Can Cats Eat Watermelon?
Can cats eat watermelon? Our pets are as close to us as any other family member, and we want them to remain healthy and happy. Sometimes, you may worry that your cat is eating something that it shouldn’t. I know I have seen my kitten gnawing on food items that scared me. It’s important to know what items are okay for your cat to nibble on and which ones aren’t. One food in particular that keeps coming up is watermelon. So, can cats eat watermelon? Let’s go into the topic in detail so that you know the answer and why.
Proper Diet First
I hate saying no to my cat. I spoil her more than I should, and I think a lot of cat owners do the same thing. When you see your cat happily looking at the watermelon, your first instinct (as mine would be) is to share your watermelon with the cat if they want it.
Before simply giving in, you should know how the fruit will react with your feline friend. Remember that cats are meat-eaters. They were created to stalk, hunt, and eat their pray. They require 90% of their diet to come from cat food with meat in it. Their teeth and digestive system are made to eat meat. However, to answer the question “can cats eat watermelon?”, the answer is yes.
Watermelon is a suitable treat in between regular meals. Just remember that it should not replace regular meals that give your kitty the nutrients it needs to be active, healthy, and happy. Not that watermelon doesn’t also have some health benefits for your cat of its own.
Cats were very popular in ancient Egypt and other desert and jungle regions, so it makes sense that cats have evolved to not drink as much water as other animals. However, they still need to stay hydrated. That’s why watermelon could actually be a good solution!
Watermelon is filled with, as you probably guessed, water. Eating watermelon can hydrate your cat in an alternative way that the water bowl. But that’s not all! Watermelon also has vitamin A, vitamin C, potassium, and magnesium. In some cases, watermelon can actually help your cat's digestive system! So, can cats eat watermelon? They can and should in small doses.
Don't feed your Cat the Seeds and Rind
While watermelon may be healthy for your cat, the seeds definitely are not. Can cats eat watermelon? Yes. Can cats eat watermelon seeds? NO! Realistically, the seeds will be passed more often than not. However, they could potentially cause digestive issues (vomiting and/or diarrhea) from small amounts of cyanide in them. They can also cause your cat to choke. If you’re going to share your watermelon with your cat, purchase watermelon without seeds or be very thorough in extracting all seeds.
How to feed Watermelon to your Cat?
There are several ways to do this. Most people suggest to cut the edges off first, cut off the rind, and cut the watermelon vertically. After you cut the watermelon vertically, you can break the pieces at the seed line and remove them easily. Here is a video if you’d like a demonstration.
Can your Cat eat the Watermelon Rind?
Can cats eat watermelon rind? No! The rind should be removed before you let your cat eat the watermelon as well. The rind can give your cat digestive problems. While your cat may look super cute chewing on the rind, it’s best to remove it all together. Your cat won’t look nearly as cute when it’s vomiting on the floor. You can only blame yourself when you have to clean it up.
Can cats eat watermelon? Usually, yes, but not if they have to watch their sugar intake. Watermelon is very high in sugar. Cats with a weight problem or cats with diabetes should avoid watermelon to avoid too much sugar going into their body.
Also, it’s important to remember that cats are carnivores. Their bodies are not meant to digest high amounts of fruits and vegetables. Digesting the sugars in these foods requires certain enzymes that cats don’t have.
This does not mean that a little bit will hurt your pet, but limit the amount of watermelon you give your cat to ensure that its body can handle what it’s eating. This goes with any human food that your cat enjoys. Not just watermelon.
If your cat does seem to experience digestive issues from watermelon, remove the watermelon immediately. Give your cat plenty of water to flush out any toxins that might be causing this reaction.
You can also give them bland food (rice and bread) once the symptoms stop to start them off with something gentle to eat. If they can handle the bland food, you are safe to return to regular cat food.
Obviously, do not give your cat watermelon again if they react negatively. If their digestive symptoms continue, take the cat to a vet to examine the problem.
When it’s hot and your cat wants to chow down on some refreshing watermelon, you don’t have to snatch it away from them. Simply protect them by removing the seeds and rind and limiting the amount of watermelon they eat.
Watermelon is delicious and offers hydration in the summer heat. Can cats eat watermelon? Let them have a little bit. Just don't let them overdo it and watch for symptoms of digestive problems.