When I was younger, whenever we would go to the mountains for a vacation, one place my family always stopped by was the strawberry farms. This was because the farmers there always bragged about how they grew the best strawberries due to their altitude. Sometimes they would even let us pick some for our own.
By the time we got home, we would have a bag or two of freshly picked strawberries. Once our pets took notice of this, they always sniffed and pushed their snouts against the bags, wondering what was inside. I would have wanted nothing more than to share my dogs and cats some of our hauls, but I was never sure if it was safe or not for them to eat it.
Now though, let’s check if it is ok for cats to safely eat strawberries.
Can Cats Eat Strawberries?
Strawberries are not amongst the different foods listed as toxic to cats so the answer is yes, cats can safely eat strawberries. Still, it has to be said that the cat’s digestive system and taste buds are built differently than those of humans. One way this can be seen is that unlike humans, cats are not able to taste sweetness, this includes the sweetness from strawberries.
Are Strawberries Good for cats?
By their nature, cats are carnivores and will almost always prefer meat over fruits or vegetables. This is because the nutrients that cats need most are things like protein which they often get from meat. That is not to say that things like strawberries offer no benefits for cats. In fact, there are some things that can be uniquely found in fruits like strawberries.
Benefits of Strawberries for cats
-Natural Breath Mint: Now while this seems more of a benefit for the cat’s owner than the cat itself, it is still worth mentioning. Due to the smell fo strawberry, eating it can help freshen up their breaths, especially if they are already starting to smell a bit rank.
-A Good Source of Potassium: Like bananas, strawberries are a good way for your cat to get some potassium. This mineral improves the development of your cat’s muscles and nervous system. It also helps promote healthy growth.
-Plenty of Folate: This is one of the Vitamin-B that both humans and cats need in their bodies. For folate, it is because this is the Vitamin which is responsible for the creation of both red and white blood cells as well as helping metabolize protein. The latter idea is especially important since cats often get more of their nutrients from protein.
-Treatment for constipation: Since fruits, in general, have plenty of fiber in them, strawberries can serve as a way for treating constellation. This can be helpful to cats who have trouble with their bowel movements especially older ones whose bodies aren’t as strong as they used to be.
Are Strawberries Bad For Cats?
Yes, while it is not toxic, there is plenty of evidence to show that strawberries can also be quite dangerous for cats in other ways aside from poisoning.
-High amounts of sugars: As with many fruits, there is plenty of sugar in it, albeit natural sugar. Still, cats are not creatures who are meant to have lots of sugar, and doing so can cause plenty of problems. While a few strawberries won’t normally cause any problems, feeding them too much can be dangerous. These can range from diabetes, obesity, to tooth decay.
-Rashes and Allergic Reactions: When feeing your cat something new for the first time, there is always the risk that they simply cannot physically eat it due to allergies. When this happens, your cat may develop a rash in their body, they would have a hard time breathing and begin wheezing, and they would have watery eyes.
-Stomach problems: At the end of the day, cats are not really built to eat strawberries in large amounts. They are not a natural part of their diet and feeding them too much can cause problems. This can also be if you feed them the stem and leaves of the strawberry. Some things that can happen to your cat if they eat too much can be upset stomachs and even vomiting.
Can Cats Eat Strawberry Jam?
It is probably not advisable to give them any jam. This is two-fold because, one, cats are not normally interested in it. When they are intrigued by it, its usually because they never had it before and are interested in trying it for the first time. Since cats do not normally care for sweet foods, they just won’t eat it.
The second reason is that of the sugar. Strawberry jam has considerably more sugar than regular strawberries which can be a huge problem for your cat and put them at risk for health problems. It is probably best to avoid giving them jam.
How can I Feed My Cat Strawberries?
When feeding your cat strawberries, it is important to first remove the stems and leaves because these are parts your cat cannot easily eat and may have a difficult time digesting. Also, be sure to wash these thoroughly so that none of the chemicals used in growing them will remain.
Once done, you have two ways of feeding it to your cat. The first is by feeding it to them directly. Without the stem, the rest of the strawberry is pretty much safe for them to eat. Just be sure not to give them too much as they should only be limited to a single one at most.
Another way you can serve it is by cutting them into smaller pieces and then mixing it into your cats food. This can help add some flavor to their meal.
How Many Strawberries Can a Cat Eat Daily?
They should not be given too many strawberries at risk of giving them diabetes. If they are to be given strawberries, then it is important to make sure they are only given them in small amounts. Normally about half a strawberry to one whole strawberry would be enough for a day.
Can kittens have Strawberries?
Yes, it is perfectly safe for kittens to eat strawberries. There isn’t really anything particularly harmful that would put them at risk. However, there is also not really much that can be said to benefit them either.
This is because, at that stage of their lives, kittens require things like protein to help their bodies develop. Eating strawberries won’t really do much good for them in that department. Still, a little snack of them every one and a while would not do any harm.
Do Cats Like Strawberries?
In terms of taste, cats show little interest in strawberries. As we mentioned earlier, cats do not really have the ability to taste sweetness so they get little from the taste alone of these red fruits. However, that does not mean they are entirely unattracted to strawberries.
What they lack in their sense of taste, they make up for it in their sense of smell. The fresh aroma of strawberries is more than enough to pull our feline friends over to them. If that is not enough, then their natural curiosity might be enough to get their attention. Cats are curious creatures and they will take a closer look at things you try to serve as food.
As we have learned, strawberries can be a helpful snack for cats, offering some variety to their usual diets as well as some unique vitamins that they can get only from fruits. It is just important to remember not to overdo it and remember that cats at the end of the day are meat eaters and should not rely on strawberries alone.