Can Cats Eat Cranberries?

Can cats eat Cranberries? Yes, cats can eat cranberries in moderation. This tart fruit is not only rich in antioxidants, but also packed full of vitamins and minerals such as potassium, calcium, and fiber. All of this is beneficial to your feline friends’ health. Some sources have claim that Cranberries are also an excellent treatment option for urinary tract infections in cats. However, moderation is key. Consuming too many Cranberries can lead to a whole host of health issues. Be sure to properly prepare Cranberries before feeding them to your furry friends.

Suppose you left a bowl with about three Cranberries on the kitchen counter. After running an errand, you come home to find the bowl completely empty. It’s only you and your feline companion in the house. As you’re becoming more concerned, you began to wonder, Can my cat eat Cranberries?

Before you start to panic, we’re here to tell you that Cranberries are fortunately safe for feline consumption. However, they should not consume Cranberries daily and definitely not when you’re not there to supervise.

Our feline friends are obligate carnivores so their digestive systems cannot properly digest large quantities of fruits or vegetables. So how many Cranberries can cats eat? What’s the best type of Cranberries to give our four-legged friends? Keep reading as we’ll answer these questions below.

Can cats have Cranberries?

Cats Cranberries
Can cats have Cranberry?

Yes, cats can have Cranberries. Giving your feline companion Cranberries as a rare occasional treat should be fine as long as it is in moderation.

To fully understand why it is safe to give our cats Cranberries, let’s briefly go over what Cranberries are and in what ways are Cranberries safe and beneficial to our cats.

What are Cranberries?

Cranberries is a superfood that is high in antioxidants and is rich in a variety of minerals and vitamins. They are native to North America and they are red, round, small, and firm. They taste both sour and bitter.

The production of Cranberries has expanded to areas like Chile, Canada, and the United States.

Many enjoy the natural distinct tarty flavors of Cranberries.

However, others may prefer having Cranberries in the form of Cranberry juice or as a Cranberry sauce since sugar can be added to make it sweet. They are mostly consumed during the Thanksgiving holiday as they are perfect with turkey and other delicacies during the holiday season.

Are Cranberries safe for cats?

Cranberries for cats
Can cats eat Cranberry?

Yes, Cranberries are safe for cats if they are consumed in moderation or as a rare occasional treat.

That’s because Cranberries contains essential vitamins and minerals such as manganese, fiber, copper, and vitamin C, E, and K. All of these essential nutrients will help support your feline friends’ growth and overall health.

With that said, be careful not to feed your fuzzy friends too many Cranberries as doing so can lead an upset stomach or diarrhea.

In general, anything consumed in excess (even if it is good) can become detrimental to your cat’s health.

Are Cranberries good for cats?

Yes, Cranberries are good for cats when consumed in moderation. Cranberries contain tons of essential nutrients, which we will discuss in more details below.

Moderation is key for many reasons.

First, as we mentioned above, cats are obligate carnivores which means they thrive on meat in order to receive their meat-based protein. Thus, it is not required to feed your feline friends Cranberries.

Second, if your kitty cats consume Cranberries in large amounts, it would stress out their digestive system since their digestive system is adapted to a meat-only diet.

Therefore, if you would like to feed your cats Cranberries, do so in moderation and as an occasional addition to their diet or as an occasional treat every now and then.

You may also have heard that Cranberry supplements are good for cats and they are. When it comes to Cranberry supplements, be sure to consult with your veterinarian first before giving them to your kitties. In most cases, your vet may suggest formulated Cranberry supplements.

Health benefits of Cranberries for cats

Cranberry Cat
Can cat eat Cranberry?

1. Antioxidants in Cranberries helps fight against harmful free radicals in cats

It is a known fact that all animals who require oxygen in order to survive will have free radicals in their body. Free radicals are created during your cat’s normal bodily functions.

Free radicals are bad because they destroy the good cells and their surrounding tissues. So how do these free radicals destroy the good cells in your feline companion’s body?

Here’s how:

  • First, free radicals damage the proteins in the membrane receptor.
  • Second, free radicals hinders the proteins from doing its job which is to produce energy.
  • Third, the enzymes necessary for cellular metabolism is paralyzed.

Essentially, the good cells and tissues are damaged.

As a result of this, free radical damage can lead to many health issues in cats including:

  • Aging prematurely.
  • Atherosclerosis (Cholesterol, fats, and other substances building up in and on the cat’s artery walls).
  • Autoimmune diseases.
  • Cancer.
  • Diabetic cataracts leading to visual impairment.
  • Heart disease.
  • Inflammatory bowel disease.
  • Deficient in necessary nutrients.
  • Viral infections.

As we can see, free radical damage can lead to diseases, illnesses, and early aging in our feline friends.

Enter Cranberries.

Cranberries are fortunately packed full of antioxidants such as the following:

  • A-type proanthocyanidins.
  • Flavonol polyphenols.
  • Peonidin.
  • Myricetin.
  • Quercetin.
  • Ursolic acid.

All of these antioxidants help fight against free radicals. So how do antioxidants combat the oxidating chemicals that is the free radicals?

Here’s how:

Antioxidants neutralizes the oxidants which helps to hinder or stop cell damage.

As we can see, giving your feline friends a moderate amount of Cranberries can help reduce oxidative stress in their body.

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2. Copper in Cranberries promote healthy skin and coat in cats

Cranberries also contain copper. Our fuzzy friends’ body need copper because this essential mineral is the key to:

  • Proper formation of bone and collagen.
  • Absorbing the necessary iron (another crucial mineral to maintain healthy blood) from the cat’s gut.
  • Formation of melanin which is responsible for healthy and shiny skin and coat in cats.

When our feline companions have iron deficiency, their red blood cell production may be impaired. As a result, they may have anemia and other related health issues.

As we can see, copper can hep with red blood cell maturation and the development of pigment in the cat’s body. 

3. Vitamin C in Cranberries strengthens your cat’s immune system

Cats are curious animals. They will sniff and try to eat anything that moves in front of them. As a result, they are exposed to a multitude of bacteria and viruses, which can be harmful. Luckily, their own bodies can naturally help protect them from these bad viruses and bacteria.

How so?

Well, cats can produce vitamin C on their own. Their livers synthesizes the vitamin C and it is then distributed all throughout the body through body tissues. In this way, their body is able to function properly so the cat is healthy and strong.

If you would like to add a bit more vitamin C to your kitties’ daily diet, it couldn’t hurt. You’ll be helping to boost your cat’s immune system since vitamin C is a powerful antioxidants.

Additionally, this antioxidant can help with tissue maintenance, tissue growth, and increase collagen production to ensure healthy bones and joints in cats.

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4. Manganese in Cranberries promote metabolism in cats

Cranberries are also packed full of manganese, another essential mineral that our four-legged friends need.

So why do our feline friends need manganese?

Well, manganese plays an important role in keeping our fuzzy companions strong, healthy, and youthful.

Essentially, manganese can help with the following:

  • Facilities how the cat’s body uses the carbohydrate and protein.
  • Helps activate the necessary enzymes in your cat’s body that is responsible for normal metabolic functions, energy production, the production of fatty acids.

Every day, our adult feline friends need about 3.4 mg of manganese for every pound of cat food consumed.

With sufficient manganese intake, it can help our kitty cats have proper metabolism, healthy bone formation, and strong immune functions.

On the contrary, cats with manganese deficiency may experience the following:

  • Reproductive problems (difficult time conceiving and stillbirth).
  • Newborns and growing kittens may have bowing and shortening of the forelimbs.
  • Adult cats may have large joints and experience lameness.

This is why it’s important that our feline friends are receiving their necessary manganese intake.

In addition to what we’ve listed above, manganese can also act as an antioxidant. As we discuss above, antioxidants help fight against harmful free radicals.

Furthermore, the main components of a cat’s diet are protein and fats. Incorporating manganese into their diet can help improve the absorption and use of protein and fats.

5. Protects against bacteria

Cranberry juice is mainly known as a treatment for urinary tract infections. Well, the anti-bacterial effect of the fruit is due to proanthocyanidins. 

It is a plant-based product in Cranberries that helps fight bacteria, particularly E.coli, by not allowing it to stick to the walls of the bladder and reproduce. It’s important to understand that Cranberry juice cannot cure a urinary tract infection. It is only capable of preventing it.

6. Better digestion and bowel movement

A diet rich in fiber can have surprising effects on gut health and bowel movement. It can improve the stool’s quality, making it easier to pass. Consequently, the chances of constipation are reduced.

Additionally, it also supports the gut bacteria and ensures a healthy digestive tract. Fortunately, the outer layer of Cranberries is rich in dietary fiber, and the cat can benefit from it.

7. Prevents tooth decay

Tooth decay and other dental problems are quite prevalent among cats. The polyphenols and phytochemicals present in Cranberries can help prevent tooth decay in cats.

It’s important to take preventive measures to safeguard your cat’s health. But don’t get carried away with the benefits, and start feeding your cat tons of Cranberries daily. Remember, moderation is the key.

8. Improves hair quality

Dealing with shedding fur is possibly the most frustrating part of being a cat owner. According to research studies, Vitamin E can help maintain your cat’s coat and make it shinier.

Cranberries have a considerable amount of Vitamin E, which can help support and maintain your cat’s coat quality. The daily recommended amount of Vitamin E for cats is 30 IU. Remember, Cranberries are suitable for cats as an occasional treat only. 

9. Improves cardiovascular health

Polyphenols are known for their remarkable effects on the cardiovascular system. They dilate the blood vessels to lower blood pressure and maintain it at an adequate level.

Cranberries contain a considerable amount of polyphenols which can be beneficial for cats. However, it’s essential to understand that cats can only tolerate a certain limit. Always be mindful of that, and don’t go overboard.

10. Maintenance of muscle function

Magnesium is an essential mineral that is not given the recognition it deserves. It is involved in maintaining muscle function and helps with hormone secretion and bone development.

Cranberries contain magnesium which can assist in many processes and maintain a healthy body. Magnesium deficiency may result in impaired muscle function, weakness, abnormal heartbeat, and lack of coordination.

Are Cranberries bad for cats?

Generally, Cranberries hold no grave harm to our fuzzy friends. Cats can enjoy them, but moderation is important. Anything that exceeds the defined limit can pose a threat to the cat’s health. Therefore, let your cats enjoy it as a treat but don’t give them too many.

Health risk of Cranberries on cats

1. Upset Stomach

A cat’s digestive system is not designed for plant-based products. The fruit is also rich in oxalates. All of these factors combined can result in increased chances of diarrhea, nausea, and vomiting. It’s best to avoid ingestion of Cranberries in excessive amounts to reduce the risk.

2. Choking Hazard

Cranberries are circular, small ball-shaped berries. Never leave a bowl of Cranberries unsupervised when there’s a cat in the house. The risk of a Cranberry being stuck down your cat’s throat is significantly high. It’s better to prevent something from happening than to be regretful later.

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So, are Cranberries poisonous to cats?

Cranberry for cats
Are Cranberries toxic to cats?

No, Cranberries are not poisonous to cats. They are listed as safe to eat and can be given in limited quantities.

Cats and Cranberries

Can cats drink Cranberry juice?

Cranberry juice for cat UTI
Cranberry juice for cats

The most commonly asked question is, “Can I give my cat Cranberry juice?” Well, yes, cats can drink Cranberry juice.

Ideally, it is best to give our feline companions fresh squeeze Cranberry juice without any added sugar. The Cranberry juice available in our local supermarket or grocery stores usually contain high sugar content to cater to the mass, which can actually harm your four-legged friends.

Can cats have Cranberry juice?

Yes, cats can have Cranberry juice. It is safe for cats to have Cranberry juice in small amounts. So if you’re wondering, “can a cat have Cranberry juice?” the answer is yes, but in moderation.

Everything is beneficial when given in moderation. Try to stay within the recommended amount.

Can cats eat dried Cranberries?

Yes, Cats can eat dried Cranberries. However, ensure that the dried Cranberries are unsweetened and unflavored. That’s because our little fur babies cannot tolerate sugar in their diet as it can cause vomiting and diarrhea.

Can cats have dried Cranberries?

Dried Cranberries are classified as non-toxic and safe for our feline friends. Therefore, cats can have dried Cranberries. The next time you find your cat eyeing your dried Cranberries, you can give him a few.

Can cats eat Cranberry sauce?

It’s better to avoid giving our cats Cranberry sauce as it usually contain tons of sugar. As we discussed above, sugar is bad for cats. Plus, our feline companion’s tongue does not have the receptors to detect sweetness or sugar. Tasting is acceptable, but large quantities of Cranberry sauce should be avoided at all cost.

Can cats have Cranberry sauce?

Sure, cats can have Cranberry sauce. Just make sure it’s not a lot. You can let your kitties lick a tablespoon occasionally during the holiday season.

What about Cranberry extract for cats?

Yes, Cranberry extract can be administered to cats. It’s an excellent option for the prevention of urinary tract infections. We highly recommend that you always consult a veterinary doctor for the recommended dosage according to your cat’s weight and age.

How about Cranberry supplements for cats?

Cats are allowed to take Cranberry supplements, but it’s best to speak with your veterinary doctor first to discuss the right dosage and frequency. They are primarily given for the management and prevention of urinary tract infections in cats.

Can cats eat canned Cranberries?

Canned Cranberries can contain sugar and preservatives, both of which are not recommended for cats. It’s best to avoid the canned Cranberries version, but occasional indulgence won’t harm your kitties.

However, we do want to remind you not to make it a habit of giving your kitty cats canned Cranberries on a regular basis in in large quantities.

Can cats eat Cranberries and goat cheese?

Cranberries and goat cheese are acceptable in limited quantities. Goat cheese is believed to have less lactose compared to other milk-based cheeses.

As a pet owner, mindful decision-making is very important. Don’t get carried away and put your cat’s health at risk.

Is it a good idea to give your felines dry cat food with Cranberries?

If your cat enjoys Cranberries, it’s okay to slip some into their dry cat food once in a while. However, it’s not a good idea to do it frequently. Your pet is your responsibility and it’s essential to make decisions which benefit the cat’s health.

It’s true that many commercial-grade cat foods already contain certain amount of Cranberry to ensure maximum nutrition.

Cranberry for cat UTI: Is it a good idea to give cats Cranberry for urinary issues?

A urinary tract infection refers to the colonization of bacteria in any part of the urinary system. The symptoms of the cat UTI include:

  • Difficulty urinating.
  • Blood in the urine.
  • Repeated failed attempts to urinate.
  • Uncontrolled licking of the genital area.

So, why do many believe Cranberry juice can help with cat UTIs?

The reason is that Cranberry juice has long been associated with treating and preventing urinary tract infections in humans. Research studies were initiated to conclude whether it had the same effects on cats or not.

Eventually, it was concluded that Cranberry juice does help in the management of urinary tract infections. The proanthocyanidins and other similar chemical compounds in the fruit can help reduce the ability of the E. coli to stick to the urinary wall.

Before you offer some Cranberries to your cats for UTI prevention, we highly recommend that you speak with your vet first. Your vet may recommend pills and the right dosage.

Administering Cranberry juice without discussing it with your veterinary doctor isn’t a good idea. The juice is believed to shift the pH of the urine towards the acidic medium. Experts recommend getting the cat’s urine pH level tested before starting Cranberry juice.

In general, the recommended dose for Cranberry pills is 125 to 250mg twice a day or 100mg three times a day.

The recommended amount for Cranberry powder is one scoop for cats above 15 pounds and 1 to 1.5 scoops of Cranberry powder for cats weighing between 20 and 50 pounds.

While Cranberry juice has been proven to help with urinary tract infections, it may not be a sustainable treatment option. For instance, you cannot give your cat Cranberry juice every day to combat the condition because doing so can lead to weight gain and other health issues.

Hence, it’s better to speak with your vet for the appropriate treatment if your cat has UTI.

How to feed Cranberries to your cats

Cranberries can be given to cats in a variety of ways. Generally, cats do not prefer eating them raw due to their acidic flavor. Cranberry sauce is not preferred due to the added sugar.

  • If you wish to administer Cranberries in the form of juice, add one or two tablespoons to your cat’s water bowl.
  • If you have dried Cranberries, mix them with dry or wet cat food.
  • If you have Cranberry supplements, crush them and sprinkle them to your feline’s food food.

So, can cats eat Cranberries?

The health benefits of Cranberries may seem too good to be true. You may be tempted you to incorporate them into your cat’s diet for better health.

However, it’s important to understand how harmful it can be if we feed our cats too many Cranberries. The cat’s digestive system can’t accommodate tons of fruits every day because it is not designed to do so.

Therefore, it’s crucial to make responsible decisions when it comes to your feline friend’s health. 

Related Questions

How much Cranberry can a cat have?

Cranberries would be considered a snack which should be 10% or less of their daily diet intake. The recommended dose is 120 to 250mg twice daily if taken in supplement form.

Are cats allowed to eat dried Cranberries?

Yes, cats are allowed to eat unsweetened dried Cranberries since dried Cranberries are not harmful to them unless they are sweetened or flavored. In general, sugar is not recommended for cats. Therefore, it’s best to avoid it.

Why is there Cranberries in cat food?

Small quantities of Cranberries are often included in cat food primarily because of the antioxidant properties and various vitamins that this fruit provides, which help to improve your feline friend cat’s health.

Can you give cats Cranberry for UTI?

Cranberry juice contains certain compounds that prevent bacteria from sticking to the urinary tract wall. Likewise, it is believed to alter the pH level towards slightly acidic to reduce bacterial growth. Further research is required to confirm it.

The information, including but not limited to, text, graphics, images and other material contained on this website are for informational purposes only. No material on this site is intended to be a substitute for professional veterinary advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your veterinarian or other qualified health care provider with any questions you may have regarding dietary needs.