Strawberries are not only sweet but also a rich source of vitamin C, fiber, and potassium in the human diet. The fact that they are so nutritious leaves many cat owners if their cats can eat strawberries safely too.
But is it safe to share these sweet and juicy berries with our feline friends? The short answer is yes. Cats can safely eat strawberries as they are not toxic. However, this does not necessarily mean that they should be added to the diet of your whiskered friend.
There are several important questions that you need to consider before offering a strawberry to your cat. Are strawberries of any nutritional benefit to cats? Are there any potential consequences? Should strawberries be part of your cat’s diet? How can cats be fed strawberries safely? Are there any risks or reasons to avoid feeding your cat strawberries?
The following article aims to answer all these questions while providing guidelines on how you can safely share strawberries with your cat.
Are there nutritional benefits to feeding your cat strawberries?
Cats, unlike humans, are obligate carnivores. This means that they have different nutritional requirements. Cats can only obtain their nutritional needs from animal products. They rely on these products for their growth and development. The simplest and best way of meeting these requirements is by providing your whiskered friend with a complete and balanced diet. This can be found in commercial cat food which has been formulated by certified veterinary nutritionists. As long as these dietary needs are met, feeding your cat treats such as strawberries is unnecessary.
Are strawberries safe for cats to eat?
Yes, strawberries are safe for cats to eat. However, they are only considered to be safe for healthy cats. If your cat has any underlying conditions such as diabetes, then it is best to avoid offering it strawberries since there could be some underlying risks involved with feeding your cat strawberries.
Also, it is important to treat your cat individually and not as a statistic. Each cat is unique and they tolerate certain foods differently. Your friend’s cat may love strawberries and is able to eat them with no issue, but the same amount of strawberries could cause your cat to develop issues such as vomiting and diarrhea.
Your cat’s diet should primarily be a completely balanced pet food that will provide all the nutrients he needs. Human foods such as strawberries should only be offered to them occasionally as treats and in small amounts.
How to feed your cat strawberries safely
To safely feed your cat strawberries, you need to take your cat’s nutritional needs into account. First, it is imperative to talk to your veterinarian before offering your cat any human food. This includes foods that are considered to be safe such as strawberries.
You also need to determine the number of strawberries your cat can eat safely. It is recommended that the treats you offer your cat should account for less than ten percent of her daily caloric intake. Therefore, if your cat eats 250 calories in a day, treats shouldn’t account for more than 25 calories.
Ensure that strawberries are well washed before offering them to your cat. You should also remove the leaves and stems since they are much more difficult to digest. Cut the berries into bite-size pieces that’ll be comfortably eaten by your cat.
Most importantly, you should monitor your cat as she eats and pay attention in case of any unexpected reactions. You should watch out for any gastrointestinal complications such as diarrhea and vomiting after your cat tries new food. If your cat shows any of these symptoms, you should call your veterinarian.
Should cats eat strawberries?
Although strawberries are safe for cats, they contain a lot of sugar. As obligate carnivores, cats have not evolved to break down sugar quickly or efficiently. While strawberries are rich in vitamin C, fiber, and antioxidants, cats do not receive any nutritional value from them.
When feeding your cat, the nutritional benefit is the most important thing to consider. Since strawberries are of negligible benefit to cats, there is no need to go out of your way to feed them to your cat.
However, if your cat is begging for a piece, you can offer it to her once in a while, provided your vet hasn’t advised otherwise.
Cat Eating Strawberry Side Effects
Strawberries are generally non-toxic to cats. However, they can potentially affect your cat’s health. Since they have high amounts of sugar, frequently feeding your cat large amounts of strawberries could lead to diabetes, obesity, and tooth decay. They can also cause gastrointestinal distress in your cat. There is also the risk of an allergic reaction.
Do Cats like Strawberries?
A cat’s tongue cannot detect sweetness. As such, they are generally indifferent to strawberries. However, each cat is different. Some cats like strawberries while some don’t. Those that like them are probably curious since they do not have a developed taste for fruits and plants.
Given that strawberries are of no nutritional benefit to cats and they can offset allergic reactions and gastrointestinal discomfort, it is best to avoid feeding your cat strawberries altogether.
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