Blueberries are known for being one of the most incredibly healthy foods available to humans. They contain vitamin E, B6, copper, manganese and vitamin C, as well as many other nutrients and phytoflavinoids. Plus, they taste great, don’t they?
As a cat owner, you may naturally wonder whether or not your cats can safely enjoy these super fruits, and the nutritional benefits they have. It’s natural to want to share the things you love with your cat. However, the last thing you want to do is make your cat sick, so it’s important to do your research before offering a tasty blueberry to your feline friend.
Can cats eat blueberries safely? If so, will they benefit from the nutrients inside?
Let’s take a closer look at whether cats can eat blueberries:
Can Cats Eat Blueberries?
If you are wondering if eating blueberries is safe for cats, the answer is yes. Blueberries are not toxic to cats so if they accidentally have a little bit of one or, they do a theft on your punnet, they should be fine.
However, it is important for all of us kitty owners to understand that fruit is not part of their natural diet. Cats are carnivores, so their diet always consists of mainly meat. In fact, they shouldn’t even have any real desire for fruit because they can’t really taste sweetness.
Science tells us that cats are ‘sweet blind’ so they never really crave a sweet treat like we do. So if they seem to crave your bananas or your watermelon, it’s probably for the texture, or to have a bit of what you’re having.
Importantly, if cats have too much sugar they can struggle with digestive problems. Even worse, they may even become diabetic with too much sugar consumption, especially if they are overweight or obese. Whilst humans with diabetes can find a healthy source of sweetness in blueberries, cats just aren’t the same. Feline diabetes is really bad news for cats too and may show itself in symptoms such as:
- Regular vomiting
- Being off food
- Being unable to jump/ being a lot less active
- Being very thirsty
- Peeing a lot
If left untreated, diabetes will sadly eventually kill a cat, so it is important to speak to your vet if you suspect they have it. Luckily, once diagnosed and provided with treatment, they can lead a normal life.
When it comes to offering blueberries to cats, although the odd one won’t hurt, it should not be a regular snack for any cat. If your cat is already diabetic, they should not be offered any sugary snacks at all.
Be Berry Cautious When Offering New Snacks To Cats
If you do offer your cat the odd blueberry it is important to be cautious. It may upset their tummy if they have never had it before. It could even cause an allergic reaction. Look for signs like:
- Persistent vomiting
- A change in behaviour
- A lack of bowel movements
- Dribbling (if new to the cat)
If the cat appears to have reacted badly to the blueberry, seek veterinary advice.
Healthy Snacks For Cats
The main part of a cat’s diet should be a verified complete cat food that is suitable for their age, health needs and breed type. Your vet can provide you with guidance on the best type of food for your cat.
When it comes to healthy cat snacks, the odd blueberry won’t hurt them, but ideally your cat will snack on steamed chicken or fish. There are also some great freeze-dried meat treats available in the supermarket suitable for cats, as well as more processed treats that they tend to love. Again, it is important to ensure any treats are given as part of a full, nutritionally balanced diet for your cat where a complete cat food suitable for their needs is central to what they consume.
Blueberries: Share Sparingly
When it comes to the safety of blueberries for cats, the general advice is to share sparingly. As long as you know it is safe for your cat to have the odd blueberry in addition to a complete cat food that makes up their main diet, there’s usually no harm in sharesies. If in doubt, always consult your veterinarian.