Can Cats Have a Bite of Your Spinach Salad? Here's What Vets Say

Spinach may be a great addition to delicious salads, but it's not a necessary part of a cat's diet.

Jamie Bichelman - Author

Mar. 28 2024, Published 3:42 p.m. ET

A cat with a white face nibbles on a dark green leaf of spinach.
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There you are, standing proudly in the kitchen assembling the perfect, healthy, plant-based salad, when your companion kitty jumps onto the counter and begins eyeing the fresh spinach and assortment of veggies on your plate.

As your cat begins purring louder and louder, you recall that you saw little green specks in their can of cat food, and you wonder if cats can safely eat spinach.

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Learn more below as we explore whether cats can consume spinach, if the popular leafy green is a healthy supplement to a cat's daily meals, and other important tidbits to be aware of the next time you consider sharing some of your salad with your whiskered pal.

An orange cat leans against a counter and stares at a bowl of salad beside olive oil, a pen and planner, and green vegetables in the foreground.
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Can cats eat spinach?

According to pet food brand Purina, yes, cats technically can have spinach. states that spinach is not toxic to cats, so if you accidentally leave spinach on the counter and your cat sneakily steals a few bites, in most cases, all will be OK.

However, while spinach is chock full of benefits for humans, spinach is usually not necessary in a cat's diet, per Purina. As long as your cat is already adhering to a responsibly administered diet of vet-approved cat food, that should be supplying them with their basic nutritional needs.

In fact, spinach may already be present in small amounts in your cat's canned food to supplement their diet of mostly meat.

But still, spinach may provide certain cats with some benefits. According to, the high fiber content in spinach may prove to be helpful in addressing constipation and weight gain in some cats.

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However, per Purina, cats with kidney or urinary problems must avoid spinach, as consuming it may lead to urinary tract problems. Veterinarian Dr. Joanna Woodnutt, MRCVS attests via that felines with kidney or urinary issues could develop bladder stones or kidney stones from eating spinach.

It is therefore critically important to discuss adding spinach — or any new food, for that matter — with your cat's veterinarian before making changes.

A bengal cat with a white bib sits next to a wooden bowl of salad on a marble countertop.
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Do cats need vegetables in their diets?

Vegetables can play a supporting role in a cat's diet, but they're typically not necessary, per Darwin's Natural Pet Products.

In the vast majority of cases, cats should be meeting their nutritional requirements through animal-based meat and organs, per WebMD. As obligate carnivores, eating animals is essential to a cat's diet, and some amino acids (like taurine) cannot be supplied through vegetables.

“The nutrients cats need that come from meat, can be provided in the food synthetically,” canine nutritionist Linda P. Case, MS told WebMD. “But you have to be very careful, and aware of the cat's nutritional idiosyncrasies.”

If your cat is otherwise healthy with no dietary restrictions, there are some fruits and veggies that may supply beneficial nutrients when given as an occasional treat in small amounts. According to a Chewy blog post, these include broccoli, butternut squash, carrots, green beans, peas, sweet potatoes, and zucchini.

But again, make sure to check with your vet before changing your cat's diet, as every cat is a bit different.

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