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Can Cats Eat Jicama? (Or Is It Toxic For Cats?)

If you have the Jicama vegatbale in your home you may be wondering if it is a good food alternative for your cat…

Can cats eat Jicama?

Cats can eat Jicama. However, the seeds and stems need to be avoided because they have rotenone in them which is known to be a natural pesticide/insecticide.  So, for cautious cat owners, it may be best to avoid it completely.

So, now you know. But, are there any health benefits of this? What about health risks? Is it OK for kittens? Keep reading for these answers, and much more…

What is Jicama?

Can Cats Eat Jicama?

Jicama sliced up.

Jicama is Mexican Vine that has a tuberous vegetable, according to Wikipedia. It is also known as Mexican Yam Bean and sometimes referred to as Mexican Turnip. When Jicama has been mentioned most people associate it with the root vegetable rather than the vine.

This root vegetable, like others, is often used to make meals to support the carb portion of the meal. And, some see it as an alternative to potatoes (what about mash? click here) in a full meal, for example.

Nutritional Content of Jicama

Source: USDA (per 100g) *

Name Amount Unit
Calories  38 Kcal
Protein 0.72 g
Carbs 8.82 g
Fat 0.09 g
Fiber 4.9 g

* See the source for the full list

Are there any health benefits of Jicama?

Like many vegetable Jicama has a number of health benefits. In this section I will explain some fo them:

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01. High in fiber

Jicama is known to be high in fiber, and you can see from the nutritional content listed above. Fiber, for humans, is an important nutrient that helps us pass easier and helps the healthy bacteria in our gut.

02. Reduces constipation

One of the benefits of vegetables, like Jicama, that is high in fiber, is the fact it helps us avoid consipation issues.

How I learned the importance of Fiber…

I remember heading out for the day once, for a funeral, and it was inconveniant to get to the bathroom, so my solution was to hold it in, and not just that.

I figured if I also reduce my water intake, and not eat any fruit or vegetable, I won’t need to go toilet. My thought process was to save the bathroom visit to much later.

Big mistake!

I ended up being heavily consipated and unable to pass for more than 18 hours. And, that may not sound that bad, but my body had a lot to get out, if you get my drift…

But, I couldn’t get it out. Basically, the lack of vegetables, along with everything else meant it was stuck.

This is when I learned the importance of regular vegetables and keeping myself hydrated.

03. Good for weight loss?

Some say that eating vegetables, like Jicama, will keep you feeling full but reduce your calorie intake. Therefore, making it a potential way to aid weight loss.

This may be true, but to be honest, the Jicama alone will not do this. The diet and discipline around it will make a big difference.

04. Good source of vitamin C

This vegetable is also known for its vitamin C. In particular the amount you get from it. For example, according to the USDA, 100g of it contains 20.2 mg. To put this in perspective this represents over 20% of the daily recommended intake.

Are there any health risks of Jicama?

Like most things, where there are benefits, there are always risks associated with it. So, with that being said, here are some details…

01. Too much fiber?

Although that the fiber content is regarded as a benefit. Too much fiber can also be an issue. In fact, too much fiber can negatively affect the way you absorb minerals, for example, zinc or iron.

02. Toxic effects?

One of the biggest concerns with Jicama is the toxicity of the stem and seeds. According to this study, these parts produce natural insecticides that keep it safe. 

This is a natural thing, obviously, but with regards to cats, this could be toxic for them and they should not be exposed to it.

Should you feed your cat Jicama?

You should not feed your cat Jicama, in my opinion. I say this because of the risk of it consuming the seeds or stem. This is because, when it comes to cats, I like to be cautious.

Also, lets face it, there are many other healthy alternatives for your cat to eat other than this (more on this later).

Is Jicama OK for Kittens?

Jicama with seasoning.

Jicama with seasoning.

I would not advise you to feed Jicama to your kitten. Young kittens in particular mainly have their mothers milk, and as they grow older its important to stick with a stable and nutritious diet.

Te risk of it consuming the toxic seeds or stem of the Jacima vine would make me feel apprehensive about serving it to a kitten.

Are there better food alternatives than Jicama for cats?

There are many other better alternatives to Jicama for cats. This includes quality wet food, or even dry food (what about Agar? click here). However, with dry food you need to make sure that your cat has enough hydration as well.

My point is, there are many proven cat foods available that can be offered. At least this way you can make sure that there has been experience of these foods from other cat owners, and data to back it up.

Does Jicama go bad?

Jicama does go bad eventually. Like any vegetable it will rott with time. This is natural and to be expected for any veg item.

To be honest, you should be concerned if a vegatabe item does not go bad, or spoil, because it is not inline with nature, right?

How do you eat Jicama?

You can serve Jicama in many different ways. Including cutting it u into chunky strips and eating it raw. This can also be mixed with other fruit juices to sweeten it.

For cats, its better to avoid. But, if you insist on it, its better to keep it as natural as possible.

What is the best way to cook jicama?

If you want to cook Jicama the best method is to boil it to make it softer to consume. Firstly, you should cut it up into chunky strips and boil it. Depending on your preference you can boil it to make it really soft, or partially, so it still has a crunch to it.

Should you avoid feeding your cat the jicama seeds and stems?

Avoid feeding your cat any seeds or stems of Jicama to your cat at all costs. This is regarded as toxic for them and could be a big problem for them.

Some say its fine as long as the seeds and stem are removed, but I prefer to be extra safe and avoid it for cats completely. As discussed earlier.

Would a cat want to eat Jicama?

Most cats may refuse to eat Jicama because they are likely to prefer wet or dry cat food. This may be because of the potent smell of cat food, which is designed to be tempting and delicious for them.

Raw or cooked veg does not have the same appeal. Howevere, there is always an acception to the rule.

Lindsey Browlingdon