Cats can safely consume blueberries because they don’t contain any toxic chemicals or compounds, but felines’ digestive systems are optimized to process protein, not carbohydrates.
Fruits and vegetables, which are primarily carbohydrates, are not typically recommended as part of a carnivore diet, despite the fact that there are some carbohydrates in commercially available cat food.
Blueberries are a common ingredient in many kitchens because they can be used in so many different ways.
They are easily misplaced because of their diminutive size and round form, which makes it likely that they will roll off the counter and into some obscure part of the kitchen.
Can Cats Eat Blueberries?
Blueberries are safe for cats to eat in moderation. Cats can benefit from the antioxidants and vitamins found in blueberries.
Treats like blueberries are fine, but cats are obligate carnivores and should get the majority of their calories from meat and protein. Before introducing new foods into your pet’s diet, talk to your vet.
Blueberries are generally safe for cats to eat, but there may be some that have a rare allergy to them. But that doesn’t mean you should feed your cat blueberries every day.
Blueberries are safe for your cat only if they are given to them raw, after being thoroughly washed, and without any added sugars or preparations.
Are blueberries toxic to cats?
Blueberries are not poisonous to cats and can be eaten by them in moderation without any ill effects.
Are blueberries good for cats?
While not toxic, blueberries may not provide much in the way of nutritional value for cats. This fruit is rich in anti-oxidants and vitamin K, making it a “superfood” for humans.
However, cats must obtain the majority of their nutritional needs from animal products due to their status as obligate carnivores.
If you feed your cat the right amount of a commercially available cat food formulated for its age, it will get all the vitamins, minerals, and other nutrients it needs to stay healthy.
Your cat may experience tummy trouble if it eats fruits or vegetables that aren’t suitable for feline digestive systems.
The low amount of sugar in blueberries may have an adverse effect on your pet’s blood sugar. In the case of sick or elderly cats, that can be a major problem.
Blueberries are not a good choice for diabetic cats, so please don’t ask that question. Cat owners should try to keep their feline companion away from human foods containing blueberries because those foods often contain sugar.
Health Benefits of Blueberries
The term “superfood” is not used flippantly. There is no health issue that blueberries can’t help with.
Blueberries, compared to other commonly consumed fruits and vegetables, are said to have the highest levels of antioxidants.
Antioxidants are also no laughing matter, as they aid in the battle against both cancer and the aging process. Additionally, blueberries are a good source of fiber, manganese, and vitamins C and K.
Blueberries are a true superfood, with studies showing they can help with everything from lowering cholesterol and blood pressure to protecting against heart disease and even enhancing memory.
How to Feed Your Cat Blueberries
Cats don’t have the same digestive systems for processing fruit as they do for processing meat, but they might still grab a berry if the chance arises.
- Keep it basic If your cat manages to sneak a few raw blueberries, it’s probably not a big deal. Blueberries that have been processed or even mashed, such as those found in jellies and jams, typically contain a lot of sugar and are thus more of a health risk than unprocessed, washed berries. Be wary of blueberries that have been artificially sweetened before packaging. Blueberries covered in chocolate should be stored in an airtight container, out of the reach of cats, because chocolate is toxic to them.
- Frozen isn’t the way to go. Frozen blueberries are popular because they last longer and taste great in smoothies. Frozen berries can be difficult for cats to chew and may cause dental damage due to their tough consistency. Additionally, blueberries present a choking hazard or stomach upset if swallowed whole by your cat.
What About Blueberry Extract?
Several brands of commercial cat food use blueberry extract as an ingredient. These foods claim to be high in antioxidants, which may aid in the recovery of urinary tract infections in both dogs and cats.
However, the sugar and carbohydrate levels in most foods containing blueberry extract are unaffected, so you can feel confident giving them to your cat.
Over the course of a few weeks, observe your cat as you would with any new food.
Can Cats Eat Fruit?
Most other fruits adhere to the same general rule of thumb as blueberries.
Gary Richter, DVM, owner of Montclair Veterinary Hospital in Oakland, California, and medical director of Holistic Veterinary Care, tells Rover that “fruits are not problematic for cats although most will not really eat fruit in any quantity.” “The sugar content is not a big deal because they are not going to eat a lot of fruit anyway.”
Small amounts of fruits like strawberries or bananas might be fine, but cats should avoid the following:
- Citrus (the citric acid found in all citrus fruits can cause problems with the central nervous system when consumed in large enough quantities; when consumed in smaller amounts, it can cause stomach upset, as stated by the ASPCA)
- Grapes, raisins, and currants (all of which are toxic to cats, per the American SPCA).
- The ASPCA warns against giving cats coconut or coconut oil (technically a seed, but we’ll include it here) because it can upset their stomachs.
Alternative Healthy Snacks
Blueberries are good, but vegetables are even better as an alternative snack. Cat owners can try feeding their feline friends food or treats that contain vegetables.
“Not everyone is going to eat them,” Dr. Richter warns. Vegetables, when included in a healthy meal, provide beneficial nutrients.
The American SPCA says these vegetables are safe for cats to eat:
- Celery (the crunchy is a big hit!)
- Peppers, green
- Vitamins A, C, and K abound in spinach.
- Peas (a nutrient-rich ingredient common in many commercially prepared cat and dog foods)
- Pumpkin (Pumpkin is commonly fed to cats to increase their fiber intake)
Keep in mind that your cat is still a carnivore, no matter how much he or she may seem to enjoy eating fruit and vegetables.
If you feed your cat something other than its regular diet, it will be missing out on the essential nutrients found in that food.
Dr. Richter recommends that a healthy diet make up the majority of your cat’s food intake. In general, treats are unhealthy and shouldn’t account for more than a small percentage of their daily caloric intake.
Can blueberries hurt my cat?
A healthy cat should be fine eating a few blueberries. There are only two situations in which even a small amount of blueberries could be harmful to a cat: if the cat has a food allergy to blueberries, or if the cat has a medical condition, such as diabetes, that is made worse by sugar.
If your cat eats a blueberry, it will not be harmed by the absence of any toxic chemicals.
Felines are obligate carnivores, and their digestive systems were not evolved to process carbohydrates like those found in fruits and vegetables.
Are blueberries good for cats?
Blueberries will not provide any significant health benefits for your cat. Cats’ digestive systems evolved to process meat, not plant matter, as a primary source of nutrition.
Blueberries don’t provide nearly as much nutrition for your cat as commercial cat food.
How many blueberries can my cat eat?
If your cat enjoys the flavor of blueberries, you can let him or her have a few every now and then without worrying.
While the occasional blueberry probably won’t cause any problems for your cat’s diet, giving your cat an excessive amount of blueberries can cause weight gain or pancreatitis.
What fruits are bad for my cat?
Some common fruits can be harmful to cats, while others can cause stomach upset.
- Raisins and grapes.
- Fruits with high acidity, such as oranges, lemons, and grapefruits
- Unripe tomatoes
- Tomato plants’ stems and leaves
Evidence that your cat has consumed any of these items should prompt an immediate trip to the vet or a call to pet poison control.