Watermelon is one of those fruits that are great to eat in the summer. They’re refreshing, sweet, and provide a pleasing slushy texture.
While humans love eating watermelon for its refreshing palate-cleansing property, do cats love to eat them? Watermelon is meant to be shared, and while you’re munching on a few slices, is it safe to give your cat a treat or two?
In this article, we’ll discuss whether giving your pet kitty a slice of watermelon is safe.
Can Cats Eat Watermelon?
Yes, cats can eat watermelon! They’re not listed as toxic according to The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, or simply known as ASPCA. So while you’re eating a few slices of watermelon, it’s safe to say that your cat can have a treat as well.
Cats love eating watermelon because they’re soft and refreshing. They’re also a great way to keep your cat hydrated in the hot summer months, as we all know cats are notoriously not the best water drinkers.
While it’s pretty safe for cat owners to feed their cat watermelon, there are a few things we need to keep in mind.
Cats are Carnivores
An occasional watermelon treat is fine but it must be noted that cats are carnivores. A cat’s diet consists mainly of meat, which provides them the protein they need. In the wild, cats hunt their prey for food and don’t have fruits or vegetables in their diet, so their digestive systems are not primed for plant-based food.
Nevertheless, watermelon is made of 92% water content, making the fruit easier to digest for cats. It also features a myriad of health benefits since it’s packed with vitamins and nutrients, as well as Lycopene, the very chemical that gives, is its red color, and known to promote cardiovascular health and healthy blood pressure levels. Aside from water, the fruit also contains a large amount of fiber, vitamin C, A, potassium, biotin, magnesium, and healthy antioxidants.
When you give your feline friend watermelon, make sure it’s only given as a treat, and not as a meal replacement. Too much watermelon can make your cat feel full since it’s high in fiber and water content. Your cat may no longer want to eat her cat food (dry or wet) and in the process, may be deprived of the very nutrients she needs for the day, such as a healthy amount of protein.
How Much is Too Much Watermelon?
Daily consumption of watermelon for your cat may do more harm than good. It is not ideal for cats to eat fruit and vegetables every day because as mentioned, they may be deprived of the actual nutrients they need in a balanced diet.
A treat or two once a week is enough or in the hot summer months given in small amounts. We must remember that fruit has high amounts of sugar. And high sugar content in food can lead to obesity and diabetes.
Some of the dangers of diabetes and obesity in cats can lead to other diseases and health issues.
According to the Cornell University College of Veterinary Medicine, some of the symptoms of feline diabetes are:
- Constant urination
- Inability to jump
- Lack of appetite
- Excessive thirst
Fruit should not be part of a cat’s natural diet but if you want your kitty to be hydrated in the summer, then a few slices of watermelon can help to achieve that.
Related: Discover your cat’s DNA story
Things to Keep in Mind when Feeding Watermelon to Your Cat
Always remove the seeds when feeding watermelon to your cat. Seeds can be a choking hazard for small animals. Seeds can also contain cyanide, which may be harmless in humans in small quantities, but could be toxic for cats due to their small structures.
Seeds can release toxic chemicals in your cat’s digestive system when consumed and could lead to vomiting, lethargy, nausea, and even cyanide poisoning.
The rind of the watermelon is also a hazard. Your cat won’t be able to digest the watermelon rind and can cause digestive issues, such as constipation, indigestion, nausea, and vomiting.
If your cat has never eaten watermelon before, there may also be the possibility of watermelon allergies. Here are the symptoms to watch out for:
- Upset Stomach
- Loss of Appetite
If your cat is showing any of these symptoms, it might be ideal to bring your cat to the veterinarian.
The Bottom Line
As cat owners, there’s nothing we love more than making sure our cats enjoy good food by giving them human food that we enjoy ourselves. The hot summer months are the perfect time to eat watermelon, as they’re refreshing, soft, and sweet to eat. Cats love eating watermelon for its softness and refreshing properties, which are safe and healthy to eat.
While giving our cat an occasional treat of a small piece of watermelon is safe, it must be noted that there are a few things we need to keep in mind.
Removing the watermelon seeds and the rind ensures no digestive issues will occur in your cat, while also making sure watermelon is only given as a treat occasionally, and not as a part of her daily diet, or as a meal replacement.