Cat Tips

Can Cats Eat Blackberries?

If we talk about berries as a collective, blueberries, blackberries, raspberries, and cranberries are all safe for cats to eat. That being said, there are a few steps to follow to help ensure you introduce your cat to this new food safely and in the right amount. Here are a few other fruits that are safe for cats.

There are hundreds of dishes that incorporate blackberries; cakes, crumbles, traybakes, cheesecakes, salads, and compotes are all examples. This shouldn’t be surprising. After all, blackberries are not only delicious, they’re also superfoods. But can cats get all of the same benefits from snacking on blackberries?

Are Blackberries Good for Cats?

One interesting fact to know about blackberries is that even the stem, leaves, and roots of the plant are safe for your cat to eat. When it comes to nutrients, an 80g serving of blackberries can provide 20kcals/83 KJ, 0.7g protein, 0.2g fat, 4.1g carbohydrates, 3.3g fibre, 128mg potassium, 1.12mg manganese, and 12mg vitamin C.

In humans, these nutrients help in preventing heart diseases, support cardiovascular health, boost brain power, support oral and gut health, reduce the risk of diabetes, and help treat cold sores among many other benefits.

With all of the benefits blackberries have to offer, it’s normal to wonder if blackberries can also be beneficial to our cats. The answer is that when given in moderation, blackberries can have a few different health benefits for cats.

The Health Benefits of Blackberries for Cats

Blackberries contain antioxidants, flavonoids, and fiber, as well as vitamins A, C, K, and E. Now, let’s beak down the nutrient values of each and evaluate how they can benefit a cat -

  • Antioxidants – Antioxidants play a key role in minimizing the damage free radicals can cause to cells, including cells of the immune system.

  • Fiber – Helps support digestive functions and benefit the stool quality of cats. Fiber can also help in cases of constipation, diarrhea, diabetes and even obesity.

  • Vitamin A – Supports healthy sight, and skin, and helps in the formation of organs in growing animals. Vitamin A also helps support immune function.

  • Vitamin C – Promotes joint and bone health.

  • Vitamin K – Helps support the coagulation of blood, so the body form can form clots after an injury.

  • Vitamin E – Vitamin E deficiency can cause muscle weakness in cats.

  • Flavonoids – Flavonoids offer multiple health benefits including anticancer, antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and antiviral properties.

Do Cats Like Blackberries?

Cats are extremely fussy eaters, so you don’t often have to worry about them chowing down on something they aren’t supposed to. Some cats might surprise you though. They’ll eat things you wouldn’t think they’d like; Blackberries could be one example.

One of the main reasons people like eating blackberries is likely because of the sweetness. But cats don’t have taste receptors that detect sweetness, so even for cats who do enjoy blackberries, there’s a high chance that it is only out of curiosity or because of the unusual texture.

How Much Blackberry is Safe to Give Your cat?

Whenever you introduce any new food item to your cat you should start with small quantities and keep an eye out for any signs of an allergic reaction or upset stomach. Once enough time has passed, and you know your cat is in the clear, you can give them a bit more.

This is the same method that should be used when it comes to blackberries. Start with a piece about the size of your fingernail. And if there are no bad reactions then you can maybe opt for 2-3 blackberries per sitting.

How to Feed a Cat Blackberries

The next step is to understand how exactly to feed blackberries to your cat. For those occasional moments when you want to offer tiny pieces of Blackberries to your cat, you will want to follow these few steps:

  • Cut the pieces as small as possible – One major threat that these berries pose because of their shape and size is choking. It’s very important that you cut the berries into tiny pieces palatable for your cat. Mashed berries are best.

  • Washed the berries thoroughly – A typical blackberry could contain chemical remnants from pesticides. These chemicals could lead to chemical intoxication and if unchecked, can eventually lead to cancer. Make sure to wash the berries properly and remove any remnants of dirt from it before feeding them to your pet.

  • Raw berries are best – Stay away from any kind of processed blackberries. Remember the mouth-watering list from above? Jam, muffin, cheesecake, and the hundreds of other delicious blackberry recipes? They aren’t safe for your cat. We also suggest avoiding frozen blackberries. They can be difficult for your cat to eat and pose a choking hazard.

  • Once or twice a week – Stick to the recommended quantity and limit this treat to once or twice a week max.

What Can Happen if Your Cat Eats Too Many Blackberries?

In case your cat decides to indulge while you are away or distracted, keep an eye out for symptoms of an upset stomach. You should contact your vet right away if your cat shows symptoms including –

  • Diarrhea

  • Discharge from eyes and/or nose

  • Dull, brittle fur or fur loss

  • Scratching or biting skin

  • Skin or ear infections (Learn more about skin conditions in cats)

  • Skin rashes or sores

  • Swelling on the lips, eyes, or ear flaps

  • Sneezing or wheezing

  • Vomiting

Are There Any Cats That Should Not Have Blackberries?

While not breed-specific, some cats should not have blackberries and can be more susceptible to experiencing an upset stomach from eating them. The list includes –

  • Cats with diabetes or signs of the condition – Cats digest sugar differently than we do, so if your cat is diabetic or pre-diabetic, it’s best that you keep them away from blackberries.

  • Cats prone to kidney stones – While blackberries and blueberries contain fewer oxalates than other berries, oxalates in food can increase the risk of kidney stones.

How Spot Can Help

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Blackberries are non-toxic and safe for your cat, and in the right quantities can provide several health benefits given their antioxidant properties. But the key is in feeding your cat the right amount, and in the right way. 2 – 3 fresh, bite-sized berries that have been thoroughly washed, once or twice a week, will work just fine.

However, if your cat is refusing to eat blackberries, don’t worry. The health benefits offered by blackberries can be obtained from other cat foods as well. Your cat can be perfectly healthy without them.


The information presented in this article is for educational and informational purposes only and does not constitute or substitute for the advice of your veterinarian.

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