It is actually a common question whether cats can eat blueberries or not. In short, cats are carnivores and only need to consume meat when out in the wild to live a healthy life. However, they don’t only have to be limited to meat. It is safe for cats to eat fruits, vegetables and even grains.
Blueberries are not only safe for your cat to eat, but are actually beneficial for their health. Even though they do not provide the same benefits as they do to humans, the antioxidants, fiber and water in them are good for cats. Some pet foods even contain blueberry powder.
If you thought cats can only eat meat, you may want to revisit this idea. The fact that they are carnivores doesn’t mean that other types of foods with levels of protein and carbohydrates are not safe for them to eat.
Are Blueberries Good For Cats?
A lot of blueberry species are native to North America. Their blue color comes from anthocyanins, which are also responsible for the blueberry’s broad health benefits. This fruit has been around for centuries in North America; Maine being the number one producer in the world.
When you are devouring an appetizing snack, your cat may be staring at you with begging eyes to toss him at least a scrap of what you are enjoying. It may cross your mind at first to make sure if this treat will actually be good for your cat, knowing it will make you so happy to share it with them. So, are they really safe for them to eat?
There are certain foods consumed by humans that are okay or even beneficial for cats to eat. You may find a variety of your pantry and fridge items to make your cat joyful while boosting their overall health.
Blueberries are one of those fruits with small amounts of sugar, that you can perfectly share with your cat. Make sure they are not on pancakes, though. These fruits are low in fat and calories, and have plenty of antioxidants, flavonoids, fiber, and vitamins A, C, K, and E. You can cut them in small pieces in order to avoid potential obstruction, and always feed in moderation.
In addition, blueberries have major minerals like iron, potassium, and manganese. Their amazing level of antioxidants help prevent oxidative stress. Blueberries are also beneficial for supporting joint health and maintaining healthy bones.
Will My Cat Eat Blueberries?
If you have already fed your cat blueberries or you are aware that they have eaten them, don’t worry! If your cat has never eaten blueberries, you may be wondering if they will actually like them. In essence, cats can’t taste sweet flavors, so it’s not like they really distinguish the sweet taste of blueberries. Cats will, however, be inclined to taste mostly anything their owners are eating, mainly because they are enchanted by novelty and are curious animals after all. Normally, a cat won’t eat blueberries on their own because of their sweet taste. Nevertheless, if you are eating something in front of them, they will feel the urge to taste it.
Cats are also known to have neophilia, the trait of being excited and pleased by newness. Once your cat is presented with a blueberry, he may be excited to try it. Also, since cats like wet textures, they may eventually find juicy blueberries to be their preferred treat.
How To Introduce Blueberries To Cats
Including some more antioxidants in your cat’s diet is not a bad idea at all. You can easily trick your cat into eating blueberries. The most usual way of doing this is to just mix them in their regular food bowl and see if they will eat them. If your cat leaves the blueberries in the bowl, there are other ways. A funny way to do it is to try to act as if you don’t want to give them from the blueberries you are eating and they will surely become interested in trying it.
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Every cat has its own likes and desires. If you see that your cat is not really interested in blueberries or doesn’t enjoy them, there are plenty other options you can try if you want to include a fruity treat in their diet.
How Many Blueberries Can Cats Eat?
Let’s not forget that cats are still carnivores and it is important for them to have a fully balanced diet which is based on cat food. Even though blueberries are safe for cats, it is recommended that they are used as once in a while treats, the same as any other cat treats you occasionally give your cat. Anything that is not wet and/or dry cat food should be given in moderation.
Can Cats Eat Frozen Blueberries?
Frozen blueberries are safe for cats to eat. If your cat likes them or you are planning to feed them some, then go right ahead. The cold temperature may not be the most appealing to your cat, but chances are they may just love it. Another disadvantage is that the hardness of the frozen blueberry may be challenging for your cat to bite into. Ideally, you can cut it into smaller pieces if you see they are having a hard time and really want to eat it.
What Other Berries Can Cats Eat?
As we’ve mentioned before, even though cats are all not that interested in the sweetness that comes in fruit, there are other berries which are safe for them to eat. Strawberries, for example, are non-toxic to cats and are also low in sugar and rich in antioxidants, being another great treat to share with your cat.
Cats can only eat strawberries in small amounts, therefore, the benefits they provide to humans, such as vitamin C, potassium, manganese, folate, antioxidants and fiber, are not too evident in cats. This is due to the fact that they cannot consume large and frequent amounts as humans can. Keep in mind to always remove the stem and the leaves of the strawberries and cut in small pieces after washing them.
Raspberries, cranberries and blackberries are also safe for cats to eat. Their richness in minerals make them a tasty and healthy snack for your cat.
Can Cats Only Digest Protein?
Aside from fruits, foods like grains and vegetables are all allowed in a cat’s diet. If you think about dry cat food, there are variations like corn, rice and other veggies available. Cats are able to eat foods that supply protein and carbohydrates. Even though they are carnivores, they can digest the carbohydrates in fruit. The difference is that they are better at digesting protein from meat than they are digesting carbohydrates.
Other Fruits That Are Safe For Cats
Fruits are a crucial element to the human diet. Can fruits benefit pets as well? If you’re convinced to feed some delicious fruit to your feline friend, the good news is including the occasional fruit snack in your cat’s diet is not only okay but beneficial to them. All you need to do is be aware of those fruits that are safe and won’t harm your cat.
There are fruits that are toxic to pets. It is good to verify with your veterinarian to avoid any possible risks. You should also take into account that if your cat’s diet is a well-balanced one, you really don’t need to exaggerate in feeding them fruit all the time as it won’t be necessary.
A few bites of cat friendly fruits are all they can tolerate. These fruits are also safe for cats to eat in moderate amounts:
- Apricots (without seeds, stems, pits)
- Pears (without seeds, stems, pits)
- Apples (without core and seeds)
- Cantaloupe (without skin and seeds)
- Watermelon (without seeds)
Why Should I Include Fruits And Vegetables In My Cat’s Diet?
A well-balanced diet plays a key role in your cat’s life stage. You can be enhancing your cat’s diet by adding lots of vital nutrients with a variety of fruits and vegetables. These vitamins and minerals help their immune system stay on top and to remain strong in general. Usually, pet treats have high calorie amounts, making fruits and vegetables a better choice.
Fruits That Are Not Safe For Cats
- Grapes and raisins: eating grapes and raisins can result in digestive problems for cats. Vomiting, diarrhea, lethargy, and even serious kidney failure are all possible consequences.
- Lemons, limes, and oranges: the oils and combinations in citrus fruits can cause irritation in the stomach, vomiting, diarrhea or central nervous system depression.
- Cherries: it is safe to mention that the place and the plant where cherries grow are toxic to cats. Be careful to not feed cherry pits, seeds, leaves and stem to your cat, as it may result in a dangerous outcome.
So, are blueberries safe for cats to eat? The answer is, yes, fresh or frozen, in small quantities. Always make sure they are clean and check what size is more comfortable for them to eat. Your cat will start reaping the benefits of this valuable fruit in no time.
Shawn Manaher is a serial entrepreneur but when he isn’t working, he loves dogs. He’s owned different pets over the years, and always gives a part of his heart to each pet.