Can Cats Eat Strawberries? (Solved!)

Strawberries are the sweet treat we love to enjoy through the hot summer months. We can share these berries with our canine pals, but is the same true for cats?

Cats can eat strawberries though they’re better as an occasional treat. This fruit is naturally high in sugar, so feeding too many to your cat could lead to high blood sugar levels and the risk of diabetes. On the other hand, strawberries contain a number of antioxidants, so they can be great in moderation.

Continue reading to discover the pros and cons of feeding strawberries to your cat, plus the correct quantity to maintain a healthy and balanced diet.

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Are Strawberries Safe For My Cat To Eat?

Yes, strawberries are safe for your cat to eat, as long as you only allow them to eat a small quantity at a time. Before you feed strawberries to your cat, make sure you remove both the stem and the leaves.

What Health Benefits Do Strawberries Provide?

Look at the shape of a strawberry, and you’ll get some clue as to the health benefits of this juicy little fruit. Strawberries are good for the heart, increasing the amount of “good” cholesterol and reducing your blood pressure.

These berries are also packed with fiber, vitamins, and antioxidants called polyphenols – they actually rank in the top 20 foods high in antioxidants and possess more vitamin C than an orange.

But there’s a catch.

Cats can only eat strawberries in small amounts, and they don’t ingest enough to provide any meaningful health benefits. They also lack the enzymes needed to absorb and digest the nutrients from the berries.

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Do Cats Like Strawberries?

Cats will sniff almost anything on your plate. In fairness, they’re unlikely to try and steal a plate of strawberries from under your nose as the sweetness does not attract them. The reason for this is that cats lack the sweet receptor.

However, they may enjoy having a small taste to satisfy their curiosity, and that’s fine. Just bear in mind that anything more than a few mouthfuls of fruit is likely to be more than their digestive systems can handle and could cause them to become sick.

How Should I Feed Strawberries To My Cat?

While most cats are OK to try a small sample of this red berry, there is a chance they could react badly if they have any underlying health issues. If your cat is in ill-health, then changing their diet might not be the best idea anyway.

If you do, consult with a vet, particularly if you’re introducing foods that they haven’t tried before.

Before serving, wash the strawberries thoroughly to remove any fertilizer or pesticides from the skin, then remove both the leaves and stem.

Why Do I Need To Remove The Leaves And Stem?

You need to remove the leaves and stem as they present a choking hazard to your feline. For this reason, it’s also important to cut any fruit into small, easily digestible pieces. When you cut the fruit, aim for pieces that are a similar size to your cat’s kibble.

Can Cats Eat All Types Of Strawberries?

Cats can eat all strawberries and berries, but there are some forms of this fruit that you will want to avoid. Processed products such as jam, syrup, ice cream, or yogurt contain sweeteners such as xylitol, which can be extremely harmful to your cat if they ingest them.

Can Cats Eat Other Berries?

Yes, cats can eat pretty much any berries, including raspberries, blueberries, blackberries, and cranberries. Just make sure that you cut them into bite-sized chunks to avoid any choking hazards.

How Much Fruit Can My Cat Eat?

As a general rule, limit the amount of fruit to around 2% of your cat’s total food intake – roughly equivalent to about a 1-inch portion each day.

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Fruit should be a treat for your cat and not a large part of their dietary intake.

How Do I Know If My Cat Has Eaten Too Much Fruit?

If your cat eats too much fruit, it can quickly cause stomach upset or gastritis. Common signs to look out for include:

  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Licking their lips excessively
  • Tiredness
  • Lethargy
  • Hiding in unusual places

If an excess intake of fruit causes these symptoms, the way to prevent the symptoms is to remove fruit from your cat’s diet altogether. If symptoms persist or you have any concerns about the general health of your cat, talk to a vet.

These registered practitioners are the best people to talk to about any change in diet for your feline and can give you the best advice for your cat.

What Are The Risks Associated With Cats Eating Strawberries?

Like any food, there are some risks associated with strawberry consumption in cats.

The most significant risk associated with strawberries is the high amount of sugar they contain. If your cat is overweight or has diabetes, you should avoid strawberries altogether, as they are likely to exacerbate both conditions.

Symptoms of diabetes include excessive thirst, lack of appetite, vomiting, and frequent urination.

In addition, these high levels of carbohydrates can cause problems with your cat’s digestive system. This can also lead to stomach upset such as constipation or diarrhea and a low appetite. If your cat shows any of these symptoms, take them to the vet for a check-up.

Are There Any Fruits That Are Unsafe For My Cat To Eat?

Yes, there are some fruits that you should not allow your cat to eat. Avoid grapes and raisins at all costs as these can lead to serious digestive issues in cats plus sickness, tiredness, and in extreme cases, kidney failure.

Also, avoid giving your cat any citrus fruits such as oranges, limes, or lemons. The compounds and oils contained in these fruits can cause irritation and issues with the digestive and central nervous systems.

Final Thoughts.

Strawberries are an excellent food packed with antioxidants and a multitude of vitamin and mineral benefits. The problem is that cats can only consume minimal amounts of this foodstuff, thanks to its high carbohydrate and sugar content.

As long as your cat is in good health, you can give them a small piece to try. Chances are, without a sweet receptor to pick up the juicy goodness of a strawberry, they’re unlikely to come back for seconds anyway.