Can Cats Eat Blueberries?
Mmmm…. Blueberry pancakes and blueberry muffins, I love them.
In fact, blueberries are the second most popular berry in the United States, and they’re really good for you!
If you’ve heard all the talk about blueberries being a superfood, you might be wondering if blueberries are also super for your cat?
As we will explain in this article, blueberries make a fun and interesting treat for your kitty, even if they’re not quite the health food for cats as they are for people.
In this article we’ll cover the following;
- Cats and Blueberries, What You Need to Know
- Can Cats Eat Blueberries?
- Can Kittens Eat Blueberries?
- Benefits/Drawbacks to Cats Eating Blueberries
- Healthy Alternatives to Blueberries
Cats and Blueberries, What You Need to Know
Blueberries are the indigo-colored fruit of the perennial flowering plant, Vaccinium corymbosum. Domestic blueberries are relatively new to the scene, with the first commercial crop being sold in 1916.
Prior to being cultivated, the blueberry and it close relatives, the huckleberry and whortleberry were used by Native Americans to provide food in the winter, when other sources were scarce. The Native Americans also used blueberries medicinally, preparing them as teas or infusions to purify the blood, treat colic in babies and induce labor.
Blueberries have been shown to be a very healthy food for people. They are low in sugar, high in Vitamin C and fiber, and contain a number of antioxidants and other phytonutrients. Consumption of blueberries by people has been linked to improved heart health, bone and skin health, lower blood pressure, decreased cancer risk, diabetes management, and even better mental health.
As far as cats go, it seems that most like blueberries, as you can see from this video:
I’m not sure how many blueberries those cats actually ate, but the point is that if you offer your cat a blueberry, odds are they’re going to want it.
Whether they bat the blueberry around like a ball, or take a little nibble from it, blueberries seem to pique the interest of most cats.
But are blueberries healthy for cats?
Well, cats are obligate carnivores, which means all they really need to eat is meat like turkey or tuna. While blueberries do contain vitamins and anti-oxidants, cats actually are very poor at deriving nutrition from foods that aren’t meat. So, they certainly don’t need to eat blueberries.
For example, all mammals need sufficient Vitamin C to survive, and most manufacture it in their livers. However, humans don’t produce enough Vitamin C in their livers, so they must eat oranges, grapefruit, and other Vitamin C rich foods or they will end up getting scurvy. Cats (and dogs), on the other hand, make plenty of Vitamin C in their own liver, so they don’t need to eat oranges (or blueberries) to get enough Vitamin C.
It won’t hurt a cat to get a little extra of water soluble vitamins, like Vitamin C. They just don’t need it.
A good thing to try are some cat treats with blueberry as an ingredient instead.
Can Cats Eat Blueberries?
The short answer is that, yes, you can give your kitty blueberries in moderation. Blueberries do contain some good nutrients as with any fruit (mangos, oranges, apples, etc).
Cats are likely to play with blueberries more than they actually eat them, but blueberries can be a fun and interesting treat for cats.
If your cat seems to be a really big fan of blueberries, maybe try feeding them cat food made with it.
Let’s watch another video with cats enjoying blueberries:
Can Kittens Eat Blueberries?
Kittens tend to be even more susceptible to things than adult cats. They are even more prone to getting indigestion and diarrhea if they eat too many blueberries.
Further, since kittens do not have as much experience with different food items, they should be monitored when eating blueberries to make sure they don’t choke on them.
All this being said, we do not recommend that you give a kitten blueberries.
Their bodies are still developing, no need to make it work overtime by digesting blueberries.
Drawbacks to Cats Eating Blueberries
Since cats derive the vast majority of their nutrition from eating meat, there is actually little benefit for cats to regularly eat blueberries. Too many blueberries could cause indigestion.
All in all, though, blueberries can be a fun and healthful treat for your kitty that’s an interesting change of pace from their normal food.
Healthy Alternatives to Blueberries
Cats are fine to have a small amount of blueberries from time to time. But, how about trying a cat food made with blueberries, instead?
Blueberries are also used in a variety of nutritional supplements and natural care products made just for your pet.
Finally, if you are just a blueberry fan, check out all the neat cat collars from Blueberry Pet. There’s one to fit everyone’s taste.
If you’re also curious about cats and cherries, you can find out about that here.
If you have any questions or would like to share a story about your cat and blueberries, please tell us in the comments below, we’d love to hear from you.