Can Cats Eat Watermelon? 

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With summer just around the corner, one of our favorite seasonal fruits will be back on the shelves; watermelon! When it’s time to cut into this refreshing fruit, you may begin to wonder if it’s safe to offer your favorite feline a bite of this healthy snack.

In this article we’ll dive into the question of whether cats can eat watermelon, the potential benefits of giving your cat watermelon, and risks to be aware of when offering this sweet treat. 

 

So can cats eat watermelon?

 

watermelon photo

The short answer to this question is yes, but in moderation. While watermelon is not toxic to cats and it’s perfectly safe to offer them a few bites, eating this refreshing fruit in excess can open up the door to health complications. 

So how much watermelon can a cat eat, and how often can they eat it?

How often can you give a cat watermelon?

If watermelon is on the menu often in your home, you may wonder how often your feline friend can join in on this healthy snack. Though it may be tempting to give your cat a piece of watermelon each time you eat it, it’s important to realize that like many human foods, this should only be offered in moderation. 

Your cat is an obligate carnivore, meaning they need to take in plenty of quality protein in their diet to thrive. Cats don’t necessarily need the addition of fruits and veggies in their diet, and these items should only make up about 10 percent of their diet as a whole. 90 percent of their food intake should be quality cat food that’s created to meet your cat’s nutritional needs.

Since only a small portion of your cat’s diet should be that of healthy snacks, this means you should only offer these  treats sparingly. A small piece of watermelon once or twice a week should be just fine, and will still leave plenty of room for their standard quality cat food. 

Do cats like watermelon?

watermelon photo

 

Every cat will vary when it comes to their specific taste and interest in different food. It’s interesting however to note that our feline companions don’t actually detect sweet flavors the same way other animals do. Their taste response to a sweet flavor is much weaker than ours, meaning they may not even taste the sugary flavor of the watermelon they eat. 

Though cats may not taste the delicious flavor of a watermelon, they may still enjoy how refreshing the fruit is. Since watermelons have such a high water content, cats may simply enjoy the instant hydration that this fruit offers. 

Are there beneficial nutrients in watermelon for cats?

We know watermelon is a healthy snack option for us, but is it beneficial to our cats as well? The answer is yes!

Water Content

There’s a reason we seem to crave watermelon on a hot summer day. Each bite of watermelon is about 92% water, meaning it’s an excellent way to quench your thirst. Watermelon is just as hydrating for cats as it is for us, and can be the perfect way to help them catch up on their water intake for the day. 

Fiber

You may have heard of pet owners using pumpkin to help regulate their cat’s stool when they’re having GI issues. Watermelon is similar to pumpkin when it comes to the fiber content and water percentage, meaning it can help your cat in this category as well. Watermelon and pumpkin both have the ability to draw in fluids to the GI tract, giving it the power to regulate many furry friends that struggle with constipation. 

Vitamins

Watermelon is jam packed with nutrients that can benefit your cat’s overall health. Watermelon contains Vitamin A, Vitamin C, Magnesium, and even Potassium that can work together to give your cat a boost. These nutrients are known to support heart health, bone health, and even offer immune support. 

Can watermelon hydrate a dehydrated cat?

watermelon photos

Watermelon can be a great way to quench your cat’s thirst, but it shouldn’t be used as a main source of water intake for a cat that’s dehydrated. Watermelon alone will not be enough to cure a serious case of dehydration, and large amounts of watermelon can lead to GI upset that may even worsen their condition. 

If you think your cat is dehydrated, the best way to help them is by contacting your veterinarian. Your vet will be able to come up with a safe plan of action, and offer your furry friend the hydration they need. 

Potential Risks Of Feeding A Cat Watermelon

Though watermelon can be safe for a cat in moderation, there are some risks associated with this tasty fruit. Watermelon contains seeds, sugar, and water, all of which can be harmful when consumed in large amounts. 

The Seeds

The main concern with a cat eating watermelon seeds is due to the small amount of cyanide that can be found in each seed. While this is not enough to harm a human, our cat’s metabolize ingredients differently than we do. Due to this, it’s important to remove all seeds from the piece of watermelon you offer your cat. 

Sugar

An excess amount of sugar can cause your cat to experience GI upset. Large amounts of watermelon may cause your cat to have diarrhea, vomiting, and any other complications that come along with an upset stomach. On top of this, any extra sugar intake can also be harmful for diabetic cats. If you fear that your cat is sensitive to sugary foods for any reason, watermelon may not be the best snack for them.

The Rind

Though your cat isn’t likely to enjoy the taste of the watermelon rind, they can run into danger if they eat a few bites of this rubbery skin. Watermelon rind would be extremely challenging for your cat to digest, leaving the possibility of the rind getting stuck in the GI tract. Make sure to dispose of the watermelon rind in an area that your cat cannot reach. 

Summary

While watermelon should not be a staple item in your cat’s diet, it’s a wonderful pick me up on a hot summer day. Make sure to review the tips we’ve listed above, and your cat will have everything they need to safely enjoy this refreshing snack!

Resources

https://www.rover.com/blog/can-cats-eat-watermelon/

https://www.hillspet.com/pet-care/nutrition-feeding/can-dogs-and-cats-eat-fruit

https://www.vetionx.com/pet-eats/b/safe-healthy-people-foods-your-cat-can-eat/

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