Can Cats Eat Strawberries?
There are very few fruits that can rival the taste of a ripe strawberry. The sweetness of a strawberry is delightful even to individuals with picky palates. They are a perfect snack. They go well as a topping to an ice cream and with sugary desserts.
As a cat owner, you recognize that cat look – the large eyes, ears leaning forward and with the tail up – it is the look of a curious feline.
Naturally, cats are curious creatures. My feline is always inspecting what I am doing. It does not matter what I am doing – whether I am preparing supper, watching my favourite TV show or having a bath, it will make it its business.
The case is not any different when I am eating strawberries. But before I give my feline a taste, a thought crosses my mind. Can cats eat strawberries?
This question is important as a cat’s anatomy is different to the human anatomy. Cats process plant foods differently. As such, if you are not cautious, your cat may end up developing health problems. To avoid this, below is an intricate and detailed answer to, ‘can cats eat strawberries?’
Benefits of Eating Strawberries
As pointed out above, human bodies are different from cat bodies; in form, structure and function. It is as such important to beware what you feed your cat, the nutritional benefits of a particular food to a human may not necessarily translate to your cat.
Boosts the Immune System
The immune system is basically a network of cells which make up tissues which in turn make up body organs.
There are different levels of protection. The white blood cells are at the centre of the immune system. They work to prevent infections. The skin also acts as a barrier to the entry of germs and other microorganisms. Additionally, there are different substances that are excreted by the body to protect it from germs. These include saliva and tears which work to neutralize the germs and enhance the immune system.
Strawberries strengthen the immune system as a whole.
Fights Bad Cholesterol
This is a compound that is found in the body tissues including the nerves and the blood tissues. Bad cholesterol is acquired through feeding of a lot of sugar and fatty foods. It leads to a host of health problems. Nutrients and minerals in strawberries help to reduce the levels of bad cholesterol in the body.
Regulates the Blood Pressure
It is important that one maintains a healthy blood pressure level. It helps keep diseases like heart attacks, stroke and cardiac arrest at bay.
Promotes Healthy Eyes
Strawberries contain antioxidants. These antioxidants work to avoid the development of cataracts which may cause blindness. The vitamin c in the strawberries also works to improve the strength of the retina and cornea.
Nutrients Contained in Strawberries
Strawberries have a host of health benefits courtesy of the nutrients and minerals that they contain. Some of these nutrients include; folic acid, fibre, potassium, magnesium, Anti-oxidants, dietary fibre, folate, biotin, copper, iodine, phosphorus and omega 3 fatty acids.
Aside from these nutrients, strawberries are also rich in ellagic acid and flavonoids.
Do Cats Need Strawberries?
Cats are carnivorous animals. As such, they live and survive on meat and not fruits and vegetables. Although in the recent past, more and more cats have taken to eating a significant amount of fruits and vegetables.
But here is the thing. The digestive system of cats, though slightly adapted to digest plant foods, cannot extract most of the nutrients form the plant foods (strawberries in this case). And so while you may be tempted to give your cat a fair share of strawberries (probably an amount equal to yours), you should not that most of it will end up in its poop. If you intend to feed your cat on strawberries, you should do so in moderation. A small amount is sufficient for your cat to extract the necessary nutrients and vitamins.
Another reason why you should not feed your cat strawberries in large amounts is the fact that strawberry is predominantly a sweet fruit. Cats on the other hand cannot taste sweetness. If you are thinking that your cat is missing out on a lot by not having strawberries, you can rest easy knowing that, even when you give feed it with strawberry, it will not enjoy it as you do. The fruit will only fill its stomach and ease your cat’s curiosity.
That said, strawberries do contain antioxidants and fibre. These components are great in reducing the risks of developing cancer and in smoothening digestion respectively. When following a strict portion control nutrition, your cat will not only enjoy the strawberries, but also benefit from them.
How do Strawberries Affect Cats?
Needless to say, strawberries are not harmful to humans or cats. As such, the answer to the question, ‘can cats eat strawberries’ is a resounding yes. However, as pointed out above, they can only enjoy strawberries in moderation. Strawberries are rich in simple sugars which in excess can overtime, lead to overweight issues in your cat, diabetes and unhealthy teeth.
In the event your cat eats too much strawberry than is good for its digestive system and results in health problems, you have the option to get in touch with your vet or use effective shelf products to ease the problems that have arisen as a result. You can try Natural Care for Cats and Homeopet Feline Cat Digestive Upsets.
In addition to this, you should keep the strawberry stems and leaves from your cat as these are known to cause rashes.
Are Strawberries Bad for your Cat?
Yes, they are, but only if you overfed your cat with strawberries. The main message of this blog post is that strawberries should be fed to cats in moderation.
It is not uncommon to see cats feeding on grass. This happens mostly when your cat is low on fibre. Grass is the closest source of fibre. However, this does not mean that you can feed our cat with the strawberry plant stems and leaves. These as pointed out above may cause a negative reaction in your cat. Some of these negative reactions include;
- Eye problems
It is also important to always feed your cat only on clean strawberries. Wash the strawberries thoroughly before feeding it to your cat. Disregarding this step may cause your cat to develop health problems courtesy of the chemical pesticides sprayed on the fruit when it is being nurtured.
What of Strawberry Flavouring?
Strawberry flavouring is the compound that is found in most chocolate, syrups and yoghurts. The flavouring is full of sugars and artificial sweeteners that will irritate the digestive system of your cat. When your cat starts to diarrhoea and vomit as a result of accidentally feeding on strawberry flavouring, the first step you should take is to seek veterinary assistance.
Now that we have established the answer to can cats eat strawberries, it is important that you adhere to the guidance and advice offered in this post. You should at all times ensure that you feed your cat on strawberries that are washed. Second, you should feed your cat on strawberries in moderation.
Your cat cannot extract all nutrients from the strawberries. A lot of the strawberries eaten will as such only go to waste. Note that strawberries are not to be the main food, but just a healthy snack.
When feeding strawberries to your cat, you should cut the strawberries into tiny pieces to prevent your cat from choking.