Cats are notorious for being picky eaters. But this doesn’t mean that some of them won’t try foods that we normally give them. What if your cat eats watermelon, like this cute feline in this viral YouTube video. Should you be worried at all?
Cats aren’t the only animals that are likely to snack on a watermelon. Dogs like them in the same way that rabbits covet them. And that’s not really surprising, as watermelon can rehydrate any creature thanks to its high water content.
So should you let your cat eat watermelon? Is it safe for cat consumption?
Watermelon is safe for cats
The good news is that yes, watermelon is very much safe for cats. In fact, our feline friends can benefit from the high water content of this fruit.
Cats are not exactly known for being good water drinkers. Our feline friends don’t drink a lot of water because they evolved from being desert-dwelling creatures. This explains why your cat is not fond of drinking water.
This feeding behavior of cats can cause health problems. Cats that don’t drink enough water may suffer from dehydration. It can also lead to kidney disease as well as lower urinary tract infection.
Allowing your cat to eat watermelon is a smart way for her to increase her water intake. It may be an equally, if not more effective, strategy of encouraging your cat to drink more water than buying a water fountain or using a water faucet.
Aside from water, watermelon is rich in vitamins A and C as well as dietary fiber. This can help in promoting good digestive function in our feline friends.
Removing the watermelon seeds
While the fruit content of watermelon is very much safe for your cat to consume, the seeds are not to be eaten be your furry friend. Why?
The watermelon seeds have compounds that can be risky for your cat, such as cyanide. Biting the seeds may cause the release of toxins that are harmful to your pet. It can cause her to start vomiting, or even get sick with diarrhea.
While there’s a chance that the seed may simply pass through when the cat poops, there’s also the risk that it may cause internal damage. Cats may also choke when they eat the watermelon seeds.
How frequent should you give watermelon?
Although watermelon is safe for cats to consume, it doesn’t mean that it should be incorporated as part of your cat’s diet. It should only be considered or used as an occasional treat. As such, cats must only consume it in small amounts.
Cats, after all, are carnivorous animals. They need to eat a lot of meat, and not fruits like watermelon.
According to WebMD, treats like watermelons should not make up more than 10 percent of a cat’s diet. The remaining 90 percent should come from a high quality cat food.
Don’t give in to your cat’s subtle pleas for more watermelons. Remember that giving plant matter like watermelons in large amounts can upset her stomach.
What to do if your cat vomits after eating too many watermelons
But what would you do if your cat vomits after eating too many watermelons?
Vets advise that pet owners stop giving the cat food and water, until after she has stopped vomiting. Once the vomiting has stopped, introduce water slowly into your pet. Then give her a bland diet such as boiled potatoes or rice.
Precautions in feeding cats with watermelons
Let’s say that you caught your cat sniffing a watermelon, or trying to lick a piece of it. Should you let her explore the fruit?
It’s okay for your feline friend to do so. But you might want to keep in mind some of these tips when feeding cats with this summer fruit:
- Aside from removing the seeds, you should also remove the rind. Cats may find the juicy rind fun to chew on but it can be difficult to digest for them.
- Don’t give her watermelon if she has diabetes. The high sugar level of watermelon may prove to be too much for her. Diabetic cats should maintain a low sugar diet.
- If your friend is attracted to the colors of a watermelon, you might want to give her a toy like this that I found on Amazon.com. This toy is made of high quality cotton that’s fun and delicate for cats to chew on.
Watermelons are one of the several human foods that are safe for cats. Its high water content should rehydrate your cat.
But this doesn’t mean that your cat should be fed with watermelons every day. The popular summer fruit must also be used as an occasional treat, and not as part of a feline’s daily diet.
If you are to give your cat a watermelon, remove the seeds and the rind. Only the fleshy center part must be given to her.