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Can Cats Eat Cherries?

Most cats aren’t interested in eating fruit. But if you have an adventurous feline who loves going after fresh produce, you might be wondering: can cats eat cherries?

In this article, we’ll talk about everything you should know about cats and cherries and what to do if you think your cat is becoming sick from eating cherries. 

Closeup of an orange cat sniffing a plate of cherries being held by a person.

Can Your Cat Have Cherries?

The short answer is that, while cherries are full of health benefits for people, it’s not a good idea for your cat to eat cherries.

Though the flesh of the cherry isn’t harmful, all the other parts of the cherry can cause serious injury to cats. That includes the stem, leaves, and pit. 

Health Risks of Cherries for Cats

The biggest concern with cherries and cats is cyanide poisoning. Cherry pits, stems, and leaves contain significant amounts of cyanide. Cats are especially sensitive to this and can become extremely sick or even die from it. 

If you think your cat has eaten a cherry pit or other parts, it’s important to keep an eye out for cherry poisoning. A cat that has only eaten a small or moderate amount of cherry plant matter probably won’t be severely sick. But if they have eaten a lot, contact their vet right away. 

Symptoms of cherry poisoning in cats include:

  • Dilated pupils
  • Panting or trouble breathing
  • Confusion
  • Shock
  • Red mucus membranes (such as in the gums)
  • Death Because cyanide affects the body’s ability to carry oxygen, cats with cherry poisoning might not be able to breathe.

If you notice these symptoms in your cat, it’s important to contact your vet right away. 

Though the main concern of cherries is cyanide poisoning, there are a few other health concerns for cats. The pit can cause choking or a bowel obstruction. Meanwhile, the high sugar content of cherries is unhealthy for cats, especially if they are elderly or diabetic. 

Frequently Asked Questions

Are there health benefits of cherries for cats?

Cherries are high in vitamins A, C, K, potassium, magnesium, and calcium. They also have some important antioxidants, such as beta-carotene and choline. These nutrients are essential for cats, but they get enough of these from their regular diet.

The health risks associated with cherries make them unsuitable for cats.

Are cherry cat treat recipes safe?

If you want to make your cat some healthy, safe homemade cat treats, steer clear of cherry recipes. Instead, stick mainly to ingredients like meat and fish

What should I do if my cat eats a cherry? 

If your cat eats a single cherry, they aren’t likely to become extremely sick. They might experience vomiting or stomach upset or have diarrhea in the coming days.

If you think your cat has eaten a lot of cherry plant matter or swallowed a cherry pit, call your vet to get their advice on how to proceed and what symptoms to watch for.

Can cats have cherry yogurt?

Though cats don’t usually go for fruit, they do love dairy products. There is no harm in giving your cat a lick or two of cherry yogurt, since it doesn’t contain pits or stems. The negative health effects of cherry yogurt for cats are actually more about the high sugar content and the fact that dairy can make cats sick. A small amount as an occasional treat, however, isn’t likely to hurt.

A young cat stealing a cherry from a bowl of cherries.  Cats are curious and like to bite things when they play, but are cherries safe?  Can cats eat cherries>

While Delicious For Us, Cherries Aren’t For Cats

Though cherries contain many of the vital nutrients that cats need to thrive, they can also cause severe health problems if your cat eats a pit or any other part except the fruit. It’s best to avoid them altogether and contact your vet if you notice signs of cherry poisoning in your feline.

If you also have canine family members, read our post Can Dogs Eat Cherries? for all you need to know to keep Fido safe! For more information about cherries, visit our Cherry Trees hub page.