Humans love strawberries, which may have something to do with their bright colors or their sweetness, your cat could be delighted by its looks as well, you could feel tempted to share this treat but could also feel unsure about whether you should.
Yes, a cat can eat strawberries in moderation without expecting allergic reactions or side effects, these fruits won’t cause any harm to felines. Side effects might appear in the long term because 100g of these fruits contain 4.9g of sugar, which is a carb difficult for cats to metabolize.
Cats have roughly 470 taste buds, however, the genes responsible to identify sweetness are not well developed in cats, therefore their lack of interest in sugar because. Additionally, sugar is a carbohydrate, and cats’ digestive system doesn’t perform well when metabolizing carbohydrates.
Are Cats Attracted To Strawberries?
Cats are natural carnivores, instinctively their diets must include animal-based proteins and fats, naturally, cats will hunt their prey and eat their flesh, leaving behind the bones, feathers, fur, etc. Carbs, on the other hand, is not a macronutrient a cat must have, due to the fact that their bodies are not effective at digesting them and it may compromise their health, leading to becoming overweight and other conditions.
Researches have shown that domestic cats might feel inclined to try foods with less nutritional value, the exact reason is yet to be determined, but some claim it has something to do with different attributes such as the feel, appearance, consistency, or smell.
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Strawberries it’s a worldwide crop, they are very easy to grow and these fruits are highly attractive due to their texture, color, smell and taste. It’s important to know these fruits are wrongly related to the berry family. In 100g of this fruit you will find: 0.7g of protein, 8g of carbs and 0g of fat, along with many other nutrients such as vitamin C, magnesium, iron and water, lots of water! 92% of a strawberry is water content.
Some people claim domestic cats act funny on strawberries, while there are no actual researches that can prove it, it is believed catnip is somehow related to strawberries, the former is a herb that contains nepetalactone, this active ingredient will make cats feel frisky if inhaled.
Are Strawberries Healthy For Cats?
A cat should be receiving most of the nutrients from an animal-based diet, regardless of whether you choose home-made, canned or dry cat food, it’s very important to keep in mind fruits and vegetables are not suitable to replace meat in its diet. You can visit your vet specialist and inquire about your pet’s needs in terms of nourishment, a well fed cat is a healthy cat and even though there are nutrient-rich treats your cat can have from time to time, it doesn’t strictly mean your cat can eat them frequently.
Strawberries contain lots of water, but also contain high amounts of sugar, be careful not to include this fruit as a daily treat as there are risks your cat can develop from excessive carbohydrates consumption, such as diabetes mellitus, overweight and kidney failure.
The nutrients contained in strawberries represent an advantage in any animal metabolism, some of the pros about adequate strawberry consumption in cats are:
- Healthy immune system
- Slow aging process
- Folate, one of the B-vitamins found in strawberries, aids in making new cells
- Calcium positively impact in skin and fur
- Potassium improves the nervous system
- Its high vitamin C content offers great help in curing wounds or injuries
Some of the less favourable conditions related to strawberries consumption in cats are:
- Digestive disorders
Upset stomach, vomiting, and diarrhea might occur if too many strawberries are consumed by your cat at once. Your cat stomach will not be able to stand a high amount of sugar.
Your cat’s immune system will react to long term exposure to fruits, including strawberries. Please take your cat to the vet if you see symptoms like sneezing, regurgitation and excessive scratching after eating strawberries.
Dietary variation in cats could lead to diarrhea, this mainly happens when cats are not able to properly digest strawberries.
- Diabetes Mellitus
Obesity is an eating disorder that could be caused by a high carb diet in cats, an excessive amount of strawberries added to your cat’s daily diet could promote obesity and may turn your cat diabetic in the long run.
Cats may suffer feline resorptive lesions (FORLs) if given a lot of strawberries, this disease causes their teeth to break and teeth removal is the only solution there is.
How To Feed Your Cat A Strawberry
When feeding strawberries to a cat there are certain factors to be considered:
This is very important when serving any type of food to a cat, if the strawberries have been stored in the cold then take them out of the refrigerator a few minutes before serving them, your cat won’t show interest in any food with temperatures lower than 100 degrees Fahrenheit, they tend to prefer warmer food that resembles the recently-hunted prey.
A cat’s tongue is mainly rough, their taste buds are located around their tongues while the center is considered to have small sandpaper-like keratin bumps which serve for eating and grooming purposes. Cat’s prefer strawberries that are fresh and firm rather than mushy.
Small pieces are recommended, cut the strawberry in half. Make sure you don’t feed more than 1 strawberry at a time.
Can Cats Eat Strawberries And Become Allergic?
Long exposure to any kind of food will eventually cause allergic reactions to a cat, strawberries are not the exception, it is important to look at the symptoms and take immediate action as soon as they appear.
Other conditions can also be related to overly feeding your cat with this fruit, due to the high sugar content they could lead to diabetes. Cats are known to have high protein, high fat, and low carb diets because they are not capable of metabolizing carbohydrates as efficiently as other mammals.
In some instances your cat, due to not being able to efficiently digest the fruit, could also experience vomiting, upset stomach or regurgitating, the latter is a mechanism where their brains identify the best way to prevent obstructions in their digestive system.
Do Strawberries Get Cats High?
It is believed strawberries are somehow related to catnip, some people claim their leaves look alike and that’s enough to sustain this theory.
Catnip is an herb whose active ingredient, called nepetalactone, is considered to have hallucinogenic effects on cats, when inhaling its fumes you can see your cat might start to feel nosy and more playful. The substance is considered non-dangerous and non-addictive to your pet, side effects only occur in the event of your cat swallowing its leaves.
If you feed them strawberries, you may find your cat purring, playing, and moving the strawberry piece around, dilated pupils could also occur, which some people believe are signs your cat is high.
There are no conclusive investigations around cats being high on any type of substance, all we know is based on cat owner’s experience and their stories.
Are Strawberries Leaves Toxic To Cats?
Leaves itself won’t harm or cause any negative health effects on your cats if he inhales its fumes, however, their saw-toothed leaves can be considered a hazard and have adverse reactions such as sore skin, nose, ear, and eyes irritation.
Stems and leaves are also difficult to digest and could cause intestinal problems, it’s better to remove them before feeding strawberries to a cat.
Can Cats Eat Strawberry Based Products?
As long as the list of ingredients do not contain sweeteners such as xylitol, it is totally safe for a cat to eat strawberry jam.
Strawberry Ice Cream
Ice Cream is probably something your cat won’t feel attracted to, usually they prefer foods at room temperature that mimic a freshly-hunted prey, you could mix up heavy cream and strawberries to give an ice cream textured treat.
There’s no difference for a cat between ripe and unripe strawberries, just like sweet flavors, a cat is unable to identify sour flavors, so both options will taste almost the same to your cat.
Antibiotics in yogurt could help your cat’s digestive system, and prevent gastrointestinal issues. Feel free to mix a few strawberry slices into yogurt. Avoid high fat yogurt, vanilla yogourt and yogurts sweetened with xylitol.
Other Fruits A Cat Can Eat
Here’s a list of other fruits your cat can eat:
As you can see, there’s no harm in giving one strawberry every once in a while to your furry friend, bear in mind there even though it is not considered toxic, moderation is key, as an owner you must make sure this is a treat not part of the cat’s usual diet.
There are some cats that could probably show no interest in strawberries, but if your cat does, follow the recommended portions, make sure leaves and stems are left out, also visit your local vet for more specific information about it.
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.