Cat parents often wonder if they can share certain human foods with their feline friends. Blackberries may seem like a healthy, safe option given their vitamins and fiber. However, can cats eat blackberries without issue? There are a few key considerations that cat owners should know regarding feeding blackberries to cats.
Are Blackberries Safe for Cats to Eat?
In very small quantities, blackberries likely will not seriously harm cats. However, both the berries and the vines come with safety issues that make them inappropriate as feline treats or food. Specifically:
- Seeds, stems, and fibers from blackberries can cause gastrointestinal blockages or upset when eaten. Cats cannot effectively break down plant matter.
- Blackberry vines, especially thorny brambles, can scratch a cat’s face, paws, or body, making wounds vulnerable to infection. Ingesting pieces of vine also comes with a blockage risk.
- Pesticides and chemicals from conventionally grown blackberries may be toxic for cats, depending on the substance and amount consumed. Organic is safest.
So while a quick lick of blackberry likely will not emergency poison a cat, anything more than that is unwise without veterinary guidance.
Are Blackberries Good For Cats?
The vitamins, antioxidants, and fiber blackberries contain can be healthy for people. But for obligate carnivores like cats, they generally provide minimal benefits. Cats’ bodies create their own vitamin C supply. And with no nutritional need for fruit or plant product fiber, blackberries offer little value and may even upset some cats’ stomachs.
Occasional treats should come from animal-based proteins, not fruits loaded with indigestible plant fibers. Stick to cat food and the occasional meat treat to feed your cat the nutrient profile nature intends for felines.
Can You Give a Cat BlackBerries?
You should not intentionally try to feed your cat blackberries. As explained above, they provide no health benefits to cats and come with safety concerns around blockages, stomach issues, and pesticide poisoning. Enjoy blackberries yourself, and redirect your cat to their species-appropriate food if they attempt to steal your snack. Offer meat-based treats instead to spoil your cat safely.
While safe for humans, blackberries represent an unnecessary risk to cats who attempt to eat them. Their flesh, seeds, stems, and vines can all injure cats via blockages, scratches, or toxicity. And their nutritional value is minimal for felines. For their health and safety, keep blackberries away from cats and offer appropriate treats if you wish to spoil your pet. Stick to cat food, meat proteins, and approved cat treats to nourish your cat properly.