Can Cats Eat Spinach? (Risks Involved)

A cute white cat and fresh spinach

Wanting to keep your cat nice and healthy is normal for a responsible cat owner, and what better place to start with some healthy leafy greens. Let’s find out if they can eat spinach.

Spinach is safe for cats to eat and is best served either boiled or steamed. Spinach can provide a cat with many health benefits just as long as a cat doesn’t have any pre-existing health problems. However, do not overfeed your cat spinach, especially when raw, as this could lead to an upset stomach or kidney stones.

We now know that spinach is safe for cats to eat as long as it’s in moderation and best served boiled or steamed. So let’s find what benefits a cat can get from eating spinach, along with the best way to serve it up for your cat.

Plain Cooked Spinach – Amount not to size

Benefits of Spinach for a Cat

Vitamins

  • Your cat can benefit from Vitamin A, K, B6, B2, E, and C. You only need a tiny amount of spinach to get all those vitamins

Minerals

  • Spinach has a collection of healthy minerals such as magnesium, folate, calcium and potassium, which will do wonders for your cat’s health.

Fibre

Omega 3 Fatty Acids

  • Cats need Omega 3 fatty acids; it’s part of their main diet, and spinach can help. Unfortunately, it’s not enough for the daily recommended amount for a cat. However, spinach will give them a slight extra boost. Omega 3 fatty acid keeps their fur and skin healthy and can help dry and hot spots on a cat.

Low in Fat

  • The good thing about spinach is that it’s low in fat whilst providing many other healthy goodnesses. So no worries about your cat putting on weight from eating spinach.

Cancer Prevention

Reduces Stress

  • Spinach is packed full of antioxidants which can help your cat with any stress and anxiety that it is maybe suffering from.

Good for Eyesight

  • Found in spinach are carotenoids such as lutein and zeaxanthin. These help your cats eyes from developing cataract and macular degeneration in later life. Plus can even reverse ongoing eye conditions. Speak to your vet and ask if this is a possible remedy for your cat with eye problems.

Recommended amount

If you have ever cooked spinach before, you will know that it shrinks at least 80%. A big bag of spinach turns into the smallest pile of cooked spinach. When it comes to treating your cat, you must keep this in mind. Use only a handful of leaves only. Make sure they can all fit in the palm of your hand. Don’t overfeed your cat as they can get an upset stomach.

  • Raw spinach amount to give a cat should fit in the palm of your hand. Or no more than four leaves at any one time. Then either plainly boiled or steamed. 

How often

  • Every few days, you can serve some healthy spinach to a cat.

Best Practises

  • Boiled in plain water only for a couple of minutes, dont add any seasoning or sauce, as some seasonings and sauces are highly toxic to cats.
  • Steamed or boiled mixed into their daily tinned food
  • Steamed or boiled spinach served as a standalone food.
  • When cooked, ensure that it’s cooled down before serving.
  • Cats shouldn’t eat raw spinach as it comes with an added risk. Spinach is best served cooked as it evaporates the small amount of calcium oxalate that it has in. Calcium oxalate in large amount can cause kidney stones. When boiled or steamed, it reduces the amount of calcium oxalate found in the end product.
  • Always use alongside a well-balanced cat food, never replace entirely with spinach.

Calcium Oxalate & Kidney Stones

Calcium oxalate makes up 75% of all kidney stones. However, when you boil or steam the spinach, there is a loss of calcium oxalate. Here is a study that backs this. This is why spinach is best served to your cat, either boiled or steamed and not recommended for any cats with urinary tract infection or kidney problems. 

When should I not feed my cat spinach?

You should not feed your cat spinach if they have a pre-existing medical condition, such as urinary tract infections or kidney problems. Please consult your veterinarian for a more tailored approach for your cat.

Can Kittens Eat Spinach?

You should not provide your kitten with spinach. Kittens are much more sensitive to foods when young. Therefore, a kitten should only have their mothers milk and then onto a well-balanced kitten food until they reach adulthood at around twelve months. You can only think about introducing new foods after this time. Also, it’s recommended that you speak to your veterinarian for more of a tailored view when introducing new foods. 

Keep in mind that some cat food manufacturers already add cooked spinach to their tins.

Conclusion

Spinach is safe for cats only from the age of twelve months. Never give spinach to kittens. Also, never give spinach to a cat with a pre-medical condition such as a urinary tract infection or kidney problems. Before introducing spinach or any other new foods to your cat’s diet, always seek a veterinarian’s advice first. Always add alongside there well-balance catfood and never replace their regular diet. Spinach is best served either plainly boiled or plainly steamed as this will cook off most of the calcium oxalate. 

Happy Cat Parenting!

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