Can cats eat Strawberries?

Posted by Aug 20, 2016 | Nutrition

strawberries and cats
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Author Amira

Hi there!

I’m Amira, founder and editor at Cattention.

This website is dedicated to share useful but entertaining information and help You understand Your cat’s actions, behavior and needs.

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We, humans, eat various kinds of foods. As warm weather comes, we like to have something refreshing such as watermelon, cantaloupe or strawberries.

Besides, strawberry is a great, tasty treat for us, and just like with any other tasty foods, we are often tempted to share some pieces from our delicious bites with our beloved cats. However, before we decide to do this, we have to know the clear answer to the question: Can cats eat strawberries?

You most probably know already that most cats are fastidious creatures, but sometimes they get very curious about what their owners are eating, and they wouldn’t mind experimenting with new types of foods. Therefore, it is very important to know which human foods are safe for them to consume and which ones they should stay away from.

In addition, cats’ bodies function differently than humans, and while we eat several foods safely and even get nutritional benefits, cats might have a problem with digesting them which can cause then several health issues.

So when it comes down to cats and strawberries, we should be well aware if it is safe for them to consume or it carries some dangerous or even life-threatening effects. This article will outline all the benefits and risks that strawberries can pose to cats and advise on the best ways to offer this tasty treat for a cat to enjoy.

Can cats eat Strawberries? – Only in moderation

If you are hesitating to feed your cat strawberries, I am very pleased to say: yes, you can. In moderation, cats can eat strawberries. According to ASPCA (American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals), this refreshing fruit is not toxic to cats. However, there are still some important things to consider when offering your cat this amazing treat.

So now that you know you can feed your cat strawberries, let’s have a closer look at the precautions you should take in order to do it in the safest way:

  • First of all, remove the leaves and stems of the strawberry as they can cause several health issues like skin irritation, sneezing and eye problems.
  • Always thoroughly wash and rinse the strawberries as they are usually sprayed with a lot of toxic chemicals.
  • It is also recommended to cut the strawberries into small pieces to make your cat’s digestion easier and help to avoid any stomach troubles.
  • If you are going to feed your cat strawberries for the first time, watch out for signs of allergy.
  • Last, but not least moderation is key. Feed your cat only small amounts of strawberries at a time. Offer it only occasionally as a treat and don’t make it as a usual part of her daily diet.

Caution – important note: Although strawberries are great tasty treats for your feline companion, please do not make the mistake and confuse fresh strawberries with strawberry-flavored things. Nowadays, a lot of things are strawberry-flavored, be it yogurts, creams, chocolates, or syrups. Canned strawberries are also out of the question. All these foods have a high content of processed sugar which is absolutely not healthy for cats.

All in all, yes, your cat can eat fresh, washed and cut strawberries safely without having any health problems. Forget about strawberry-flavored foods and limit the amount she can have at a time and so it can be a great tasty treat for your pet cat.

About cats and strawberries

Strawberry, a widely grown and well-known plant, is one of the most beloved fruits among people because of its amazing aroma, watery texture, and sweet taste.

It is not only consumed as fresh fruit but also can be eaten as dried in cereal bars or as flavoring in juices or chocolates. It is a very popular flavoring in dairy products as well such as in milk, yogurt, ice cream, smoothie or milkshake.

In addition to foods and beverages, artificial strawberry flavor and aroma are widely used in perfumes and cosmetics too, like shower gel, soap, lip gloss and many more others.

Although strawberry might be popular for its watery content and sweetness, we should not forget about its nutritional value.

This delicious little treat is packed with beneficial nutrients like vitamins and minerals. It is a great source of vitamin C and rich in potassium and magnesium while providing several other vitamins (vitamin B1, B6, and K) and dietary minerals in smaller amounts. Folic acid and fiber are also found in strawberries.

Now that we are aware of the strawberry’s healthy content to humans let’s take a closer look at its benefits and risks to cats.

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Benefits – Are strawberries good for cats?

Strawberries have a great deal of health benefits for people. They are not only packed with deliciousness and freshness but are also full of healthy vitamins and minerals. They boost the immune system, help fighting bad cholesterol, reduce inflammation and regulate blood pressure…and the list goes on.

While people can experience a lot of benefits from having strawberries, cats don’t really get any nutritional advantage out of it. Although there are nutrients that cats may benefit from, the problem is: there is no cat that could eat enough strawberries to get these advantages from the fruit.

Despite all this, replacing your cat’s high fat packed treats with healthy snacks like strawberry fruit would be one of the most beneficial things you can do for your beloved pet. However, do not forget about the precautions and the portion control.

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Risks – Are strawberries bad for cats?

While strawberries cause no harm to cats in small amounts, they hide some risks that all cat owners should be wary of.

Effects of overfeeding

One of the most important precautions is not to overfeed cats with strawberries. While a little amount every now and then is completely safe, too much of it is never good as cats might experience several health issues.

Although strawberries are full of great nutrients, they also contain loads of sugar, and even though this sugar is natural, it is still sugar. Cats’ digestive system cannot digest sugar as properly and efficiently as ours so too many strawberries will take time to digest and will be difficult for a cat’s small digestive system to break down. And if it is not digested properly, it can cause constipation.

Apart from this problem, if cats have large amounts of strawberry regularly others health issues could probably occur. It can cause an upset stomach, and over time it can lead to feline obesity or even worse, they may develop diabetes which is another warning sign not to overfeed our cats with strawberries.

To add to all these problems, too much potassium can also cause more harm than good. So these are the reasons why it is always best to watch the amounts of strawberry you allow your little friend to eat.

Effects of lack of awareness

Another imperative thing is to be aware of the risks that can occur if we don’t pay enough attention. Responsible cat owners have to consider all the precautions before letting their cats close to strawberries.

Let’s take the case of a cat that is eating strawberries directly from the plant. First of all, the plant itself, the leaves and stems can be harmful to cats. The most common reaction to the contact to these parts is skin irritation which typically results in itching, sneezing and blistering. Sometimes it can even lead to eye problems. And this is just one potential outcome.

Another danger that can occur is poisoning. Unwashed fruits have the possibility of being sprayed with different chemicals that are toxic to cats. Eating strawberries that are not washed can cause stomach problems like vomiting or diarrhea. So to avoid all these potential dangers, please either wash the strawberries or keep your cat away from it.

Effects of food allergy

If it is the first time for your cat to eat strawberries, bear in mind that as any new food introduced to a cat’s diet, strawberries can also cause an allergic effect to cats resulting in different gastrointestinal problems like upset stomach, vomiting or diarrhea.

It is ideal to monitor your cat’s reaction attentively, and if you notice anything odd like digestive or behavior changes, strictly stop feeding her and consult your veterinarian. Otherwise, if there is no sign of allergy and she seems to like this refreshing fruit, feel free to give her occasionally as a treat, and remember, in moderation, in small quantities.

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How much strawberry is safe for cats?

To avoid all the problems mentioned above, please consider and follow the precautions, and strictly limit the strawberry intake.

Commonly, for optimal health and longevity, a cat’s daily calorie intake should be made up mostly from her regular meat-based diet, and not more than 5-10% treat.

Taking this general rule into consideration, the recommended amount shouldn’t be more than half or maximum one piece of strawberry (and of course cut into tinier pieces to avoid any potential choking hazard) at a time.

When used as a treat, strawberry can be a refreshing little snack to your cat.

However, too much of it can upset their sensitive stomach and can cause several health issues. So just be careful not to overdo it, and always make sure to regulate your cat’s portions. As long as your cat eats strawberries occasionally in moderation, there should not be any problem.

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Do cats like strawberries?

In general, most cats don’t really like fruits because they do not have the ability to identify sweet things. And strawberry is not an exception.

However, this is not true for all cats. Every cat is unique, and their personality differs from one to another, in the same way, their likes and dislikes are different as well. Although it is rare, some cats even go crazy just to get some tiny pieces of strawberries.

If you are interested whether your cat likes strawberries or not, just give her a little piece and see how she reacts. Don’t be surprised if she turns her nose up and rejects it as most cats are finicky. Though, if she seems to like it, you can offer some refreshing bites occasionally as a treat.

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What cats really need?

Although strawberry is a great refreshing snack for cats, the main nutrition that cats require comes from protein (as they are carnivores) which strawberries do not contain. In addition, cats’ digestive system is not designed to digest plant material effectively.

So to fulfill a cat’s nutritional requirements it is recommended to feed her high-quality cat food and plenty of fresh water. However, occasionally some special treats like strawberries can be offered as well without causing any harm, just make sure to consider all the precautions highlighted in this article.

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Conclusion – Can cats have strawberries?

As cat owners, we want to keep our furry friend healthy and satisfied. Therefore, it is very important to know what they require and which human foods are safe for them to consume and which ones could carry potential health issues.

Besides, as we all know, cats are carnivores, so they need mostly meat. However, sometimes they may want to nibble on some tasty snacks. Luckily, strawberry is one of those fruits that not only we, humans can eat but our beloved companions, cats as well.

After comparing the benefits and risks of strawberries to cats, it is safe to say that feeding your cat strawberries as the main food is not a good idea though it can be a safe, tasty little treat.

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