There may be times when you want your cat to take a break from eating commercial cat food. In such instances, giving her human foods as treats may be a good idea. The occasional crackers, or maybe a slice of banana, or a bite of a strawberry maybe what we have in mind as cat treats. But when it comes to feeding our cats human food, there are things that we need to be careful of.
Cats have sensitive stomachs and they may not respond well to certain kinds of human food. An upset stomach is very common in cats. In fact, there are plenty of foods that cats should never eat, which includes chocolate and grapes, which are both toxic for felines.
How about strawberries? Are they healthy snacks for cats? Do you find your cat playing with strawberries or do you find her attracted to the aroma?
If you love strawberries as a snack and you’re thinking about feeding your feline friend with a bite or two, here are some things you need to consider.
Can Cats Eat Strawberries?
Yes, cats can eat strawberries. This fruit is not listed on ASPCA’s (American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals) list of toxic foods for cats, and therefore, you can feed your cat strawberries.
Strawberries are safe for cats to eat in moderation. However, like most fruits and vegetables, they should not be added to a cat’s daily dietary food, as they are high in sugar and have no nutritional value to cats.
Are Strawberries Good for Cats?
Strawberries contain plenty of Vitamin C, Vitamin B9, potassium, and manganese, which are beneficial for humans. Strawberries are also a high antioxidant fruit, making it great for overall health. It’s also not as high with sugar content, unlike most fruits, making it a great snack for those who suffer from diabetes.
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This begs us with the question, are strawberries good for cats?
The answer to this is neither yes or no. Because cats are obligate carnivores, they only get their nutrition from meat. In the wild, cats only eat meat for protein. Therefore, they don’t really need fruits and vegetables in their diet.
Cats cannot absorb the nutrients found in strawberries. They would have to eat a lot of strawberries to be able to benefit from the nutritional value of the fruit.
Likewise, the low sugar content is not helpful for diabetic cats. This is because, although the sugar content of strawberries for humans is low, even small amounts provide high sugar content for cats. The high sugar content for pets also means eating strawberries frequently can increase the risk of tooth decay in felines.
Consuming plenty of strawberries can have negative consequences on a cat that’s obese or has diabetes. Half a strawberry is enough for cats in one day.
It must be noted, however, that strawberries have a lot of water content, making it a great fruit for cats who may be suffering from dehydration or for cats who don’t drink a lot of water.
Can Cats Be Allergic to Strawberries?
While strawberries are generally non-toxic to cats, they may be allergic to the fruit. One cat may be okay with eating strawberries, while another cat may not be okay with ingesting it.
If you don’t know if your cat is allergic, feed your cat half a strawberry and observe. Watch out for the following signs of an allergic reaction to strawberries in cats, which include:
- Coughing and wheezing
- Vomiting and diarrhea
- Runny nose and sneezing
- Itchiness or skin breakouts
- Itchy and watery eyes
If you notice any of these symptoms, call your veterinarian immediately.
Do Cats Like Strawberries?
Cats do not respond to sweetness. They don’t have the taste receptors for the sweet taste, so munching on strawberries does not provide them with the same pleasure that humans get when eating strawberries.
If your cat seems to like the fruit, it could mean that she likes the aroma, or that she’s simply curious.
It is important to note that though strawberries are not toxic to cats, some cats may have a reaction to the fruit. This is especially the case if your cat ingested leaves or stems of a strawberry.
Some of these reactions may include:
- Abdominal Pain
- Decreased Appetite
When you see these symptoms, call your veterinarian immediately.
How to Give Strawberries to Your Cat
If you must give your cat strawberries, make sure the following steps are followed:
Remove all leaves and steams.
Wash properly with water.
Cut into small pieces.
Cutting the strawberries into bite-size pieces prevents them from becoming a choking hazard. Removing the leaves and stem also makes sure your cat does not have allergic reactions, as the saw-toothed leaves can irritate your cat’s skin, nose, and eyes.
Ingesting the leaves and stems can also cause adverse reactions such as vomiting and diarrhea since their stomachs cannot digest these parts of the strawberry.
If your cat has an unusually more sensitive digestive system than most cats, it’s best to keep your strawberries away from the countertop or dinner table if you have cats around the house. Though strawberries are not bad for cats, it’s also not necessary to their diets.
The Bottom Line
Cats can eat strawberries since they are not toxic for felines. However, because of its high sugar content, it is not advisable for cats who have diabetes or are obese.
A half strawberry given to cats occasionally is okay, as long as you don’t make it a part of her daily dietary routine.