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Home > Cats > Can Cats Eat Spinach? Vet Reviewed Nutrition Facts

Can Cats Eat Spinach? Vet Reviewed Nutrition Facts

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Dr. Lauren Demos

Veterinarian, DVM

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Cats may be known as obligate carnivores, but they can also safely eat some fruits and vegetables. Spinach is among the variety of vegetables that cats can eat, and it’s actually a common ingredient used in many commercial cat foods.

Spinach is non-toxic to cats, so you don’t have to worry too much if your cat sneaks in a bite of a spinach leaf. Just keep in mind that cats have sensitive stomachs, and if they’re not used to eating spinach, they may get an upset stomach.


Feeding Your Cat Spinach

Spinach is a nutritious vegetable packed with vitamins and minerals. It’s also low in calories, so you can feed them without worrying about unnecessary weight gain.

Most cats can eat any form of spinach without issues. So, you can feed your cat raw spinach, or cook, steam, or boil it before serving. Cats may have their own preferences for how spinach is prepared, depending on what kind of food your cat is used to eating. So, some cats that are used to eating wet cat food may prefer steamed spinach with a softer texture.

It’s important to give your cat spinach without any seasoning. Some seasoning can give cats an upset stomach. It’s also unsafe to feed cats creamed spinach or spinach that’s used as an ingredient in other foods.

Contrary to popular belief, many cats are lactose intolerant and can’t digest dairy easily. So, it’s best to refrain from feeding them creamed spinach and any recipes that contain spinach and soft cheeses.

Many recipes containing spinach can have higher fat content, which can lead to excessive weight gain.

cat eating leaf of spinach
Image By: phM2019, Shutterstock

Nutritional Benefits of Spinach

When served on its own, spinach is a nutritious snack. Raw spinach retains the most nutrients, and it’s a great source of potassium, lutein, vitamin K, vitamin A, and iron. It’s also an excellent source of fiber.

Cooked spinach provides a softer texture that older cats can eat more easily. It also retains many of its nutrients but may lose some heat-sensitive ones, like vitamin C. However, the benefit of cooked spinach is that it loses some fiber, so it can be more easily digested than raw spinach.

Potential Risks of Feeding Cats Spinach

Spinach is a safe snack for most cats. It should be served as treats or mixed in with cat food. However, it’s in no way a type of food that can perform as a meal replacement.

In some cases, spinach won’t be a safe option. Spinach contains vitamin K, which can interfere with some blood thinners. So, if your cat is on medication, make sure to consult your veterinarian before you give it to your cat.

Raw spinach may also not be safe for cats that are prone to developing kidney stones. Raw spinach contains a significant amount of oxalate, which can contribute to the formation of kidney stones. With that being said, it may be best for cats with urinary and bladder issues to avoid eating spinach.

Lastly, raw spinach contains a lot of fiber and may be difficult for some cats to digest. Too much fiber can lead to an upset stomach, bloating, gassiness, and difficulty passing stools.

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In general, spinach is a safe snack for cats to eat. It should be given plain and unseasoned and can be served raw or cooked. However, exercise caution if you have a cat taking blood thinner medication or a cat with urinary issues. Spinach can add to or exacerbate painful symptoms associated with these health issues. If you’re ever in doubt, consult your veterinarian before feeding your cat spinach.

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Featured Image Credit: Aline Ponce, Pixabay

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