Chia seeds are indeed excellent additions to human diets but can cats eat chia seeds? Take a good look at this article and find out the answer yourself.
"Chia seed?" What is it?" is likely the first thing that comes into people mind when they heard about the seed of Salvia Hispanica (chia), a plant in Central America. Generally speaking, chia seed is an edible seed that packs a variety of health benefits as it contains vitamins, fibers, protein, antioxidants and so on. Therefore, it goes without saying that adding some chia seeds to your daily meals would be a great idea but how about our fluffy friend? Can cats eat chia seeds without running into stomach troubles?
If you are having a hard time deciding whether to give your cat chia seeds or not, this article could offer you much-needed insights. Down below, you would be provided with essential characteristics of chia seed along with its effects on the average cats. Virtually every pet owner knows that certain human foods are toxic to cats and is chia seed one of them? Well, it's safe to say that chia is not going to cause any significant issues to cats but it's far from worry-free. Check out the following and see what you must know while feeding your cat chia.
Chia Seeds: In-Depth Overviews
Before we get to discuss "Can cats eat chia seeds", it's beneficial to take a good look at Salvia Hispanica (chia) and its seed. As mentioned above, chia is a plant native to Central America and nowadays, many people commercially cultivate it across Central as well as South America. One interesting feature of chia seeds is that they are hydrophilic: the seeds could absorb 10 – 20 times their weight in water. After you soak chia seeds with sufficient amounts of water, the result is a gel-like substance that facilitates consumption.
There are multiple ways humans along with their pets are able to enjoy chia seeds, it's even possible to eat the seed raw too. That being said, in order to get the most of out of the seeds, it's widely advised to grind the seeds somewhat before use. Moreover, most experts often recommend that you immerse chia seeds in water so as to let them expand fully and give your intestine a break. In the case the cover of the chia seeds remain intact, there is a chance that they might pass through the digestive system largely undigested.
Considering the fact that chia seeds transform into gels after coming into contact with water, they shall be excellent foods for cats that have constipation. The fluid nature of the water-soaked substance promotes bowel movements and improves the situation. In addition to that, since the gel is digested at a slow pace, your pet could effectively and efficiently take in nutrients from other food. The leisure digestion speed also permits the pet body to regulate blood sugar naturally which maintains the energy level and help with overall weight management.
In The End, Should You Give Your Cats Chia Seed?
Overall, the straight answer to the question of "can cats eat chia seeds?" is "Yes". The high nutrient value of the Salvia Hispanica (chia) seeds would offer substantial boosts to the immune system, eyes, joints and furs of your cat. Furthermore, thanks to their rather long shelf life, chia seeds shall be cost-effective foods for both human and cats. Because the seeds themselves have fairly subtle tastes and smells, even the pickiest of eaters would likely gobble them down. Versatile preparing methods further allow you to have a high level of flexibility in feeding chia seeds to your pet.
Important Note: As chia seeds expand rapidly after contacting water and similar liquid, they might cause several troubles while slowing. For example, the seeds expand while traveling through the esophagus and form a stubborn obstacle. It tends to take a lot of time and effort for vets to solve seed-related obstruction in the esophagus so keep that in mind. Your pet is already diagnosed with swallowing difficulty? Then you must play it safe and setter clear of chia seeds. There is no need to take risks when your pet health is on the line.
How Much Chia Seed Is Enough For The Average Cats?
Can cats eat chia seeds? Sure, but how much is too much?
The rule of thumb is "A 1/4 teaspoon for every 10 pounds of weight", stick with that and you should be fine. As chia seeds could be served under numerous forms, it's acceptable for pet owners to experiment with the seasoning. Some grind the seeds, toss them into waters, add juices/milks and then pour the mix into the feeding bowl. Others use chia seeds as enhancements in their pet daily meals and sprinkle the seeds on top of the foods.
When it comes to the manner to serve chia seeds, it's up to the pet owners to decide what work best for their cat.
Top 5 Frequently Asked Question About Feeding Chia Seeds To Cats
Is it possible for cats to be allergic to chia seeds?
The odd is low but it's still possible, especially to cats that are known to be allergic to sesame, mustard seeds and so on. Rely on your cat medical record in order to come up with a decision.
My cat is currently on medication, should I give it the seed?
So far, there are few comprehensive studies about the potential effects of chia seeds if used in conjunction with drugs. That being said, spare times to consult your vet and see what he/she has to talk about the use of the seeds.
What happens if my cats consume too much chia seeds?
Once a cat swallows more chia seeds than its body could handle by mistake, expect a mild level of diarrhea. Besides that, there would be no significant issues that you must worry about when it comes to overfeeding chia seeds.
Do I have to store chia seeds in specific ways?
Not really, just put the seeds in any spot you see fit as long as the storage space is dry. If possible, store the seeds in enclosed containers so as to extend their shelf life.
Is it absolutely necessary to grind chia seeds before consumption?
Actually, you only need to grind if you are eating flax seeds and similar ones. For chia seeds, grinding is not obligatory by all accounts.