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Can Cats Eat Quinoa – Is It Safe?

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Quinoa falls pretty high on the list of foods that are a fantastic addition to your diet. Everyone has heard how there are nutrients, fatty acids, and loads of fiber in quinoa. Since quinoa is so good for you, you might wonder if quinoa can also be nutritious for your cat as well. Therefore, you might ask, can cats eat quinoa? 

Yes, cats can eat quinoa. Quinoa has protein, fiber, magnesium, iron, and potassium which can be beneficial to cats in small amounts. Quinoa should not be a substitute for anything else in your cat’s diet. 

Some people think that all grains are bad for cats and are only filler ingredients, but quinoa is one grain that can be good for your cat’s health. There is a lot to know about quinoa and grains in your cat’s diet, so keep on reading to learn more about this. 

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Can Cats Consume Grains

Cats are carnivores, so they do not need to have a high number of grains in their diet. 

When you’re thinking about your cat’s diet, you should know that the foundation of your cat’s diet should be based on meat. 

Meat is essential to keep your cat functioning and healthy.

In comparison, your cat should not be eating a lot of carbohydrates or grains, but that doesn’t mean that your cat shouldn’t eat any grain at all. 

Here are some things that you should keep in mind when you’re considering feeding your cat grain:

  • Some cats have a grain allergy. If this is the case for your cat, you obviously shouldn’t give your cat grains.
  • Just because grains could be good for your cat doesn’t mean that you should give your cat too much. It can turn bad.
  • Don’t replace your cat’s meat-based diet with grains. 
  • Slowly mix grains in with your cat’s food, but don’t try to feed your cat grains alone. 

Can You Give Cats Quinoa

Although quinoa is considered a grain, it is one grain that can positively impact your cat’s diet. 

Quinoa can be very good for your cat for several reasons. Most of these reasons come from the fact that quinoa is nutritious for humans and cats. A quick look at some of the more high-end cat food labels shows that they actually include bits of quinoa into the food already due to its benefits.

Quinoa has protein, fiber, magnesium, iron, and potassium. This is important to humans, but it is vital for your cat’s health as well. 

Even a small amount of quinoa has omega-3 fatty acids, which help your cat stay healthy too. Omega-3 fatty acids are a great source of energy and help keep your cat’s heart, lungs, and immune system in tip-top shape.

The addition of vital nutrients can help your cat stay healthy. 

Thankfully, all the same, health benefits to humans apply to your cat also. Even a small amount of quinoa in your cat’s diet could have positive benefits that you’ll notice as your cat continues to age.

In addition to the fiber, magnesium, iron, and potassium; quinoa also contains amino acids which are a health benefit to cats. Also, due to the high protein content in quinoa, cats can become better developed as they age if you add even the smallest amount to their overall diet. While cat foods are the safest and preferred food, giving them a bit of this grain is generally not a problem.

Also keep in mind the dietary fiber in quinoa can be really helpful for cats who are prone to digestive issues. Because the fiber can help a cat’s stool become bulkier. What that does is allow for more fluent bowel movements; often easing any constipation issues your cat may be facing.

The fiber content can also help cats with high blood sugar levels to bring that number down. Whether your cat is diabetic or has issues with insulin resistance, quinoa can be a helpful treat in moderation for those issues.

The magnesium content this also good if your cat has any sort of deficiency. Typically magnesium deficiency in cats can lead to things like muscle tremors and overall weakness. You may see this more in older cats, but young cats can have this issue too. While quinoa is not an absolute fix for this, it is a helpful ingredient to have.

Can Cats Be Sensitive To Grain

Yes, cats can be sensitive to grain, which you should consider if you plan to give your cat more grains. Especially with something as nutrient-rich as quinoa, your cats may have a unique reaction to it if they eat too much.

Your cat can be allergic or sensitive to grain-like anything else.

If your cat has an allergy to grains, you can do little to “fix” this. A cat that is allergic to grains should have little to no grain in its diet.

On the other hand, some cats can have a sensitivity to grains. They may not, however, be utterly allergic to it.

A grain sensitivity is going to be a little rarer than an allergic only because rice is often used to help a cat with stomach issues. Rice helps a cat transition to new foods. 

If you find that your cat is allergic or sensitive to grains, do not continue to feed your cat grains. Your cat doesn’t need grain, so it isn’t a big deal if your cat can’t eat it. 

How To Feed Your Cat Quinoa

We’ve established that quinoa is good for cats, but that doesn’t mean that your cat will be excited to eat it. 

You should only feed quinoa to your cat when it is fully cooked, which means that you have options with how you give it to your cat. Quinoa gets soft and fluffy when cooked, which will be easier to add to food. 

Your cat may not eat quinoa alone. Some cats might, but there is no guarantee that your cat will like it and eat it. 

The best choice you have is to mix it with your cat’s wet food. 

Don’t add too much at first; you don’t want your cat to waste an entire bowl of food if he doesn’t like the quinoa. 

When you see that your cat enjoys eating quinoa, you can add more quinoa to your cat’s food each time. Your cat may start to like it so much that he will eat it on its own. 

What Grains Are Bad For Cats

Grains aren’t necessarily bad for cats. Still, you shouldn’t rely solely on grains as a source of nutrition for your cat.

These are some of the most common grains that you’re going to see, even mixed in your cat’s food:

  • Rice
  • Wheat
  • Corn
  • Oats
  • Barely

Any of these grains in moderation are not detrimental to your cat’s health. Cat food uses many of these grains as a way to get your cat more nutrition. 

Some people think that grain is used as filler in cat foods, but that isn’t the truth. Your cat can get positive benefits from grains. 

Final Thoughts

While cats can eat quinoa, it should be done with the idea of being a supplemental food and not the main course. Cats should always eat high-quality cat food if they are nutrient deficient, but quinoa can come in handy if you want to mix some into their food. Quinoa only contains moderate amounts of those nutrients discussed earlier, but moderation is key so your cat doesn’t get sick and have a bad reaction.