Strawberries are rich in a variety of nutrients ranging from vitamin C and potassium to folate and manganese.
They also contain a lot of antioxidants, so they prevent aging. They’re clearly healthy for humans.
Cats can eat strawberries so long as you only give them very low amounts.
Cats are obligate carnivores, so most of their diet should be composed of protein and fat, not carbohydrates from fruit.
Can cats eat strawberries?
Compared to other pets, cats have particular nutritional needs.
Even before becoming domestic animals, they rarely used to consume anything other than prey, such as small birds and rodents.
According to the ASPCA, strawberries are not toxic to cats.
But what does this mean? Does it mean that you should give your pet a strawberry as a treat every day? The answer to this question is no.
Cats should eat strawberries only on occasion.
A very small slice of strawberry per week could be safe if your cat seems to be a great aficionado, but no more than that.
Do cats like strawberries?
Pet parents know that cats can differ in terms of personality and food preferences quite a lot from one animal to the next.
While some cats might be interested in having a nibble on fruit, especially while you eat some, others might show no interest in it at all.
Do not try to force-feed your cat strawberries if she doesn’t want any. It could be stressful and completely unnecessary.
Cats are not equipped with the same taste buds as humans.
Their palette isn’t as broad as ours. For this reason, whether cats can taste a strawberry’s tartness or not remains a mystery.
However, scientists have discovered that cats can’t taste sweet things.
This means that they might nibble on a piece of fruit only out of pure curiosity and to test its texture rather than because they like the taste.
How safe are strawberries for cats?
Although strawberries are largely viewed as non-toxic to pets, in general, and also to cats, things are a bit more complicated than that.
Large amounts of strawberries can be dangerous for cats as they are supposed to have as little carbohydrates and sugar in their diets as possible.
It is not uncommon for cats that do not get the nutrition they need to develop metabolic diseases such as feline diabetes.
Some could even become insulin-dependent, so if this happens with your pet, you’ll have to give him or her shots once a day or once every two days.
High amounts of sugar also make cats more prone to developing conditions such as obesity and dental health problems.
The latter can be quite dangerous as they often lead to cardiovascular complications.
Needless to say, heart disease can be particularly risky, even when managed properly, especially in senior cats.
Strawberries and pesticides
The Environmental Working Group is an association that creates a list of vegetables and fruit that are included on the so-called ‘Dirty Dozen’ list every year.
The Dirty Dozen is a collection of foods that are most likely to contain pesticides.
Some of these substances can produce dramatic changes in children and although there haven’t been enough studies performed, it’s safe to assume that they might have the same effects on pets.
Unfortunately, strawberries are on this list.
Unlike other fruit and veggies, whose peel you can remove (so therefore, part of the pesticides can be gone), you can’t do the same with strawberries.
That means that when you give your cat a piece of this fruit, they are also ingesting potentially dangerous substances.
To give you some examples of dangerous chemicals that could exist in non-organic strawberries, you can find some carcinogens listed below:
So, what are the best types of strawberries that you can give your cat?
Our advice to you is to always get the organic kind if you have to buy them from the supermarket.
If it were possible for you to grow your own strawberries in your garden and use only natural pesticides such as neem oil, that would be even safer — both for yourself and your cat.
Can cats eat strawberry jam?
No. Strawberry preserve is usually unsafe to give to cats (and other pets, for that matter) as it contains large amounts of sugar.
To make matters worse, some manufacturers produce low-calorie strawberry jam, and one of the ingredients is xylitol, an artificial sweetener that can be very dangerous to pets.
Although there haven’t been sufficient studies made on what its toxicity is in cats, xylitol can produce liver disease and extremely low blood sugar in dogs.
If you do not want to put your cat’s health or even life at risk, you should avoid feeding her strawberry jam.
Are strawberry plants dangerous to cats?
We all know how cats can sometimes nibble on green plants, and some of them can lead to severe poisoning cases in pets.
Fortunately, the strawberry plant is not toxic to cats. However, if it was sprayed with pesticides or weed killers, it could present a significant health risk for your pet.
Can cats eat strawberry ice cream?
The answer to this question is also a no, and for several reasons.
First of all, the vast majority of adult cats are lactose-intolerant, especially to cow milk.
Cat milk substitutes do not produce any adverse reactions, but since ice cream is usually made with cow milk, your pet could develop digestive distress if he/she has this treat.
If your cat is keen to try ice cream, particularly in the hot summer months, we recommend you try purpose-made ice cream for cats which is safe for cats.
Although strawberries are relatively safe to give to cats, they shouldn’t make up a big part of their diet.
Cats are obligate carnivores, so they need protein and fats more than they do carbohydrates.
Furthermore, cats might not be able to synthesize the vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants present in this fruit as they are not genetically engineered to digest this food.
Finally, since non-organic strawberries are among the most likely types of fruit that could have been exposed to pesticides, we suggest buying organic varieties or growing your own — that is, only if you really have to give your cat strawberries.
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