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Can cats eat blueberries?


This article is written by Pet Circle veterinarian, Dr. Carla Paszkowski, BVSC (Hons)

Juicy, sweet, low in calories and full of antioxidants - blueberries are a healthy and satisfying snack. Despite being one of the most expensive fruits around, blueberries remain one of the most popular fruits in the world among people of all ages. And even some cat love the taste! But are blueberries actually safe for cats to eat?

The answer is yes! All parts of the blueberry are safe for cats to eat. However, as cats are obligate carnivores, they should only consume blueberries in small amounts as an occasional treat. Plus, due to their sugar content, they are not ideal for diabetic kitties.

Always wash blueberries before feeding them to your cat, to ensure all pesticides, dirt and bugs have been removed.

Health benefits of blueberries for cats?

Cats are obligate carnivores, so don't benefit as much from the nutrients in blueberries (such as Vitamin C and antioxidants) in the same way dogs do. However, there are still benefits to giving your cat the odd blueberry, including:

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Are blueberries high in sugar?

Yes, blueberries are a medium sugar-content fruit as they contain around 10g of sugar per 100g. This sets them apart from other berries such as strawberries or raspberries, which are very low in sugar at only 4.5g per 100g.1 To compare, peaches contain 8g, apples contain 10g, and bananas contain 12g per 100g.

This means that caution should always be taken in cats with diabetes. If your cat suffers from diabetes, it's best not to give them fruit - even low sugar options like berries.

Can cats eat storebought frozen blueberries?

If you're going to feed your cat blueberries, it's generally recommended to opt for fresh berries. You may wish to freeze fresh blueberries as a tasty frozen treat, but generally we advise against commercially packed frozen berries.

Storebought frozen berries can be higher in sugar than fresh strawberries. Not only does freezing naturally concentrate the fruit into a more nutrient-dense state, but some manufacturers add juice or syrup to the pack to enhance the flavour.

In addition, recent outbreaks of infectious diseases from frozen berries (such as the 2015 hepatitis outbreak) have led to many experts recommending boiling or cooking frozen berries2 before eating them, to remove the risk of disease. So, generally we recommend choosing fresh berries for your cat!

How to Feed Your Cat Blueberries

Cats are obligate carnivores, which means that they don't benefit from an excess of fruit or vegetables in their diet. But 4-5 blueberries as an occasional treat for healthy cats are completely fine. Make sure you wash them prior to giving them to your cat, to remove any pesticides, dirt, or bugs.

You can feed blueberries whole, you can freeze them and give as natural popsicle bites on a hot day, or you can blend them into a puree. You can also mash blueberries into natural sugar-free yoghurt as a delicious and extra-special treat for your cat!

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1. Blueberries 101: Nutrition Facts and Health Benefits Healthline. 2022.

2. Risk of Hepatitis A from frozen berries. Ministry for Primary Industries. 2022.

Further Reading

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