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can my pet have this

The essentials

  • Good news, cats can eat strawberries — Strawberries aren’t a superfood for cats, but they’re okay for cats to eat as occasional treats.
  • Some cats like strawberries too — The sweet taste and smell of strawberries can make a cat happy. 
  • Too many berries can hurt your cat’s stomach — Remember moderation is key, your cat may show signs of illness if they eat too many strawberries.
  • Watch out for allergic reactions — Strawberries aren’t great for all cats, it’s important to look out for signs like itching, which may mean your cat is allergic.

So what’s the deal with strawberries?

Strawberries are a favorite fruit for humans and are a safe snack for cats, too! They’re packed with vitamins and can serve as a nice addition to your cat’s daily treat routine. 

Why do cats like strawberries?

Cats don’t have as many taste buds as humans; more specifically, felines do not have as many receptors for sweet foods. This means that most cats probably will not recognize a strawberry as being particularly sweet. Some cats, however, still like eating strawberries. Why? 

Cats may respond similarly to strawberries as they do to things like catnip. They might like to play with strawberries, rub themselves on them, smell them, and eat them. While cats don’t like the smells of some fruits like citrus, they do like the smell of strawberries. 

The benefits of strawberries for cats

It’s important to note that strawberries aren’t a superfood for cats. However, strawberries do have a range of other benefits:

  • Antioxidants. While strawberries may not have as many antioxidants for cats as foods like salmon, the fruit may help prevent illness.
  • Vitamin C. Strawberries contain vitamin C which helps with tissue growth, reduces stress, and aids the immune system. 
  • Hydration. Strawberries contain lots of water. If you struggle to get your cat to drink enough water on a daily basis, feeding them some strawberries can be a great way to give them some extra hydration. 
  • B9. Also known as folate, B9 helps with digestion. While some outdoor cats will eat grass to get their fill of folate, indoor cats can eat the occasional strawberry to keep their gut healthy.
  • Potassium. Strawberries contain lots of potassium which keeps a cat’s coat healthy and can prevent issues like cramping.
  • Manganese. The manganese in strawberries can aid in a cat’s bone health and growth.

How to feed cats strawberries, in steps

1. Remove the stems and leaves — While they’re not poisonous to cats, the stems and leaves of strawberries can irritate their mouths and digestive system. 

2. Cut into small pieces — You should feed your cat relatively small pieces of strawberries because they’re easier for them to digest. If you feed your cat big bites of strawberries, it can be a choking hazard. 

3. Use strawberries as occasional treats — Try using bits of strawberries as a treat to reward your cat’s positive behavior.

👉  Only feed your cat strawberries in moderation, because too much of a good thing can hurt their stomach.

Strawberries in their varied forms

Strawberries are often found in foods like yogurt, ice cream, and jam, but you should be wary of feeding these foods to your cat. If you’ve noticed that your cat loves the smell or taste of strawberries, you can give them the occasional lick of something like an organic strawberry jam.

As a general rule of thumb, you should avoid feeding your cat strawberry derivatives. Adult cats are actually lactose intolerant, so it’s best to avoid giving them dairy products altogether.

🚨 You should also watch out for sugar-free products that contain the artificial sweetener xylitol, which can be toxic to cats and dogs.

More cat-friendly fruits

Besides strawberries, there are other fruits and berries that your cat can eat in small quantities. Before you feed your cat anything other than their normal food, you should check with your vet. The following fruits are safe for them to eat in small and bite-size quantities:

  • Blueberries/raspberries/cranberries
  • Bananas 🍌
  • Apples 🍎
  • Mangos 
  • Cantaloupe
  • Seedless watermelon 🍉

Fruits your cat should avoid

The following fruits are either toxic or extremely harmful to cats: 

How to know when you’re giving your cat too much of a good thing

There are a few risks associated with feeding your cat too many strawberries. 

  • Allergic reactions. If you notice symptoms like sneezing, itching, vomiting, or a rash after your cat eats strawberries, they could be allergic.
  • Obesity. Feeding cats too much food, in general, can cause obesity. Because cats aren’t used to digesting sugar, too much of the sugar in strawberries can make them especially prone to weight gain. 
  • Upset stomach. Due to the high fiber content of strawberries, you may notice that your cat has diarrhea after they eat them. 
  • UTIsCats prone to UTIs should avoid eating strawberries. This is because an excess of vitamin C can cause crystals to form in a cat’s urethra.  

Frequently asked questions

Are strawberry leaves poisonous to cats?

They’re not poisonous, but they can be obstructive to a cat’s digestive tract. The skin of strawberry leaves can also be irritating to a cat’s skin. It’s best to cut off leaves and stems before feeding strawberries to your cat.

Can I feed my cat an unripe strawberry?

While unripe strawberries will not necessarily hurt your cat, they may not like them since unripe fruit does not have as much of a sweet scent or smell.

Why do cats go crazy for strawberries?

Cats like both the sweetness and the aroma that strawberries emit, as well as the texture or size of the fruit. 

If strawberries aren’t a superfood for cats, what is?

Superfoods do exist for cats. They include things like spinach, broccoli, and fish or chicken which contain omega-3 and protein. Each cat has different diet needs, so it’s always important to consult with your vet about the best foods and supplements for their health.

Can I feed my cat other sweet foods?

You should never feed your cat sugary foods like processed treats because they can cause an array of health complications, like diabetes, for your pet. They may also contain the artificial sweetener xylitol, which is toxic to dogs and cats.