Most cat owners would be surprised if their cats developed a taste for sauerkraut. The ingredients in sauerkraut are not on a cat’s typical menu, and that distinctive taste and smell can be a turn-off for many cats. But have you ever wondered if sauerkraut is safe for cats to consume?
What Is Sauerkraut?
Sauerkraut is raw cabbage that has been chopped or shredded, salted, and then left to ferment in an airtight container over time. Although it can taste and smell like vinegar has been added, it undergoes a natural kind of pickling process from a type of bacteria that produces lactic acid. Sometimes other ingredients like apples, beets, and caraway seeds are added. Sauerkraut can be eaten raw or cooked and served warm with other foods like pork.
Image credit: Piqsels
Is Sauerkraut Good for Cats?
Sauerkraut and other fermented foods can have numerous health benefits for us humans as they are a good source of probiotics, vitamins, minerals, and fiber. However, it’s important to note that cats are obligate carnivores and need a strict animal protein diet. Since sauerkraut is a vegetable, it’s not something cats would naturally eat, regardless of its health benefits for humans.
Is Sauerkraut Bad for Cats?
Although sauerkraut is not a toxic food for cats, it’s best to avoid feeding it to them. Fermented foods like sauerkraut are growing in popularity due to their health benefits, but cats, being obligate carnivores, have different dietary requirements compared to dogs or omnivores. Cats are generally picky eaters and the scent of sauerkraut is likely to deter them from trying it more than once. Additionally, some sauerkraut recipes may contain harmful ingredients like garlic.
Image Credit: Seattle Cat Photo, Shutterstock
Can Cats Eat Cabbage?
Since the main ingredient of sauerkraut is cabbage, it’s important to consider its safety for cats. While a taste of cabbage is not harmful to your cat, consuming too much can cause painful gas, bloating, thiamine deficiency, and thyroid issues due to its high-fiber content. However, it’s highly unlikely for a cat to consume large quantities of cabbage.
Image Credit: Piqsels
What Are the Bacteria in Sauerkraut?
Sauerkraut becomes fermented through the action of lactic acid bacteria, particularly Lactobacillus. Fortunately, these bacteria are not known to be dangerous for cats. In fact, Lactobacillus acidophilus, a type of bacteria found in sauerkraut, is considered a beneficial probiotic for healthy cats. However, it’s important to note that cat probiotic supplements usually contain different forms of bacteria, mainly Bifidobacterium and Enterococcus, instead of Lactobacillus.
If you’re considering giving your cat a probiotic, it’s best to opt for a high-quality product specially formulated for cats and consult your veterinarian beforehand.
Image Credit: Stock-Asso, Shutterstock
What Vegetables Can Cats Eat?
Although cats are obligate carnivores, they may occasionally eat grass and other plants. Cat owners often provide cat grass to help eliminate hairballs from their digestive system or to obtain added nutrients like chlorophyll. Pumpkin is another vegetable commonly given to cats for hairball relief as it helps with constipation. However, too much pumpkin can cause diarrhea, so it’s important to provide it in moderation.
Other vegetables like carrots, peas, rice, and spinach are often added to cat food and are generally safe for cats to eat. However, it’s crucial to remember that cats don’t need vegetables in their diet, and preferences may vary among individual cats. A few nibbles of most vegetables are fine, but sauerkraut is not a food that cats are likely to enjoy.
Image Credit: Kashaeva Irina, Shutterstock
While sauerkraut may be a delicious addition to our hot dogs and sandwiches, it’s not a food that should be actively fed to cats. If your cat happens to sneak a taste of sauerkraut, it should not cause any harm. However, it’s advised not to actively provide sauerkraut to cats. Stick with treats like unseasoned cooked chicken breast or cat treats specifically made for them.
- Can Cats Eat Pickles?
- Can Cats Eat Potatoes?
Featured Image Credit: alexzrv, Shutterstock