Yes, cats can eat quinoa.
Belonging to the amaranth family, quinoa consists of edible seeds taken from the quinoa flowering plant. It is a pseudocereal that is used in the same way as grains. Quinoa seeds are packed with protein, dietary fiber, B vitamins, and dietary minerals—some of which are even higher compared to other grains.
As a superfood, quinoa contains nine essential amino acids that can assist with building and maintaining your cat’s muscular system. The fiber helps with digestion and maintaining glucose levels. Meanwhile, the antioxidants present in quinoa can aid in boosting the immune system and helping your cat heal faster.
How to feed quinoa to your cat: Do not feed raw quinoa to your cat. Rinse the quinoa, and toast it in a saucepan. Add water and bring to a boil. Lower the heat and cook it covered for about 15 minutes. Let it rest for five minutes before uncovering.
Avoid mixing anything to the quinoa you prepare for your cat. You may be tempted to add a bit of salt, garlic, or onion powder to add flavour to the quinoa. Refrain from doing so as these ingredients are considered harmful for cats.
Mix a bit of quinoa with your cat’s wet food or her favourite fruits and vegetables, and watch how she reacts to it. Start off with a teaspoon of quinoa to see if she likes its light, fluffy texture and slightly nutty taste.
In summary: As an obligate carnivore, cats don’t need to consume a lot of plant-based food on a daily basis. However, quinoa is a gluten-free and low glycemic food you can add to complement your cat’s meat-rich diet. Be sure to consult with your veterinarian to find out if your feline pet is allowed to eat this grain, as well as how much and how often she can enjoy it.