Can Cats Eat Strawberries?
If you’re a new cat owner, you might be wondering just what you can feed your little fur ball as a treat.
A lot of new owners turn to fruit as a “healthy” snack for their feline friends, but not all fruit is safe for cats to consume; some might even be toxic.
One of the most common questions new cat parents have — in regards to fruit and their kitty — is “Can cats eat strawberries?”. The short answer is yes, in moderation.
However, this is probably the wrong question to ask.
Instead, you should be wondering “Should cats eat strawberries?” Let’s take a closer look to uncover the answer.
Table of Contents
Can Cats Eat Strawberries? Should They?
As mentioned above, yes, cats can eat strawberries. In fact, strawberries can be enjoyed by furry felines in moderation as they are non-toxic to cats.
However, while they are relatively harmless, strawberries should not be a part of a cat’s regular diet as they are high in sugar.
Can cats eat strawberries along with the leaves and stem?
No. Before giving your cat a small portion of strawberries, you should discard the leaves and stem.
If consumed, the stem and leaves could lead to gastrointestinal obstruction as they are difficult for cats to digest.
Can cats eat strawberries and have negative side effects?
If your cat eats too many strawberries some common side effects are:
- Abdominal pain
- Loss of appetite.
Extreme consumption could result in a gastrointestinal blockage.
How to Feed Your Cat a Strawberry:
- Discard Waste: Cut off the strawberry’s stem and leaf.
- Rinse Fruit: Run the strawberry under cold water.
- Cut off a Small Piece: Cut off and offer a small piece of strawberry to your cat.
- Watch the Cat’s Reaction: If you cat eats the strawberry, be sure to look for any indication of allergic reactions.
- Enjoy in Moderation: Experts only recommend no more than half a strawberry per day, or less than 10% of your cat’s daily diet. It should be noted that your cat should not have more than one serving per day.
Are Cats Allergic to Strawberries?
Remember, there is a possibility that your cat might be allergic to strawberries.
The first time you feed your cat a strawberry, you should monitor them closely in order to notice any negative reactions or side effects.
If your cat experiences an allergic reaction, contact your veterinarian right away.
Strawberry Allergic Reaction Symptoms to Watch Out For:
- Itchiness/skin breakouts
- Runny nose and sneezing
- Itchy/watery eyes
Can Strawberries Benefit a Cat’s Health?
Cats are unable to effectively process the excessive amounts of sugar contained in strawberries.
Strawberries are packed with nutrients like fiber, vitamin C, and antioxidants. But cats are unable to absorb these nutritional benefits in the small dosage they are allowed to eat.
Yes, cats can eat strawberries, but they cannot receive their nutritional advantages. However, strawberries are full of water which would help cats stay hydrated.
- Beneficial Nutrients: Enhances cats’ immune system and decelerates aging process.
- Folate-rich: Helps new cells form and create proteins.
- Packed with Potassium: Helps the nervous and muscular systems while improving healthy growth.
How Many Strawberries Can Cats Eat?
Don’t be worried if your cat takes a bigger-than-planned chunk of strawberry from you! Strawberries are non-toxic to cats, so a little extra bite can’t hurt.
However, continuous consumption of the sugary fruit could result in diabetes and obesity.
A small amount of sugar can be digested by cats, but a frequent rise in blood sugar levels could be dangerous for your cat’s health.
Common symptoms of diabetes in felines include:
- Extreme thirst
- Frequent urination
- Decreased or loss of appetite
- Trouble jumping
According to Cornell University College of Veterinary Medicine, if your cat is exhibiting these symptoms consult with your veterinarian as soon as possible as they may lead to a diabetes diagnosis.
Keep in mind that all overly sugary foods pose the same threat for your cat.
Be sure to check the nutritional value when buying cat treats. Brands can vary with the amounts of sugar and carbohydrates they contain.
Can Kittens Eat Strawberries?
Kittens and cats alike can eat strawberries. Both kittens and cats will have varying preferences when it comes to the fruit.
Be sure to note that kittens require specific nutrients as they grow. Focusing on kitten formulated food is the best course of action to ensure a healthy development.
A strawberry once in a blue moon should pose no threat to your kitten’s health.
Cat Eating Strawberry Side Effects
While strawberries are a non-toxic food for cats, there can be negative side effects.
It’s important to remember that all cats may have a different experience and to be on the lookout for signs of allergy.
How Strawberries Negatively Affect a Cat’s Health
- Excessive sugar intake can cause tooth decay, obesity, and/or diabetes.
- Possibility of allergic reaction.
- Upsets gastrointestinal systems.
- Ingesting stems and leaves can cause diarrhea.
Do Cats like Strawberries?
Considering cats’ bodies need meat and protein but do not need sugar, it makes sense that their tongues cannot pick up sweetness in the food they eat.
Therefore, cats can’t taste the sweetness of the strawberry.
While strawberries are delicious and nutrient packed for humans, cats are unable to process any of its nutritional value and are unable to detect the sugary sweetness.
On that note, it is important to remember that, while cats can have strawberries, it doesn’t necessarily mean that they should.
With the risk of gastrointestinal issues or allergic reactions, its best to keep strawberries out of the diet entirely in order to avoid any potential dangers.
Alternative Healthy Snacks
You can always try introducing vegetables to your cat as a healthy snack outside of their scheduled wet or dry food diet.
Dr. Richter states, “Pet owners can always try to give vegetables to cats in food or treats. Not all will eat them. There certainly are good nutrients in vegetables when part of a balanced meal.”
The ASPCA states that these vegetables are non-toxic to cats:
- Spinach (Rich in vitamins A, C, and K)
- Celery (Cats love the crunchiness!)
- Green bell peppers
- Pumpkin (great source of fiber)
- Peas (used in many cat and dog food brands as a nutrient-packed component)
While vegetables offer some great nutritional value, don’t forget that your cat requires the protein found in their formulated cat food.
It’s important to give your cat a balanced diet. Treats should only take up a small percentage of your cat’s daily intake.
So, while strawberries may be a humans favorite fruit or snack, it should not be a cats favorite one. But, them trying them out once in a while is not going to hurt them.
Just don’t make it a habit or give them too much of strawberries as they have a lot of sugar within them.
As you can see, strawberries can safely be consumed by your cat, as long as they are not allergic to them and you only feed them in moderation.
However, the likelihood your cat will be interested in these sweet fruits is low, given how much they love meat.
We hope you enjoyed this article, for more guides, facts, and tips to help you be a better cat owner, be sure to stay up to date with the Cathour blog!