Can cats eat raspberries?

It is only natural to want to introduce your furry friend to the delectable foods that we humans enjoy.

However, is sharing a bowl of raspberries with your kitty really a good idea?

While these fruits are not toxic, there are certain things that cat owners should know about them, so read on to find out more.

Can Cats Eat Raspberries?

Many pet owners will come to me and ask if raspberries and other fruits are bad for their cats.

They want to know if it is advisable to share fruits such as berries with their kitty.

cat lying beside a bowl filled with raspberries but Can Cats Eat Raspberries?

The short answer is that, yes, cats can eat raspberries.

They are non-toxic and will not cause any issues unless eaten in very large quantities.

A few berries here and there won’t be an issue and your cat is likely to be very grateful for the treat.

When you offer a raspberry for the first time, watch your cat closely. They may not like the taste or may have a sensitivity to raspberries.

Monitor for signs such as drooling, vomiting, or loose stool over the next few days.

If your cat does develop any of these signs, it is best to stay away from raspberries.

READ MORE: Is Asparagus Bad for Cats?

Are raspberries good for cats?

As a matter of fact, there are many health benefits to these sweet, red fruits. Let’s take a closer look at the nutritional value of a raspberry:

  • Fiber Content

High in fiber and low in carbohydrates, the raspberry is a nutritious powerhouse of a fruit. They can help prevent constipation and encourage regular gut motility.

  • Vitamins

Packed with vitamins such as Vitamin A and C, your cat’s overall health is supported.

Vitamin A is important for the normal function of muscles and nerves, while Vitamin C supports the immune system and reduces oxidative stress.

  • Minerals

Raspberries are rich in minerals such as Manganese, which is needed for normal reproductive function as well as the production of fatty acids within the body.

  • High water content

Raspberries are mostly made up of water. In fact, roughly 85% of raspberry is water!

This means that feeding a few raspberries is a good way to maintain adequate hydration and keep your kitty well perfused.

This is especially useful in those cats who may be prone to bladder disease but are not big drinkers.

  • Low in calories

A healthy snack that won’t pack on the pounds, a couple of raspberries is a much better alternative than giving your cat some cheese or greasy meat as a treat.

Do Cats like the taste of Raspberries?

kitten smelling a sweet raspberry cake

Interestingly, it is believed that cats cannot really taste sweet things in the same way that we humans do.

As they are natural carnivores (rather than omnivores), they have not evolved to eat and crave sweet foods.

While they do have taste buds, they are not honed to sweet tastes.

Cats are not attracted to sweet foods but also do not show avoidance to them, as discussed in this paper.

Due to this, you may find your cat is not as crazy about raspberries as you or the dog are.

Despite this, many cats enjoy the flavor and the texture, so will choose to happily eat a raspberry if offered one.

Some online sources may advise offering raspberries mixed into e.g. cream, yogurt, or ice cream.

However, as adult cats are generally lactose intolerant, that is not recommended by this author.

If you wish to give your cat a raspberry, offer it ‘au naturel. Or, if you want to change it up, offer a frozen raspberry or two.

These can be licked at throughout the day and will help Felix stay cool during the summer months.

Reasons Why Cats Should Not Eat Large Amounts of Raspberries

tiger cat eating some fresh raspberries but are raspberries good for cats?

Cats eat raspberries all the time and an owner does not need to worry if their cat has snaffled a few berries that were left out of the fridge.

Certainly, a trip to emergency care will not be on the cards.

However, we should pay attention if our cat has pigged out and eaten more berries than they should have.

Raspberries are not a ‘natural’ food source

Cats are obligate carnivores, meaning they must consume meat.

This is unlike in their canine cousin, who is an omnivore and can theoretically survive as a vegan.

Our meat-loving cats would only have really eaten fruits when feasting on the stomach and gut contents of their prey.

Their body is simply not well-adapted to deal with a large amount of fresh fruit. Instead, they need lots (and lots!) of protein.

Think meat and fish rather than berries and herbs. So, we do not want to fill our cats up on fruit if it means they are not going to eat their main meal.

A few berries every now and then are fine to give. However, do not give a whole punnet and try not to give raspberries every day.

You may find that this would upset your cat’s digestive tract and cause mild vomiting and diarrhea.

Are strawberries safe for cats?

lady offering strawberry to his cat

So now that we know all about raspberries, the obvious next question is, what about the other berries?

You’ll be pleased to know that other berries such as strawberries and blackberries are just as safe as raspberries.

You may choose to offer a mixture of berries every so often, sprinkling a few in your cat’s dish as a treat.

They can even be used as a training treat if you find your cat really likes the flavor.

What about other fruits and vegetables?

On the whole, most fruits and veggies are just fine for your kitty to munch on from time to time.

However, we must watch out for poisonous foodstuff such as:

  • Cherries
  • Grapes, currants and raisins
  • Onions, garlic, chives and other members of the allium family

For more information on a range of ingredients such as Aloe and Artichokes, have a read of these links.

You can also check out this video for the best fruits for cats:

FAQs

How many raspberries can a cat eat?

fresh raspberries on top of a wooden table and bowl

Two or three raspberries every now and then is a safe amount to stick to. Try not to feed more than this, as your cat may then turn their nose up at their regular dinner. Too many berries could also cause loose stool and an upset stomach.

Will raspberries kill cats?

Fortunately, your cat will not die from eating raspberries. There have been no cases of raspberry toxicity reported in the literature. At the most, your kitty may feel a little under the weather if they have over-indulged.

What kind of berries can cats eat?

Cats can eat a range of berries including raspberries, strawberries, and blueberries.

Conclusion

While you may be unsure about offering your cat berries from time to time, you can rest assured that you can do so if you please.

Though fruits are not needed by a cat, having them every now and then can be a welcome treat.

Most vets would advise not overdoing it when it comes to raspberry feeding, as you may find you upset your cat’s stomach.

References

  • Colgate. 2021. “Is It Safe to Give My Dog or Cat Fruit?” Hill’s Pet Nutrition. Publisher. April 23, 2021. https://www.hillspet.com/pet-care/nutrition-feeding/can-dogs-and-cats-eat-fruit.
  • https://www.facebook.com/thediscerningcat. 2021. “Can Cats Eat Raspberries? All the Fruity Facts Cat Lovers Need to Know.” The Discerning Cat. February 7, 2021. https://thediscerningcat.com/can-cats-eat-raspberries/.
  • Li, Xia, Weihua Li, Hong Wang, Douglas L. Bayley, Jie Cao, Danielle R. Reed, Alexander A. Bachmanov, et al. 2006. “Cats Lack a Sweet Taste Receptor.” The Journal of Nutrition 136 (7): 1932S1934S. https://doi.org/10.1093/jn/136.7.1932s.
  • Terrill, Matt. 2018. “Can Cats Eat Raspberries? Is It Safe for Your Cat.” Innovet Pet. Innovet Pet. November 17, 2018. https://www.innovetpet.com/blogs/appetite-nutrition/can-cats-eat-raspberries.
grey cat licking raspberry cake

Can cats eat raspberries? Please share your thoughts on this topic below!

Linda
Linda

Dr. Linda Simon MVB MRCVS is a locum veterinary surgeon who has worked in London for the past 8 years. She graduated top of her class in small animal medicine from UCD, Dublin. She is currently a member of the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons.
Linda is the resident vet for Woman magazine and a frequent contributor to People’s Friend Magazine, the Dogzone website, Vet Help Direct and Wag! Linda also writes content for the CVS veterinary group, Vetwriter and a number of other establishments.

As well as working in clinic, Linda is an online vet for www. JustAnswer.com where she has been providing online advice for thousands of owners since 2018.

In her spare time, Linda enjoys baking, yoga and running around after her young son!

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