Most cats don’t care for fruit. However, if you have a fruit-curious cat, you may be wondering, “Can cats eat cherries?”
Everything you need to know about cats and cherries, including what to do if you suspect your cat is getting sick from eating them, is covered in this article.
Can Your Cat Eat Cherries?
While there are many health benefits to eating cherries yourself, giving them to your cat is not a good idea. The cherry’s flesh is harmless, but cats should avoid any contact with the fruit or its parts. Meaning the whole plant, not just the fruit.
Health Benefits of Cherries For Cats
Cherries are an excellent source of many nutrients, including the B vitamins, vitamin K, potassium, magnesium, and calcium. Beta-carotene, choline, and other antioxidants are present, as well.
Choline, in particular, is crucial to the health of your cat, but all of these vitamins are important.
Vitamin A is essential for normal vision, bone development, and reproductive health, and it also benefits the skin. Additionally, it aids feline dental hygiene.
Cats that get plenty of vitamin C are better able to ward off illness.
Vitamin K is especially important for older cats because it aids in normal blood clotting.
The electrolyte potassium is crucial for the health of your muscles and organs. Elderly cats and cats recovering from illness, where electrolytes are lost through vomiting and diarrhea, benefit greatly from this.
Magnesium aids in bone development and enzyme function, which has far-reaching effects on the body.
Calcium contributes to muscle function and electrical signals in the brain and body, and it also plays a role in regulating the amount of fluid in your cat’s body.
Choline is a crucial component of a cat’s diet. It plays a role in the formation of neural connections and in the maturation of the brain. There is growing evidence that a lack of choline can have fatal effects on the brain.
Then why aren’t cats allowed to eat cherries if they contain all these essential nutrients?
The short answer is that cherries contain a lot of beneficial nutrients, but the potential downsides are too great.
Cats don’t need extra vitamin C from cherries because they get plenty of it from other food sources (like store-bought cat food).
Health Concerns Of Cherries for Cats
Cherry cat cyanide poisoning is a major problem. Cyanide is abundant in cherry parts, including the pits, stems, and leaves. Pets like cats and dogs are especially vulnerable to its effects and may become very ill or even die if exposed to it.
You should watch for signs of cherry poisoning if you suspect your cat has eaten a cherry pit or other cherry parts.
It’s unlikely that a cat will get seriously ill from eating a small or moderate amount of cherry plant material. In contrast, you should talk to the vet right away if they’ve eaten a lot.
In cats, cherry poisoning can cause symptoms like:
- Pupillary dilation
- Having difficulty breathing or panting
- Gum tissue and other red mucous membranes.
Cats with cherry poisoning may be unable to breathe because cyanide hinders the body’s ability to transport oxygen. You should take your cat to the vet immediately if you notice any of these signs.
Cherry cyanide poisoning is a major issue, but cats also face a few other potential health risks from eating cherries. The pit presents risks of gastrointestinal obstruction and choking. Cherries, however, are not good for cats, especially older ones or those with diabetes due to their high sugar content.
Why Are Cherries Bad For Cats?
While ripe cherry flesh is cat-safe, almost every other component of the cherry and cherry plant is toxic. All parts of the cherry tree are counted, not just the fruit itself.
Cherries pose a threat to feline health because they contain cyanide. If a cat consumes cyanide, it can damage the organs responsible for transporting oxygen throughout the body, leading to its eventual death.
The most typical signs of cherry poisoning in cats are:
- struggling to take a deep breath
- Eyes widening
- Experiencing shock
Cats can die from cherry poisoning if it’s severe enough.
The pit of a cherry presents a choking hazard to cats in addition to the poisonous fruit itself.
Should You Get Your Cat To Eat Cherries?
You don’t have to try to convince your cat to eat cherries. Cherry poisoning is very dangerous, and they don’t provide any significant health benefits that cats don’t get from their regular diet.
Don’t give your cat any cherries, and if it seems to be trying to sneak one, try to dissuade it and hide them.
Cats, unlike dogs, must eat meat in order to survive. That means they can’t digest plants very well and have evolved to get most of the nutrients they need from meat. Ensure your cat gets all the vitamins and nutrients it needs by feeding it high-quality commercial cat food.
What Should I Do If My Cat Eats Cherries?
If you find your cat munching on cherries or a cherry plant, you should remove them from the area and bring a sample of the fruit to your vet. This will help them determine the severity of any possible cherry poisoning.
Your vet may take a blood sample and have it tested if they suspect cherry poisoning. Additional oxygen or an intravenous drip may be used, too, depending on how sick the cat is.
When it comes to your cat’s safety, it’s always best to err on the side of caution, so keep any cherries or cherry plants out of your cat’s reach.
Are Cherry Cat Treat Recipes Safe?
Avoid cherry recipes if you’re looking to make your cat some homemade treats that are both healthy and safe. Instead, focus on using meat and fish as the main ingredients.
Fruits like frozen banana bites and tuna and blueberry treats are common ingredients in cat-friendly recipes.
Keep in mind that giving your cat an excessive amount of treats can lead to weight gain or uncontrolled blood sugar.
Apples, bananas, blueberries, strawberries, and watermelon are among the fruits that are safe for cats to eat, but treats of any kind shouldn’t make up a large portion of their diet.
Treats should make up no more than 10 percent of their diet as a general rule of thumb. Treats are given daily by many pet owners.
Should I include fruits and vegetables in my cat’s diet?
If you’ve had more dogs than cats, you know that they need a fruit and vegetable supplement.
Cats, in contrast to canines, have no nutritional requirement for or benefit from the inclusion of fruits and vegetables in their diet.
Nutritionally dense commercial cat food provides not only the staples of their diet but also all of the vitamin supplementation they require.
Since most cats aren’t keen on fresh produce, the point may be moot. If your cat insists on stealing food from your plate, you should research which fruits and vegetables are safe for cats to eat and then only give them to your cat as a special treat.
What should I do if my cat eats a cherry?
If your cat eats just one cherry, it probably won’t get too sick. They may have stomach pain, nausea, and diarrhea over the next few days.
Call your vet for guidance if you suspect your cat has ingested a large amount of cherry plant material or a cherry pit.
Can cats have cherry yogurt?
Cats may not be fruit eaters, but they sure do love their dairy. Since cherry yogurt does not contain cherry pits or stems, it is safe to give your cat a few licks.
Cherry yogurt is unhealthy for cats because of its high sugar content and the fact that cats are sensitive to dairy. However, a little bit here and there as a treat probably won’t hurt.
While Delicious For Us, Cherries Aren’t For Cats
Cherry pits and other non-fruit cherry parts can be extremely harmful to your cat’s health, despite the fact that cherries contain many essential nutrients that cats need to thrive.
If you notice any of these symptoms in your cat, it is best to keep him away from cherries entirely and get in touch with your vet.
Read our post “Can Dogs Eat Cherries?” if you have canine companions. if you’re looking for information on how to keep Fido safe.
Check out our Cherry Trees informational hub for additional cherry-related resources. There you’ll find a wealth of information on cherry cultivars, tree care, fruit quality, harvesting, and even culinary uses for your homegrown fruit.