Can Cats Eat Kale: Exploring the Feline Nutritional Considerations


As pet parents, you usually see yourselves curious about sharing your favourite meals with our beloved furry friend. One such food item that has gained major popularity in human meals for its health benefits is kale. High in vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants, kale is often thought of a super food. But when it comes to our cat friends, can cats eat kale? In this informative guide, you will get to look into the world of the feline diet and explore whether kale is a good addition to a cat’s diet.

Direct Answer

To directly answer the question, can cats eat kale? Leafy green vegetables have a lot of vitamins and nutrients that can turn out to be very beneficial to your cat. Kale is rich in vitamin A and copper, which are very essential. Vegetables being served to your cat should only make up for five to ten percent of the required diet

Learning a Cat’s Dietary Needs

Prior to addressing the question of whether cats can eat kale, it’s important to understand the unique dietary needs of our feline friends. Cats are by birth carnivores, which means that their bodies are adapted to absorb essential nutrients primarily from animal based protein sources. Unlike humans or omnivores, cats have personalised dietary needs that include high levels of protein, specific amino acids (like taurine), arachidonic acid, and vitamins such as vitamin A and niacin.


Kale’s Nutritional Profile

Kale is without any doubt a nutrient filled vegetable, rich with vitamins A, C, and K, as well as minerals like calcium, potassium, and iron. It also consists of dietary fibre and antioxidants, making it a valuable addition to human meals. Although, the nutritional needs of cats differ significantly from those of humans.

Can Cats Eat Kale: Know the Truth

The good news is that In a modified manner, kale is not toxic to cats, kale is not found on the veterinary lists of toxic foods for cats. That means that you don’t have to be tense if your cat also likes this vegetable. Some research has also shown that cats actually need some veggies in their diet and kale is one of them. A little amount or accidental ingestion of a tiny portion of kale is not likely to harm your cat. Some pet owners even claim that their cats at times show interest in greens like kale. Although, there are multiple important factors to think of before introducing kale into your cat’s diet…

1. Nutritional Imbalance

While kale is nutrient filled, it does not suit a cat’s dietary requirements. Cats need important nutrients that are mostly found in animal based proteins. Giving them too much kale can lead to nutritional imbalances, probably causing health issues over time. Small portions of kale two or three times a week are enough for cats and they will fulfil the cats’ requirements for green vegetables. We recommend you combine kale, broccoli, spinach and other similar vegetables.

2. Digestive System Differences

Cats have a shorter digestive tract than humans, which is made for breaking down animal proteins. Plant leaves like kale might not be as easily digested by cats, leading to potential gastrointestinal issues.

3. Risk of Thiamine Deficiency

Kale consists of compounds called glucosinolates, which can interrupt with the absorption of iodine and probably impact thyroid function. Moreover, extra consumption of kale could assist with thiamine deficiency in cats, which can lead to serious health issues.

can cats eat kale
Image Credit: North Downs Specialist Referrals

4. Personalised Cat Sensitivity

Just like with any new food, individual cats may react differently to kale. Some may tolerate small amounts better than others, but it’s important to observe your cat closely for any signs of irritation or digestive issues.

Quick Look Over

While kale is famous for its health benefits in human meals, it’s essential to approach the question of can cats eat kale with caution. Cats have particular dietary needs that revolve around animal-based proteins and essential nutrients. While small portions of kale are not likely to cause immediate issues, it’s not a suitable food choice for cats. Instead of introducing potentially unfamiliar plant matter into their diet, concentrating on high-quality commercial cat food that meets their nutritional needs is the best way to be assured of their well-being.

If you’re thinking of including any new food to your cat’s diet, it’s always advisable to consult with a veterinarian who can offer specific guidance based on your cat’s personalised health and dietary requirements.