Can Cats Have Strawberries?
Who doesn’t love strawberries? It’s delicious, juicy, enticing with ruby-red colour, and packed full of vitamins and minerals. Leaving the fruit stall empty-handed without some packs of ripe strawberries can be quite challenging. But you curb the urge, bring just one pack home and leave it on the counter, hoping to devour them all by yourself in a while, only to come back and find your cats go nuts and rub their whole self, face and body on your strawberries!
Question is, can cats eat strawberries?
As you reclaim the precious strawberries, your conspiratorial cats look into your eyes. Then let out an insistent high-pitched meow wrapped up in a pleasant purr, begging for just one bite. No ‘hooman’ has ever survived this top-notch persuasive technique. You’re about to give in to those pleading round eyes when you ask yourself, can they really eat strawberries?
Strawberries Are Safe For Cats
Are strawberries safe for cats? Yes, they’re safe for your furbabies. Strawberries are non-toxic to them, but it’s best to take several precautions. While they’re nutritious, your cats should only eat a small bit of fresh strawberry once in a while. Let’s take a look at the pros and cons of feeding your cats with strawberries.
The Health Benefits
Strawberries are rich in antioxidants such as vitamin C, potassium, folate and manganese. Your cats can benefit from vitamin C to strengthen their immune system and slow down their ageing process. Lots of potassium can profit their nervous system and muscle function as well as promote healthy physical growth.
Folate, which is the natural form of vitamin B9 is especially important for adult cats. It aids in protein metabolism as well as in new cells development. Meanwhile, manganese ensures quality bone and cartilage for your cats. It also facilitates the mitochondria function in which the nutrients from the cell are broken down and turned into energy.
2. Flavonoids: Natural Anti-Inflammatory Agent
Another powerful antioxidant found within the fruit is the flavonoids. Aside from making the strawberries bright red, these natural compounds act as natural anti-inflammatory agents for your hyperactive as well as senior cats. But wait, that’s not all! The flavonoids have one more crucial benefit to your cats. And what is that?
3. Anticarcinogenic Properties
Cancer prevention! The flavonoids lower the possibility that your cats will develop cancer. Unlike healthy cells, the cancer cells don’t usually die after cell division. Thankfully, experts believe that flavonoids are capable of inducing cancer cell death, or apoptosis.
Besides flavonoids, the strawberries also have a high concentration of Ellagic acid endowed with anticancer and anti-inflammatory properties. It can down the growth of tumour cells and bind with cancer molecules to deactivate them.
4. Dental Health
Wild strawberries, or Fragaria Vesca, can actually be used to cleanse your cats’ teeth naturally. They soften the plaques, which can easily be removed then by using a toothbrush. Wild strawberries are an economical way to maintain and improve your cats’ dental health, especially for those who refuse regular cleaning or have severe plaque issues.
Are Strawberries Bad For Cats?
1. Risk of Diabetes
Surprisingly, strawberries have a low glycemic index despite tasting so sweet and juicy. They can safely be consumed by your cats, even the diabetics. However, your cats cannot process sugar the same way humans do. Having too much sugar in a carnivore’s diet will undoubtedly cause diabetic or digestive issues down the road. Thus, your cats shouldn’t digest this fruit regularly.
The same goes for strawberry flavouring in ice cream, yoghurt, chocolate, jam and syrup, which is typically loaded with sugar and artificial sweeteners, especially Xylitol. Although it isn’t toxic to cats, you can’t be too careful about that. Also, these products usually contain cow’s milk. So, it’s best to totally avoid the strawberry flavouring as most cats are lactose intolerant.
2. High Acidity
The acidity in strawberries can be beneficial for your cats as they eliminate bacteria and destructive toxins. However, they might also lead to gastrointestinal upset. Ingesting too much acid can cause their stomach lining to disintegrate. A lot of issues can occur such as abdominal pain, diarrhoea, constipation, and eventually a decreased appetite.
3. Strawberry Plant Allergy
Although the strawberry leaves are harmless if ingested, you might want to remove them entirely for your cats because of their saw-toothed shape. Your cats might sneeze or weep when they come into contact with the leaves. So if there’re any strawberry plants in your home garden, try to keep them out of reach of your cats or set up an effective cat repellent around each one of them.
Be wary if your cats are trying the fruit for the first time. Watch for symptoms like sneezing, weeping, vomiting, flatulence, diarrhoea, hair loss or rashes. There’s a high chance that they’re allergic to strawberries and shouldn’t have any more of it.
4. Choking Hazards
Aside from removing their leaves, the portion of strawberries should be cut into small, bite-sized pieces to prevent your cats from choking. Although it’s a rare occurrence in cats, you should still watch your cats for the symptoms such as pawing at the mouth, drooling, coughing, gagging or laboured breathing.
re strawberries safe for cats?
In moderation, strawberries are a safe substitute for cat treats. They’re rich in natural antioxidants that help strengthen your cats’ immunity against infections. They support your cats’ nervous system and muscle function, as well as speed up their healing process. Your cats will also benefit from the anticarcinogenic properties to reduce their cancer risk. Wild strawberries are particularly useful for their dental health.
It’s okay to let your cats have a tiny bite of strawberries once in a while. Strawberries are safe for cats. But you might want to keep in mind a few essential details as follows:
- Never feed your cats with strawberry flavouring due to their high sugar or artificial sweetener content.
- Rinse all the strawberries thoroughly to remove any pesticide residues and dirt.
- Always remove the leaves before serving.
- Chop the strawberries into small, bite-sized pieces to prevent choking hazards.
- Monitor for any allergic reactions, especially if your cats have never eaten any strawberries before.
- Keep any strawberry plants out of reach of your cats.