Cats are obligate carnivores, which means that their digestive systems are built to use animal-based proteins for optimal health. While fruits and vegetables can be safe treats for cats, they don’t contain the nutrients that felines need to stay healthy. So, can cats eat strawberries? Let’s jump right into it.
Why Give a Strawberry to Your Cat?
Yes, cats can eat strawberries safely in moderation, but they won’t gain anything by that. All they need in their diet is animal protein and fat, and maybe a little fiber for smooth bowel movements. While strawberries are a good source of vitamins and minerals for humans, your cat is already getting plenty from their cat food.
What about the fact that berries are rich in vitamin C? Fun fact, cats don’t need it! That’s because their livers can produce it on their own. Humans lost this ability a long time ago, so we need to consume this vitamin with food.
Why Is Your Cat Interested in Strawberries?
If cats don’t need the nutrients that strawberries contain, why are they even interested in this fruit? You may think that your cat have a sweet tooth, but actually, they’re drawn to the smell. Cats don’t have sweet taste receptors.
Also, your cat may like strawberries because they’re full of water, and cats love to eat things that are wet. In fact, they have an underdeveloped sense of thirst because their ancestors used to get most of their water from their prey. The texture of a strawberry may resemble a juicy piece of meat to your feline friend!
Can Strawberries Harm Your Cat?
While strawberries are non-toxic to cats, they can still cause some problems. For one, they’re high in sugar, which can disrupt your cat’s normal digestive function or cause them to gain weight. Secondly, strawberries contain potassium, which is an essential micronutrient, but cats with kidney disease should have its levels watched closely.
Some cats can also be allergic to strawberries, and the symptoms range from mild (rashes, diarrhea) to severe (anaphylactic shock). If your cat eats a strawberry that’s been lying around and starts being ill, take them to the vet immediately.
How Many Strawberries Can a Cat Eat?
Now that we know can cats eat strawberries, let’s see how much of this fruit is safe for them. The answer depends on your cat’s weight and overall health, so it’s best to ask your veterinarian. In general, though, it’s fine – albeit pointless – to feed your cat a small piece of strawberry as a treat every once per week.
In general, fruits and vegetables shouldn’t take up more than 10% of your cat’s diet, and vegetables are the safer option out of the two. However, some are poisonous to cats, so make sure to do your research. If your cat likes to nibble on plants, don’t leave any fruit or vegetables in their reach if you’re not sure if they can have them.
Can Cats Nibble On Strawberry Plants in the Garden?
No, they shouldn’t! If you have a strawberry plant in your garden and a cat that likes to nibble on plants, it’s best to keep them away from each other. The leaves and stems of the strawberry plant are mildly toxic to cats and can cause an upset stomach.
Symptoms can include vomiting, diarrhea, and a lack of appetite. If your cat nibbles on the strawberry plant, watch them closely for any signs of illness and take them to the vet if necessary.
What Fruits Are Toxic to Cats?
While strawberries are non-toxic, some fruits can be harmful to cats. Grapes and raisins, for instance, can cause kidney failure in felines. Other dangerous fruits include apricots, cherries, and lemons. So if you’re giving a piece of fruit to your cat as a treat, make sure it’s something safe like blueberries, bananas, or watermelon.
As a rule of thumb, avoid giving your cat any fruits that are highly acidic or contain pits and seeds. These can cause stomach upset and blockages in the intestines.
How to Feed a Cat Strawberries Safely?
If you’re going to give a strawberry to your cat, make sure it’s washed properly. Can cats eat strawberries with the stem and leaves? It’s a good idea to remove them, as they can cause digestive issues. Cut the fruit into small pieces and give a little at a time to your cat. But only if you must – we recommend sticking to cat-specific treats.
Can Cats Eat Strawberry Jam?
While it’s not toxic for cats, it’s best to avoid giving your cat strawberry jam. The sugar content in this product could easily cause health problems for your kitty, and if it contains artificial flavorings, it may be even more harmful. If you want to feed your cat a special treat, make sure it’s something safe and healthy, like boiled chicken or fish.
There Are No Benefits of Strawberries for Cats, But a Piece Won’t Hurt
In conclusion, can cats eat strawberries? Yes, but only in moderation, and there’s really no point in feeding them this fruit. Too many strawberries can cause digestive issues and weight gain. Fruits like grapes or cherries are actually toxic for cats, so it’s important to do your research before giving them anything new.
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