Resisting the urge to share a snack with your pet can be so difficult sometimes. If you’re enjoying the delicious first fruits of the season, why can’t your cat? It just doesn’t seem fair.
Even though cats are carnivores and their bodies have been designed for processing meat, they’ve been known to enjoy the occasional berry, like strawberries or raspberries. And lucky for you (and your cat) a raspberry eaten now and then is safe for cats, as long as it’s in controlled amounts. But before deciding to share a raspberry with your feline friend, there are some things you should be aware of.
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Cats Are Obligate Carnivores
The term ‘obligate carnivore’ means that according to the genetic makeup of an animal it should eat the meat of other animals in order to thrive and survive. Cats are obligate carnivores, everything in their anatomy, metabolism and physiology points towards a strictly carnivorous diet. There are a lot of facts supporting this, one of them being that cats have a higher protein requirement than most of the other animals in the world, or the fact that cats lack the digestive enzymes necessary to derive the benefits of plant-based sources of vitamin A.
Are Raspberries Safe For Cats?
That said, raspberries will not have the positive effect on cats, like they have on humans (increasing brainpower, improving cognitive functions, fighting obesity…) But in the right amounts, raspberries will also not be harmful for your cat. Raspberries are not listed on the veterinary lists of toxic food for cats, and as long as they’re controlled, they are safe. This means that you can share an occasional raspberry with your cat, but just as an addition to your cat’s regular diet.
You can give fresh and/or frozen raspberries to your cat. Because of the vibrant colour and fresh smell, raspberries are loved by cats. Freezing a raspberry might make it even more fun for your cat, plus it will be a great refreshment on a hot summers day. But always keep in mind, that they might not be toxic, but they are practically useless for cats, aside from the taste and fun eating them, your cat will not get any nutritional values from raspberries.
How Many Should I Give To My Cat?
Raspberries, just like any other fruits, are not naturally part of a cat’s diet, but are adored by all cats. This means that even though they are not really bad or toxic for cats, they are not good either. So if you do insist on giving your cat raspberries make sure not to turn them into a regular part of your cat’s regular diet.
Giving your cat a few raspberries now and then is perfectly safe, but never feed your cat with more than a couple a day.
Possible Negative Side Effects Of Eating Raspberries
If you do give your cat too many raspberries, it can have some negative side effects on your cat’s health. Chances are your cat will suffer from diarrhea, weirdly smelling feces and/or an upset stomach. Depending on your cat, her metabolic system and the amount of raspberries eaten, she can also even suffer from vomiting and dehydration. And in the worst case, really large amounts of raspberries can even be toxic for your cat’s kidneys.
Some Other Fruits That Are Safe For Your Cat
The first time you give a certain fruit to your cat, monitor them carefully in order to make sure your cat is not allergic to the fruit. Also it goes without saying that if your cat suffers from diabetes, you should be extra cautious since some fruits contain high sugar levels. But before giving any fruit to your cat, make sure to wash all fruits thoroughly and remove rinds, inedible skins, seeds, and pits.
But, generally speaking, these are some of the fruits that are safe to occasionally feed your cat:
- Peeled apples with the seeds removed (Wash apples super carefully, since pesticides on apples can be more harmful on cats than they are on people.)
- Small amount of peeled bananas
- Blueberries (treat them similarly to raspberries)
- Peeled pears with the seeds removed (Just like apples, wash
- Small amounts of pineapple
- Small amounts of strawberries (treat them like raspberries)
- Watermelon with the seeds removed (watermelon seeds are harmful for cats)
- Small amounts of cantaloupe (with the seeds carefully removed)
I think it’s safe to say that raspberries should be alright for you to occasionally share with your friend. Always monitor your little companion afterwards and if you think that it isn’t agreeing with them then it’s probably best they don’t have them. If you have any concerns you can always check with your vet and heed to there advice.