The sight of a basket full of deliciously red strawberries automatically makes your mouth water and you cannot say no to one. But, what if your cat watches you with those hopeful eyes constantly meowing for one? Should you give your feline friend a taste of your plump red strawberry? Or should you refrain due to health reasons? Strawberries are packed with a lot of nutrition and are safe for your cat. However, just because it is safe doesn’t mean you would spend the entire day feeding just strawberries to your cat. So, what is the right amount of strawberries you can give your cat safely? Or should you refrain from giving your cat strawberries at all? Let us decode the answer to this question!
Strawberry: Nutritional Benefits For Cats
While cats are primarily carnivores and derive a big chunk of their nutrition from the prey they hunt, they also need other types of nutrition that come from plant produce. Strawberries are a fun, tasty, and nutritious treat for your pet cat. They are packed with fiber, minerals, and vitamins, as well as antioxidants like polyphenols, potassium, folate, manganese, and vitamin C.
Most fruits contain natural sugar, and strawberry is one with the least amount of the same which automatically makes it a better munching treat for your cat. Not just that, cats are known to flunk on drinking water and do so only if they need to. They get the required water from the food they eat and do not feel the necessity to drink additional water. This is the reason you might see that your cat’s poop and pee tend to smell so bad.
However, fruits like strawberries provide your cat with the much-needed water content to help keep them hydrated. Strawberry is comprised of 91% water which makes it a highly-hydrating fruit for your feline friend. Yet, you must keep in mind that this in no way can replace water and you must do your best to ensure your cat gets access to fresh water to drink whenever required. Cats love to drink running water and a great way to do that is to get the Veken Automatic Pet Water Fountain. This water dispenser keeps the water running and smelling fresh for your cat and in turn, motivates them to drink more water.
But, is there a reason your cat should avoid eating strawberries? Let us check it out!
Why Should Your Cat Avoid Eating Strawberries?
An occasional munching of strawberries now and then is fine for your cat. However, they are meant to derive a big portion of their daily required energy and nutrition from meat. As mentioned earlier, strawberries have less sugar content as compared to other fruits. Yet, they do have sugar which gets converted to calories inside your cat’s body. Although your cat would be able to use up some of these calories as energy, the extra is saved as fat which can later lead to health issues such as diabetes. This doesn’t mean that you really cannot give your cats strawberries. Rather, it suggests that moderation is the key depending on your cat’s weight, age, and existing health conditions.
Also, strawberries are rich in fiber which means a lot of it would go undigested inside your cat’s stomach. With too much fiber, your cat might end up getting an upset stomach, loose stool, or even diarrhea in certain cases. Moreover, cats don’t taste sweet items the way we humans do. So, your cat might not even want a bite of your strawberry at all. Given that a big portion of a strawberry is fiber, the nutrition present in this fruit might not be absorbed in the cat’s stomach. So, it doesn’t benefit your cat a lot.
How Many Strawberries Can You Feed Your Cat?
Now that we have established that strawberries are fine for your cat to eat occasionally, how much should they eat? Well, simply put, if you ever bring strawberries home, a piece or two from the lot is enough for your cat. Now, the frequency can vary from twice or thrice a week. However, you need to keep in mind that the strawberry should be chopped up into smaller pieces to ensure that your cat doesn’t choke on it.
Strawberries shouldn’t be served as a replacement for a meal, but rather as a snack or an evening or morning treat to your cat. Remember, cats are curious by nature and might try a piece or two out of curiosity. However, if they don’t like it, do not push them to eat it and respect their choice.
Cats with a history of stomach issues shouldn’t be given strawberries as it might upset their stomach and lead to chronic indigestion in the long run. If you aren’t sure about your cat’s digestion stance, consult a vet before you feed them something new. Moreover, cats with a history of obesity and diabetes shouldn’t be fed strawberries as they tend to digest the sugar present in the fruit in a way different that humans do. Remember, moderation is key and always chop the strawberry into smaller pieces to avoid a choking hazard.