Can Cats Eat Broccoli

by John Staughton (BASc, BFA) last updated -

When cats eat broccoli, it may be worrisome to some pet owners, but generally speaking, broccoli in moderation isn’t dangerous to your feline friends.

Can Cats Eat Broccoli?

Broccoli is one of the few vegetables that cats can eat without any real dangers to their health. That being said, cats are natural carnivores, meaning that they primarily eat meat and should be able to get all the nutrients they need from typical cat food. While broccoli is considered a healthy food for humans, it has less available nutrition for cats, and in excess, it can actually cause certain side effects. [1]

Benefits of Cats Eating Broccoli

There are some benefits to cats from eating broccoli, such as enjoying certain antioxidant properties found in these cruciferous vegetables, which may help reduce the risk of cancer. A study published in the Preventive Nutrition and Food Science Journal states that broccoli is a rich source of carotenoids, vitamins, minerals, and dietary fiber, and roughage can be good for cats in some situations. Furthermore, the study demonstrated that broccoli leaves and stems contain high levels of total phenolics, that possess high antioxidant and anticancer potential. Aside from providing a small boost to the immune system, when cats eat broccoli, it can also induce vomiting, in case they are constantly hacking up furballs or have some sort of stomach bug. [2]

A cat looking at a plate of broccoli

Broccoli is one of the few vegetables that cats can eat without any health scare. Photo Credit: Shutterstock

How to Feed Cats Broccoli?

When feeding cats broccoli, you should only give them vegetables that have been boiled before serving, and avoid any other herbs, ingredients, or flavorings, such as salt or butter. Raw broccoli should be avoided, as this will be even more difficult to digest. Be sure to cut the broccoli into very small pieces to prevent any choking hazard. [3]


Very small amounts of broccoli should be given to your cats, if at all because it is known to cause gastrointestinal problems and vomiting. Furthermore, broccoli can possess certain toxic compounds or residues, so be sure the vegetables are always thoroughly cooked and cleaned before serving to your feline friends. Protection Status
About the Author

John Staughton is a traveling writer, editor, publisher and photographer with English and Integrative Biology degrees from the University of Illinois in Champaign-Urbana (USA). He co-founded the literary journal, Sheriff Nottingham, and now serves as the Content Director for Stain’d Arts, a non-profit based in Denver, Colorado. On a perpetual journey towards the idea of home, he uses words to educate, inspire, uplift and evolve.

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