5 min read

Can Cats Eat Strawberries?

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By Wag! Staff

Published: 06/01/2022, edited: 03/15/2024

Reviewed by a licensed veterinary professional: Dr. Linda Simon, MVB MRCVS

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Overview

Sweet, juicy strawberries are a popular and healthy fruit for us humans to enjoy. But, if you’ve ever been enjoying one and your cat has been looking at you longingly you might be wondering — can cats have strawberries?

Yes! Cats can have strawberries, but there are a few things you should consider before giving them one. 


Can cats eat strawberries?

Cats and strawberries — do they go together? Well, sometimes. Cats can eat strawberries. They're safe and non-toxic for our feline friends to eat. 

However, whether you should give your cat strawberries or not is another question. It’s important to know that they are very high in sugar and carbohydrates while having very few useful nutrients for our cats. A strawberry to a cat is similar to candy or soda for a human. Even the water content and fiber has very minimal benefits for them.

That’s not to say you can’t give it to them in very small amounts (if they like it) but there will be other treats they can eat that will be just as tasty and more beneficial to them.

Can cats eat strawberry leaves?

The stem and leaves aren’t poisonous to cats. However, it’s best to remove these before giving your cat strawberries. It could cause stomach issues such as vomiting.

It could also irritate their faces before eating it or mouth, tongue and throat while eating it. 

If they get hold of a strawberry and eat it with the stem and leaves, don’t worry - just keep an eye on them.   

Strawberries falling out of a cornucopia horn

Are strawberries safe for cats?

Strawberries aren’t poisonous to cats but they have a very high level of sugar which could ultimately cause serious health issues. 

Sugar is known to cause obesity, which may lead to diabetes. Diabetes may make a cat vulnerable to other serious conditions such as heart and kidney disease, nerve dysfunction, loss of eyesight, and stroke. A cat who already has diabetes should definitely not be given strawberries.

High sugar levels in the blood can also cause gastrointestinal symptoms such as vomiting, diarrhea, abdominal pain, constipation, and loss of appetite.

Allergic reactions to fruits and vegetables may also occur in cats.

As with any new food, it’s a good idea to check in with your veterinarian before giving strawberries to your cat. 

Do cats like strawberries?

Cats don’t tend to have a sweet tooth. So, they won’t enjoy this delicious berry in the same way we do. They will be able to smell it though which might be why they are showing interest. 

They may just be curious. So you could always offer a small piece to your cat. If they don’t want it then there’s no reason to encourage it due to the limited benefits of the fruit. 

If they do take it, they may enjoy the fact the berry is more than 95% water — especially if it’s a hot day. 

Routine examinations are the perfect opportunity to speak to your vet about your cat’s diet. You may want to consider a wellness plan for your feline friend which includes these important appointments. 


How many strawberries can cats eat?

If your cat does like strawberries then they should only be given as an occasional treat and not become a regular part of their diet. 

You should only give half a strawberry a day — and only from time to time.


Cat sitting next to three bright red strawberries on a table

What about strawberries in other foods?

Combining strawberries with other foods or in other forms may disguise allergies or other side effects. It will be difficult to tell if the response is from the strawberries or from other ingredients.

Also, eating strawberries in jam or yogurt can not only increase the volume of sugar but also raise the possibility of the cat consuming xylitol, a frequently used artificial sweetener that is a feline toxin.

Xylitol is an ingredient in many products that contain fruit.

Strawberries contain their own sugar, which can be harmful to a cat if eaten in large quantities. Making jam out of strawberries or mixing them with sweetened yogurt will increase the negative effects that sugar can have on a cat.

Giving a cat plain, unsweetened yogurt with a few bits of strawberry in it is a much better choice. However, watch for signs of stomach upset as some cats develop vomiting or diarrhoea after eating dairy.


Can kittens eat strawberries?

Yes, kittens can eat strawberries in moderation. But again, due to the high sugar and lack of nutritional benefits there is really no reason to give this to your kitten. If you do, definitely make sure that the stem and leaves are removed and that you only give them a very small piece to try. 


Are strawberries good for cats?

A strawberry’s health benefits are limited in the case of cats. Strawberries are packed with healthful nutrients like antioxidants, Vitamin C, and potassium. But a cat is an obligate carnivore, and their good health is supported mainly by animal proteins.

Felines don’t need fruits, vegetables, or grains to keep them fit. The limited amount of strawberries that a cat should eat is not enough for the feline to get nutrients from them. But there are a few other potential benefits for some cats.

Among them is that the high water content in strawberries may add a small amount of hydration if your cat isn’t drinking enough water on their own. It isn’t a reliable substitute for fresh water, but any source can be helpful if your cat's fluid level is depleted.

It’s important that the food you feed your cat benefits their health as well as being tasty to them. Check out our friends over at Cat Food Advisor to discover the best dry food and the best wet food. 


How to feed strawberries to your cat

Before you give a strawberry to your cat it’s vital that you wash it thoroughly. This will remove any traces of fertilizer or pesticide, both of which are toxic to cats. Remove the stem and leaves, of course. Then cut the strawberry in half. 

You could then just offer your cat a bite-sized piece. Alternatively, you could mash up half a strawberry and mix it in with their food — if they’ve already tried it and you know they like it. 

Can cats eat strawberry yogurt?

No, cats shouldn’t eat strawberry yogurt. It not only increases the volume of sugar but also raises the possibility of them consuming xylitol, a frequently used artificial sweetener that is toxic to cats. 

Giving a cat plain, unsweetened yogurt with a few bits of strawberry in it is a much better choice. However, watch for signs of stomach upset as some cats develop vomiting or diarrhea after eating dairy.

Can cats eat strawberry ice cream?

No, cats should not eat strawberry ice cream for the same reason they shouldn’t eat strawberry yogurt. This is due to both the sugar and dairy contents as well as the artificial sweeteners it contains. It could cause several health issues and lead to obesity.  

Can cats eat freeze-dried strawberries?

Yes, freeze dried strawberries can be fed to your cat. But, like with fresh strawberries, this should be in moderation. 

What fruits can cats eat?

There’s a number of fruits cats can eat (in moderation) but there’s also some fruits you should avoid completely. 


Other fruits cats can eat:

Fruit cats can’t eat: 

  • Grapes 
  • Cherries 
  • Oranges 

While strawberries aren’t poisonous to cats, some fruit is toxic to them. If they eat anything they shouldn’t such as grapes then they need to be seen by a vet immediately. Browse and compare the best pet insurance plans to make sure you are covered. 


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