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Home > Cats > Can Cats Eat Broccoli? Vet-Approved Facts & FAQ

Can Cats Eat Broccoli? Vet-Approved Facts & FAQ

Can Cats Eat Broccoli

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Dr. Lauren Demos

Veterinarian, DVM

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As a pet parent, you sometimes want to share your favorite vegetables with your cat. That might include broccoli, which begs the question: can cats eat broccoli?

The answer, which is sure to please anyone who loves this green, cruciferous vegetable, is that cats can eat broccoli. Are you curious about how to feed your cat broccoli or how it should be prepared? Maybe you want to know how much of this healthy, nutritious vegetable your cat can eat. Whatever your questions about feeding broccoli to your feline friend, we have the answers below, plus some great tips and advice!


Which Nutrients Does Broccoli Provide Cats?

Broccoli, as you might already know, is packed with vitamins, minerals, and other nutrients, making it healthy for humans. Most of those same vitamins and nutrients are also beneficial for cats. Some of the nutrients found in broccoli include the following:

  • Calcium
  • Fiber
  • Folate
  • Iron
  • Magnesium
  • Phosphorus
  • Potassium
  • Protein
  • Vitamins A, C, and K
  • Zinc
bowl of broccoli
Image by: ExplorerBob, Pixabay

What Are the Health Benefits of Broccoli for Cats?

We listed all of the broccoli’s nutrients that can benefit your cat, and here is a surprisingly long list of those benefits.

  • The antioxidants in broccoli aid their immune system.
  • The fiber in broccoli keeps your cat’s digestive system functioning smoothly and helps regulate their bowel movements.
  • Broccoli contains vitamin K, which promotes normal blood clotting
  • Broccoli may help your cat’s cholesterol level stay within a normal range.
  • The folate in broccoli may help with cellular functions
  • The vitamin A in broccoli may help your cat’s bones, teeth, and eyes stay healthy.

Does Broccoli Pose any Health Risks for Your Cat?

One important fact to remember when feeding your cat vegetables like broccoli is that cats are obligate carnivores, meaning they seek out and eat meat almost exclusively. In the wild, cats would likely never give broccoli a second look. Their digestive system isn’t made to digest plant food but can digest meat without problems. It can cause gastrointestinal issues, including vomiting, diarrhea, and an upset tummy.

Also, because broccoli is a cruciferous vegetable, it contains a natural compound called isothiocyanate. Isothiocyanates also cause digestive problems for cats and can get in the way of absorbing other essential nutrients for all cats.

a bowl of steamed broccoli
Image Credit: Oliver Hoffmann, Shutterstock

How Should You Prepare Broccoli for Your Cat?

While cats can eat raw broccoli, it’s a potential choking hazard and is much harder for their stomach and intestines to digest correctly. Below are the steps you can take to cook broccoli correctly before giving it to your cat:

  • Wash the broccoli thoroughly
  • Cut the broccoli into smaller chunks.
  • Steam or boil the broccoli until it is soft enough for your cat to chew easily.
  • Let the broccoli cool off.
  • Give some broccoli to your cat and watch them (hopefully) enjoy it.

It’s important to note that you should never use condiments, herbs, or spices when cooking or steaming broccoli for your cat. Salt, garlic powder, onion powder, sugar, and pepper are unnecessary and won’t make the broccoli any more palatable for your cat. Plus, they can cause serious health issues.



How Much Broccoli Can Your Cat Eat per Day?

Since approximately 90% of your cat’s diet should come from high-quality cat food, that leaves 10% for snacks and treats.

How to Introduce Broccoli Into Your Cat’s Diet

Keeping in mind that most cats won’t be begging for broccoli, you should introduce it into their diet slowly. If your cat seems to like it and doesn’t have any digestive problems afterward, you can add a little bit more broccoli or give it to them as a treat.



Broccoli is a veritable superfood loaded with vitamins, minerals, and other nutrients. Many of the nutrients are valuable for your cat and can help them stay healthy and live longer. However, cats are obligate carnivores and require predominantly animal protein in their diet. Yes, broccoli is nutritious, but it’s something cats were never made to eat or digest, so giving it to them in small quantities, if at all, is essential.

When you give your cat broccoli, it’s best to watch them afterward and ensure they don’t have any negative reactions, including vomiting, or diarrhea. Lastly, always talk with your veterinarian before introducing broccoli into their diet.

Featured Image Credit: Anastasiya Tsiasemnikava, Shutterstock

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