Can Cats Eat Strawberries?
Cat owners commonly wonder about the toxicity of various human foods. The question about the safety of different foods increased after learning that certain foods were toxic which yielded a lot of press coverage. The most important toxic foods are onions, garlic, chocolate, alcohol, and excessive amounts of fish.
Exposure to the dangers of various human foods has encouraged pet owners to ask about the safety of foods such as can cats eat strawberries. Learn more about what cats can and can’t eat in this article: The Ultimate Guide to What Cats Can’t Eat.
Can Cats Eat Strawberries?
A strawberry is a round, oblong, spherical, or heart-shaped soft sweet red fruit with a seed-studded surface grown from a strawberry plant. The world production of strawberries is estimated to be nearly 10 million ton/year.
The strawberry plant is a low growing green plant that produces white flowers that yield the strawberry fruit. They are grown worldwide. Strawberries are commonly eaten by themselves or prepared in foods such as pies, ice cream, milkshakes, energy drinks, salad dressings, preserves, fruit smoothies, fruit bars, candy, or enjoyed covered in chocolate. The flavor and aromas of strawberries are common in candy, perfume, cosmetics, candles, and many more products.
It is believed that the first strawberry was bred in France and came to North American in the mid-1700s. The strawberry has received recent press discussing that it is not classified as a traditional “berry” based on the biology of the plant and that it is technically an “accessory fruit.”
The answer to the question, “can cats eat strawberries”… the answer is yes. Cats can eat strawberries but in moderation. Although most cats don’t care for fruit including strawberries, some cats do enjoy the soft moist texture and many enjoy this as a healthy snack. Strawberries are a good source of antioxidants, fiber, and Vitamin C.
The Dangers of Strawberries to Cats
Ingestion of large amounts of strawberries can cause gastrointestinal upset such as diarrhea. Although uncommon in cats, ingestion of strawberry stems and plants can cause gastrointestinal obstruction. The leaves and plant, while not toxic, are very difficult to digest. Signs of problems include vomiting, diarrhea, lethargy, abdominal pain, straining to defecate, and/or a decreased appetite.
The other danger of strawberries to cats is the danger of choking – especially when eating a large whole strawberry. Some cats are not good at “chewing” their food and the danger of choking can occur.
Please be careful if your cat eats anything strawberry flavored that contains the sweetener xylitol. Xylitol toxicity is well documented in dogs but not in cats. Although not found to be a problem in cats, it is safest to avoid giving your cat anything strawberry flavored sweetened with xylitol. Xylitol is a common ingredient in diet or low-calorie pastries and drinks, especially those created for people with diabetes. Learn more about Xylitol Toxicity in Dogs.
Do Cats Need Strawberries?
There is nothing in strawberries that cats require on a regular basis. What cats do need is a high-quality AAFCO approved cat food. Learn more about Nutrition in Cats.
The Safest Way to Give Strawberries to Cats
The safest way to give some strawberry to your cat is to give small pieces of clean fresh strawberry. Cats should never be fed the strawberry stem or leaves.
How Many Strawberries Can You Give a Cat?
One medium-sized strawberry cut up is plenty to give a small cat, two to three for a medium-sized cat, and three or four medium-sized strawberries for a large sized cat.
Can Cats Be Allergic to Strawberries?
While it is possible a cat to be allergic to anything, cat allergies to strawberries are uncommon.
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