Watermelon is a refreshing and nutritious treat for humans, and dogs can enjoy it too. Then the question about our cats arises: is it safe for cats to enjoy it too? The short answer is yes, cats can eat watermelon. Although consumption is generally considered healthy, pet owners should take a few precautions before offering this fruit to their four-legged companions in the home.
If you’re thinking of offering watermelon to your cat, here’s everything you need to know about how to fit this fruit into a cat’s diet so that it’s safe for them to eat.
Is Watermelon a Good Treat for Cats?
Watermelon contains several nutrients, including vitamin A, vitamin C, vitamin E, vitamin B1, and vitamin B6, as well as minerals such as potassium and magnesium. It also contains antioxidants, protein, fatty acids, and carotenoids. It’s also high in fiber and low in calories.
Watermelon contains lycopene, a phytonutrient that contributes to the fruit’s bright red color and has additional health benefits such as lowering blood pressure and preventing cardiovascular disease. Being 92 percent water, the fruit is extremely hydrating and pleasant on hot days, especially when eaten raw.
However, cats do not have the same nutritional needs as humans and vice versa. For example, watermelon is high in carbohydrates, although cats do not have an essential dietary need for carbohydrates.
As a result, while some cats find watermelon a delicious source of water, as obligate carnivores, they have higher protein requirements than many other mammals and must feed accordingly. Cats don’t need watermelon as long as they are eating a balanced, healthy diet; however, regular feeding of watermelon can lead to negative side effects.
Is Watermelon Bad for Cats?
Excessive consumption of watermelon has been linked to feline obesity, which tends to occur in older cats. As cats get older and exercise less, they are more likely to gain weight. This makes diabetes worse.
If you have an older cat who loves watermelon and is overweight, have a veterinarian check blood sugar levels. According to the Journal, a blood alcohol concentration of more than 189 milligrams per deciliter is considered dangerous.
In addition to the risks associated with gaining weight, there are other aspects to consider. The fructose contained in fruit can have a negative effect on the cat’s oral health. As cats get older, having their teeth cleaned under anesthesia becomes a more dangerous endeavor.
You also need to consider the physical effects of eating watermelon on your cat. The skin of the fruit in particular can be rough. Therefore, there is a risk of choking cats. It’s also possible for a cat to swallow a piece of the watermelon rind, causing an intestinal obstruction.
Can Cats Eat Watermelon Seeds?
Watermelon seeds contain cyanide, which is similar to the hazard posed by dogs eating apple seeds. Cyanide is a poison that can be extremely dangerous for cats if ingested. While the amount of cyanide in one or two kernels is not enough to harm humans, cats’ digestive systems are much smaller and more delicate than humans’. The seeds can also be a choking hazard, especially for small cats, so keep an eye on your cat when feeding.
How to Feed Watermelon to Your Cat
When your healthy kitty is ready to taste the watermelon, don’t just give her a slice. If you give watermelon to your cat, make sure it is properly prepared and the right amount is given.
While the pulp is delicious and tasty. While you’re at it, be sure to remove the peel as it can be difficult to digest. Some people like to salt their watermelon, but avoid this when feeding your cat, because cats don’t need more sodium. Then, serve the watermelon flesh in bite-sized pieces!
Calculating the right amount of watermelon for your cat may take a little math, so bear with us! Even though watermelon contains useful elements, it should be considered as a stimulant. A treat should account for less than 10% of a cat’s daily caloric intake. That means if your cat eats 250 calories a day, treats like watermelon should have around 25 calories. A cup of watermelon contains about 45 calories. So, half a cup should be more than enough to satisfy your cat’s hunger while staying within a healthy calorie range. Adjust the amounts based on your cat’s daily calorie consumption.
So at your next summer party or snack, you can always share that delicious watermelon with your favorite cat, who will no doubt purr in gratitude. You can also freeze the watermelon to cool it down on a hot day or to prolong its enjoyment!