There is nothing like enjoying a ripe juicy strawberry, but can cats eat strawberries too?
The tangy sweetness of strawberries is a delight to even the pickiest palate.
They go great as a healthy snack, a sugary dessert, or a luscious topping to ice cream.
Cat owners know the look — big eyes, ears forward, tail up — the look of the curious feline.
Cats are naturally curious creatures and they often inspect what we are up to – from watching television to eating dinner, they love to be in our business.
So, the question arises, what can you share with your inquisitive companion?
Are strawberries safe for cats to share with us?
All About Strawberries
Strawberries are in the genus of Fragaria and there are tons of different species of them.
There are even different North American species like the Virginia wild strawberry and the coastal strawberry.
More different varieties can be found across the world, from dry arid places like sand dunes all the way to lush forests.
Many countries created their own varieties of strawberries which perform well in specific climate and soil conditions.
Strawberries are native to the temperate regions of the Northern Hemisphere.
The plant itself is a low-growing and root based.
The fruit grows from a white flower and must be handpicked due to it being a quickly perishing fruit.
Strawberries are not actually berries at all and fall under the category of aggregate fruits which are many smaller fruits all together as one.
Strawberries and Your Cat’s Diet
Cats have not changed much since they were domesticated, especially regarding their nutritional needs.
They are still heavy meat eaters and have one of the strictest diets among carnivores.
Though they rely exclusively on meat to get their moisture and nutrients in the wild, they also are known to eat grass and other greenery.
However, it is a very small part of their overall diet.
Can Cats Have Strawberries?
Yes, they can.
The good news for a curious feline is that strawberries are non-toxic to cats.
This means strawberries won’t make your cat sick if they have a nibble.
Are Strawberries Good for Cats?
Strawberries are packed with vitamin C, potassium, and folate.
These are all essential nutrients, but cats produce all the vitamin C they need in their liver, and don’t need to receive it in their diet.
But your cat does need potassium in their diet for their nervous system and muscles to work correctly, and to support healthy growth.
They also need dietary folate or folic acid to help metabolise proteins, and build new cells.
They only need a tiny amount – micrograms – of each a day though.
So if you are feeding your cat a nutritionally balanced food, there is no need for them to get these nutrients specifically from strawberries.
It is also important to realize that all fruit has some sugar in it, and sugar in high quantities is not good for cats.
High amounts of sugar can cause obesity, diabetes, and tooth decay in cats.
Cats and Strawberries – How Many Can They Have?
The rule of thumb for feeding your furry companion safe new foods, like strawberries, is to consider what is gained nutritionally.
As mentioned above, cats don’t need strawberries for nutrition.
So they should only be fed in small quantities.
A tiny slice from a regular strawberry is plenty.
And even though the strawberry itself is safe, sometimes the plant is not.
Are Strawberry Plants Toxic to Cats?
This is an important question to ask about any plants you intend to keep in your home or yard.
Cats are known nibblers of greenery, and it is crucial to be informed about what is and is not safe.
So, can cats eat strawberry leaves?
The strawberry plant is not toxic if ingested, however, the saw-toothed leaves can cause skin, nose, and eye issues in cats.
If a cat interacts with the leaves, they may irritate the cat’s nose and eyes, causing them to sneeze.
To avoid any of these issues, try keeping strawberry plants out of reach of your cat.
Do Cats Like Strawberries?
Strawberries won’t harm you cat, but do cats like strawberries?
If your cats are as picky as mine, they might not even try them!
My rascally cat is far more likely to mistake a strawberry for a toy and run off with it instead!
Whether cats like strawberries will vary from cat to cat.
A good way to test if your cat is interested is to let them smell a strawberry that you have taken a bite of.
If they smell it and immediately recoil, then chances are that they are not going to try a piece.
However, if they consciously smell it and seem genuinely interested, go ahead and cut them off a small piece.
(Make sure you put the small piece in a bowl or on a paper towel to avoid the juice getting on the carpet if they drop it!)
Cats and Strawberries – The Science of Taste
It is interesting to note that there have been studies on what cats can taste.
A 2005 study found that all cats – from big cats to domestic cats – lack the taste receptor needed to experience sweet.
This means they show no preference for sweet or sugary foods.
This is thought to be one of the big milestones in the evolution of the Feline family of species.
Can Cats Eat Strawberries?
Cats can eat small amounts of strawberries if they show interest.
Always gauge your own cat’s interest when showing new and safe foods.
They may find a love in strawberries as a new treat or reject it outright.
There are no significant vitamins and nutrients gained when your cat eats a bit of strawberry, so only give them a small portion.
If they do enjoy the fruity treat, limit how much is given and space out when you feed it to them.
Keep the plant away from your furry friend to avoid facial irritation.
Do Your Cats Eat Strawberries?
Do you have a cat at home who likes strawberries?
Or are you more likely to catch them playing with it like my cat?
Tell us whether your cat is a fruit fanatic or bored by berries using the comments section below!