Cats can eat radish, but they really shouldn’t be doing so. This peppery tasting vegetable isn’t toxic, but it is known to cause stomach upset. Plus, it offers no beneficial nutritional content for your meat-eating feline.
What About Radish Leaves, Sprouts, and Microgreens?
If you’re asking because you are growing radishes or microgreens and you’ve spotted evidence that your cat has been having a nibble, don’t panic.
As I said above, there aren’t any compounds in radish that are known to be toxic or harmful to cats. This includes the leaves and microgreens if you’re into the microgreen scene which seems to be popular right now.
The most surprising thing to me is that your cat is eating radish, consider yourself to have a slightly unusual cat! (I’m guessing you already thought that as most of us think that about our kitties)
While researching this article, I asked in a couple of the groups I’m in if anyone knew of their cats going out of their way to eat radish, and only one person said they did.
This isn’t a huge surprise. Radishes are neither easy to eat – they’re pretty hard – and even though cats have just a few hundred taste buds, I’m guessing that peppery kick isn’t palatable to them.
What Vegetables Can Cats Eat?
Let’s get one thing straight, cats are obligate carnivores – not omnivores. This means they rely on nutrients and animal proteins found in animal flesh to maintain optimal health.
This doesn’t mean they need to eat prey, of course. Wet and dry cat foods are specially formulated to provide all the complex nutrition they need to stay strong and healthy.
This also means, however, that there is little in the way of good nutrition for cats in fruits and vegetables.
Some veggies are fine, and will in fact provide some decent nutrition. You just need to be careful when letting your cat nibble on vegetables, as some are bad for them, and moderation is the golden rule.
With that said, here are some of the vegetables that are fine for cats (verified by VetStreet):
- Cooked winter squash
- Steamed broccoli
- Steamed green beans
- Steamed asparagus
- Steamed carrots
As you can see, steaming vegetables is important to ensure they’re soft enough for cats to easily eat and digest.
What Foods Are Poisonous To Cats?
Our furry friends are always pestering us for food and scraps from our plates (at least mine do), so it’s important to know what cat can and can’t eat.
The good news is that most foods are fine in moderation. The bad news is that some foods and drinks are highly toxic!
This isn’t a complete list – so do check before giving your cat a new food for the first time – but here are some of the common foods that you should always keep well out of reach for your cats:
Grapes and Raisins – These are the main offenders for dog and cat owners. Even ingesting a small amount of either raisins or grapes can cause kidney failure in cats, never let them come into contact with your kitty.
Garlic and Onions – The good part is that I’ve never met a cat willing to go near either of these strong-smelling vegetables. If they do, however, both are toxic and can damage a cat’s red blood cells leading to anemia or worse.
Alcohol – I’m not suggesting you’d share a tipple with your cat! Cat’s are crafty and will finish off drinks though as I’m sure you’re aware. Don’t ever leave alcoholic beverages unattended, even a small amount is incredibly dangerous to cats.
Related – Can cats drink eggnog?
Chocolate – Most pet owners are usually aware that chocolate is bad for cats, dogs, and other small pets. This is due to a couple of compounds that are toxic to some animals; methylxanthine and caffeine.
Dairy Products – This one often comes as a surprise to people because cats love to lap up a saucer of milk. The issue is, however, is that cats become lactose intolerant as they mature from kittens into cats.
This means they lack the enzyme needed to digest the lactose in dairy products, causing stomach cramps, pains, and discomfort.
How Do I Know If My Cat is Allergic to Radish?
Whether you’re feeding your cat a new food for the first time, or they help themselves when you’re not looking (this happens a lot!) – you should always monitor your cat for the next 24 hours.
If they are going to have an allergic reaction or show any ill-effects, it’s almost always within 24 hours.
Cats are great at hiding when they’re sick, so mild discomfort isn’t always obvious. You know your kitty better than anyone though. If they’re off their food, not drinking, acting differently, pay attention.
Then there are the more obvious signs, such as vomiting or diarrhea. Two things that are just as unpleasant for us to deal with and clean up as the experience is for them I’m sure.
In Summary – Can Cats Eat Radish?
The answer to this question is that cats can eat radish, and some (very few) will do so given the chance. But it’s not advisable.
After owning a number of cats over the years and seeing some of the strange things cats are willing to eat, I always keep cat treats in the cupboard and give those to my cats instead of human foods when they have the munchies.
Remember, cats have complex dietary requirements. I prefer to err on the side of caution and let them get a taste for any foods they shouldn’t be eating.
Even most of the meats we eat aren’t ideal as they typically have too much salt and other preservatives added to make them tastier for us.
Image credits – Photos by Phuong Tran, Jo Lanta and Sven Hornburg on Unsplash
Best Fruits and Vegetables for Cats – VetStreet.com