Whether consumed with other fruits, in a dessert or consumed alone, strawberries are a sweet, bright red fruit loved by many for their delicious taste as well as their vitamins and minerals content. Strawberries give humans a healthy energy boost from their natural sugars.
Can you feed Strawberries to cats? Quick Answer.
Although strawberries are not expressly toxic to cats, they are high in sugar and therefore not an ideal food to give to your cat. Cats don’t have sweet receptors so you’re not doign them a favor by introducing a sweet treat. They won’t enjoy it as you do.
If you are to let your cats eat srawberries, be sure it’s not often and not in large quantities.
Health Benefits of Strawberries (in Humans)
There are several health benefits of strawberries for humans. Strawberries are rich in vitamin C, B9, potassium, and manganese. They also taste delicious and the fruit can be used in desserts, jams, and on top of cereals. Strawberries are a perfect companion for many types of meals.
Strawberries are a good fruit to eat if you have diabetes because they have simple sugars and they are rich in fiber. Strawverries do not increase blood sugar levels like other fruits and so don’t cause the same reactions on diabetics. They are heart-healthy, provide good cholesterol, lower blood pressure, and reduce inflammation.
So, Can Cats Eat Strawberries?
Vitamin C rich strawberries have numerous benefits for us that we wish to pass along to our cats. But there is a good reason your cat is probably not interested in strawberries when you are eating them. Cats do not have taste receptors for sweetness. Therefore, the sweet taste of desserts and sugary (even naturally) treats will not excite them they way it does us humans.
The biggest issue with stawberries for cats is they can not digest sugar like humans. They are carnivorous, and too much sugar in their diet can result in digestive or diabetic issues. It is not recommended that cats should not be fed large quantities of strawberries or any fruit for that matter. Fruit should certainly not replace a meal.
What amount of Strawberries is considered too much?
Do not fret if your cat takes a bite of strawberry out of curiosity. Small quantities will not harm your cat. They are non toxic to cats.
However, continuous consumption of strawberries and fruits can cause an upset stomach. Long term sweet foods can lead to diabetes and obesity in cats. Although they can digest a limited quantity of strawberries, regular consumption will raise their sugar levels, which can be very problematic in the long run.
The following are the symptoms of feline diabetes;
- Excessive thirst
- Frequent urination
- Lack of appetite
- Inability to jump
Contact your pet care provider/vet immediately if you see these signs because they are the signs of the onset of diabetes.
The same rules of strawberries applies to all sweet and carb rich foods, including cereals and fruit, with higher sugar levels. Always check the package when purchasing any treat for your cat to make sure you do not give your cat treats with excessive sugar and carbohydrates.
We have discussed the “Can cats eat Strawberries” question at length. Here are some of the closest frequently asked questions.
Can cats Eat Fruit?
Most Fruits are not harmful to cats. However, you should check on the quantity you give to your cat because a large amount of fruit may translate to high sugar content.
According to Dr. Jennifer Masucci, VMD, you should never give your cats grapes, raisons or currents as these could lead to sudden kidney failure. Dr. Masucci also said:
“Most other fruits are safe for cats, including watermelon, bananas, strawberries, and blueberries. Because these are high in sugar, however, they should be fed only in small amounts.”
Can kittens eat strawberries?
Although non toxic for the kitten, the same general rules apply as to whether you let your cats eat strawberries. You want your kitten to grow into a strong cat so feeding it cat food is the way to go. Foods that are proven for a cat’s diet are usually meat based.
Fruit to Avoid Giving Cats
Apart from sugar, there are other things to watch out for when giving fruit to your cat. Some of the fruit that you should strictly avoid letting your cats eat:
Citrus: all types of citrus contain citric acid, which can cause a central nervous system issue when consumed in large quantities. According to ASPCA, they cause stomach upsets when consumed in small amounts.
Grapes/raisings/currants: ASPCA says that they are toxic to cats.
Coconut or coconut oil: ASPCA also warms against coconut and coconut oil, claiming that cats can stomach upset.
Fruits that are Safe for Cats
Apples, bananas and blueberries are three that are the safest for cats as long as it’s just a little as previously discussed.
Alternative snacks to feed your Cats
There are numerous alternative options if you are looking for something beyond regular canned cat food or dry cat food. Pet owners can feed vegetables to their pets in food or treats. However, not all pets or cats will eat vegetables, even though vegetables are rich in good nutrients.
According to ASPCA, some of the vegetables that are not harmful to cats include;
- Celery-cats love crunchy meals.
- Green bell peppers
- Spinach; very rich in Vitamins A, C, and K
- Peas; Always available as prepackaged foods for cats and dogs as a vitamin-filled addition
- Pumpkin: Adds fiber to your cat’s diet
Your cat is a carnivore. Therefore, do not feed them too many vegetables and miss out on the vital nutrients they should get from meats and fish.
Pro Tip: Mixing in some of the vegetables above that cats can eat with healthy meat is a good way to introduce them to your cat.
Can Dogs Eat Strawberries?
Ok, so we have been deep diving on “can cats eat strawberries”, but how about dogs?
The answer is yes, you can feed your dog strawberries now and then because they are full of vitamin c and fiber. When your dog eats strawberries, he is benefited by an enzyme found in a strawberry that helps to whiten your dog’s teeth.
Similaryly to cats, only give strawberries to your dog in moderation since sugar is as bad for your dog’s diet as they are in your cat’s diet.
Are Cats Allergic to Strawberries?
Typically strawberries are not one of the foods that cats are allergic to, but check with your veterinarian to confirm this.
What treats can I give my cat instead of strawberries?
Something with meat is the way to go! Plain and simple, cats are meat eaters and while they may eat strawberries when placed in front of them, it won’t be because of their love for the sweet taste. It will be because they are copying you eating a strawberry or because of curiosity.
At the end of they day, they would find any form of beef, chicken or turkey to be even more tasty and these foods are more in line with what cats eat fundamentally. These are the items with the nutrients providing the best benefits to cats.
Final Thoughts About Cats Eating Strawberries
The digestive system of cats is different from that of human beings. Although strawberries are very healthy for human beings and boost our immune system, it does not mean that it is also the right food to let your cats eat.
We established here that small pieces of strawberry now and then isn’t toxic to your car, and it’s not really a matter of if you can give your cats strawberries because we know cats can eat strawberries in limited quantities. It’s more a matter of why when you can give them the best healthy snack that you know your cat likes (meat based).
Any cat care questions (or pet care for that matter) should always be checked with your vet as different pets may react differently.