As far as fruits go, strawberries are probably one of the most loved berries known to man. They are a fantastic source of vitamin C, fibers, and potassium (amongst many other benefits), and are just so sweet and juicy whenever you bite into one. Also, the bright, shiny red hue of this popular berry makes it oh so inviting and just one look at a basket or container of fresh strawberries is enough to get the taste buds tingling.
You’ve probably been in the scenario before when you’re snacking away at your favorite fruit or piece of food, and you look down to see your furry friend looking at you with expectant eyes, wanting to have a little piece of what you’re enjoying. There’s no greater bonding experience than the experience of sharing your food with your cat.
And in the case of strawberries, you’re probably here to know whether it’s safe to give your tiny tiger a little bit of that berry bliss you’re enjoying. Well, here’s the short answer to your question – Yes, your cat can eat strawberries.
But there are some considerations to take note of before you start putting strawberries in regular rotation in your cat’s daily diet. Here’s everything you need to know about cats and strawberries below.
Nutritional Benefits Of Strawberries
Strawberries are without a doubt filled to the brim with a ton of qualities that deliver awesome health benefits. Here are some of them:
1. Source of Vitamin C, Vitamin B9
Most of us know vitamin C as that vitamin which comes from oranges. However, strawberries are also a great source of this popular vitamin, which is one the best all-rounded nutrients that protects and maintains growth, development and repair of all body tissue.
Vitamin B9, also known as folic acid, boosts the body’s ability to convert carbs (from food) into glucose – this accumulated glucose is then turned into potential energy that the body can use, similar to how fuel is essential for a car to run efficiently.
2. High in Potassium
Potassium helps your muscles work more effectively, and it regulates fluids in the body as well. This leads to reduced blood pressure, water retention, and decreases the risk of ailments such as stroke, osteoporosis and kidney stones.
3. Source of Manganese
Strawberries are known to contain a high percentage of manganese. An abundance of manganese allows your blood to clot more effectively, making it an important component of tissue and bone repair. It also helps you to metabolize carbohydrates, absorb calcium and regulate blood sugar levels more efficiently.
Can Cats Eat Strawberries?
Yes, they can! You can now rest easy knowing that your cat is able to share in all of the benefits of eating strawberries with you. But here’s the truth – from a nutritional standpoint, cats have little to gain from eating this sweet red berry. Why is this so? After all, if it’s good for me, it’s good for my cat, right?
Well, for one thing, cats do not have adequate taste receptors in their taste buds to fully appreciate the sweetness of strawberries. This means that even though your freshly picked organically farm grown strawberries taste like the sweet nectar of the heavens to you, your cat probably won’t be able to tell the difference from another fruit or berry. Talk about not getting your money’s worth!
Another thing about strawberries and cats is, if we’re looking at it from a health point of view, there is not much nutrition you can add to their diet that they don’t already receive from the commercial cat food they eat on a daily basis. Cats are obligate carnivores – this means that their digestive systems have been refined through the generations of their ancestors to get all of the nutrition that they need from meat or meat products. They don’t necessarily need any more nutrition from fruits or other sources!
Are Strawberries Safe For Cats To Consume?
Despite the nutrition issue, it’s always good to know that strawberries are perfectly safe for your cat to consume. The mighty strawberry is absolutely non-toxic to cats, and your cat might enjoy the taste and texture of this juicy, fibrous berry whenever you serve it to them.
Risks Associated With Cats And Strawberries
Strawberries are high in nutrients, vitamins and minerals – however, they are also high in fructose, which is a natural sugar found in fruits. As we’ve established above, cats lack the ability to taste sugar, which means that there is an increased risk of overconsumption when it comes to strawberries, relative to their weight and size.
A human can eat a few strawberries at one go with no issues – however, if a cat does the same, this may eventually lead to conditions like diabetes, obesity and blood sugar related complications.
How can you tell if your furry companion is suffering from feline diabetes? Here are some of the most common symptoms:
- Excessive urination
- Vomiting / Tummy problems
- Drinking abnormal amounts of water
If any of these symptoms are present in your cat, contact your vet as soon as you notice them. Like in humans, feline diabetes has a greater chance of recovery if detected as soon as possible.
So, if you want to share in the joy of biting into a juicy, sweet strawberry with your little feline companion, there’s absolutely no reason to stop you from doing so.
However, always remember that cats cannot digest fruit sugars as well as we humans can, which is why portion sizes are important. If you’re sharing your strawberries with your cat, only serve small, bite sized portions at a time, and never an entire berry at once. This avoids the risk of a choking hazard, as well as overconsumption.
If this is your first time feeding strawberries to your cat, try cutting up tiny portions and serving it to them one at a time. If your cat has any kind of allergic reaction (although these are pretty rare occurrences) to strawberries, immediately reach your vet for medical advice. Otherwise, just sit back and enjoy your priceless bonding experience over strawberries with your cat!