Can cats eat watermelon?

Cats are curious animals and might want to have a taste of what you are eating. As pet owners, you have to be careful of what you feed your pet. A lot of food products good for humans don’t suit cats and other pets. They may even have adverse effects on your animals. So it’s imperative to be worried about your cat’s food habits.

Can cats eat watermelon

But it’s not to say that cats eat everything. They are a picky eater. Felines don’t have the taste buds that detect sweetness and are typically indifferent to fruits. Perhaps cats don’t have interest in most fruits but they strangely are attracted to watermelon. They have an obsession with watermelon and try to latch on every opportunity to eat it. 

Is your cat trying to eat watermelon these days? It’s natural that you might be worried about it and can not decide whether you should feed her with it or not. Here we will discuss if you should feed watermelon to your cats, precautions you need to take and more. But before that, it is essential to know if all cats like watermelons.

Why do cats like watermelons?

Cats usually choose their foods by their scent. Your feline pet is likely to choose food with a refreshing fragrance over bland smelling foods. Watermelon has a natural and pleasant fragrance which plays a role in a cat’s obsession over it. Your cat may twitch every time you bring a watermelon near her.

A Research by Journal of Experimental Botany found out that every fruit from the melon family contains amino acids. The amino acid content in the melons turn volatile which is what attracts your cat. The volatiles’ smell resembles meat which attracts the cat. Once the cat tastes it, she would know it isn’t meat but she continues to eat it as she likes the taste.

The major reason behind your cat’s liking if a watermelon is its fleshy texture. A watermelon is chewy, moist and crunchy just like a feline’s prey in the forests. Of course, cats can not differentiate between a rotten watermelon and a ripe one. 

But you should know that watermelon shouldn’t be brittle at all. If that is the case, you shouldn’t consume it yourself or feed it to your pet. The texture would still attract your cat but keep it away from her.

Kittens show a particular liking to watermelon. Their teeth are growing or have just grown and they can feel an itchy sensation. They would love to chew the moist, chewy pulp of watermelon. The kittens tear into its flesh and relish the taste as well as crunch.

Another reason why your cat might get fascinated by watermelons is the giant ball-like structure. Once you keep it around her she would take it as a challenge to crack it open. She would roll it around and hit it until an opening emerges. But here is a catch. You shouldn’t let your cat eat the watermelon herself as the rind or seeds can be very harmful to her.

You should chop the fruits, remove seeds and serve it in a bowl for your cat. We will discuss the precautions you need to take and the harmful effects of eating seeds further in the article. 

How watermelons affect cats?

While it is totally safe for cats to eat watermelon flesh, it also provides many additional benefits. The foremost benefit that watermelon provides both humans and animals is hydration. It’s a summer fruit and as we all know, has an excess of water in its pulp. Cats usually avoid drinking much water and can feel dehydrated during the summertime. Apart from that, there are many other health benefits of eating watermelons for cats. 

Watermelon solves this problem. While your vat relishes on her favourite fruit, she’s also hydrating herself to fight the heat. You can also pour some watermelon juice in her bowl. She will be eager to drink as it smells the same as the fruit. You can also squeeze some watermelon juice in your kitten’s food bowl if your kitten avoids eating cat food. The fragrance can tempt her into eating her cat food too!

Antioxidants

Apart from hydration, the presence of lycopene is the second-best benefit of feeding watermelon to your cat. Lycopene is a type of antioxidant which has a host of health benefits. It kills harmful bacteria in the digestive tract, strengthens the immune system, slows down cognitive dysfunction and improves eyesight among other benefits.

Lycopene is also quite useful in inhibiting cancer making it a useful meal in your older cat’s diet plan. It is also particularly useful in improving the bone health of your cat.

Vitamin A and Vitamin C

Vitamin C isn’t exceptionally important to your pet. Your feline’s body naturally generates Vitamin C. It is Vitamin A that proves extremely beneficial to your cat’s health. It improves her night vision and keeps her skin healthy. That being said, she only requires it in small quantities and overconsumption can be harmful to her.

But you can’t overfeed Vitamin A to your cat through watermelon as it contains only small quantities. You might want to check other food labels though as they may contain excessive Vitamin A that can prove toxic to your cat’s health. Balance her diet accordingly to only feed adequate measures.

Digestive Tract Health

Watermelon contains small quantities of fibre that helps in the absorption of food in the digestive tract. 

How to serve watermelons to your cats?

You need to be careful when feeding your cat with watermelons. Watermelon seeds are a hazard to cat’s health which we will discuss later. You should chop the watermelon in small pieces, pluck out the seeds and rinse the watermelon. Serve it in your cat’s food bowl so she isn’t dicey about eating it.

Don’t let your cat crack open a watermelon and eat directly. Apart from the seeds, she may also eat the shell which can be hard to digest for the feline. It may also be hard and hurtful for your kitten who may break her teeth trying to open the shell.

How much watermelon should your cat eat?

Apart from water, watermelon also contains a high amount of sugar. If you feed your cat with watermelon regularly, she may suffer from obesity or other problems like sugar and diabetes. Feeding excessive sugar can cause long term health issues in your cat. 

Cornell University College of Veterinary Medicine lists the symptoms of diabetes:

  • Loss of appetite
  • Excessive urination
  • Vomiting
  • Lack of mobilization
  • Constant thirst

In case you notice one or more of these symptoms, consult the vet immediately. These symptoms may be a sign of diabetes. Some cat treats may be high in sugar that may result in high blood pressure and diabetes. Check for your cat treat’s label packages to know if it has excess sugar that may hurt your cat.

Precautions in feeding cats with watermelons

Your cat is showing interest in a watermelon? Are you not able to decide whether you should feed her with watermelon?

First things first, it’s okay for your cat to be curious. Cats usually stiff food items before they eat. They may start licking food if they like the smell. If your cat starts licking watermelon, it’s a sign she likes it. Here are some precautions you must keep in mind in such a situation:

  • Remove rind from the fruit before feeding her. Your cat may like the rind and start chewing it. But it can be tough to digest for your cat.
  • Don’t feed your cat with watermelons if she has symptoms of diabetes. You should feed your diabetic cat with a low sugar diet.
  • If your cat loved to play with watermelon, she may like the colour. Buy her a toy or ball of the same colour to satisfy her curiosity.

Symptoms of watermelon allergies and toxicity in cats

Despite its health benefits, watermelon may also be harmful to your cat when you feed it to her for the first time. This is because animals may have allergic reactions to the new food. It’s essential that you only feed a small amount of watermelon. Especially if your cat is eating the fruit for the first time. You should feed her a small amount for the first few times. Examine the quantity carefully or it may lead to the following symptoms:

  • Diarrhoea
  • Indigestion
  • Excessive urination
  • Poisoning
  • Vomiting
  • Internal damage
  • Choking
  • Intestinal blockage

If you observe these symptoms in your cat, stop feeding her watermelons. The arrival of these symptoms surely means watermelon doesn’t suit your cat.

Risks of watermelon rind for cats

Although watermelon rind is harmful to cats, it’s not outright toxic for them. Your feline animal may survive after eating the rind but it will certainly harm her in some ways. It’s essential to cut the rind away from the fruit before feeding it to your cat. Because of the toughness of rind, it may take hours for your cat to digest the rind.

Risks of watermelon rind for cats

It might be like chewing a shoe for your cat. If she manages to chew and eat it, her stomach will become upset. If your cat is extremely healthy and has a good digestive system, she may only have cramps in her stomach. At worst, your cat might suffer from an intestinal blockage.

Intestinal blockage is a dangerous situation that may require surgery to cure it. Your cat may not be able to excrete wastes as harmful substances build in her intestine. Prevention is always better than cure and you should not feed her with rind.

Do cats really need watermelons?

A simple answer to the question is that cats don’t need watermelon. It’s good for her health only if you feed her in adequate measure. You should cut off the rind and remove seeds from it before you feed it to your feline pet. If you can’t do this and don’t have enough time to take care of these little things, you mustn’t feed it to your cat. 

Of course, it has benefits if you feed it with care. Your cat will be hydrated and have sufficient dietary fibres in her diet that would help the absorption of food. Your cat will also have sufficient Vitamins in her diet. But you must remember that cats are carnivores.

She requires meat in her daily diet to stay healthy. You should feed her with enough proteins and may complement her diet with a dose of watermelons.

Can cats eat watermelon seeds?

No, your cat shouldn’t eat watermelon seeds as they have compounds that can be risky for your cat. The seeds may release harmful toxins that you shouldn’t be feeding your cat. Your cat may start vomiting or get sick with diarrhea in such a case.

Although your cat may digest the seeds, there are chances that it can cause internal damage. Your cat may also choke after eating seeds of the tropical fruit.

What to do if your cat vomits after eating too many watermelon seeds?

So what should you exactly do for limiting damage in case your cat has started vomiting after eating watermelon seeds? It’s important to immediately consult a vet in such a case. Your ver may advise you to stop feeding her with anything as a first-aid measure. 

As soon as she stops vomiting, start giving her a small amount of water. The next step is to feed her a bland diet of boiled potatoes and rice.

Can watermelon kill cats?

If you have removed rind and seeds from the watermelon, it’s safe to eat for the cats. Watermelon is perhaps healthy for your cats if fed in the right manner. It’s rich in vitamins and would keep your cat hydrated in the summers.

Can cats eat honeydew melons?

Honeydew melons are sweet and rich in vitamins. Just like watermelons, cats also love to eat honeydew lemons. They are beneficial to her health but you should keep the following things in mind while feeding her:

  • Feed only a small amount

Honeydew lemons are fibrous and may upset your cat’s stomach in case of overeating

Can cats eat melons

  • Remove the seeds

Melon seeds contain cyanide and other toxic substances. Remove them before feeding your cat.

  • Cut it into small pieces

Your kitten may choke if she has small teeth and you feed her large pieces of melon. Cut them in small pieces and then feed her.

Can cats eat melons

Most cats enjoy varieties of melons including cantaloupe, watermelons and honeydew. All these melons are rich in Vitamin A and Vitamin C along with water which makes them a nutritional snack in summers.

Can kittens have watermelons?

Kittens can surely eat watermelons. But they eat them mainly for their water content and smell. It’s not particularly beneficial to feed kittens with watermelons. Felines are born carnivores and you should always give them a good diet of meat. You can surely add a few melons in their diet but only in small pieces.

You would now have understood that although watermelon is completely safe for you cat to eat, you should adopt some precautionary measures while feeding them. It’s not a necessity and there is no need to especially bring it to their attention. Feed them only when you have sufficient time to cut it in small pieces and remove the seed. Otherwise, meat and milk should be a necessity in their daily diet.

Source:

https://www.cancateat.com/can-cats-eat-watermelon/

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