Why Do Cats Eat Sunflower Seeds?

By Afua Saafir

Many cats eat things beyond the food provided by their owners, such as grass and plants. Sunflower seeds are also on the list of snacks preferred by some cats. Cold River Veterinary Center of North Clarendon, Vermont, lists sunflower seeds as a healthy protein source for cats and dogs.

Nutritional Value

Sunflower seeds are highly nutritious, being rich in vitamins and minerals.

sunflower and sunflower seeds image by Andrey Chmelyov from Fotolia.com

Cats that eat sunflower seeds may be craving the nutrients found in the seeds. Sunflower seeds are high in vitamins E, B1 and B5 and minerals such as manganese, magnesium, copper, phosphorous, folate and selenium. They are also packed with protein.

Digestive Benefits

Cats often eat things like grass to aid in their digestion.

cat image by matko from Fotolia.com

Most cats will eat grass and other green vegetation from time to time. Green vegetation provides necessary fiber and aids in the digestive process. According to Vet Info, a cat that craves and eats a lot of grass may need more fiber in its diet. Sunflower seeds are fiber rich.

Flavor and Scent

Cats use taste and smell in collaboration when deciding on food preferences. Cats and Behavior states that cats use taste to recognize foods that are healthy. Some cats may prefer the taste and smell of sunflower seeds because of the high protein content.