Can Cats Eat Sunflower Seeds?

Cats love Sunflower seeds.

They’re delicious and can make your salads more interesting. However, they’re also be harmful to your liver function.

If your cat ingests a seed, it can spurt pigments into the mouth, resulting in a disgusting mess. So, can cats eat sunflower seeds?

Yes they can! However, you must be careful about how you store them.

Most sunflower seeds sold in the grocery stores have been blanched and roasted to purify them and make them easier on your stomach. However, these seeds do not have the same nutritional value as natural sunflower seeds and can cause an upset stomach in your cat.

However, if your cat likes them and you’re not concerned about their nutritional value, just be sure to keep them out of paw’s reach and away from any plants they might have access to outdoors.

Can Cats Eat Sunflower Seeds?

According to the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA), Yes, and cats are a breed of animal that can eat Sunflower seeds.

Cats like sunflower petals for a number of reasons, so go ahead and mix them in with your salad.

While cats are essentially carnivores, they do ingest small amounts carbohydrates and fat through their regular diet.

This should not be a cause for worry for your cat’s health as long as you also observe the recommended daily intake of protein for your cat.

Too much fresh plant material in your cat’s diet may cause irritation in your cat’s stomach.

Your cat may have nausea or vomiting as a result, so try not to feed them too much at one time.

Is It Ok for Pets to Eat Sunflower Seeds?

Sunflower seeds are strong in nutrients, and whether you grow them in your yard or buy them at the store, they are an ideal afternoon snack for you or your pet.

Fiberglass makes up the sunflower seed hull, and while this isn’t harmful to your cat or dog, it may cause them some grief when trying to dine on them.

The majority of our cute rodent buddies prefer sunflower seeds over their own kind.

Sunflower seeds have shells that can be tough for rodents to crack open by themselves.

Nutritional Content of Sunflower Seeds for Cats

Sunflower seeds are a great little snack for himself or your pet, whether you have a small dog or a big cat.


Sunflower seeds are high in selenium, an antioxidant that helps to detoxify the body from free radicals. Since cats are prone to developing cancer, selenium is useful to them for natural cancer prevention. Selenium also helps with the removal of toxins from the body and boosts the immune system.

Vitamin B1

Sunflower seeds, commonly known as the Helianthus annuus or Colusa Indian nut, are not only edible for humans but can also be fed to your pets such as cats.

Sunflower seeds, in moderation, would boost the nutritional value of your pet’s diet.

Vitamin E

Vitamin E, a strong antioxidant in sunflower seeds can help reduce the chances of your pet developing certain types of cancers.

Vitamin E maintains your cat’s skin and coat healthy and shiny.

Vitamin E also aids in the maintenance and development of your cat’s reproductive organs, eyes, bones, neurological system and immune system.


High-fiber diets have been shown time and again to be good for your cat’s health.

Sunflower seeds are a prebiotic fiber that aids in your pet’s digestion of other foods and helps prevent constipation.


Cats need a lot of protein, and sunflower seeds are a great source of protein that do not upset your kitty’s stomach.

One of the most enticing qualities of sunflower seed is that they’re rich in phosphorous and magnesium as well as copper and zinc.

Are Sunflower Seeds Poisonous To Cats?

They aren’t in most cats diets, but some do have adverse effects on cats.

Sunflower seeds may contain a compound known as goitrogens that can inhibit your cat’s thyroid function.

Remove the shells so they can only eat the seeds themselves and not the shell itself as well.

How Many Sunflower Seeds Can Cats Eat?

Keep in mind that everything should be eaten in moderate amounts and certainly not overdone or it can cause mild to serious stomach upset and/or diarrhea to your cat.

Sunflower seeds, on the other hand, are a great source of nutrition and contain a variety of vitamins and minerals that cats need to stay healthy.

Sunflower kernels should be given to cats as occasional treats and not as a regular part of their diet.

Whether you’re feeding your cat sunflower seeds for the nutritional benefits or as an occasional treat, it’s important to be aware of the nutritional value of sunflower seeds and the proper serving size for your cat’s weight.

The hardness of sunflower seeds makes them less appealing to cats than other seeds such as flax seeds.

Remember, the idea is to boost your cat’s health by providing him/her with a healthier diet.

Anything that contradicts this should be avoided or given in small amounts as the occasional treat.

Can Cats Eat Sunflower Seeds With Shells?

Sunflower seeds in their shells can be chewed and swallowed safely by cats.

However, shelled sunflower seeds are tough for cats to crack open, so it’s easier for cats to eat the seeds without the shells. If you feed your cat shelled sunflower seeds with the shells still intact, you’ll need to shell them before feeding them to your cat.

When feeding your cat sunflower seeds without shells, be sure to remove the dark-colored outer hulls.

The shells, on the other hand, should be thrown in the trash because they’re not digestible to cats.

Also Read: Can Cats Eat Vegetable Oil?

Can Cats Eat Sunflower Kernel?

Sunflower kernels are nutritious kernels that the cat can either eat on their own or added to other foods to improve palatability (in some cases) and nutritional value.

Humans aren’t the only animals that can eat sunflower seeds.

Some of our domestic pets can eat sunflower seeds as well, but they may not be the best food for them.


In conclusion, cats can eat sunflower seeds, but they should be stored carefully and stored away safely, especially from outdoor plants that could contain pollens.

The seeds are delicious and can be a fun addition to your cat’s diet. However, they are harmful to their liver and can cause an upset stomach if ingested.

Overall they are a great treat for cats in moderation and are a great way of adding variety to their diet.