Can Cats Eat Blueberries?
Cats are obligate carnivores, but this doesn’t mean that they exclusively feed on meat. In the wild, cats consume fruits, vegetables, and grains from the stomach contents of their prey, rather than eating them directly.
So yes, cats can eat blueberries. They do digest carbohydrates but less efficiently than proteins, however, cats can easily digest the carbohydrates present in some fruits.
In addition to healthy organic foods, it's okay to give your cat blueberries. Blueberries contain fiber, water, and have antioxidant qualities. Most meals containing blueberry extract, on the other hand, have no effect on blood sugar levels, making them generally safe to give to your cat.
Some of the health benefits of blueberries include:
- They contain some antioxidants which play a role in cancer prevention
- They help prevent aging
- Blueberries are rich in vitamin C and K
- They have a high fiber and water content
- Studies indicate blueberries can lower cholesterol levels, cardiac conditions, improve memory and lower blood pressure
- Pet feeds with blueberry powder help heal urinary tract infections in cats and dogs
- Blueberries help reduce inflammation, easing symptoms of conditions like arthritis and inflammatory bowel diseases
How Many Blueberries Can I Give My Cat?
It is recommended that your cat does not consume excessive amounts of blueberries, because they should already be receiving a comprehensive and balanced diet from her pet food. A cat's daily consumption of blueberries should be no more than 10% of its total daily calorie intake.
The high sugar content in blueberries predisposes our feline buddies to digestive and diabetes. Therefore, it is unhealthy to feed cats blueberries in large quantities. However, you can add blueberries to the diet, but never as a complete meal replacement.
Despite cats consuming blueberries, they don't have taste receptors for sweetness. Instead, they consume the fruits due to their texture. Large consumption of blueberries can raise your feline friend's blood sugar levels, leading to diabetes.
Symptoms of diabetes in cats include:
- Poor appetite
- Polyuria (excessive urination)
- Polydipsia (excessive thirst)
If your cat has the above symptoms, contact your veterinarian for more information.
When buying pet food, check whether the label says, "complete and balanced," as instructed by the American Association of Feed Control Officials (AAFCO). Complete and balanced is an indication the food contains all the essential nutrients he requires and is well balanced to support growth and reproduction to cats at all life stages.
How to Serve Blueberries for Cats
If you can persuade your cat to consume blueberries, they are a nutritious treat. In reality, blueberries are an ingredient in several commercial cat food products. It's always a good idea to consult with your veterinarian before introducing any new foods to your cat's diet, such as blueberries.
You can experiment with blueberries once you have obtained permission from your veterinarian. Because cats cannot detect sweet flavors, they will be attracted to the other characteristics of blueberries. Cats enjoy novel and exciting textures, which is why your cat may find it entertaining to munch on blueberries. Cats also enjoy eating moist things, so a ripe blueberry can be just the thing to satisfy their craving.
How to introduce the blueberries to your pet's diet:
- Wash to remove dirt and pesticides
- Cut then open to expose the juices
- Mash the berries to create a paste
- Place the paste or cut berries on top of the wet or dry meal