Believe it or not, where I live, natural vegetation includes raspberries and strawberries! When you take a walk only 10 minutes outside the city you can expect to see shrubs full of raspberries or if you happen to go to forest or orchards you can expect to see strawberries growing under your feet. As a result, I have raspberries and strawberries in my garden where my cats play. Sometimes I even catch them playing with raspberries. Rather than “can cats eat raspberries”, the question for me is “how many raspberries can cats eat” .
Raspberries are not in the ASPCA list of toxic foods for cats and FDA also has a list of toxic foods for pets which does not include raspberries. Many other experts also state that raspberries are non-toxic and safe for cats but should be given in small quantities. However as always the case with human foods, there are a few things you need to know before giving this delicious fruit to your cat.
Can Cats Eat Raspberries Safely As Much As They Want?
You should always be careful when feeding human food to your cats because cats are obligate carnivores which means they only need meat to get the nutrition their bodies need however sometimes out of curiosity and sometimes to relieve an upset stomach they eat grass, fruits, vegetables, etc.
The result of being a carnivorous animal for cats is that eating excessive amount of food other than meat can cause gastrointestinal issues such as diarrhea, vomiting, constipation, etc. Raspberries are no exception and considering how small cats are the excessive amount is very very little.
The recommended amount of raspberries that cats can safely consume is 1 or 2 raspberries once or twice a week. It is even better to keep it minimum and only every once in a while because raspberries also contain a substance called xylitol which might be familiar to you because it is a common substitute for sugar in many commercially available products. Excessive amount of xylitol consumption can be toxic to cats so it is better not to leave a bowl full of raspberries unattended.
What Happens If My Cat Eats Too Much Raspberries?
As mentioned above, xylitol in raspberries can be toxic to cats if consumed in excessive amounts. Xylitol is not something that should be taken lightly as it may cause some serious health issues. However, 1 or 2 raspberries per week is considered perfectly safe as long as your cat does not have allergies or some other health issue that prevents it from eating raspberries.
Another issue with overconsumption of raspberries is due to the fiber content it includes. One cup of raspberries contain 8 grams of dietary fiber. There are two types of fiber inside raspberries: insoluble and soluble fibers. While insoluble fibers cause a feeling of fullness and help with eating less, soluble fibers use water during digestion and slows down the digestive process which, in turn, stops sugary and fatty contents from being absorbed as quickly. Although the combination of these two fibers is very healthy, too much fiber can cause stomach issues.
Another result of being carnivorous is that although raspberries have some nutrients cats can benefit from, cat digestive system is not evolved to process plant-based sources. There are other sources where they can benefit from the same nutrients more in comparison to raspberries. These nutrients include;
- Vitamin A, C, and K,
In the light if above information the possible side effects of too many raspberries may include:
- Abdominal pain
- Upset stomach
- Foul-smelling feces
- Kidney toxicity
- Kidney Damage
This is why the answer to “can cats eat raspberries” is “yes but in moderation”.
In What Form Can Cats Eat Raspberries?
Cats can have raspberries frozen, fresh and in yoghurt as well as in puree form. The important thing here is give the right amount of raspberries in order not to take any unnecessary risks.
Also be careful not to give any yoghurt to your cat with additives such as sugar or chemicals that are used to prolong the shelf life of yoghurt. Sugar can be harmful to your cat and may cause harm in the long run.
Conclusion on Can Cats Eat Raspberries
Provided that your cat doesn’t have any allergies of medical condition that prevents eating raspberries, raspberries are safe to feed to your cat as long as given in recommended portions.
Should you decide to give raspberries to your cat, always start with smaller amount such as half a raspberry, monitor your cat for any unwanted effects and if there is non, give the other half of the fruit.
Do not give more than 1 or 2 raspberries to your cat per week.
Always consult your regular veterinarian before introducing a new food to your cat’s diet.
Also contact your veterinarian if there is any side effects because nothing is more important than your kitties health.