Celery is an amazing plant. We can eat the whole plant from leaves to seeds to branches except for the root. Can our cats enjoy it, too? Can cats eat celery?
One of the frequent questions I get is “can cats eat celery” or the variations of this question such as “is celery good for cats” or “is celery bad for cats”, etc. I can understand the reason behind this question because a lot of cats go crazy for celery as if it is catnip. Not all cats are interested in it but if a cat likes celery, it will most probably go crazy for it.
Can cats eat celery?
The short answer is YES, cats can eat celery and before you ask, YES it has some health benefits to our little feline friends. However, like most human foods too much celery can cause gastro-intestinal issues such as diarrhea, and since cats are obligate carnivores, celery is not a nutritionally complete food and can only be seen as an occasional treat.
Now that we know our little friends can eat celery, let’s see what kinds of goods giving cats celery can do for them.
Celery is almost 95% water so it is a great way to keep your cat hydrated because cats are not really good at watching their liquid intake. Also celery is very high in fibers, and just like human diet, fiber is an essential part of feline diet, too. The combined effect of water and fibers mean that it can help your kitty with bloating problem.
Also, celery contains lots of vitamins and minerals such as potassium, magnesium, sodium, iron, folate (Vitamin B-9) and vitamins A, K, and C. While you may have heard the dangers of sodium intake in cats, latest studies such as the one published in the Journal of Animal Physiology and Animal Nutrition that inspects the data from many other studies show that sodium intake is neither related to renal or cardiac function impairment nor high blood pressure in healthy cats no matter they are young or old.
Another advantage of feeding celery to your cat is the low calorie content of celery. 40 grams of celery contains only 6 calories which is really good especially if your cat suffers from being overweight. In humans eating and digesting celery consumes more calories than the plant contains by itself.
Is celery bad for cats?
Celery is not harmful to cats and it even has some health benefits however consuming too much celery can cause diarrhea or other digestion issues due to the rich fiber content in it. Like all other snacks that are safe for cats such as cucumbers or avocados, the amount of celeries your cat consumes should not be over 5% of your cat’s daily dietary intake and the safe period of time is considered to be once or twice a week.
Can cats eat celery sticks, leaves or seeds?
The answer is cats can eat all parts of celery except for the root. While some cats like the crunchy part of the celery which is the celery stick, some others like the leaves and act as if it is catnip although the bio-chemical reaction to catnip and celery is not completely same. The seeds are not really interesting to cats but they are harmful and may even provide some health benefits.
Speaking of catnip, let’s answer another common question. Is celery like catnip? The reason behind your cat’s behaviors when it even smells catnip is a chemical called nepetalactone that makes cats drunk-like. Celery also include lactones and that’s why cats react similar to the way they react to catnip when they consume celery.
There are studies showing that even the scent of nepetalactone is enough to drive your cat crazy because the mice also produce lactones in their sweat so there seems to be a hunter-prey relation here however in reality cats are just fooled by a plant.
Conclusion – Can Cats Eat Celery?
So, can cats have celery? Yes, they can safely have celery as long as the amount of celery they consume is not above 5% of their daily dietary intake.
Cats and celery is a good combination as long as you don’t try to replace the cat food with celery because it is not a nutritionally complete food for cats. Cats need animal proteins and other animal based nutrition in order to survive because they are carnivores. You may give your cat celery one or twice a week in moderate amounts.
If you see any adverse effects, stop giving celeries to your cat and consult your veterinarian because in very rare instances cats can be allergic to celery. Consulting your veterinarian before giving the celery is even better.