Can Cats Eat Blueberries?

  • It is not a substitute for the help of a professional veterinarian.

Blueberries have long been touted as one of the best superfoods you can eat. Blended into yogurt or on top of blueberry pancakes, blueberries are delicious and not overly sweet, proving to be one of the best fruits you can eat every day. Packed with antioxidants, we aim to infuse our cats with healthy love whenever possible.

Blueberries may be overblown with the human health benefits, but our feline friends have different digestive systems. Foods rich in antioxidants are digested completely differently in a cat’s carnivorous stomach. Many human foods are non-toxic or even beneficial for a cat’s diet, while others cause stomach problems that can have long-lasting effects.

Here’s what you need to know if cats are allowed to eat blueberries.

Health benefits of blueberries

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The name “superfood” is not something to be taken lightly! Blueberries have endless benefits for all kinds of health needs. According to health experts, blueberries have the highest amount of antioxidants of any common fruit and vegetable. Antioxidants are no joke either: they help fight signs of aging and cancer. Blueberries are also rich in vitamins C, K, fiber and manganese.

With studies linking blueberries to lower cholesterol, blood pressure, heart disease and better memory, blueberries are indeed a superfood.

Can Cats Eat Blueberries?

The truth is that fruit is not part of a cat’s natural diet. Cats are carnivores and have no taste receptors for sweetness due to their appetite for meat. Scientific American explains that they probably won’t be too keen on any treats, let alone blueberries. If cats love blueberries, it’s probably because of their texture.

Too much sugar (even the natural sugars in fruit!) in a cat’s diet can lead to digestive or diabetic problems over time. It is recommended not to give cats blueberries in large quantities, especially as a meal replacement. Interestingly, while blueberries may be helpful for people with diabetes, cats digest the fruit’s sugars very differently. Frequently raising blood sugar levels with fruits can lead to long-term health problems.

According to Cornell University College of Veterinary Medicine, symptoms of feline diabetes include:

  • excessive thirst
  • constant urination
  • loss of appetite
  • inability to jump
  • Vomit

Contact your veterinarian as soon as you notice these symptoms as they can be the first signs of diabetes.

If you’re concerned about your cat’s sugar intake in general, check the packets of food you buy for your cat. Some cat treats can contain excessive amounts of sugar and carbohydrates.

blueberries

What about the cranberry extract?

There are many commercially available cat foods made with cranberry extract. These foods are touted as having antioxidant benefits for dogs and cats and may be helpful in healing urinary tract infections. However, most foods containing cranberry extract do not affect sugar or carbohydrate levels, so they are generally safe for your cat. As with any new food you introduce to your cat, monitor its behavior for a few weeks.

Can cats eat fruit?

The same rule of thumb with blueberries applies to most fruits. In general, “Fruit isn’t a problem for cats, although most cats don’t actually eat a lot of fruit,” Gary Richter, DVM, owner and medical director of Montclair Veterinary Hospital in Oakland, Calif., told Rover and Holistic Veterinary. Danger. “Since they’re not going to be eating large amounts of fruit anyway, the sugar content isn’t a big issue.”

Strawberries or bananas may be fine in small doses, but there are some fruits cats should avoid:

  • Citrus fruits (all citrus fruits contain some level of citric acid, which in large enough doses can cause central nervous system problems; causes stomach upset in smaller amounts, according to the ASPCA)
  • Raisins/grapes/currants (toxic to cats, according to ASPCA)
  • Coconut or coconut oil (technically a seed, but we’ll include it here; coconut can cause stomach upset in cats, according to the ASPCA)

Alternative healthy snacks

Instead of blueberries, consider vegetables as a good alternative to your usual snacks. “Pet owners can always try adding vegetables to cats’ food or treats. Not everyone will eat it,” says Dr. Judge about a balanced meal.

According to the ASPCA, these vegetables are not toxic to cats:

  • zucchini
  • Celery (they love the crunch!)
  • carrots
  • Green paprika
  • Spinach (packed with vitamins A, C, and K!)
  • Peas (commonly found in many prepackaged cat and dog foods as a vitamin supplement)
  • Pumpkin (pumpkin is often used to add fiber to your cat’s diet)
  • broccoli

Whether your cat is interested in fruit or vegetables, at the end of the day, remember this: your cat is still a carnivore. Replacing whole foods with something other than their usual diet will lose vital nutrients in a properly formulated cat food. “The vast majority of what cats eat should be balanced,” says Dr. Judge. “In general, treats are not balanced and should not form a significant part of your daily intake.”

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Source : rover.com

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