Are you curious about whether cats can indulge in the green goodness of asparagus?
In this article, we delve into the intriguing question: Can cats eat asparagus?
Let’s explore the potential risks, benefits, and considerations when it comes to feline consumption of this popular vegetable.
Will it make your cat healthier, or could it be harmful to her?
Can Cats Eat Asparagus Safely?
For the time-poor amongst you, the answer is a conditional yes.
If you found this article after catching your cat taking a bite out of some asparagus, the good news is she’ll be fine.
Asparagus is a veggie your cat can eat. It’s not poisonous to cats, but does that mean it’s a good thing to include in their diet?
First, let’s consider why it would even cross our minds to ask can cat cats eat asparagus.
Should Cats Eat Asparagus?
Asparagus is low in calories, is an excellent source of fiber, and is packed with lots of vitamins (A, C, and K).
These nutrients are linked to a wide range of potential health benefits such as weight loss, improved digestion, and lower blood pressure.
Given the multitude of health benefits this vegetable offers humans, it’s only natural for pet parents to question whether it may be good to feed their cat asparagus too.
While your cat does need these nutrients in her diet, studies have shown that she can’t extract nutrition from vegetables or other plant-based food sources.
Instead, she is an obligate carnivore. That means she needs to eat meat to survive; her body has evolved over a very long time to work in this way.
Your cat relies on her prey having already done the work of breaking down plant-based food into a form her body can digest.
So, there’s no real health-based case for adding asparagus to your cat’s diet. But there’s nothing to stop you from giving it to her as an occasional treat either.
Can Cats Eat Cooked Asparagus?
Your cat can eat both raw and cooked asparagus; the fundamentals we covered earlier remain the same either way.
In fact, giving your cat cooked asparagus is safer than giving her raw stems. This is because the cooking process makes it softer and easier to chew.
There are some additional factors to consider with any cooked vegetable, though.
Don’t give your cat cooked asparagus if you have seasoned it with salt or dressed it with anything containing garlic or onion.
These can be harmful and even toxic for your feline friend.
Forgive me for pointing out the obvious; any cooked vegetable is going to be hot! You don’t want kitty to burn her mouth.
Is Asparagus Harmful to Cats? (3 Ways it Can Be)
Earlier, we learned that asparagus isn’t poisonous/toxic to cats. But does it have the potential to be harmful in other ways?
Choking on raw asparagus stems is one risk. The chunky, hard stems are difficult for your cat to chew.
This is why it’s important not to give kittens asparagus.
2. Internal Obstruction
If your cat manages to swallow chunks of asparagus without choking on them, she may not be out of the woods.
The hard stems could cause an internal obstruction in her digestive tract, leading to a variety of complications.
3. Bladder Stones
Asparagus has a high alkaline content. Eating too much of this vegetable can affect the pH level of your cat’s urine, leading to the development of bladder stones.
These stones can cause urinary tract blockages, which are particularly problematic if your cat is already suffering from a urinary tract infection.
Are Cats Allergic to Asparagus?
Just like their owners, cats can be allergic to a variety of things. Cat allergies are specific to each individual, but cats, in general, are not allergic to asparagus.
Some cats suffer from food allergies, with the most common foods being beef, chicken, fish, and dairy.
It is worth noting that there is a house plant, the asparagus fern, which is toxic to cats and can result in allergy-type symptoms.
This plant is closely related to asparagus, but they are not one and the same.
If your cat eats or comes into contact with an asparagus fern, keep an eye out for the following symptoms:
- Skin irritation
- Abdominal pain
Why Do Cats Like Asparagus?
Sadly my cats weren’t willing to entertain an interview on this topic. Something to do with being too busy exploring their new cat tree.
So we’ll have to make some assumptions based on some of the things we do know about our furry friends.
The first time your cat tries to eat any vegetable, it may well be out of curiosity.
Cats explore the world using their senses. If they like the smell of something, the next logical (for a cat!) step is to see how it tastes.
It could be that the adventure goes no further, but if your cat finds something to like in asparagus, she’ll want to eat it again.
Cats may be known for their heightened senses, but their sense of taste is actually nowhere near as sophisticated as ours.
You have 9000 tastebuds on your tongue while your cat only has 470!
While not being a part of your cat’s natural diet, perhaps the taste of asparagus tickles her limited tastebuds.
Pet food manufacturer Purina suggests that cats enjoy chewing on cardboard because they love the texture. I guess they’d know a thing or two about what cats like to eat and why.
Cooked and raw asparagus both offer different textures to your cat’s regular food.
The tip of an asparagus stalk is unique even among other vegetables cats can eat.
Maybe it feels nice on your cat’s gums. It could be a massage for her mouth or perhaps even serve as a kitty toothbrush.
We should add that to our list of feline dental tips!
You asked, “Can cats eat asparagus?” Together, we took a deep dive into the subject and found some answers.
We discovered that your cat can eat asparagus and live to tell the tale as it’s not toxic to her.
It’s OK to give your cat asparagus in small, infrequent amounts if she seems to like it. However, it shouldn’t become a regular part of her daily diet.
However, any potential health benefits would seem questionable based on the evidence we’ve seen.
This would suggest that cats don’t experience the benefits of asparagus due to their digestive systems.
Can cats eat asparagus? Yes! Will you be giving your cat any? Tell me below!
Barry Stingmore is a British content creator living in Fuerteventura, Spain. An animal lover at heart, he shares his home with a dog and four rescue cats. Barry works with the island’s animal charities to help manage and care for feral and abandoned animals. Alongside fieldwork, he works to support the charities with fundraising and raising awareness.