Chronic exposure to cadmium (Cd) causes remarkable damage to the liver and gastrointestinal tract. Previous studies have revealed that chlorogenic acid (CGA) could improve the intestinal barrier integrity for weaned rats. Hence, this study sought to investigate the protective effects of CGA from pure reagent and sunflower seed extract (SSE) on growth performance, antioxidant indicators, inflammatory biomarkers and intestinal barrier function in Cd treated rats. A total of 32 Sprague–Dawley female rats with similar weights were randomly allotted to four treatments: control, CdCl2 (6 mg/kg BW), co-treatment of Cd (6 mg/kg BW) and pure CGA (50 mg/kg BW), and co-treatment of Cd (6 mg/kg BW) and SSE (50 mg/kg BW) for 14 days. The data indicated that, CGA or SSE with Cd sequestration and good antioxidative ability decreased Cd absorption and accumulation in the jejunum and increased fecal Cd levels in Cd-exposed rats. Compared with the Cd group, co-treatment with CGA or SSE also alleviated inflammation, ameliorated the villus damage, reversed the disruption of tight junctions, and recovered weight gain of rats. These results suggest that CGA or SSE can protect the intestinal barrier, which is related to the alleviation of Cd-induced oxidative stress and growth decrease.