The answer is actually a little tricky. While artichokes are not toxic to your cat, there is little to no benefit in feeding it to them. It would actually be a good idea to just avoid introducing this vegetable to your cat’s diet.
Artichokes are a member of the thistle family, originating in the Mediterranean. In the US, you would typically find people referring to it as green artichoke or French artichoke. While the US produces a lot of artichokes, Italy, the largest producer, has 10 times more output per year. Artichokes are highly nutritious and can be cooked in several ways including into tarts, bravas, salads, calzone, and hundreds of other dishes. Artichokes can even be used to make herbal teas.
Do Cats Like Artichokes?
Cats are usually attracted to foods high in protein, and most of the time this means meat. Having said that, cats also often become intrigued by the foods that their pet parents are eating. One possibility is that the cat is curious about the smell or texture of the food. When it comes to artichokes, there isn’t much of a chance that your cat will jump onto your dining table hoping to swipe a bite of your meal. But is it safe to offer them a bite if they seem curious?
Are Artichokes Good For Cats?
Let us break down the nutritional content of artichokes. A serving of 100g artichokes consists of the following –
Calories – 35
Fat – 0g
Sodium – 65mg
Carbs – 8.24g
Fiber – 3.5g
Sugar – 0g
Protein – 2.35g
Calcium – 24mg
Iron – 0.64mg
Potassium – 256mg
All these nutrients in artichokes help –
Lower blood pressure
Improve liver health
Improve symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome
Lower blood sugar
Now these are the benefits artichokes can offer us, but the digestive system of cats doesn’t work the same way as ours. Our human systems are made for digesting dietary fibers from plants and vegetables. Cat systems are made primarily for absorbing nutrients only from meat.
Health Benefits of Artichokes For Cats
Despite the rich nutritional content of artichokes, they aren’t much use to cats. While artichokes are not toxic, there is always a chance that feeding your cat artichokes could lead to an upset stomach if they consume too much.
How Much Artichoke is Safe For Your Cat?
Being carnivorous in nature, it is recommended that your cat derive at least 90% of their daily nutritional requirements from meat. The remaining 10% can be substituted for cat safe human foods and treats.
Firstly, before introducing any new fruit or vegetable to your cat’s diet, consult your vet. Once you have the go-ahead from the vet, you can start by giving your cat a very small fingernail-sized piece of artichoke. After feeding it to them, look out for any sign of discomfort. If after a few hours, your cat is not showing any signs of an allergic reaction or upset stomach, you can feed 2-3 very small pieces of artichoke to your cat.
How Can You Feed Artichokes to Your Cat?
Before offering artichoke to your cat, it is important that you know how to prepare it for them.
Washed the artichoke thoroughly – We do not want any type of dirt or pesticide to enter your cat’s digestive tract. So, make sure to wash the artichoke thoroughly.
Never give your cat raw artichoke – Boil, steam, bake, or grill the artichoke before feeding it to your cat.
Keep it simple –We know you like to add seasonings and toppings to your food but it’s best to keep it simple when preparing food for your cat. Avoid any sort of seasoning, garlic, vinegar, salt, onions, etc.
Only use the heart – Avoid giving your cat any of the tough leaves. Only feed your cat pieces from the heart of the artichoke.
Avoid pre-made artichoke products – Avoid any type of canned pack or marinated artichoke hearts, fried artichokes, and artichoke dips. These products likely include other ingredients that can upset your cat’s stomach.
What Happens if a Cat Eats Too Much Artichoke?
If your cat eats too much artichoke, keep an eye out for the following symptoms of an upset stomach. You should contact your vet right away if you see –
Lack of appetite
Are There Any Cats That Should Not Eat Artichokes?
Some cats, not specific to any breed, can be more susceptible to getting an upset stomach from eating artichokes. For them, artichokes should altogether be avoided. If your cat is known to have any allergies to fruits and vegetables, you should avoid letting them try artichokes altogether.
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Artichokes are safe to feed your cat but don’t add any nutritional value to their diet. If you do decide to let your cat taste artichoke, checking with your vet first is always a good idea. If they give you the go-ahead, remember to cook the artichoke without seasoning, and only give your cat pieces from the heart.