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Can Cats Eat Cranberry Sauce? Health & Nutrition Facts

Jessica Kim

By Jessica Kim

Can Cats Eat cranberry-sauce

You might want to include your cat in holiday festivities by including traditional holiday dishes in its meals. However, there are many dishes that you should avoid feeding your cat.

Cranberries may contain nutrients beneficial to cats, but cranberry sauce is a completely different story. Cranberry sauce isn’t safe for cats because it contains high amounts of sugar and other ingredients that make cats sick. So, think twice before topping off your beloved pet’s dinner with some leftover cranberry sauce.


Is Cranberry Sauce Safe for Cats?

Cranberries are naturally very tart, so a high amount of sugar is necessary to balance out the tartness. Too much sugar isn’t healthy for humans, but it’s even more unhealthy for cats.

Sugar isn’t a natural part of a cat’s diet, so they don’t know how to process it very well. Although it’s not considered to be toxic, too much sugar can actually cause an upset stomach, vomiting, and diarrhea.

Homemade cranberry sauces can contain other ingredients that are unsafe for cats. Common ingredients include raisins and nuts. Raisins and grapes are toxic to cats, and some nuts are toxic or indigestible for them.

If you feel like your cat’s missing out on sweet treats, you don’t have to feel so bad. Cats can’t taste sweet flavors because they don’t have sweet receptors on their tastebuds. So, there are healthier alternatives that your cat can enjoy.

Cranberry Sauce in a bowl
Image Credit By: CC0 Public Domain, pxhere

Nutritional Value of Cranberries

Fresh cranberries are completely safe for cats to eat as long as you feed them in small quantities as treats. They’re a good source of fiber and Vitamin C, and they can also help with reducing urinary tract infections.

So, if you’re making homemade cranberry sauce, it’s safe to save a few pieces of fresh cranberries for your cat.

Healthy Holiday Dishes for Cats

Cats generally have sensitive stomachs, so sudden switches in their diet can cause an upset stomach. Therefore, if you want to feed your cat leftover holiday dishes, only serve them as treats. They should never replace your cat’s usual meal.

You can feed your cat some holiday dishes, but many dishes contain a wide variety of herbs and ingredients that aren’t healthy for cats. Therefore, make sure you know everything that goes into a dish before serving it to your cat. As you look through ingredients, you might find that they complement a cat’s natural dietary needs.

Burmese cat eating homemade vet approved cat food beef and carrot
Image by Nicole Cosgrove | Hepper


Cats are carnivores, so their daily diet should contain around 50% protein. Cats need animal protein, such as chicken, turkey, and beef, because these sources of protein contain essential amino acids that they can’t produce on their own.

Your cat may be able to enjoy small amounts of holiday dishes, like roasted turkey. Just make sure that the meat doesn’t contain any garlic, onions, or other plants in the allium family. Both fresh and powdered forms of these plants are toxic to cats.


Cats also need a substantial amount of fats in their diet. Fat is good for cats because it provides energy and contains omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids. These fatty acids have many benefits, including reducing inflammation, preventing disease, and promoting healthy skin and coat.

If you’re using a healthy gravy recipe, you may be able to give a little bit to your cat. The gravy shouldn’t contain high amounts of sodium or any fresh or powdered onion or garlic.


Cats don’t need to eat a large amount of carbohydrates. They should never eat bread or dinner rolls because these baked items don’t contain any nutritional value.

Cats can eat potatoes and may enjoy eating a small portion of plain mashed potatoes. Never feed your cat any kind of potatoes raw because they can be toxic to cats.

a tabby cat eating a homemade food
Image Credit: Lia Kos, Shutterstock



Cats can enjoy eating raw cranberries, but they should avoid cranberry sauce because it contains too much sugar. Your cat can enjoy some leftovers of traditional holiday dishes but with caution because many of these dishes contain harmful ingredients and seasonings.

Completed dishes may not be the best option for your cat. However, if you’re preparing homemade dishes, it may be a better option to feed your cats plain ingredients while you make them. For example, if you’re making cranberry sauce, set aside a few pieces of raw cranberries for your cats before you add ingredients to the rest of the dish.

Your cat can safely enjoy the holidays and holiday leftovers with you. If you’re not making any homemade meals, you can always get some holiday-inspired cat treats, so your cat doesn’t miss out on any of the festivities.

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Featured Image Credit: Pixel-Shot, Shutterstock

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