Botanically referred to as Apium graveolens under the family Apiaceae, celery is both a vegetable and flavoring herb used in cooking. This marshland plant is characterized by elongated fibrous stalks from which the leaves grow.
Besides the leaves and stalk, this vegetable’s seeds are also used as a spice and in extracting an essential oil used in the perfumery industry as well as to make celery salt. Furthermore, the seed’s extracts are used as herbal medicine.
Its common cultivars are the leaf celery, celeriac and celery and some people are allergic to this herb or vegetable.
Can cats eat it?
Yes. Cats can eat celery leaves, stalk, and even seeds. They are not toxic or poisonous to these pets.
Unfortunately, even though this plant is safe, most cats will not like it, especially while it is raw as opposed to cooked ones. However, these are those that will show much interest as if it was catnip.
In fact, the Halo Grain Free Natural Wet Cat Food, Variety Pack with Chicken, Salmon & Turkey, Chicken Stew, and the Chicken & Beef Recipe have celery as one of their ingredients.
However, like any other cat-safe vegetable or herb, as Dr. Karen Shaw Becker notes on Mercola.com, that “small amounts of celery to your cat’s nutritionally balanced diet is a good way to nourish their gut health (if they’ll eat it), as it helps mimic the way their ancestors ate in the wild by providing food-based roughage that helps build the microbiome.”
To human beings, this vegetable or herb may seem so nutritious since it has not only vitamins and minerals but also small quantities of protein, fats, and carbohydrates.
Unfortunately, being obligate carnivores, cats are unable to effectively digest and utilize the various nutrients it has since they lack the necessary enzymes and may not benefit from this vegetable or any other in the same way humans would.
However, there are some benefits derived from roughages such as weight loss in obese kitties, boosting immunity and reducing aging, notes the Nest.
If your feline happens to like it, chop it into small pieces before offering it or puree it and mix it with its food. Celery juice is also ok.
However, keep the amount to be very small as excessive amounts can lead to stomach upsets including diarrhea, bloating, and vomiting.
In case of diarrhea, stop giving your cats celery and to ensure quick recovery, go for highly digestible low fiber diets, encourage fluid intake especially diluted beef and chicken broths, try prebiotics, as well as anti-diarrheal medications only after your veterinarian, okays it.
If you want to offer celery to kittens, ensure they have been fully weaned and begin with a very tiny amount as you observe how their digestive system will respond to it since their digestive system is still susceptible.
Limit any treats, vegetables, herbs, etc., to less than 10% of your cat’s food requirement and ensure the specific food is balanced if you use homemade recipes.
Also, ensure any vegetable given raw is properly handled and washed to reduce any chances of foodborne disease. It should also be free of any farm chemicals.