can cats eat sunflower seeds

Can Cats Eat Sunflower Seeds? Facts & Guide

Can cats eat sunflower seedsIs it safe for your cat or it can cause some serious problems? If this question is running through your head right now and you would like to know the answer, you are in the right place. 

There are a lot of foods that your cat would like to taste, but what about her health? Before you offer your cat something new to eat, you should check if it is safe for her. For example, garlic consumption can be fatal to your cat, due to the high concentration of toxin. 

So what about sunflower seeds? According to the ASPCA (American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals), sunflower seeds are non-toxic for cats. So you don’t have to worry about the cat’s toxication. However, still, you have to be careful about the amount. Inevitably one seed won’t cause any harm, but if your cat overeats, it won’t benefit her health. It may even harm your cat. 

Quick Navigation

  • What are the benefits of sunflower seeds for a cat?
  • How much sunflower seeds my cat can eat?
  • What harm can cause sunflower seeds to a cat?
  • When should you not give your cat sunflower seeds?
  • Conclusion
can cats eat sunflower seeds

What are the benefits of sunflower seeds for a cat?

Many cats will love eating sunflower seeds. It is a tasty seed that contains a lot of minerals, nutrients, and vitamins.

Sunflower seeds are very beneficial for the cat’s body due to fatty acids, proteins, trace elements, and vitamins they contain. If you feed your cat with sunflower seeds regularly, the coat will become more shiny and healthy.

As well sunflower seeds are good for improving the cardiovascular and nervous system, which leads to increase overall cats vitality.

Those magical seeds contain a complex of B vitamins, which are essential for a nervous system function. As well, Vitamin A, which improves eyesight, Vitamin E, which helps strengthen the walls of blood vessels, and Vitamin D, which is responsible for bones, nails, and teeth health.

Apart from the vitamin complex, sunflower seeds are a great source of amino acids & polyunsaturated fatty acids. Same like in the human body, those two minerals generate an antioxidant effect. 

Lastly, sunflower seeds contain::

  • zinc
  • calcium
  • iodine
  • iron
  • phosphorus
  • selenium
  • sodium
  • silicon
  • magnesium

How much sunflower seeds my cat can eat?

Despite all the great benefits that sunflower seeds contain, there are limitations. To avoid unpleasant consequences, you can give one tablespoon of crushed seeds once in two or three days.

Do not forget to take the shells off as they can hurt your cat’s gums and cause stomach problems. As well sunflower shells won’t be easy to break, and most probably, your cat won’t enjoy the taste. Give only kernels – sunflower hearts.

Make sure the seeds are not flavored. If they are, you can rinse them, however its better if you go fo natural products without salt or other flavors.

What harm can cause sunflower seeds to a cat?

I believe every cat owner takes care of its feline friend with maximum care and responsibility. However, cats have incredible hunting skills and ready to use it whenever they get a chance. If they see something tasty on the kitchen counter, they’ll get there with lightning speed.

So what to do if your cat ate a lot of sunflower seeds? The best thing you can do is, of course, to contact your vet. He will definitely advise you which steps to take.

If your cat ate a large quantity of unrefined seeds, there is a high risk that the husk will cumulate in the intestine. It can form a cork that will prevent bowel movements. Without timely veterinary care, your cat risks life.

Another risk of eating sunflower seeds with shells is a gum injury, which can lead to acute gum inflammation.

Your cat can also have cuts in the throat, which can turn into a fatal outcome.

Minor injuries of the intestine caused by sunflower shells can lead to oncological disease.

Besides all mentioned above facts and risks, you need to know that sunflower seeds contain a lot of fat. Too much fat can harm a cat’s health. Especially if your feline friend suffers from a liver problem or high cholesterol.

Remember, cats are predators, and their digestive tract can hardly adjust to plant foods.

When should you not give your cat sunflower seeds?

Although a small number of seeds should not harm your cat, it all depends on the health status.

Here are the cases when you should avoid giving sunflower seeds to your cat.

  • Your cat has high cholesterol.
  • Your cat suffers from liver diseases.
  • In case your cat is allergic to sunflower oil.
  • If your cat has gastrointestinal tract diseases.
  • Lastly, if your cat has a gum inflammation.

Some of the professional experts suggest to aware of giving sunflower seeds to kittens under six months.


Can cats eat sunflower seeds? If your cat is healthy and doesn’t suffer from any disease or allergy, why not? All you have to do is to take care of the right amount and quality of seeds.

As we said before, sunflower seeds are non-toxic. And can enrich the cat’s diet with essential vitamins, minerals, and other useful substances.

It is all up to you whether you want to give it to your cat as a treat or mix it up with can food. Your cat will surely fully enjoy each seed.

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