Mulberries are a sweet fruit ranging in color from red to deep purplish-black produced by mulberry trees. For humans, the health benefits of mulberries are touted far and wide, but what about cats? Good news—according to the ASPCA, mulberries are not toxic to cats. But would cats even want to eat mulberries in the first place? Wait… do cats like fruit at all?
In this post, we explore the cat-fruit relationship, which fruits are safe for cats, and share the kinds of diet your cat needs to thrive.
Do Cats Like Mulberries?
Cats lack sweet taste receptors so it’s unlikely to see them drooling over mulberries or any fruit, for that matter. Cats are also obligate carnivores by nature, so don’t need fruit and plant matter to thrive.
That said, we all know that cats are highly inquisitive, which can sometimes lead them to nibble on things that capture their interest without any particular reason other than sheer curiosity. Some cats will eat small pieces of fruit as treats and even appear to like them despite being unable to taste sweetness. It really depends on the cat.
My Cat Ate a Mulberry, Will This Harm Them?
Because mulberries aren’t toxic to cats, your cat should be fine if they eat a few. However, their digestive systems aren’t built to handle this kind of food, especially in large amounts so if they eat quite a lot of mulberries (unlikely) or just don’t tolerate fruit well at all, it could lead to a tummy upset.
Which Fruits Are Safe for Cats?
Again, many cats don’t show any interest in fruit simply because it’s not in their nature to seek out fruit to eat. Nevertheless, sometimes cats do things that simply baffle us, and some cat parents have been stunned to find that their cat has taken a liking to fruit.
It’s okay to indulge them in this little quirk, as long as you’re feeding safe fruits in moderation as a treat, and not as their main diet. Although fruit isn’t on the menu for cats in nature, it can still provide a vitamin boost, which can’t hurt! Safe fruits for cats include:
Slices of banana are fine for your cat. They contain potassium and vitamin B6, and so can even provide a little vitamin boost for your cat. Some cats enjoy small pieces of frozen banana to cool down in the hot summer months.
You should never feed the core, leaves, or seeds of apples to cats as these contain cyanogenic glycides, but the flesh is fine. Small apple pieces can provide your cat with a little extra vitamin C and K and calcium.
In addition to mulberries, cats can also eat raspberries, strawberries, cranberries, blackberries, and blueberries—these fruits contain vitamins A, C, E, and K. Though berries are small, they should still be cut into even smaller bite-sized pieces for feeding to your cat.
Though watermelon seeds or rinds shouldn’t be fed to cats, watermelon flesh is fine in small amounts. Watermelon is a source of potassium and other vitamins. Another favorite summer fruit for humans, why not feed a few frozen watermelon pieces to your fruit-loving feline?
Cantaloupe is a source of antioxidants and contains vitamin C, beta carotene, and fiber. You can feed small pieces of cantaloupe flesh to your cat as a treat, but not the rind.
Which Fruits Are Toxic To Cats?
Unfortunately, not every fruit is suitable for cats and the ingestion of some fruits can cause serious health issues. Steer clear of the following:
What Kind of Diet Do Cats Need?
As carnivorous animals, a cat’s basic diet should contain proteins, amino acids, fats, vitamins, minerals, and carbohydrates. These components are crucial for helping your cat grow healthily and to give them the energy they need. The easiest way to make sure your cat is getting all the nutrients they need is to provide them with high-quality commercial cat food.
You can supplement your cat’s standard diet with safe fruits, vegetables, and other healthy snacks if they enjoy them, but these should never be fed to your cat in place of the meat-based diet they need to survive. You should also not feed fruity candy like gummy bears or similar sweets to your cat—these are really high in sugar and don’t benefit your cat in any way.
If your cat has a health condition, their dietary needs might be a little less cut-and-dry and a vet may recommend a special diet for them instead. In addition, kittens eat a different diet in the early stages until their digestive systems can tolerate standard cat food.
Kittens start off with suckling milk from their mothers and tend to move onto small amounts of dry food at around the six-week mark. Likewise, some older cats may require a different diet depending on how healthy they are.
Though mulberries aren’t a regular part of a cat’s diet, there’s nothing wrong with them eating one or two if the mood strikes. There are plenty of other safe fruits your cat can munch on in small portions, too. Cats shouldn’t be eating fruit in large quantities, though—this doesn’t fit with their dietary requirements and could result in an upset stomach, so be sure to always feed fruity treats in moderation.
Featured Image Credit: BoyKat, Pixabay