Which contains more nutrients â€“ cooked or raw carrots?
The real question is whether or not you should give your cat any carrots at all. The answer is that, while it certainly won’t hurt her, it won’t help, either. Cats are carnivores and cannot utilize plant foods or carbohydrates. Sometimes you will see some fruits and vegetables in a can of cat food, but only to increase the nutrient value to appeal to the cat owner. You’ll also sometimes see it, as well as sweet potatoes or some other starchy vegetable, used as a healthy kind of binder and filler. Be especially mindful about this; sometimes substances, such as gluten, a known allergen, is used as the binder/filler
Cats are unable to convert the beta-carotene of a plant-based food, like carrots, into vitamin A, so the argument that cooking actually increases the level of beta-carotene because it breaks through the tough cellular walls, just doesn’t pertain to them.
Humans sometimes have allergies to raw, but not cooked carrots, but felines don’t—so that argument isn’t relevant, either.
Raw food advocates make the following in favor of a raw carrot (or diet):
• Raw food is fresh, whole and unprocessed. It’s the natural way a cat would eat in the wild. It contains live enzymes that are important for digestion and absorbing nutrients. These enzymes are killed when food is cooked. Not only is nutrient value diminished by heat, but toxins are also created, say some nutritional experts.
• It can help the cat lose weight: A poor diet contributes to obesity, can cut life spans short and results in chronic illnesses.
• A cat that eats raw food will have healthier teeth and gums. The action of chewing cleans a cat’s teeth the same way chewing on a bone cleans a dog’s teeth. This also means less smelly breath!
However, she may find the smell of the raw carrot too strong and will turn her nose up at it. The bottom-line is this: It all comes down to your cat’s preference.