Can Cats Eat Cherries?

cherries

We experience everything from our own perspective. As a result, it is natural for us to make assumptions about other living beings based on ourselves. However, pet owners need to remember that their pets are not humans, meaning that there are some things that their pets can eat even though humans can’t and vice versa. For that matter, different pets can eat different things, meaning that what is true for a dog isn’t necessarily true for a cat and vice versa. To name an example, there are a lot of humans who love eating cherries, but they shouldn’t feed those same fruits to their cats because that can make for serious medical problems.

For those who are curious, the flesh of ripe cherries seems to be fine for our feline companions. They won’t get much nutrition from doing so because they are obligate carnivores, but they won’t experience issues from doing so. Instead, feeding cherries to cats is problematic because of the pits, which contain cyanide. Generally speaking, humans swallowing a cherry pit isn’t a huge issue because humans won’t crush and chew on cherry pits before swallowing them, thus ensuring that their contents will remain within their hard, stone-like shell. Unfortunately, cat owners can’t guarantee that cats will do the same when it comes to cherry pits. Furthermore, even if their cats will swallow the cherry pits without crushing and chewing them, there is still the potential for them to choke on the cherry pits.

As for cyanide, well, suffice to say that it has more than earned its reputation for being dangerous. The exact symptoms can see a fair amount of variation depending on the exact degree of exposure. However, too much cyanide can lead to seizures, loss of consciousness, and the loss of blood flow to vital organs in humans, which can lead to death. This is possible because the substance deprives cells of oxygen. Something that is extremely problematic when every single cell in the human body needs a regular supply of oxygen to live. Much the same thing can happen to cats when they ingest cyanide, meaning that the chances of this happening need to be reduced as much as possible. Besides this, cat owners might also want to prevent their cats from associating cherries with food. The flesh of cherries might be fine. Unfortunately, much of the cherry plant such as both cherry stems and cherry leaves contain cyanide. As such, if cats start munching on various parts of the cherry plant because of their interest in cherries, that could be very bad for them as well.

What Should a Cat Owner Do If Their Cat Has Eaten Cherries?

There are a number of symptoms that can show up when a cat has been poisoned because of eating parts of the cherry plant that are dangerous for them. For example, the cat might have problems breathing. Similarly, the cat might have dilated pupils or even go into shock. The problem is that these symptoms aren’t exclusive to the cat being poisoned because of eating parts of the cherry plant that are dangerous for them. In fact, they aren’t even exclusive to the cat suffering from cyanide poisoning. As such, the surest way for a cat owner to tell that their cat has been poisoned in this manner is to catch their cat in the act.

Regardless, if cat owners suspect that their cats have been eating parts of the cherry plant that are poisonous for them, they should bring a sample of the cherry plant with them when they bring their cat to the veterinarian. If they don’t have this kind of evidence, the veterinarian is going to need to conduct tests to figure out what is going on before they can provide treatment. For instance, a sample of the cat’s blood might be taken to check its color. If the blood is bright red, that could be a sign of cyanide poisoning; if the blood is dark brown, that could be a sign of nitrite poisoning. There are other potential tests as well, which are necessary because veterinarians need to know what is going on before they can help out. As for how they can help out, well, there are a number of possibilities there. For example, oxygen supplementation might be used to combat the effects of cyanide. Similarly, fluid therapy and methylene blue might be used to speed up the rate at which the toxic substance is removed. Ultimately, veterinarians are the ones with the expertise, the experience, and the equipment needed to provide the most effective assistance, which is why it is so important that cat owners get their cats to their veterinarians as soon as possible. In this as in other health matters, swifter intervention often makes for better outcomes.

What Other Foods Should Cat Owners Watch Out For?

Cherries are not the only common foods that humans can eat but cats cannot. As such, it is a good idea for interested individuals to familiarize themselves with some of the other examples that can be found out there. To name some examples, onions should be avoided because they can break down a cat’s red blood cells, which won’t have good consequences for their health to say the least. Garlic does something similar. Except it is even worse because it is multiple times stronger than onions. Milk and other dairy products can be poor choices for cats as well. This is because they lose the ability to digest lactose when they grow up, meaning that eating a lot of these foods can give them diarrhea as well as other digestive issues. As for alcohol, it is something that cat owners should make sure that their cats never consume. This is because the substance has much the same effect on their brain and liver than it has on our brain and liver. However, cats need much less exposure before seeing dangerous effects. Something like two teaspoons of whisky can cause a coma in a 5-pound cat, so it is perhaps unsurprising to hear that something like three teaspoons of whisky can kill that same animal.

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