Have you heard about the many health benefits that chia seeds can offer humans? From supporting strong bones, protecting us against free radical damage, decreasing the risk of heart disease and so much more, you may be wondering whether feeding your cat chia seeds or chia grass is a good idea. Can cats eat chia grass or chia seeds? Will they bring the same benefits for a cat that us humans can receive? Let’s take a deeper look at this question in the next few sections.
What are chia seeds?
Before we address the question, “is chia safe for cats,” let’s take a moment to discuss what chia seeds are. Chia seeds are actually a member of the mint family. They come from the plant Salvia hispanica, a desert plant that originated from Central America.
You may have first heard about chia seeds with the popular Chia Pets from a few decades ago. However, what you may not realize is that chia seeds can help contribute to a healthy life. They contain healthy levels of omega-3 fatty acids, various essential minerals, such as calcium, iron, magnesium, and zinc, and may even help with lowering cholesterol.
When soaked in water, chia seeds are able to absorb between 10 and 20 times their weight in water. This property, called hydrophilic, can give chia seeds a gel-like texture that makes them easier and more enjoyable to eat for many people.
What is chia grass?
Chia grass is pretty much exactly what it sounds like: the sprouts from chia seeds. The creators of Chia Pets chose terracotta pots for a reason; chia seeds sprout best on terracotta or unglazed clay.
Sprouted chia seeds also offer a number of health benefits. They are high in calcium, chlorophyll, fiber, omega-3 fatty acids, and other key nutrients.
Clearly, chia grass and chia seeds offer a number of health benefits for people, but can cats eat them? The answer to that question is coming up in the next section.
Can cats eat chia seeds?
Worrying about feeding our cats the best foods can feel overwhelming. As a feline parent, we want to choose healthy and safe foods and are constantly asking questions, such as “are pothos toxic to cats,” “are yucca plants poisonous to cats,” and now, “what happens if cats eat chia seeds?”
Chia seeds for cats do not pose a health risk in most cases. They are not a toxic food, and your cat should be able to eat them without worry. Chia seeds also have a more neutral flavor, and most cats enjoy eating them.
Additionally, there are even some chia benefits for cat to think about. Just as chia seeds are good for humans, they are also considered a healthy option for cats. For example, one of the reasons chia seeds may be recommended for a cat is to help with constipation. Chia seeds for cat constipation make it easier and more comfortable for a cat to have a bowel movement because the chia seeds absorb so much water when they are soaked before eating. Chia seeds may also help cats regulate their blood sugar and maintain a healthy weight.
However, if your cat has been diagnosed with any swallowing problems, you won’t want to offer them chia seeds. Because the seeds expand so much when they soak up liquids, they can potentially get stuck in a cat’s throat. Even if your cat doesn’t have trouble swallowing, you’ll still want to keep an eye on them when they are eating chia seeds.
Can cats eat chia grass?
Yes, cats can eat chia grass. Like chia seeds, chia grass can also deliver a number of benefits to cats. It can help keep their digestive and immune systems healthy and also promote bone, eye, and coat health.
In some rare cases, cats can be allergic to chia grass. Unless you suspect an allergy or have noticed similar allergies to other grasses or flowers, you shouldn’t be concerned. Just keep an eye on your cat when he tries chia grass for the first time, the same you would when introducing any other new food.
Interested in trying to grow chia grass for your cat? This video shows just how easy it is to grow.
How much chia seed and grass can cats eat?
How much chia seeds can I give my cat? You can use your cat’s weight to determine an appropriate serving of chia seeds. Cats can eat approximately ¼ teaspoon chia seeds for each 10 pounds of weight. Most cats weigh right around 10 pounds, so simplifying things and just feeding them about ¼ teaspoon each day is probably the easiest way to go.
As for chia grass, the ratio is the same. Cats can eat the amount of grass grown from ¼ teaspoon chia seeds at a time. Since it can clearly be more difficult to measure out chia grass, consider sprouting about 1 teaspoon of chia seeds at a time, and then feeding your cat about ¼ of the spouts each day.
You can choose the best way to serve the chia seeds or chia grass to your cat. You may want to add water, milk, or juice to the seeds, grind them up and sprinkle them over your cat’s food, or serve them separately.
What can happen if a cat eats too many chia seeds or chia grass?
In most cases, eating too much chia won’t lead to anything too serious. However, it can cause some more minor or temporary health problems. These include:
- Diarrhea: Overconsumption of chia seeds may lead to mild diarrhea. Make sure your cat drinks plenty of water and takes a break from chia seeds if they develop diarrhea.
- Lack of nutrients: If a cat eats too much chia grass instead of eating their normal cat food, they may not get all the nutrients their body needs to remain healthy.
- Problems with swallowing: Some cats can have trouble swallowing chia seeds, especially when they have been soaked in water. Keep an eye on your cat and watch for any signs of trouble as they eat. In some rare cases, chia seeds could lead to a blockage in the digestive system.
Chia Grass for Cats
Chia grass and chia seeds are not only safe for cats, but they can offer a range of nutritional benefits. If you’ve been wondering whether chia is the right addition for your feline friend, now may be the perfect time to give it a try.