts will trap water.
- Cut the excess stems and clip them off.
- Remove loose leaves on the bud's surface.
- Clean and wash the buds carefully.
- You can boil, steam, or grill the buds.
Avoid overcooking Brussels sprouts. Instead, we recommend slow frying, cooking, and roasting methods for these veggies.
So, can cats have Brussel sprouts? Yes, because these vegetables are safe for cats. They contain many nutrients that help with your feline's digestive system, weight loss, and more.
However, do not eliminate the risks. To avoid them, you should cook the vegetables carefully. It would be best to introduce them slowly to your pets and increase the serving sizes if they seem fine with the new food.
Hopefully, this article has helped you learn more about your lovely buddies. Please contact us if you need more tips for feeding them.
Thank you for reading!