Watermelon is a large fruit from the gourd family and is popular all-round the globe. During the summer, it is the most common snack due to its refreshing nature and its health benefits. Frozen watermelon on a stick is a popular treat in most parts of the country.
In many homes, you are most likely to find watermelons and it makes cat owners wonder about their toxicity to cats. These crunchy fruits are soft and easy to eat for your kitty and there should be no cause for alarm the next time you see your kitty enjoying this watery snack as it is not toxic at all.
Can cats eat watermelon?
To answer the bagging query of “is watermelon bad for cats?” It is utterly harmless to feed a cat watermelon as long as it is done in reasonable servings. Being obligate carnivorous, the cat’s digestive system is mainly designed for meat-based foods and too much of the watermelon could pose a health risk to cats. Consumption of watermelon in cats has various health benefits which include;
High Water Content
Cats unlike other animals, do not have a strong sense of dehydration. For this reason, their water intake is pretty low and it is worse for cats that survive on dry food as their primary diet. Watermelons have a 92% water content and sneaking a few bites into your cat’s diet, will boost their water intake. This will go a long way in preventing dehydration related complications like urinary tract complications. Watermelons also have lower calories due to their high moisture content.
Rich in fiber
Watermelons contain fiber which is not broken down by enzymes in the body. Due to the laxatives in fiber, watermelon may be used to treat constipation as it stimulates bowel movements hence soothing constipation.
As compared to other fruits, watermelons have a low-calorie count and do not contain any cholesterol. After eating the cat remains full for a long time hence making it an ideal snack to sneak into the kitty’s diet.
All living animals’ cats included, need antioxidants. Watermelons contain Vitamin C, water, and Lycopene which all have substantial detoxing properties to a cat’s body.
The large fruit contains lycopene which is an inhibitor for different inflammatory processes. The choline in watermelons also helps in keeping inflammation down making it a good snack for cats suffering from joint pains.
Source of Vitamins and minerals
All animals require different minerals and vitamins for the body to function properly. Watermelons are regarded as a good snack for their ability to give different types of these vitamins and minerals which include; Vitamin A, Vitamin B6, Vitamin C, Potassium, and Amino Acids.
How to feed Watermelon to a cat
What safety precautions should you take when feeding watermelon to cats?
6 grams out of 100 grams of watermelon is sugar. Although the percentage is not as high as it is in other snacks like candy, it is quite high for our felines who are obligate carnivorous and do not process sugar well hence too much watermelon can throw their digestive systems off.
Due to their toxicity, the seeds should not be consumed. Before feeding any watermelons to cats, ensure you get rid of all the seeds and if possible, feed them with seedless watermelons.
The grind is not toxic but should not be eaten since it is hard to digest and can cause gastrointestinal upset to our furry friends.
Most people sprinkle salt on watermelons while others serve melon balls wrapped in cheese. While this is fun for humans, these should not be fed to cats. Not only is dairy too hard for their digestive system but they do not require sodium in their diets.
Frequently Asked Questions
Are watermelon seeds safe for my cat?
Watermelon seeds are not safe at all for your kitty. For one thing, they pose an intestinal blockage or choking hazard especially in small cats and kittens. The seeds also contain Cyanide, a rapidly acting and deadly chemical. Immediate signs and symptoms to look for in your kitty after exposure to cyanide in watermelon seeds include; rapid breathing, weakness, restlessness, and vomiting. When consumed in large quantities, cyanide poisoning could lead to heart, brain, or nerve damage. In case your kitty eats the seeds, contact your vet immediately.
Is watermelon juice bad for cats?
While it is common to find your kitty enjoying a watermelon snack, it is unlikely that you will find him drinking the juice. Our furry friends dislike consuming fluids including water and juice which is why veterinarians encourage consumption of wet food to supplement water in their diets. If your kitty is curious the next time you are having your drink, you may serve him a little although he may not drink it after the initial tasting especially if it is sweet given felines to dislike sweet things.
What are the health concerns about Watermelon for cats?
While watermelons are not toxic for cats, they have been known to cause health concerns in some instances. If Your cat has underlying health conditions like diabetes and obesity, the sugar levels in watermelons despite being low could cause life-threatening symptoms.
Cats on a diet or those trying to lose weight should avoid this fruit. Even though the fruit has low calories, keeping an eye on their sugar level is the main concern. Finally, some cats may experience allergies which may be reflected by lack of appetite, vomiting, increased thirst, constant urination, and inability to jump after their first consumption. Should you observe these symptoms, please contact your vet for treatment.
While it is safe for cats to eat watermelons, the primary concern for your kitty should be getting a well-balanced diet. We cannot deny that watermelons have a range of health benefits but this should not be taken as a reason to abandon nutrients-based cat food and solely concentrate on the watermelons. Consumption in moderation is key to ensuring your kitty lives a long healthy life free from deficiency diseases.