Generic selectors
Exact matches only
Search in title
Search in content
Post Type Selectors
Gray kitten sniffing a carrot

The essentials

  • Carrots aren’t the only treat your pet might enjoy — While cats are obligate carnivores, they might like a veggie- or fruit-based snack from time to time.
  • Consider the choking risks — You’ll want to offer small pieces (especially with raw carrots) to minimize their chances of choking when they chomp.
  • There are plenty of health benefits in carrots for cats — Some of the most important include dietary fiber, as well as high vitamin C, calcium and iron content.

Can cats eat carrots? Yep, they sure can — and chances are they’ll give you a meow of appreciation for letting them crunch on such a great and nutrient-dense treat.

However, before you let your cat go to town on your next snack tray, it’s important to understand the nuances and subtleties that one should consider before feeding a cat or kitten carrots. We’ve summarized everything that you need to know below.

Can cats eat carrots safely? 

It’s true — your cat or kitten can safely enjoy raw or cooked carrots as a treat from time to time, unlike many other human foods. However, be sure to give them in moderation. Too many carrots can cause unpleasant symptoms in our feline friends, such as GI upset and other health problems.

While carrots can be given safely as a great source of fiber, we do want to note that cats are obligate carnivores — which means that they generally do best with a balanced diet that includes lean animal proteins, healthy fats and moderated carbohydrates. It is theorized, however, that cats can benefit from a fibrous diet, as they embrace an omnivorous diet in the wild.

Your vet can be a great resource to help you determine the best possible way to support your cat’s diet based on their current health needs.

What are the health benefits of carrots for cats?

You already know that carrots have healthy compounds and minerals for your cat — but how do these root vegetables benefit your cat’s life and health? We’ve summarized the possible benefits (and what they might look like) below:

  • Higher levels of dietary fiber: This means that your cat’s GI tract will function in a healthier way, resulting in properly formed stools and less risk of diarrhea or constipation.
  • High vitamin C content: Vitamin C directly affects certain systems, such as your cat’s immune system.
  • High iron content: Iron affects nearly all aspects of your cat’s lifestyle, ranging from their ability to hold oxygen in blood cells to their overall growth. It’s vital — and carrots are a great way to get an extra powerful dietary boost.

How to prepare carrots for your cats 

Whether you’re using carrots as an occasional treat or a regular food add-in, it’s important to know how to prepare them properly. This allows you to keep the key stuff (like the nutrient profile, sensitive insoluble fiber and essential vitamin content) intact as you protect your cat preventatively with proper cooking steps.

Here’s how you can make carrots a safe snack for your feline:

  • Always parboil or cook them in some way. This softens the carrot flesh and reduces the choking risk when your cat snacks. You can do this in a range of ways, including through baking, boiling, or steaming.
    • Be sure to only lightly boil, going “low and slow.” This preserves nutritional content and makes the snack safe for your furry friend.
  • Avoid the seasoning. While tempting, we recommend avoiding salt-laden seasonings that can cause health issues for your cat. Store-bought seasonings can have harmful chemicals, and DIY seasoning blends may not be safe for your cat to consume.
  • Keep everything cut into small-diced cubes. A small dice is the safest option for your carrots to be in to minimize the choking hazard to your cat.

What happens if my cat has too many carrots? 

While carrots can be a great treat in small amounts, there is such a thing as too many. After all — cats can’t handle what humans can. Here’s a few reasons why:

  • Carrots are high in sugar. This goes for carrot foods (like carrot juice and carrot cake) as well. Cat parents should only feed carrots sparingly as treats or a food enhancer, and should watch for signs of too many carrot-based foods or feline diabetes.
  • Too much vitamin K isn’t good. While rare, vitamin K toxicity can happen, and can manifest with symptoms like yellowing skin and serious types of anemia.
  • You might wind up with an (carrot-induced) orange cat. Beta-carotene can cause orange-yellow skin in high amounts, which could be quite unsettling and can lead to other issues.

Wait, your cat can get feline diabetes from carrots?

We know it sounds odd, especially since carrots are good for your cat. However, it is possible for some cats to get feline diabetes when they eat too many carrots too often.

While veggie supplementation can be healthy, sugar-dense vegetables like carrots can induce type-II diabetes or diabetes mellitus in our feline friends. It’s generally safe to supplement your cat’s diet with carrots in small quantities — but it’s always a good idea for your vet to check in on your cat’s glucose levels if you choose to supplement regularly.

Feline diabetes shows up like the people version does — bringing on hallmark symptoms like blood sugar issues, excessive thirst and frequent urinary water loss . If you notice any of these signs at home, make an appointment with your veterinarian to ensure that your cat is healthy.

What are some other cat-safe veggies? 

If you’re looking to introduce new foods to your cat’s diet, veggies are a great place to start. Certain cooked versions such as carrots and broccoli can be great mix-ins to wet food for your kitty, offering a powerful punch of nutrients that they might not have otherwise.

Here are a few other safe options to consider:

  • Peas: These tasty treats are high in fiber, and offer a significant amount of protein that can be a low-cal and filling treat for your feline.
  • Zucchini: This vegetable’s vitamin content is high and ranged, including key nutrients like potassium and magnesium — making it a healthy addition that tastes great, too!
    • Just be sure not to offer these whole. It generally freaks cats out and will not make for a pleasant “treat time.”
  • Pumpkin: This veggie is known for its high fiber content, mild taste and high vitamin A content — which boosts your cat’s immune function.
  • Spinach: These healthy treats offer lots of vitamins in large quantities, and are generally lower on the glycemic index for cats who need a diabetes-friendly or “safe” vegetable.

Always ask your vet before introducing a new food, as some foods (like garlic, onions, raisins, and grapes) are toxic for our feline friends. 

Frequently asked questions

What other nutrients do carrots have?

Carrots offer a range of other nutrients which include essential amino acids, vitamin B, taurine and manganese. They’re also a great source of vitamin A, and are often loved by cats due to the sweetness of carrots — which might be experienced differently as your feline companion has different taste receptors compared to what humans have.

What other veggies can cats eat?

Green beans, zucchini, pumpkin, spinach, and potatoes all make the “safe” list when it comes to veggies your cat will enjoy. Supplementing with a “green blend” keeps variation and taste interest in your cat’s diet, which is invaluable if you have a feline who gets bored of the same old thing.

What happens if cats eat raw carrots?

While the carrot itself is deemed safe for your furry friend, cats might experience GI upset and an increased risk of choking if they’re raw. It’s always best to lightly boil your carrots “low and slow” to preserve nutrition and lower your pet’s choking risk.

Can I add veggie broth to my cat’s food?

While some pet parents might, it’s not recommended that you add broths to your pet’s food, unless they are completely controlled via DIY pet-safe recipes. Commercial broths contain high quantities of salt, preservatives, and potentially harmful chemicals.

Why do cats go crazy for carrots?

Since cats don’t share the same taste receptors, your cat might appear to go “insane” for the sweet veggie due to the difference in taste experience or texture. In either case, carrots can be fed safely to your cat — and are best done so in a parboiled, cooked form.