Can Cats Eat Arugula?

Yes, cats can safely eat arugula in moderation as an occasional treat. Arugula provides vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants that are beneficial for cats.


Arugula is a leafy green vegetable with a peppery, tangy flavor. As cat owners wonder what human foods are safe for cats, questions may arise around “Can cats eat arugula?” Arugula does offer some nutritional value, but there are also some risks to consider before feeding it to felines. Let’s explore the pros and cons of arugula for cats.

Nutritional Value

Arugula contains some healthy vitamins, minerals, and other beneficial plant compounds:

  • Vitamins A, C, K
  • Calcium, potassium, phosphorus
  • Antioxidants and polyphenols

These nutrients can support skin, coat, bone, immune system, and overall health in cats. Arugula also provides dietary fiber to promote good digestion.

However, arugula cannot replace a balanced commercial cat food diet. It only makes up a small part of the varied nutrition cats require. Use arugula as an occasional supplement, not a dietary staple.

Potential Risks

While arugula does have benefits, it also poses some potential risks for cats:

  • Upset stomach or diarrhea – Arugula may cause digestive issues if fed in large amounts.
  • Pesticide exposure – Arugula may contain traces of pesticides that can be harmful to cats over time. Wash arugula thoroughly before feeding.
  • Thyroid problems – Arugula contains goitrogens which interfere with iodine uptake. This could affect thyroid function long-term.
  • Choking hazard – Eating whole leaves presents a choking risk, especially for kittens. Chop arugula finely before serving.
  • Allergies – Some cats may be allergic or intolerant to arugula’s compounds. Monitor for adverse reactions.

Overall arugula is safe for cats if given properly in moderation, but too much could be problematic. Keep servings small and occasional.

How to Serve Arugula Safely to Cats

Follow these tips for safely incorporating small amounts of arugula into your cat’s diet:

  • Start with just a pinch of arugula at first to test your cat’s tolerance.
  • Chop arugula leaves finely or puree to reduce choking risk.
  • Mix a few bits of arugula into your cat’s regular food. Do not replace mealtime food with arugula.
  • Limit intake to no more than one teaspoon 2-3 times per week.
  • Introduce arugula slowly and discontinue use if any gastrointestinal upset occurs.
  • Thoroughly wash arugula to remove dirt, chemicals, or debris.
  • Avoid feeding arugula stems which are tough to digest. Just offer the leafy greens.

Serving Suggestions

For cats that don’t tolerate arugula well, try small amounts of these other healthy greens instead:

  • Cooked broccoli – Chopped florets are safe for cats in moderation.
  • Spinach – Provides vitamin K, iron, and antioxidants. Cook before feeding.
  • Green beans – A source of fiber, manganese, vitamin K.
  • Zucchini – Contains vitamin A, potassium, and folate.
  • Peas – Rich in vitamin C, thiamine, phosphorus.

Always properly introduce and monitor new foods when feeding your cat. Focus on quality cat food as the dietary foundation.

Special Considerations

  • Pregnant cats – Consult your vet before feeding arugula to pregnant or nursing cats.
  • Kittens – Only feed kittens six months or older small amounts of arugula.
  • Diabetic cats – Avoid arugula for diabetic cats due to its carb content.
  • Food allergies – Don’t feed arugula to cats with food allergies or intolerances.

Expert Opinion

Veterinarians generally approve arugula as an occasional supplemental food for cats:

“Arugula is fine for cats in moderation. Focus small servings alongside your cat’s nutritionally balanced diet.” – Dr. Sarah Wooten, DVM

“Arugula can provide some antioxidants and nutrients. But introduce slowly and limit intake to prevent GI upset.” – Dr. Katy Nelson, DVM


Overall, arugula is safe for cats in very small, occasional servings provided proper precautions are followed. While it supplies some beneficial nutrients, arugula should only be a garnish, not a dietary staple. Check with your vet before feeding arugula or other new foods to your cat. Focus on ensuring your cat’s primary diet is complete commercial cat food to meet all nutritional needs.


Is arugula poisonous to cats?

No, arugula is not poisonous to cats, but can cause issues if fed in excess. Small, occasional servings are safe for most cats. Always monitor your cat’s reaction.

Can kittens eat arugula?

Kittens younger than 6 months should not eat arugula. Older kittens can have small tastes a few times a week at most.

Can cats eat arugula stems?

It’s best to avoid feeding cats the thick arugula stems, which are tough to digest. Only offer the chopped up green leafy parts.

Can cats eat arugula pesto?

No, avoid feeding cats seasoned arugula dishes like pesto. The extra ingredients like garlic, oil, nuts can be harmful. Only offer plain fresh arugula.

Can cats eat arugula seeds?

It’s best to avoid the small seeds inside arugula flowers. The seeds pose a potential choking risk and may cause GI upset.

Can diabetic cats eat arugula?

Diabetic cats should not eat arugula, since it contains natural sugars and carbohydrates that can affect blood sugar levels.

Does arugula cause diarrhea in cats?

Overeating arugula may cause diarrhea, vomiting, or upset stomach in cats. Feed only small amounts occasionally to minimize the risk of GI issues.

Is wild arugula safe for cats?

Only feed cats arugula you have purchased and washed yourself. Avoid wild-grown arugula, which may harbor parasites.

Can I replace cat food with arugula?

No, arugula should never replace balanced commercial cat food. It can only supplement a cat’s diet in tiny amounts.

How much arugula can I give my cat?

No more than 1 teaspoon of chopped arugula 2-3 times weekly. Start with even less and monitor your cat’s reaction before increasing portions.

For more Cats food informations, visit our blog.

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