For humans, blueberries are widely considered to be a superfood. They are high in many vitamins and minerals and have decent water content. They are also good for people looking to lose weight as they are low in calorie, but sweet and filling. Finally, blueberries are very versatile which is why they pop up everywhere, including in pet treats (particular dog biscuits).
Are blueberries as good for cats as they are for humans? Cats are carnivores and so all of their nutrition comes from eating meat. They don’t need fruits or vegetables, they should avoid most carbs and only have a small amount, and their vitamin and mineral needs are met with well-balanced food. So blueberries aren’t as necessary for the health of cats as they could be for many humans, but can cats eat them?
Absolutely, yes. Blueberries are perfectly safe for cats to eat, as long as they eat a small amount and they are given as treats, not as a regular part of their diet. And since blueberries contain water and a bit of roughage, some cats may even enjoy them!
Do Cats Like Blueberries?
This is going to vary from cat to cat. Some cats will enjoy them, not so much for the taste since cats can’t taste sweet foods, but for the water and the rougher skin that they may enjoy chewing. I’ve never had a cat that would eat them, but I imagine if I offered some to my current cat, she would at least lick them a little.
Do Cats Hate Blueberries?
Conversely, I’ve never had a cat that hates blueberries so much as just ignores them. If your cat could care less about you sharing your blueberries with it, don’t worry about it. Cats don’t need blueberries in order to be healthy and there are plenty of other treats that your pet may enjoy.
Can Blueberries Kill Cats?
Assuming that you are giving a healthy adult cat some blueberries, it’s highly unlikely that it will cause your cat any harm. However, there are a few things to keep in mind.
First of all, blueberries do have sugars in them which is why they taste nice and sweet. Raw blueberries contain 9.96 grams of sugar per 100g which isn’t as high as other fruits, but it is still pretty high. Remember that cats get absolutely nothing from eating sugar (not even natural sugars), and furthermore, a diet too high in carbs and sugar can very quickly lead to obesity and feline diabetes which can be fatal. Older cats, kittens, and cats with diabetes already should not have blueberries.
Second, although very uncommon, some cats can have an allergic reaction to blueberries. The first time you let your cat have blueberries, you should watch for the following:
- Sneezing and coughing
- Any other changes in behavior
If you observe any change in behavior, it’s best to discontinue giving your cat blueberries and switch gears to another treat. Cats won’t particularly crave blueberries, so don’t feel bad if you have to switch to another treat.
Finally, cats should only be given a few blueberries at a time and only a couple of times a week. They can be served raw or frozen and they should be cut up so that your cat can eat them safely. Feeding your cat any more than that can cause an upset stomach, plus of course, they don’t provide much nutritional value and may deter them from eating their proper food.
How many Blueberries are Safe for Cats to Eat?
Treats should only make up about 10% of a cat’s total caloric needs. This means that if a cat eats 250 calories a day, treats should be no more than 25 calories. Blueberries are low in calories, but they still clock in at roughly 85 calories per cup, so you’re looking at giving your cat no more than three to five blueberries. Furthermore, just like humans can give themselves a tummy ache from eating too many berries, cats can as well.
In short, you should only feed a cat three to five blueberries at one time and no more than 2-3 times a week to make room for other treats, not to mention your cat’s regular food. Make sure that the blueberries are thoroughly washed and all the stems are removed. Make sure the berries are cut up in small, kibble sized pieces before serving. Cats can handle the blueberry skin fine and they may even enjoy the texture.
As a final note, you should only feed your cat raw or frozen blueberries, either cut up or in a pure blueberry puree. Canned blueberries are too high in sugar to safely feed your cat.
The Health Benefits of Blueberries for Cats
Blueberries are high in the following:
- Vitamin C
- Vitamin A
These things are a lot better for humans, particularly for brain health, weight loss, immune system boosting, and for helping to prevent diseases like cancer, but cats can benefit very slightly too. While cats don’t need vitamin C (They actually produce their own), these other things can be good for their skin, muscles, and organs.
Keep in mind though that since the serving size is tiny, the minerals and vitamins are very trace amounts, so don’t use blueberries as a way to get cats to eat healthily. Instead, the focus should be on high-quality cat food and things like meat rather than fruits and vegetables. Still, for a treat, blueberries are definitely not the worse thing to give.
Blueberries are also high in water and low in calories and carbs, both of which are things that cats don’t get enough of (water) and often too much of (carbs). Blueberries can help bring that balance back compared to many commercial cat treats that are usually too high in carbs.
Blueberries are one of the fruits which are generally safe to give to cats. They are high in water and fiber, low in calories and carbs, and many cats enjoy them. Make sure to keep the serving sizes small, observe the first feeding to check for allergies, and otherwise if your cat enjoys them, feel free to let them have a few when you are eating them.
Cats can certainly eat blueberries and they make a well-rounded part of a cat’s diet.
Does your cat enjoy blueberries?