Can Cats Eat Spinach? 3+ Unique Health Benefits


Can Cats Eat Spinach

Spinach (spinacia oleracea) is a very common leafy green vegetable found in any supermarket or small vegetable stores. 

It’s been researched widely due to its unique health benefits. Further, scientists used it for making effective drugs.

Now you may be thinking, ‘what does it do for cats? Even its good for humans, does it good for cats?’, likewise. 

Can cats eat spinach?

Yes, according to ASPCA, Cats can eat spinach without any problem. It is loaded with nutrients and antioxidants. Eating spinach benefit for cat’s eye health, reduction of oxidative stress, reduction of blood pressure, and prevention of cancer.

Are there any precautions to consider before giving spinach to a cat?

There aren’t many reasons that you need to worry about. Spinach does not harm your cat in any way.

But, feeding spinach, keep in moderation. Such as 3 or 4 leaves.

That’s because green vegetables are not meant to be a main meal of cats. As we all know, the main meal of cats should be a meaty product.

home grown spinach for cats and kittens

Vegetables should be only 5 % to 10 % of her meal.

What happened if you overfeed spinach to your cat?

As I explain earlier, spinach does not contain any toxic elements. Therefore, it won’t be any problem even if you overfeed spinach to your cat.

By the way, even you tried to give much (you shouldn’t), your cat may not eat that much. Cat’s do not like to eat green leafy vegetables like meat.

Spinach compound?

This is the most important part. The nutrition profile of the spinach. First of all, I’ll summaries the main nutrition table here—the data derived from the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

Nutrition ProfileAmount per Serving (1 cup / 30g)
Calories7
Sodium24mg
Carbohydrates1g
Dietary Fiber1g
Protein1g
Calcium30mg
Iron1mg
Potassium169mg

As you can see, even a very small amount of spinach can provide a considerably large amount of its nutrition for your feline.

Spinach is a low-calorie green vegetable with further capable of proving an excellent source of vitamins such as A, C, and folate.

spinach from supermarket for cats

Moreover, minerals like iron, zinc, magnesium, manganese, and calcium are filled with a good amount of fiber will add good points to your cat’s health. Interestingly, it does have protein too.

Ah, I forgot to mention one specific nutrition component. It’s called ‘flavonoid’. A rare antioxidant compound which will significantly benefit for cat’s natural immunity system. An antioxidant can reduce the cancer potential too.

Different types of spinach available in the market

Typically, spinach can be divide into two types. Canned and fresh. Both types are available in the market.

However, there are four more different types available. This classification is based on the spinach plant variations.

fresh spinach

The taste is different on these four types. So, it’s better to have an idea about the type that your cat loves to eat.

By the way, all these four types employ the same nutrition profiles. So, you do not need to worry about the nutrition amount changes.

  1. Baby spoon spinach: A highly green, smaller leaf-based savoy type spinach. This spinach is sweeter than the larger spinach varieties. Baby spoon spinach stems are tender and editable too.  
  2. Red Spinach: As the name suggests, red spinach has a distinguish red center. The leaves are round and thick. The flavor of red spinach is sweet and feel like succulent.
  3. Savoy spinach: A curly leaves based dark green type of spinach. It is slightly bitter in flavor. So, it may not be tasty for your cat.
  4. Smooth (flat-leaf) spinach: Mostly, this is the type that been used for canned spinach. Due to its broad and flat leaves, it is easy to clean. It does have a slightly sweet flavor. So cat’s may like this one. By the way, smooth spinach is the most popular in USA.

How to choose the best spinach for your cat?

Normally, spinach is sold as a set of bunches. It is a common green vegetable. So, you can find it in all type of supermarkets and vegetable shops.

When selecting a bunch of spinach, go for good green coloured spinach which has small leaves. When you touch the leaves, you’ll feel the crisp and springy texture.

dry spinach

Do not purchase a yellow leaf, wilted or bruised leaves. Also, reject spinach which may look damaged due to insects.

Further, it is a good practice to select spinach with thin stems. They taste better than the thick overgrown spinach. Old stems taste bitter and leathery. 

Advantage/Disadvantages of spinach as a meal for cats

Now, let me tell you the unique health benefits comes from spinach.

These advantages will help your cat to enhance its overall immunity for facing day to day illness.

  • Improved cat eyesight

Spinach offers several nutrition’s that will help to improve the feline eyesight. More interestingly, it can even help to cure several eyesight problems in cats.

Lutein and zeaxanthin are the carotenoids that are fully responsible for these effects. Fortunately, spinach is rich in these carotenoids.

  • Solve indigestion problems of cats

Indigestion problems are quite common among cats. Constipation also a similar problem with them.

One of the best ways to resolve this matter is to introduce dietary fiber. Fortunately, spinach does have a good amount of dietary fiber. 

Dietary fiber will not dissolve in water. Therefore, it will move through cat’s digestion system easily with other food parts. This will help the bowel movements and lots of indigestion problems.

  • Regulation of blood pressure of cats

Blood pressure is hard to resolve matter. Due to cat’s meat-based meal pattern, they do face high blood pressure problems with age.

The treatments are quite low for this condition. So, it could be fatal if we could not detect earlier.

Unfortunately, early detection is hard too. The only real measure is early prevention.

In this case, spinach comes as a rescue meal. It does have essential minerals and nitrates, which will help to maintain your cat’s blood pressure at the level.

Other than the above three main benefits, spinach can reduce cancer threats and premature aging with the help of antioxidants in them.

Even though all these points say that spinach is a great vegetable, there are some cases that it could be a not wise decision to select.

Especially, this happens when your cat has any pre-existing health problems such as urinary matters.

spinach for cats

Spinach contains calcium oxalate. It is well known for increasing the crystal growth in the urinary tract.

However, this is a very special case for cats who already have urinary problems. The normal cats will not develop any crystals by eating spinach. The calcium oxalate amount is highly low to do so.

The proper way of giving spinach to your cat

The proper way to give spinach to your cat is as a moderate meal. Mostly as 4 to 5 leaves for 3 or 5 times per month.

This way, it will not affect its daily meat-based nutrition requirement.

cat eating spinach

Further, it may not easy to replace spinach as a main meal (you shouldn’t do it). Cats usually do not show very much interest to eat spinach.

During my research for this article, I’ve got to know that some of the cats love to eat cooked spinach. Not the fresh one. 

Can Cats Eat Cooked Spinach

Yes, cats can eat cooked spinach.

But you can’t cook them as a meal we tend to eat. You should just boil or steam them. This way, it will not destroy any essential nutrition in the spinach.

Further, do not forget that you can’t add any pepper, salt, garlic or general spices. Those are toxic to your cat and can raise health problems.

How to store spinach at home for your cat?

When you have purchased a bunch of spinach, you can’t finish all the leaves and stems just through a meal.

So, you need to store them for future cat spinach meals. To do that, you need to do a few steps.

feeding spinach for cat

The first rule: do not wash spinach before storing it. If you wash them, it will start to wilt and decay soon after a day.

Second rule: You can store them in your refrigerator crisper. But, before doing that, cover your spinach with a cellophane bag. This way you can protect its freshness for four to five days.

Spinach feeding related common problems

Can cats eat spinach and kale?

Yes. Both spinach and kale are green leafy vegetables that are non-toxic to cats. If your cat seems to like these two types, then you can give them without any problem.

But you need to remember, you can’t use spinach or kale as a main meal. It should be a snack.

Will spinach hurt cats?

No, spinach will not hurt your cat. It is a good source of fiber and essential minerals + vitamins. However, as I explained in my article, you can’t give spinach to the cats who have urinary problems.

Spinach can worsen the health condition of the cats who have urinary crystals.

Is raw spinach safe for cats?

Yes. Raw or else the fresh spinach is the best type that you can give to your cat. All the nutrition’s are protected in the raw format.

Can cats eat water spinach?

Water spinach is not the same as regular spinach. There isn’t much scientific information available for this (relevant to cat’s meal). Even your cat like to eat water spinach, it’s better to limit that for few leaves.

Final Thoughts

Cats can eat spinach, and it’s a wonderful green leaf vegetable for their health. Just give 4 to 5 leaves once in a week. It will benefit your cat in numerous ways.

References

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Dinu Sri Madusanka

Dinu Sri Madusanka is a science graduate (B.Sc.) who is currently pursuing his Ph.D. He is a well-experienced writer with more than 7 years of experience. He interests in writing mostly animal welfare and advance technologies. Even though he is busy with research works, in his free time, he gives his contribution to several blogs by writing, reviewing, and analyzing information to provide more accurate and useful information for the reader. WalkwithCat is one of his major contributing places which is dedicated to improving the knowledge of cat parents.

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