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Can cats eat strawberries?


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

Mmm - plump, juicy, red strawberries. Is there anything better? Bursting with vitamin C, fibre, and delectable sweetness, it's hard to find someone who doesn't love strawberries - and many cats enjoy this tasty fruit, too! But are strawberries actually safe for your cat?

The answer is yes! All parts of the strawberry are safe for cats to eat - from the fruit to the seeds to the leaves. However, as cats are obligate carnivores, they should only consume strawberries in small amounts as an occasional treat.

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

Health benefits of strawberries for cats?

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

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Can cats eat strawberry leaves?

Yes, strawberry leaves are safe for your cat. Some cats love to munch on them in the same way they chew on grass. Just make sure the leaves have been washed to remove any pesticides!

Are strawberries high in sugar?

No - strawberries are one of the lowest sugar-content fruits around, containing only 4.9g sugar per 100g.1 To compare, bananas contain 12g per 100g, and figs contain 16g per 100g! Some advice will warn of moderating strawberry consumption due to sugar content, but in truth you can feed a lot more strawberries to your cat than most other fruits without worrying about sugar.

However, 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 strawberries?

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

Storebought frozen strawberries are often higher in sugar than fresh strawberries. Not only does freezing naturally concentrate the fruit into a more nutrient-dense state, but some manufacturers add strawberry 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!

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How to Feed Your Cat Strawberries

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

You can give them to your cat whole, cut them into slices, freeze them and give as natural popsicles on a hot day, or you can blend them into a puree. And you can of course share them with your cat, passing them a couple of leaves while you consume the tasty red fruit!

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1. Strawberry Nutrition Nutronix. 2022.

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

Further Reading

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