Strawberries are one of the most delicious, low-calorie healthy fruits for humans. They have also proven to be healthy snacks for dogs. But what about cats? Can cats eat strawberries? Are strawberries healthy for cats or at least, safe to eat? Are there any dangers to feeding strawberries to your feline? These are some of the questions that this article answers for you.
Read further and become informed on cats eating strawberries such as potential risks and safety measures when feeding them.
Can Cats Eat Strawberries?
Strawberries are safe for cats to eat. As long as you take the right precautions and follow the guidelines further down, you won’t need to worry about endangering your feline’s health. However, be mindful of the fact that safe to eat does not necessarily mean healthy.
Are There Benefits to Cats Eating Strawberries?
Strawberries contain fiber, vitamin C, and potassium which all contribute to boosting the human diet. This is not the case for cats. As obligate carnivores, cats do not generally rely on human treats for nutrition. Most human treats, including strawberries, are not nutritionally complete or balanced enough for the feline diet. This means that they do not gain any more nutrients from human treats than they do from their regular cat food and treats. For this reason, you must feed them safe-to-eat, healthy human snacks such as strawberries only occasionally.
How Do I Safely Give Strawberries to my Cat?
First and foremost, there are some general guidelines for feeding any snacks to your cat that you must always keep in mind:
- Consult your vet. Any time you make a change in your cat’s diet, it is important to ask your veterinarian.
- Consult your cat. Change is almost never easy for cats as it oftentimes leads to anxiety and other mental health-related problems. They value their routine and adhere by it. For this reason, they might not show interest in trying out a new snack. If they are not curious to try the strawberry you offer them, do not force them to eat it.
- Moderation. Remember that cat treats must never exceed the 10% of their daily calorie intake as 90% is reserved for regular meals. Treats must never replace meals.
With the above guidelines in mind, read further for more specific instructions on feeding strawberries to your feline:
Calculate the Calories
The amount of strawberries depends on the amount of calories your cat consumes daily. Keep in mind that there are around six calories in one medium strawberry. Hence, if your cat eats 250 calories a day, 25 of those calories can be treats —no more than that! This means that if you decide to feed them 4 medium strawberries, your cat shouldn’t have any more treats for the rest of the day. If you want to avoid doing math altogether, stick to giving your cat 1-2 small to medium strawberries.
Prepare the Strawberries
Wash the strawberries thoroughly with water. Then, remove the stems and leaves. Next, cut the strawberries into smaller, bite-size pieces. Aim for the same size as your cat’s kibble if you aren’t sure. This will help your cat eat strawberries more easily and without the risk of choking.
Monitor your Cat
Depending on each cat, there might be some unexpected side effects to eating strawberry even after following the above guidelines. Watch out for any signs of gastrointestinal problems in your feline such as vomiting and diarrhea after they try out a new food. It’s best for them to introduce only one new food at a time. You can more easily detect the source of the problem when your cat shows signs of illness. If your cat shows an adverse response to strawberries, call your veterinarian.
Strawberries are safe to eat for cats. While they do not offer any more nutrition than the kind they already obtain from their regular food, you can still safely offer some pieces to them as a treat. Remember to follow the guidelines and be mindful of the possibility of your cat experiencing food adversions to strawberries. Do not fear though, as strawberries are not toxic to them. Simply make sure that you monitor them when they eat any new foods.