You are trying to taste a horseradish for the first time. The strong, spicy smell fills your nose as you take a small bite. Was that really a good idea? You start to feel the burning sensation in your nose and eyes. Your throat feels like it is on fire. You may be wondering if this is what a cat feels when they eat horseradish.
The answer is no, cats cannot eat horseradish. While the root vegetable may not be toxic to felines, it is certainly not a food that is good for them. The intense flavor and heat of horseradish can cause gastrointestinal upset in cats, leading to vomiting and diarrhea.
So, here in this article, I’ll discuss in detail whether cats can eat horseradish or not. I will also look at the possible side effects of consuming this root vegetable.
A Little More Glimpse about Horseradish & its Origin
I know you’re not here to read a history lesson, but I’m going to give you a brief overview of horseradish anyway. This pungent root vegetable is native to Eastern Europe and has been used as a food and medicinal remedy for centuries.
The ancient Greeks and Romans believed that horseradish could cure everything from colds to kidney stones. In the Middle Ages, it was used as a treatment for the bites of mad dogs and venomous snakes.
While horseradish is no longer considered a cure-all, it is still used in many traditional dishes, such as Russian beet borscht and English roast beef. It is also a popular condiment for sandwiches and other foods.
If you have ever tasted horseradish, you know that it is quite spicy. This is due to a compound called allyl isothiocyanate, which is also found in mustard and wasabi. When this compound comes into contact with the human nose, it creates a sensation of heat.
This same compound can also cause irritation to a cat’s nose and throat, leading to discomfort and possibly vomiting. So, while horseradish may be safe for humans to eat, it is not a food that is good for cats.
Reasons that Cat should not Eat Horseradish
I’m not a fan of spicy food. In fact, I try to avoid it as much as possible. So, when I found out that horseradish is related to mustard, I was pretty surprised.
I had no idea that this root vegetable could be so potent. After doing a bit of research, I discovered that the compounds in horseradish can actually be quite harmful to cats.
#1. Can cause gastrointestinal upset
As I mentioned before, the intense flavor of horseradish can cause gastrointestinal upset in cats. This can lead to vomiting and diarrhea.
#2. Irritates the nose and throat
The compounds in horseradish can also irritate a cat’s nose and throat. This can cause discomfort and make it difficult for your cat to breathe.
#3. Can cause an allergic reaction
Some cats may be allergic to horseradish. This can lead to symptoms such as coughing, wheezing, and difficulty breathing. If your cat has any of these symptoms, it is important to seek medical attention immediately.
#4. Not a natural part of a cat’s diet
Horseradish is not a natural part of a cat’s diet. In the wild, cats eat mostly meat. They rarely consume vegetables or fruits.
While some pet owners choose to feed their cats a vegetarian or vegan diet, it is important to consult with a veterinarian before making any major changes to your cat’s diet.
A veterinarian can help you create a balanced diet for your cat that meets their nutritional needs.
Horseradish is not a necessary part of a healthy diet for cats, and as such, should be avoided.
What should I do if my Cat Ate Horseradish?
I assume that since you are reading this, your cat has already eaten horseradish. If this is the case, there are a few things you can do to help your kitty feel better.
Give them small amounts of water to drink
Yes, I know that cats are supposed to be hydrated. However, giving your cat too much water can actually make their gastrointestinal upset worse.
Instead, give them small amounts of water to drink. This will help to keep them hydrated without making their upset stomach worse.
Give them a bland diet
A bland diet can also help to settle your cat’s stomach. Some vets recommend boiled chicken and rice for cats with gastrointestinal upset.
You can also give them a small amount of canned pumpkin. This is a great source of fiber and can help to settle their stomach.
Consult with your veterinarian
If your cat is vomiting or has diarrhea for more than 24 hours, you should consult with your veterinarian. they may need to be seen by a vet if their symptoms are severe.
Your veterinarian will likely recommend that you bring in a stool sample so that they can test it for parasites or other infections.
They may also prescribe medication to help settle your cat’s stomach and stop the vomiting or diarrhea.
How to Keep Your Cat from Eating Horseradish?
I’m sure you are wondering how to keep your cat from eating horseradish. After all, you don’t want them to get sick again.
Here are a few tips:
Keep horseradish out of reach
If you have horseradish in your home, it is important to keep it out of reach of your cat. This means keeping it in a drawer or cupboard that your cat cannot access.
You may also want to consider keeping it in the refrigerator. This will make it less likely for your cat to be able to get to it.
Make sure your cat has plenty of other food options
It is also important to make sure that your cat has plenty of other food options. This means feeding them a healthy diet and making sure they have access to fresh water at all times.
You may also want to give them some safe foods that they can chew on, such as rawhide chews or kitty grass.
Provide them with plenty of mental and physical stimulation
Finally, it is important to provide your cat with plenty of mental and physical stimulation. This means playing with them regularly and providing them with toys and scratching posts.
Cats need to be able to express their natural hunting and predatory behaviors. If they are not given an outlet for these behaviors, they may become bored or frustrated, which can lead to destructive behaviors.
By providing your cat with plenty of mental and physical stimulation, you can help to prevent them from becoming bored or frustrated and reduce the likelihood that they will eat something they shouldn’t.
I hope you now found the answer to your question: “Can cats eat horseradish?”
As you can see, the answer is no. Horseradish is not a necessary part of a healthy diet for cats and can actually cause them gastrointestinal upset.
If your cat has already eaten horseradish, there are a few things you can do to help them feel better, such as giving them small amounts of water to drink and switching to a bland diet.
You should also consult with your veterinarian if your cat is vomiting or has diarrhea for more than 24 hours.
Finally, to prevent your cat from eating horseradish again, it is important to keep it out of reach and provide them with plenty of other food options, as well as mental and physical stimulation.