Can Cats Eat Blueberries? Here are 4 Reasons Why It’s An Exquisite Treat To Benefit From!
Blueberries are often marketed as a superfood thanks to being an excellent source of nutrients.
There are several vitamins in this fruit. You can absorb beneficial plant compounds and antioxidants to boost the immune system from as small as a blueberry.
We’re here to tackle some of the frequently asked questions cat owners have sent about giving cats some blueberries:
Can cats eat blueberries? Are blueberries bad for cats? What are the benefits of giving them blueberries? How many blueberries can I give to them? How can I introduce blueberries to them? What other fruits can we feed to cats?
We all can agree on blueberries being tiny fruits that are grown, commercially. It’s a popular delicious fruit native to North America and grown in the industry found in places across the United States and Europe.
These berries are pretty low in calories, ideally for any low carb diet sprees. Unlike other commercialized foods out there, these fruits are said to be incredibly healthy and can regulate blood sugar levels that would aid overall health including the heart and brain health.
We can snack on any form of fruit, but as a pet owner, we wonder if this snack is good for our pets.
Even when we casually add a variety of berries that are highly recommended, can cats eat blueberries and benefit from it the way we do?
A brief rundown on blueberries
Blueberries are one of the few fruits native to North America. Their blue color comes from anthocyanins which do add to the fruit’s health benefits. Blueberries are low in calories and fat. They’re mainly made up of carbs and water but also contain a decent amount of fiber.
Can cats eat blueberries?
Cats can eat blueberries. It's one of the few human foods that they can safely ingest. However, it all depends on the cat’s preference to consume them or not. Cats are unable to taste the sweetness in food.
To those who don’t know, cats can’t taste sweet flavors.
Cats eat blueberries not because they are sweet, but because the fruit tastes and feels new to them. Cats are known for being neophilic.
This means that they have a love for new tastes and textures. So, your cat may be excited to eat a blueberry, because of the moist texture in some foods for cats.
Once your cat discovers how juicy these blueberry fruits are it might then be their newfound favorite treat!
Just look at these kitties in the video below:
Why cats can’t taste sweet food
It’s been discovered that a genetic deficiency in cats removes the sugar taste receptors on their taste buds. In other words, cats are not able to possess the genetic makeup needed to be able to taste the sweetness in food.
Cats need meat over sweets
To our surprise, felines are only interested in one other thing besides a slight loving caress by their cat parents or the freedom to nap. This one other thing they love to do is to eat meat.
However, most commercial pet food manufacturers today produce cat food with the use of corn and other grains in their products now containing about 20% of carbohydrates on average.
Cats consuming a lot of carbohydrates partially contribute to the common and present health condition in felines which is diabetes. Cats’ bodies simply cannot digest and use up all the carbohydrates in those foods.
What are the health benefits of blueberries?
1. Low-level of carbohydrates
Blueberries are fruits that primarily consist of just 14% of carbohydrates, 84% of water content, and minute amounts of protein, and fat.
Most of the carbs come from simple sugars. These simple sugars are glucose and fructose. However, blueberries also contain some fiber besides glucose and fructose.
Blueberries are fruits low in nutrients or components that cause major spikes in blood sugar. So, this is also considered safe for people with diabetes and heart disease.
2. High-level of fiber content
Dietary fiber is an important component of one’s healthy diet. It’s known to improve digestion and could have an overall protective effect against a variety of diseases.
Just having one cup of blueberries gives you consumption of at least 3.6 grams of fiber. With the carb content that’s around 16%, this percentage of carbohydrates comes in the form of fiber.
3. Vitamins and minerals
Good news to both of us and our cats, blueberries are a good source of several vitamins and minerals. Blueberries contain these health benefits in small amounts of vitamin E, vitamin B6, and a bit of copper. It also contains the following nutrients to complete your cats' health needs:
- Vitamin C is also known as ascorbic acid – the great thing about vitamin C is that it acts as an antioxidant. For both cats and humans, this is an important vitamin for skin health and immune function.
- Vitamin K1 is a nutrient that is also known as phylloquinone. The nutrient is particularly involved in blood clotting. Vitamin K1 is also beneficial for bone development and bone health.
- Manganese. What manganese does is needed for a variety of ways. This mineral is essential for regulating your amino acid production, protein, lipid, and carbohydrate metabolism.
4. Blueberries as a natural cat food preservative
The market for cat food has added this interesting flavor in the selection, and that’s the flavor: blueberry extract.
Blueberry extract is becoming a widely popular ingredient in many cat food items. Blueberries truly have more doses of antioxidants than any other fruit in the world. These antioxidants are a widely used method of preserving pet food.
Natural antioxidants serve as a healthy preservative. These natural antioxidants truly do the work of blocking or slowing down oxidation.
This keeps your fur baby’s food fresh for the long haul, prolonging its shelf life.
Can blueberries harm cats?
What we truly want to know as feline parents is how it would be safe to administer this superfood to our kitties.
Great news! Blueberries are safe for cats.
Unlike us, blueberries aren’t considered a superfood for cats. However, these blueberries are considered a really good antioxidant for them.
How many blueberries can cats eat?
Your cats are getting a complete and balanced diet through blueberries and their wet or dry food, giving one too many berries wouldn’t be the ideal for cats.
Simply just a few pieces like just 2-3 blueberries would be the right amount.
Try to think about blueberries as a treat you would give to your cat. It need not take up more than 10 percent of a cat’s daily calorie intake.
Cats are truly carnivorous. This is a feature to expect in cats’ diet wherein the major part of their diet should be meat-based proteins. However, it doesn’t mean that your fur baby could not get the chance to enjoy the occasional blueberry.
Giving your cats a couple of blueberries every other day is more than enough for any feline since blueberries can cause digestive problems such as loose bowel or even worse, diarrhea.
How can I introduce my cats to blueberries?
Here are the steps we’ve come up which you can follow to incorporate blueberries into their diet:
- Wash the blueberries to start the process with removing the dirt and pesticides
- Cut open to show the first layer of the blueberry with moisture
- Mash the blueberries to create a paste
- Freeze the paste or mix to change the sensation of the fruit
- Take a portion of the mixture and settle it on top of wet or dry food
- Feed one or two whole berries as a treat for a deed
- Repeat the whole process with moderation
What are other cat-safe fruits?
Blueberries aren’t the only fruits your cat can enjoy. Fruits such as strawberries, core and/or seedless apples, seedless watermelon, and your favorite frozen banana serving are deemed as cat-safe fruits.
So, your fur babies can go ahead and munch on these fruits on occasion if they find any of those fruits worthy to munch on. Just safely steer away from toxic ones like raisins and grapes.
We’ve learned that blueberries are the go-to superfoods for us on a diet! These fruits are filled with fiber, vitamins, and a minimal amount of carbohydrates to get through the day!
Blueberries have long been made as one of the best superfoods you can add to your plant-based meals. You need to put just a little bit of the fruit on top of your cat’s meal.
Even when blueberries are generally safe to eat for cats, it should only be served as a treat!
Blueberries may be over the top with health benefits for humans, but our feline friends have their own needs too. Antioxidant-rich foods are digested completely differently in a cat’s carnivorous stomach.
Speaking of carnivores, cats are given to eat more meat than carbohydrates and sweets. This is why it’s recommended to give blueberries as a treat.
Yet, when truly given in moderation you’re helping your cat reap the benefits of this superfood!
Blueberries are sweet and delicious, proving to be one of the best fruits your cats can eat as a treat. Jam-packed with antioxidants, your intention to spread both health and love to your cats by giving them blueberries are now made possible!
Can cats eat blueberries?
Blueberries are safe for cats. Blueberries aren't considered a superfood for cats like they are for people, but the antioxidants in blueberries are good for cats, too. The fiber and water content in blueberries are good for cats, too.
What fruits can cats eat?
Apples, bananas, blueberries, cantaloupe, strawberries, seedless watermelon to name a few.
What fruits can cats not eat?
Steer clear of Cherries, they are toxic to cats and dogs, and grapes and raisins can cause kidney damage. Citrus fruits like lemons, limes, and grapefruit as well as persimmons can cause an upset stomach.
What veggies can cats eat?
Asparagus, carrots, squash, green beans, brocolli to name a few.