Known for its beautiful bright color, plump look, and sweet taste, Strawberry has been an absolute favorite of the humankind. However, as a pet owner, you might have wondered if this delicious berry could be a part of your cat’s diet or not.
As an animal lover, you would surely want to add healthy options within your feline partner’s diet. So, if you are wondering, can cats eat strawberry, the answer might not be as straight as you might think.
Let us get into the details of this fruit and how it affects your cat when incorporated within his/her diet.
Does Your Cat Enjoy Eating Strawberry?
Strawberry has been praised for its rich nutritional content that comprises of vitamins and minerals that help boost the energy level in your pet cat. It also contains natural sugar that adds in a rush that is similar to ours when we eat a strawberry.
However, our feline partners tend to have a digestive system that is different than ours. Even though some berries are non-toxic and beneficial to your cat’s health, other food items can lead to serious health issues or long-term side effects.
Even though strawberries tend to be healthy for humans, it doesn’t mean that they are safe for your cat. So, whether your cat enjoys eating strawberry depends on how it benefits your feline.
What are the health benefits of Strawberry?
Strawberries are packed with a diverse range of nutritional elements such as vitamin B9, vitamin C, manganese, and potassium. It is eaten raw, in jams, with cereals, or as desserts. It is a truly perfect companion for regular meals.
It is especially beneficial for diabetics given the high fiber content and simple sugars. It doesn’t spike the existing blood sugar level. They are heart-healthy berries that help reduce inflammation, lower BP (Blood Pressure), and add good cholesterol to the body.
A single cup of freshly sliced strawberries (166 grams) contains nutrients such as:
- Protein: 1.11 g
- Calories: 53 kcal
- Carbohydrates: 12.75 g
- Calcium: 27 mg
- Dietary Fiber: 3.30 g
- Iron: 0.68 mg
- Phosphorus: 40 mg
- Magnesium: 22 mg
- Vitamin C: 97.60 mg
- Potassium: 254 mg
- Vitamin A: 28 IU
- Folate: 40 mcg
Can Your Cats Really Eat Strawberry?
As amazing as strawberry is, you might have noticed that your cat might not be as excited to eat this berry. The reason behind it is that cats do not have taste receptors that help detect sweetness.
As explained by Scientific American, any sweet treats might not excite your cats, and the same applies to strawberries as well.
Even though this berry is considered safe for consumption by diabetics, cats should refrain from digesting strawberry regularly.
So, why isn’t strawberry advised for cats regularly?
Well, your feline cannot digest the sugar content in strawberry in a way that humans do. Cats are primarily carnivorous, and consumption of a high amount of sugar (even though it’s natural) regularly can lead to the development of diabetic or digestive issues in the long run.
So, it is recommended that you refrain from feeding strawberries to your cat in massive quantities or even as a replacement for daily meals.
How many strawberries can your cat eat safely?
If your pet cat nibbles on your bowl of strawberries out of curiosity, there is no need to fret. A small nibble of this red berry won’t do any harm as they are non-toxic in nature. However, if this habit becomes a regular thing, this sugar-packed treat can lead to issues such as diabetes and obesity.
Cats can easily digest the sugar present in strawberry in teensy-weensy amount. However, frequently raising of your cat’s blood sugar can lead to serious side-effects.
The most prominent issue that stems from the long-term consumption of strawberry by cats is diabetes. Here are some of the diabetes symptoms that you need to check for:
- Excessive Thirst
- Appetite Dearth
- Frequent Urination
- Failure to Jump
If you happen to notice the given symptoms, contact the local veterinarian immediately to halt the progress of the disease in your cat. Additionally, if any of these signs are present in your cat, stop feeding him/her strawberries on an immediate basis.
What are the healthy alternatives to feed your cat?
If you plan on feeding healthy snacks to your cat while avoiding strawberries, you can stick to options such as:
- Green Bell Peppers
- Spinach (Packed with vitamin C, A, and K)
However, you need to keep in mind that your feline partner is a carnivore, and they might miss vital nutrients that come from cat food that is properly formulated.
If you are looking for a safe formula-food for your feline, the Natural Balance Green Pea & Salmon Formula for adult cats is the perfect option. You can also opt for a home-cooked balanced diet. Make sure the ingredients used in the food are safe for cats and provides multiple health benefits.
How Should You Feed Strawberries to Your Cat?
Cats and strawberries might seem like a good idea for occasional snacking. Since there is a certain faction of humans that might have allergies to strawberries, your cat might have similar issues. According to the ASPCA, strawberries tend to be non-toxic for dogs, cats, as well as horses.
Cases of human allergies from strawberries are generally mild. It includes symptoms such as itchy nose and congestion. Strawberries might lead to cases of itching in your feline partner as well.
If your cat sniffs the strawberry plant or its leaves from a close distance, the leaves with saw-tooth can lead to irritation issues. In order to avoid any such instances, make sure you observe any symptoms such as allergic reactions or upset stomach.
Your cat doesn’t need strawberry for its nutrition as they get plenty from other food items. So, you can give them the red berry as occasional snacks to avoid diabetes, obesity, or tooth decay issues.
Can my cat eat jam made from strawberries?
As stated in the sections above, your cat might not be drawn-in to the sugar content present in strawberry. So, it is obvious that a cat might not be drawn to the strawberry jam. However, if your cat is drawn-in to the strawberry jam, it might simply be out of curiosity.
Remember that sugar in small quantities is fine for your pet cat, but anything that goes way too high in their body can lead to long-term side effects. Plus, the strawberry jam houses much more sugar content as opposed to natural strawberry. You can surely feed the jam to your pet, but the amount should be regulated and occasional.
One thing that you need to ensure is the fact that the jam shouldn’t be sweetened with the use of xylitol. Even though it isn’t as toxic to cats as it is for dogs, playing it safe can never go wrong.
Can cats eat strawberry yogurt?
Although strawberries have been proven to be non-toxic in nature for the cats, they contain a high amount of sugar. This could be a causal factor of diabetes when consumed in a high amount on a daily basis.
Now, coming to the part where yogurt is mixed with strawberries for a delicious snacking item. In most cases, strawberry yogurt is actually artificially flavored. This means it is a plain, simple sugar rush for your feline.
If you really want to feed your cat some strawberry yogurt, you can opt for regular yogurt and mix a few slices of strawberries or finely-pasted strawberry. This will benefit your cat way more than the artificially flavored strawberry yogurt.
However, you need to keep in mind that this treat should be given in a limited amount.
Can cats eat strawberry ice-cream?
In most cases, it is advised that you feed your cat goat milk as compared to cow milk. This is due to the fact that goat milk can be digested easily by the cats as opposed to cow’s milk.
The same applies to ice cream as well. Keep in mind that even the best kind of ice-cream comes with some type of artificial sweeteners. If your cat is diabetic or prone to diabetes with a family history, you need to refrain from feeding him/her with ice-cream.
Now, coming to the strawberry ice creams. Given that your cat cannot taste the sweetness in the ice-cream, it is something that your cat won’t develop an addiction for.
Plus, strawberries do not have any nutritional benefits for cats as they do for humans.
So, it is safe but a better option would be to prepare the ice cream at home and add in a few slices of strawberry to it. This way you can be sure that there is no artificial sweetener added to the dessert.
Can my cat eat the strawberry plant?
If you are a gardener with love for strawberries, you need to keep in mind that your pet cat can nibble on the green in the lawn. You need to check whether the strawberry plant is toxic to your cat. In general, the plant itself isn’t toxic when ingested.
However, the strawberry leaves have a saw-tooth like structure that leads to nose, skin, as well as eye issues for your feline partner.
All-in-all, your cat can surely eat strawberries but only in small amounts. Plus, keep the pet away from the strawberry plant in your vicinity to avoid facial allergies.
Have you ever fed your cat or kitten strawberries? Did you experience any issues or benefits? Comment down below with your experience or queries. If you have plans to add strawberries to your cat’s diet, make sure you start slow and keep the feeding habit to a limited amount.