Nutrition

Can Cats Eat Celery?

Can cats eat celery? Learn all about if this stalky vegetable and if it is ok for cats to eat. We discuss if cats can eat celery and answer some frequently asked questions right here.

Danielle DeGroot

Last Updated: October 16, 2023 | 8 min read

Cat sniffing celery on table with fresh juices

Feline owners often have lots of questions about what human foods their cats can eat. Sometimes this question comes up about foods that are not generally fed to purr babies. Celery is a crunchy, healthy snack that humans enjoy, as well as an ingredient in many different salads and savory dishes, but is it safe for felines to eat? Feline owners might find themselves asking, can cats eat celery?

Veggies like this are generally considered healthy for humans, but that does not always mean this food is safe for our pets. Sometimes food can be technically safe but may not have much nutritional value for a feline. In other cases, foods that we might think are harmless, like garlic and onion, can be extremely toxic and dangerous. So, cat owners will want to do diligent research before allowing their pets to eat any foods that are not meant for felines.

These green, crunchy stalks are a common food that many people have on hand in the fridge. It is a low-fat part of any crisp salad, great in a bloody mary, and a classic childhood snack (ants on a log, anyone?). As kitties are born extremely talented thieves, it is very possible they might eat a bite or two by accident or even want to try it on their own. We get into all the details about cats eating celery right here.

What Is Celery?

Celery is a light green, fibrous, stalky vegetable that has a mildly bitter flavor and is abundant in water. It can be eaten raw or cooked and is composed of several stalks that grow around a delicate, lighter heart. The plant is harder to grow than one might think, withstands cold temperatures well, but does not like it too warm. This is a marshland plant that goes by the scientific name Apium graveolens and is considered an ancient plant. The plant grows naturally in marshlands but has been cultivated to grow in many different locations and climates. The stalks, leaves, and roots are often used in cooking, and it has been used for generations in Chinese medicine.

This vegetable contains something called apigenin, which can work as an antioxidant, antibacterial, anti-inflammatory, and antiviral. This compound has been studied as a possible cancer treatment and for its other potential medical qualities, especially anti-inflammation. In humans, it has also been shown to support digestive function, possibly improve memory, and can support heart health. Vegetables like this are some of the healthiest foods around for humans, are low in calories, inexpensive to buy, and very versatile.

Can Cats Eat Celery?

The simple and short answer to this question is yes. Cats can eat celery. It does not contain any compounds or elements that are toxic or poisonous to them. Felines are obligate carnivores, so vegetables and fruits should not make up a large part of their diet, but in moderation and very occasionally, these stalks can be a safe, exciting treat for your kitty. It should not ever replace their regular, well-balanced cat food, nor should any fruits or vegetables be added to your cat’s diet to treat any kind of medical concern or dietary issue. Always discuss these issues and concerns with your vet before adding human foods or supplements to your pet’s nutrition.

Celery is not a usual ingredient in commercial cat foods and treats. This is rarely something one would look for in cat food or think about feeding a kitty on a regular basis. This is because there are many more nutritionally valuable options. Fruits and vegetables can add flavor and some nutritional boosts to a feline’s diet, but they must eat a diet that is full of high-quality animal proteins. Be cautious about adding this to your pet’s food, and always consult with your vet or a pet nutritionist if you plan to make your own food.

Do Cats Like Celery?

Celery has a mild yet bitter or even peppery flavor. Felines may be drawn to the bitter taste or, if given a chance, may like gnawing on the stalks and leaves. It’s hard to say if felines, in general, like the taste of this stalky veggie. As with all foods, some kitties can develop a taste for them, while others will turn their nose up. So, just like human children, our purr babies can be fussy and have a wide range of often unpredictable taste preferences.

Is Celery Good For Cats?

Celery on table with kitten
This vegetable can be good for them in small doses, but again, it should never be used to replace their regular diet.

Celery does have some beneficial properties for felines. It has many beneficial properties and effects for humans; some can also apply to felines.

These benefits include:

  1. Is very high in fiber and can aid in healthy digestion.
  2. Works as a natural diuretic, and this includes the seeds. This means it can help felines release excess sodium in their urine.
  3. In a lab setting, it reduced blood pressure in rats.
  4. Apigenin, a compound found in this plant, has been used in Chinese medicine for centuries. It has been used in research as a potential cancer treatment due to the role it plays in the controlled growth of cells.
  5. Anti-inflammatory, antibacterial, and antiviral properties.
  6. Source of beneficial antioxidants.

Is Celery Bad For Cats?

Celery, in small doses, does have some beneficial properties for felines. As with all things, there are limits, and this food should only ever be given to a kitty in moderation and under close supervision. Too much can cause an excess amount of salt and chloride to shed, which can lead to dehydration. This would only happen in extreme cases and is not likely to be fatal but will require veterinary treatment.

Some felines can develop food allergies and may not do well with this food. Purr babies who are sensitive to grass and other plants may want to steer clear of this stalky stuff. If a feline overeats this fibrous food, they may have difficulty digesting it. These purr babies can also experience stomach upset, diarrhea, vomiting, and excessive thirst and may show distress signs.

The raw veggie is crisp and can pose a potential choking hazard if a large enough piece is broken off. Additionally, the stalks are fibrous and stringy and can cause kitties to gag, choke, and vomit. Because of this, it’s only safe to feed them small pieces.

Can Cats Eat Celery Leaves?

Kitties love chewing on leaves and grass, so they may be interested in celery leaves, especially those they see tossed in the garbage or forgotten on the counter. The leaves are safe for felines but should not be something they are allowed to have in large quantities. The leaves are not toxic or poisonous, but they may not taste great and will be hard to digest. Remember, feline digestive systems do not work the same way as ours. They cannot digest high-fiber plant material as easily as we can.

Celery leaves can act almost like catnip to felines. It does not have nepetalactone, the chemical that gives felines a euphoric feeling, but some of the plant compounds have a similar effect. Allowing your kitty to play with and chew on the leaves for a little while may be a fun treat, but is not something advisable to give a purr baby every day or even every week.

How To Feed A Cat Celery Safely

Stalks and leaves should be washed thoroughly and cut into very small pieces to avoid choking. Cooked, this food is much softer and poses less of a hazard. Your kitty may not like the cooked veggie, as they enjoy chewing on the stiffer, fibrous stalks. You can allow them to have the leaves, either on the stalk or off, in moderation. Always observe your kitty while eating this food, as well as after, for any signs they are in distress or have a bad reaction.

Alternative Treats

Fresh vegetables can be an occasional nice treat. However, there are many other options available. Many of these are made from meat or catnip, both things felines simply cannot get enough of.

PureBites Freeze-Dried Chicken Treats

PureBites Freeze-Dried Chicken Treats
  • Human-grade chicken breast.
  • Natural protein.
  • 2 calories.
  • Single-ingredient.

Freeze-dried treats are a superb super nutritious choice. These are often just one protein or one ingredient, full of meaty taste, and better for your purr baby than raw vegetables. PureBites Chicken Breast Freeze-Dried cat treats have only one tasty ingredient, human-grade chicken breast. Only two calories per treat and packed full of flavor. Excellent source of protein, has no added preservatives and is made right here in the USA.

SmartyKat Catnip Kiss Compressed Catnip Ball Cat Toy

  • Compressed catnip ball.
  • High-potency catnip.
  • It keeps cats entertained for hours.
  • Interactive catnip toy.

Catnip treats are another fantastic choice. Felines love catnip and go crazy for these treats. These come in meat flavors with catnip infused or sometimes in things like catnip roller balls, a more interactive way for cats to get some of those euphoric catnip effects. This compressed ball of catnip by SmartyKat allows kitties to chase the catnip around and will keep them engaged for hours. They will chase the delectable scent all day. Far less messy than loose catnip. You can also try these meaty catnip treats.

The Cat Ladies Organic Pet Grass Grow Kit Planter

  • Black cat planter.
  • An organic blend of wheat, oats, rye, barley, and flax.
  • Chemical-free.
  • Safe for multiple pet species.

For kitties who like to chew grass, there are some other options that may be tastier and last longer than this plant’s leaves. The Cat Ladies have this Organic Pet Grass Grow Kit that comes in an adorable black cat planter. Features an organic blend of wheat, oats, rye, barley, and flax. Chemical-free, the grass is delicious and nutritious. Safe for kitties, dogs, rabbits, guinea pigs, and even iguanas.

Clicking the above links take you to Chewy.com, where you can get additional product information and customer reviews. If you make a purchase, we earn a commission at no additional cost to you.

Some fruits and vegetables are safe for felines, including sweet potatoes, carrots, broccoli, cucumbers, lettuce, pumpkin, green beans, apples, blueberries, cranberries, and bananas. Always serve them specifically prepared for your pet, with no added seasonings, spices, or ingredients. Only give them small amounts, and only under your supervision. Always discuss any nutritional concerns with your vet rather than trying to supplement your purr baby’s diet with fruits and vegetables.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can Cats be allergic to celery?

Yes, some cats can be allergic. It is tough to determine if a purr baby has a food allergy, so always observe your pet after they eat a new food. If you notice any signs of distress or discomfort, it is worth making a call to the vet. If your kitty has a sensitive stomach or other known food allergies, it is best to avoid this food as a precaution. Allergy symptoms include a runny nose, sneezing, coughing, respiratory distress, wheezing, stomach discomfort, rash, itchy skin, inflammation, and swelling all over the body.

Is celery seed safe for cats?

Celery seed is safe for cats in small doses. However, this is not something they will usually like the taste of. Try not to allow them to eat too many and stick to the stalks and leaves. Avoid the seed extract. It can be far more potent than fresh vegetables.

Can cats drink celery juice?

While a drink or two will not be harmful, kitties should probably not drink the juice. This may not necessarily be toxic, but it will likely take a lot of work to digest. The juice will be more concentrated than just a bite or two of raw stalks. If your cat does drink some, she will be okay, but do not allow her to drink a lot of this stuff. Plain, fresh water is always best.

Can cats eat celery and carrots?

Yes, cats can eat both of these vegetables. These foods are both safe for kitties, but they should not eat them in large quantities. Save these for an occasional treat unless directed differently by your vet. Keep in mind felines need meat to survive and will not do well or be very healthy on a plant-heavy or plant-based diet.

Final Thoughts

The short answer to “can cats eat celery,” is yes, they can. That being said, it is essential to remember that this stalky veggie, just like most other human foods and foods not natural to a feline diet, should only be given in moderation. Always supervise your kitty when giving them any fruits and vegetables. It is hard to say if felines like this food, but they do enjoy chewing on the thick stalks and leaves. While this may be a wonderful, low-fat, everyday snack for you, for your cat, it is best as an occasional treat.

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