Raspberries are a popular fruit in my house, really second only to bananas and apples. The kids like them, I like them (especially in deserts) and they go well in smoothies. So, it follows that the cats, who sometimes follow us around like shadows, would come across raspberries that got dropped (or thrown by the toddler).
If one of the cats starts licking at the berry, it’s only natural to worry about whether that’s safe or not. And if you’re here, it’s likely that you’ve wondered the same thing! Can cats eat raspberries?
Short answer: yes, in moderation. This includes fresh, frozen, and pureed. It even includes raspberry yogurt! However, the more nuanced answer is that while a few raspberries a week probably won’t harm your cat, you really don’t want to let them go overboard on them.
Do Cats Like Raspberries?
Like humans, a liking of raspberries is going to vary from cat to cat. My cats have sniffed raspberries before and I wouldn’t be surprised if a berry or two has been licked or nibbled, but it’s not something they actively beg for. Other cats probably really love them! It all depends on your pet.
Cats are obligate carnivores, so they really don’t need raspberries to stay healthy. There are a few nutritional benefits that can be gleaned from berries, but they should really be more of a treat and not be the main part of your pet’s diet, whether your cat loves them or not.
Do Cats Hate Raspberries?
Some cats probably don’t like raspberries or are disinterested in them. If this is your cat, don’t try to force raspberries on them. There are other treats that are just as beneficial (if not more so) and cats do not require berries to be healthy.
Can Raspberries Kill Cats?
Raspberries are considered to be non-toxic for cats, so you don’t generally have to worry about fatalities from them. That being said, raspberries are still something you want to limit in your cat’s diet, or else your pet may start having health issues including:
- Stomach pain
- Really smelly feces or really dry feces from dehydration
- Kidney complications (rare and would require your cat to eat a lot of raspberries every day)
If you are just trying your cat on raspberries for the first time, you should also monitor your pet for a few hours after to make sure it’s not having any allergic reactions. This is rare, but you just never know what your pet will struggle with until they try it! (My family cat when I was a child was allergic to fish, so, weirder things have happened in the world of cat allergies than raspberries!) Signs of an allergic reaction can include itching, vomiting, stomach discomfort, and diarrhea.
Another issue with raspberries is that they contain xylitol, a fruit sugar that also shows up in candy and gum. For dogs, xylitol is quite dangerous. For cats, it can be toxic when ingested in high amounts (and remember, for a small cat, a high amount is very much at all). This is why you’re looking at one or two berries per week, not several berries a day.
How Many Raspberries are Safe for Your Cat?
Although raspberries are almost always safe and healthy for cats to nibble on, you still want to greatly limit their intake. About one to two berries per week is usually enough for most cats to enjoy. Some people say one to two berries a day is fine too, but you certainly wouldn’t want to go over that.
Cats can also eat frozen raspberries, again, in the same quantities. Pureed raspberries with no added junk can also be enjoyed – in that case, you’re looking just a spoonful or so a week (if that). And cats can also eat raspberries in yogurt, though keep in mind that raspberry yogurt may have too much added sugar or other things, so mashing a raspberry and adding it to plain yogurt is best so that you control what your cat is eating.
Just like puree, a cat only needs a spoonful or so of the treat to be satisfied (health-wise; your cat may want more on a personal level!)
Cats can also eat fresh or well-dried raspberry leaves, but wilted ones can be toxic and cause vomiting or other stomach discomforts. Some cats like to chew on fresh leaves for the texture.
The Health Benefits of Raspberries for Cats
Raspberries are a popular fruit with humans because they taste great and are packed with nutritional benefits. Cats feel the same way! Now keep in mind that these benefits are going to be trace amounts because a cat can only have a berry or two a week. Still, a little is better than none at all. The benefits of raspberries include:
- Vitamin C – can help boost the immune system and gives antioxidants
- Health sugars that actually have anti-diabetes properties (and only a small amount at that). Raspberries are actually recommended for cats with diabetes as a treat
- A fairly high fiber content aids in digestion and weight loss. (Though keep in mind that too much fiber can lead to stomach problems!)
- Memory boosting. Cats may not be, in general, as trainable as dogs, but cats do rely on their memory for their day-to-day activities. It also helps stave off things like dementia which yes, cats can be diagnosed with
- Raspberries also slow the aging process by helping to prevent several diseases and countering inflammation and scarring, as well as arthritis
Raspberries have plenty of good things for cats, making them a pretty ideal treat to give them once or twice a week.
Many cats like raspberries. They are brightly colored, have a flavor profile that cats can enjoy (aside from the sweetness which they won’t taste), a nice texture, and some water in them for hydration. They’re also fun to chase! But make sure that your cat only gets one or two berries once in a while to prevent stomach problems and if your cat doesn’t like raspberries, don’t feel like you have to force the issue.
Raspberries are great, but since cats are meant to get their nutritional needs met by meat, they won’t suffer for not eating raspberries.
Does your cat like raspberries? Or raspberry yogurt?