5 min read

Can Cats Eat Celery?


By Jasmine Sawatzky

Published: 11/20/2022, edited: 03/13/2023

Reviewed by a licensed veterinary professional: Dr. Linda Simon, MVB MRCVS

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Celery could be considered a herculean health food. Chopped up in a hearty stew or dipped in hummus, these green, leafy stalks pack a powerful punch of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. Like all loving pet parents, you no doubt want your cat to enjoy a healthy, balanced diet, but cats have different dietary needs than humans. So, is celery healthy or harmful for cats? Can your feline friend enjoy some celery? 

The answer is yes! Cats can eat celery as an occasional treat. Since cats are obligate carnivores, most of their diet needs to be comprised of meat. Celery is not typically found in commercial cat foods or treats, however, chomping on some celery from time to time could offer your cat a few health benefits. It’s even considered by the ASPCA as one of the garden staples you can share with your kitty companions.

Do cats like celery?

It seems like the only rule cats follow is the rule of being unpredictable, and that goes for their preferences too! It’s difficult to know if they will enjoy celery until you offer them a bite. You may have noticed that your cat seems to enjoy certain textures that are fun to chew on, like cardboard or wood furniture. Celery falls into that category as it has a satisfying crunch that your cat may enjoy. Try dangling some celery from your hand and this health food can offer a dual purpose of stimulating your cat's mind and tastebuds!  

There is some anecdotal evidence of cats reacting to celery leaves the same way they would to catnip by acting silly, rolling, rubbing, and vocalizing. Celery is very aromatic and the leaves can have a similar effect as catnip. Though celery doesn’t have nepetalactone (the exciting chemical in catnip that makes cats act drunk) it has lactone sedanolid that can have a similar effect. It’s entirely possible for your cat to become obsessed with celery or act completely indifferent. You’ll never know until you try! 

If your cat doesn’t like celery, don’t fret. It’s best to avoid making your cat eat something they don’t like, especially something non-essential like celery.

Cut celery stalks on a cutting board - can cats eat celery

Health benefits of celery for cats

Giving your cat a celery snack can offer them some fur-tastic health benefits! Along with being jam-packed with vitamins and minerals, they can give your feline a helping paw in these specific ways: 

Supports healthy digestion

Celery is high in fiber, which will help keep your cat’s digestion running smoothly. When cats eat a whole prey diet in the wild, things like stomach contents, fur and bones act in the same way fiber does in their digestive tract. In the absence of these things, it’s a good idea for your indoor cat to have some fiber in their diet. Celery is 95% water, which also helps to keep things moving to prevent constipation. 

Supports kidney function 

Celery acts as a natural diuretic for your cat. A small amount of diuretic boosts kidney function and helps them to produce more urine. This can assist with any fluid retention and cleansing your cat’s body of toxic compounds. 

Provides tons of antioxidants

Celery contains 15 different antioxidants, which is great news for you and your furry friend. Antioxidants help to prevent oxidative damage from free radicals, toxins that can damage your cat’s cells, proteins, and DNA and cause illnesses like cancer and anemia. While these antioxidants may not fortify your cat to the same degree they will you, they can still give your feline a healthy boost. 

How much celery can I give my cat?

As previously mentioned, there’s a chance your cat will react to celery in the same way that they will catnip. No matter the obsession, it’s important to not overdo it. Start with a very small piece, and if they gobble it up, wait 24 hours for any adverse reactions. Although it’s rare, there’s a chance your cat could have a celery allergy. It’s always a good idea to consult your vet before making any dietary changes for your cat.

Due to the high fiber content, too much celery could give your cat some digestive distress, such as diarrhea or indigestion. The diuretic properties could also lead to some mild dehydration. After determining that your cat likes celery and they don’t have any bad reactions to it, it should be ok to feed them no more than ¼ cup of finely chopped celery over the span of a week. It can be served up raw, or cooked, and always plain without any seasonings. 

Another way to calculate the right amount of treats your cat should be getting is using the 90/10 rule: 90% (or more) of their calories should come from cat food and 10% (or less) from treats. One cup of chopped celery contains 14 calories. The Pet Nutrition Alliance offers a handy online form that helps determine your cat’s caloric requirements.

Celery stalks filled with peanut butter

Can cats eat celery with peanut butter and raisins?

A staple in kids' lunches, celery stalks filled with peanut butter is a treat many humans enjoy. And while cats can eat a small amount of peanut butter, they shouldn't have as much as is usually slathered onto pieces of celery. If you want your cat to enjoy this treat, just cut a very small piece of celery and put a small dab of peanut butter on it for them as an occasional treat. Also be sure to only use natural peanut butter without any toxic xylitol that is found in the ingredients of some brands. The peanut butter should contain no added salt.

What about bumps on a log? Cats should never, ever be given raisins, as these and the grapes they started as are extremely toxic to cats. Raisin poisoning is very severe and requires immediate emergency veterinary attention. Always keep grapes and raisins out of reach of your cat.

Can cats drink celery juice?

Juicing vegetables is a popular health trend among humans, and celery juice is not harmful to cats in small quantities. Juices tend to be far more concentrated than the vegetable itself, so although there are no specific guidelines, you wouldn’t want to feed your cat more than one tablespoon of celery juice per day.

Can cats eat celery seed?

Celery seeds have been used in Eastern medicine for thousands of years. In humans, it has been used to treat arthritis, calm the nerves, reduce inflammation, lower blood pressure, and more. Before giving your cat any herbal supplement like celery seeds, you should always consult your veterinarian as they could contain high doses of compounds that could harm your cat depending on their medical history and condition.

Overall, celery can be a great treat for your feline friend in small quantities. It offers some health benefits, and they may love the smell of it or the crunchy mouth-feel. Dangle a small piece of celery in front of your feline pal and the purrs may very well begin. Happy crunching!

A high-quality diet is essential for keeping your cat happy and healthy. Digestive problems and food allergies can be expensive to treat. Compare pet health insurance plans to save more than $270 a year on vet care.

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