When you enjoy a certain food, the temptation is to share it with your cat so they can experience the same taste sensations. However, just because you think a food is delicious, it does not mean that it is something that your cat will enjoy. In some cases, there are foods that humans love that are potentially dangerous to a cat. Therefore, it is essential always to check whether a food is safe before feeding it to your cat. One food that you may enjoy is cranberries, but can cats eat cranberries?
Can Cats Eat Cranberries?
Cranberries are a fruit that is safe for your cat to eat. According to Trupanion Pet Care, giving your cat the occasional treat has nutritional benefits for your cat. Cranberries are a good source of dietary fiber, manganese, potassium, iron, and vitamins C, E, and K. An important point to note is that cranberries contain high levels of oxalate, says Vet Know How. Oxalates can help to reduce the likelihood of your cat developing bladder stones and some urinary infections. Cranberries also contain a natural plant chemical called proanthocyanidins, which is known to fight urine infections that are caused by E-coli bacteria. How effective cranberries are in fighting urine infections is a topic of scientific debate, although many pet foods contain cranberries for this purpose.
Do Cats Like Cranberries?
Although cranberries are a healthy option for cats, that does not mean that your cat will necessarily enjoy them. Cranberries have a combination of sweet and tart flavors. Many cats do not enjoy tart flavors, and cats cannot taste sweet flavors, so sweet flavors are not always an attractive food option for felines. Therefore, you may find that your cat turns up its nose when you offer it a cranberry.
What About Dried Cranberries?
Dried cranberries taste and look very different from raw, fresh cranberries. However, they are nutritionally very similar. For this reason, it is safe for you to feed cranberries to the cat. Just like fresh cranberries, your cat may not enjoy eating them, despite them being a safe and healthy treat for cats.
Can You Give a Cat Cooked Cranberries?
If you cook the cranberries yourself and do not add any other ingredients other than water, then it is safe for your cat to eat small quantities of cranberries. However, you should not give your cat cooked cranberries if you have not made them, and you are uncertain if other ingredients are added. For example, sugar is a common ingredient that is added when cooking fruit as it removes some of the tartness. Sugar is unhealthy for your cat to eat, as it is harmful to their dental health and can cause weight gain. In most cases, cats avoid sweet foods, so this is potentially not an issue. Cranberries are sometimes cooked as an ingredient in a recipe, such as for a pie filling. It is best to avoid giving your cat cranberries in this form, as there are potentially other ingredients in the recipe that are not healthy for your cat to eat.
Are There Any Other Types of Cranberries You Cannot Give Your Cat?
Cranberries can come in many forms, and not all of these are safe for your cat to eat. One example is cranberry sauce, which is a common accompaniment to poultry dishes. You should not feed cranberry sauce to your cat, as it usually contains a lot of sugar. It can also contain salt and various spices, depending on the recipe or the brand. Similarly, you should not give your cat cranberry juice. Again, this is because of the other ingredients that are often added to cranberry juice. Some of these ingredients are potentially harmful to cats, so it is best to air on the side of caution by not giving them cranberry juice. If you do decide to feed something to your cat, make sure you have read the list of ingredients first. Lots of foods intended for human consumption have cranberry flavorings. Sometimes, the flavorings are natural, while others are artificial flavors. If food is intended for humans, it is often best left for humans to eat, as some of the ingredients could make your cat ill.
Pet Foods with Cranberry
As there are some health benefits for both cats and dogs in eating cranberries, it is an ingredient that appears in many pet foods and pet treats. It is better to feed your cat food and treats that are intended for feline consumption than to feed them foods intended for humans or raw cranberries, says Red Barn. There are plenty of options available, and you can find foods and treats containing cranberries at most good pet supplies stores. If your cat does not like the taste of fresh or dried cranberries, then pet foods that have them as a concealed ingredient is a fantastic way of allowing your cat to reap the health benefits of these berries.
The Final Verdict: Can Cats Eat Cranberries?
Raw and dried cranberries are safe for cats to eat, and they offer cats and dogs many health benefits. However, cats often do not like the sweet and tart flavors of cranberries, so you might not be able to tempt your cat with this treat. Instead, opt for pet foods and treats that contain cranberries as an ingredient. While raw and dried cranberries are fine to feed to a cat, that is not necessarily the case for other foods containing cranberries, such as cranberry sauce, cranberry juice, and cranberry flavored foods. It is vital to check that any other ingredients in foods are safe for a cat to eat, as some ingredients are potentially harmful to cats. If you are unsure if a food is safe, then you should air on the side of caution and not feed it to your cat.