Can cats eat strawberries?
Who doesn’t like strawberries? They’re visually appealing, bite-sized, low-calorie, sugar-sweet, and pretty healthy too. The delicious little red fruits provide us with a variety of nutrients and antioxidants, including vitamin C, folic acid, potassium, ellagic acid, fiber and of course sugar. Just a handful of ripe strawberries contain more vitamin C than oranges and lemons. They fight free radicals, improve blood pressure and lower bad LDL cholesterol. However, a question often arises for pet owners, and especially cat owners, when their curious pet starts examining the bowl of fresh strawberries. Can cats eat strawberries? In today’s post, we aim to answer these and other related questions in detail.
Strawberries offer us numerous health benefits that cats tend not to
Can cats eat strawberries?
Animal lovers ask themselves the question “Can cats eat strawberries?” mainly to find the answer to another related question: Are the small red fruits poisonous to cats? After all, there are numerous harmless-looking foods and plants in the kitchen and in the garden that are actually extremely poisonous for our house tigers.
Fortunately, this does not apply to strawberries. This fruit does not contain any toxic substances that could directly harm the health of our cute little friends. But just because cats can theoretically eat strawberries doesn’t mean they should. Here’s why!
The sweet red fruits are not poisonous
However, they are also not particularly healthy for cats
Strawberries have nothing to offer cats
Cats follow the ultimate low-carb diet—they are obligate carnivores. While dogs have significantly different dietary needs than their wolf ancestors, cats do not. Their digestive system is identical to that of wild and big cats.
This means your body needs animal protein to function. Your digestive system is designed to process and utilize the proteins, fats, nutrients and acids found in raw meat. However, they lack the key enzymes to absorb the nutrients found in plant foods. Cats can only process about 2% of the carbohydrates in their digestive system.
Many nutrients are even completely useless for the cat’s body, such as vitamin C. While humans have to ingest vitamin C through food, cats produce it themselves and therefore very rarely suffer from vitamin C deficiency.
Our house tigers have the same needs as real tigers
Cats do not need fruits or vegetables in their diet
They only occasionally need a bit of weed for fiber
Dogs are omnivores, while cats are pure carnivores
Are Strawberries Good Treats for Cats?
Unfortunately not. Cats just can’t taste strawberries. While the human tongue has over 9,000 taste buds, cats have fewer than 500. In addition, their bodies lack the two proteins Tas12r and Tas13r. All this means that cats don’t eat sweets at all because they don’t like them. They are only able to identify sour, bitter, and salty tastes. Strawberries therefore probably taste a bit sour to them.
Strawberries don’t make good treats for cats, but not just because of the lack of flavor. This fruit and all the products that contain it are very rich in carbohydrates and especially sugar. These can quickly spike your cat’s blood sugar and cause serious health problems. If your cat eats sugary foods on a regular basis, over time it can lead to obesity, diabetes, thyroid disease, tooth and gum disease, urinary tract infections and digestive tract disorders.
Many cats are also allergic to strawberries. Symptoms include sneezing, coughing, wheezing, itching, vomiting, and diarrhea.
The strawberry stalk is difficult to digest and can lead to intestinal obstruction
Looking for a treat for kitty? A piece of turkey ham without seasoning is much more suitable
Is your cat still trying to eat strawberries?
While cats don’t have particularly good taste receptors, they do have an amazing sense of smell. They can tell if something is edible or not just by smelling it. Therefore, most cats don’t even try to eat strawberries. When they first see the fruit, they examine it carefully and may even take a tiny bit. But they probably won’t eat the whole strawberry.
However, there are always exceptions. Kittens, for example, who are still getting to know their world, are often quite careless and very curious. The small animals then often poison themselves unknowingly.
In adult cats, eating things with no nutritional value could also be a symptom of pica. This eating disorder is often caused by a serious nutrient deficiency or other medical issue and as such needs to be discussed with your veterinarian immediately. Once the cause has been identified, move strawberries and other items your cat might nibble on out of reach.
It is best to store fresh strawberries in the vegetable compartment of the refrigerator
Cats with pica often devour their toys, fabrics, houseplants, trash, etc.
Is Your Home Kitty-Proof?
Can cats eat strawberries? The answer is yes and no at the same time. While these sweet red fruits are not poisonous, they do more harm than good to the cat’s body. The house tiger should rather keep its paws off that.