Cats do not need fruits and vegetables in their diets. In fact, because they are obligate carnivores, some of the nutrients they require can only be found naturally in animal-based foods like beef, poultry, or fish. But just like people, they may enjoy a little nosh here and there that doesn’t satisfy nutritional requirements yet adds a little variety.
Items from the produce department fit the bill perfectly, in large part because of their low-calorie count. Consider that an 8-pound cat should consume, on average, no more than 250 calories a day, and no more than 10 percent of those calories should come from treats in order to ensure that her diet remains balanced and supportive of her best health. That translates to a scant 25-calorie treat allowance, yet 25 calories can go a long way in the form of items from the fruit-and-vegetable aisle.
Check out the options recommended by veterinary nutritionist Deborah Linder, DVM, in her Petfoodology blog (petfoodology.org). Keep in mind that some cats might not like fruits and vegetables. If that’s the case, you might want to try Dr. Linder’s recommended serving sizes of foods such as hard-boiled egg, canned pumpkin, or popcorn.