Who doesn’t like cantaloupe? Its sweet and refreshing taste is simply irresistible (even for cats). Perhaps, you’ve seen your meat-loving kitty munch on a slice of melon fruit with delight.
And so, pet owners often find themselves asking: Can cats eat cantaloupe? Is this a type of human food that your pets can safely eat as a treat?
If you’re among the many humans who have a pet cat that goes nuts over cantaloupes, you’ve come to the right site.
Felineliving – your trusty website when it comes to your cat food questions and can cats queries – is here to give you the lowdown on cantaloupe – its effects on your cat’s health, and much more.
Must-Know Facts About Cantaloupe
Watermelon, honeydew melon, and cucumber can move over because this juicy, orange melon fruit has snatched the crown. Among all the fruits in the gourd family, this one tops the list.
A crowd favorite despite its wrinkly outer appearance, this A-lister is loved for its enticing taste and versatility. What’s more, this humble muskmelon packs a punch nutrition-wise.
Cantaloupes may not be as hearty as your rich and nutty avocado, but it still has a lot up its sleeve. Apart from its high water content that will keep you feeling refreshed and hydrated, cantaloupe also contains essential vitamins and minerals. Here’s a rundown of some of the yummy goodness this summer fruit has in store:
- Vitamin A
- Vitamin C
- Vitamin B6
- Beta Carotene
Can Cats Eat Cantaloupe?
As fur moms and dads, most of you would know that many of the foods humans enjoy (fruits and vegetables included) can be harmful to kitties (and dogs).
So, should you let your cats eat cantaloupe? Is cantaloupe safe for cats? The short answer here is yes BUT in moderation.
It doesn’t stop there, though. There are a couple of things you need to consider before giving your cat a slice of cantaloupe. Read on to know more of the juicy stuff about cats and cantaloupe.
Why Does My Cat Go Gaga Over Cantaloupes?
You’ve probably heard from somewhere that cats are true carnivores – they’re the type that requires animal flesh in their diet to survive, and fruits and vegetables are not necessarily needed. You may have also read somewhere that our dear felines are also “sweet blind.”
Both are, in fact, true. So, we can’t help but wonder why on earth do cats eat cantaloupe and why their face shows pure satisfaction when devouring it, given the fact that this fruit is far from being meaty and that they can’t even taste sweet.
Interestingly enough, according to a site specializing in feline nutrition, cantaloupes smell like mouthwatering meat to our feline friend. And the reason behind this weird behavior is the amino acids found in melons or cantaloupes.
The protein-rich meat products that your cat loves are made of amino acids – the same kind of amino acids can be found in melons (although in small amounts). So, when your cat gets a whiff of that cantaloupe, your cat is actually enticed by its meaty scent instead of its fruity aroma.
Also Read: Can Cats Have Allergies?
Positive Effects Of Cantaloupe To Cats
We’ve previously mentioned that cantaloupe is brimming with nutrients. Its water content may not be as high as the amount of water found in watermelon, but its dietary fiber-, calcium-, manganese-, and protein- content are significantly higher.
Humans, of course, have a lot to gain when they snack on this fruit (given all the vitamins and minerals in it). The big question here is, do felines reap the same rewards?
Unlike dogs who are capable of digesting plant-based foods, animal protein-loving cats have a hard time processing or using up the nutrients found in plants, including cantaloupe.
However, if your meat-eating cat suddenly becomes adventurous and wants a “not-so-meaty” treat, giving them a small amount of cantaloupe can be helpful.
Since cantaloupe is mainly made up of water and most cats don’t like drinking water from their bowl, letting your feline friend indulge in a piece of cantaloupe will help quench their thirst and prevent dehydration.
Apart from its thirst-quenching feature, your cat would also enjoy these:
Aside from water, cantaloupe is an excellent source of fiber. If your cat has an upset tummy or feels constipated, letting them have a few slices of cantaloupe may help them feel better.
The two put together (H2O + fiber) will encourage regularity in your cat’s bowel movement. It will also promote a healthier GI tract.
Great Source of Antioxidants
While cats are able to produce Vitamin C on their own, incorporating food with antioxidants like Vitamin E in their diet can help improve their overall well-being if done in moderation.
Vitamin E is essential for cats to be healthy. Apart from fighting free radicals and protecting cells from oxidative damage, this fat-soluble nutrient provides many benefits.
One of the things it does is to encourage the development of healthier skin and coats. Cats suffering from allergies may find this beneficial.
Adverse Effects of Cantaloupe To Your Cat
Now that you know that you can let your cat eat cantaloupe and that they actually get something good from it, let’s dive deep into the more important stuff. And, what’s much more important than knowing all the possible side effects of this melon fruit on your pet cat and their nutrition?
As a loving pet owner, we know for sure that your pets’ health is much more valuable. Of course, we want our pets to live long lives. As such, we bring to you all the possible dangers of cantaloupe to your pet cat.
Cantaloupe and watermelon may have lower sugar content than mangoes, but it’s still best to give this fruit to your cat in moderation. Similar to people, letting your cat eat too many sweets can lead to weight gain and even diabetes.
Although sugar is not toxic, it’s not a normal part of a cat’s meal. As such, cats have a more challenging time digesting these types of food. This can lead to vomiting, diarrhea, and the like. In case this happens, make sure to get in touch with your veterinarian right away.
The exterior part of a cantaloupe, aka “rind or skin,” is tough and fibrous. Letting your cat munch on this may obstruct their airways or their digestive tract.
The Best Way To Feed Cantaloupe To Your Kitties
Salads, smoothies, sorbets, tapiocas, and the like just taste better with a couple of slices of this juicy, orange fruit. If you’re having some of these and your cat starts to beg, better think twice before giving in to your cats’ pleading.
Given all the risks, you ought to remember these tips to avoid any unwanted mishaps.
- Wash the skin or rind thoroughly since this part may contain pesticides and bacteria.
- Remove the rind and seeds.
- Cut the flesh into bite-sized wedges or pieces.
- Start by giving a few small pieces since this may have adverse effects on your cat.
- Give this only as an occasional treat.
- If you plan to combine this with other fruits and veggies or other ingredients, make sure that they’re all cat-friendly and -safe.
Fact is, your cat is one unique animal with distinct nutritional needs. When it comes to their food, cats need a lot of protein – the ones specifically found in animals. Unlike dogs, cats need much more meat and can survive without eating or including plants in their diet.
But then, despite their predatory nature, it does not really hurt if you give them some fruits or veggies once in a while. Now, we know that many of the foods we eat are not suitable for cats. Good thing, melon (including cantaloupe) is among the fruits that your cat can safely consume.
Keep in mind, though, that while most cats like cantaloupe and do not show any side effects, some react differently. If you know that your finicky friend has a sensitive tummy or your cat is already diabetic, then your furry pal is better off staying away from fruits. Instead of giving them cantaloupe, you might as well give them vet-approved treats.
Case in point: Talking to your veterinarian is a must. Before giving any type of “people” food to your cat, make sure to get your vet’s expert opinion.
Bonus: Yummy Melon Cat Treat Recipes
If you think we are done, think again. Since Felineliving’s goal is to give you everything you need to know about cantaloupe, we made sure to go the extra mile by providing you with a list of must-try melon recipes for your cat.
This is especially perfect if your vet already gave you a “go” signal. So, if you notice that your cats are getting bored of his or her usual cat food, you can try out these tasty melon cat treat recipes. Otherwise, you can also give them other cat-friendly people food.
Frozen Spinach Cantaloupe Treats
- 1/2 Cantaloupe pureed (approximately a little over a cup of puree)
- pinch Ginger
- handful of Spinach Leaves
- 3-4 Mint Leaves
- Mix pureed cantaloupe and ginger until well combined.
- Pour into molds and place in freezer for 2 hours.
- Mix spinach and mint leaves in a blender and puree until smooth (add a small amount of water if needed) pour over cantaloupe layer.
- Freeze for 8 hours to allow them to fully set.
- Run warm water around the mold to remove.
Pet-Friendly Cantaloupe Ice Cream
- Food processor or blender
- 2 cups (300g) Frozen ripe cantaloupe
- 2 tbsp Unsweetened yogurt
- Make sure you have space for your cantaloupe in the freezer.
- Scrub the outside of the cantaloupe thoroughly.
- Slice the melon in half and remove seeds.
- Slice each half into quarters and remove skin, then dice the fruit into bite-sized chunks.
- Place cut melon in the freezer. The more space around your melon chunks, the faster they will freeze, so if you’re in a rush, place pieces on a baking sheet to speed things up.
- When completely frozen (2-4 hours or overnight), place about 2 cups (300g) of melon pieces into the food processor.
- Add 2 tablespoons of unsweetened yogurt.
- Blend until combined, adding a little cool water if needed to blend to your preferred consistency.
Frozen Cantaloupe Treats
- Paw Print mold
- 1/2 Ripe Cantaloupe
- 2 tbsp Greek Yogurt
- 1 tbsp Water
- Make sure you have enough clear flat space in the freezer for your molds to freeze level.
- Scrub the melon before slicing.
- Slice melon in half and remove seeds.
- Slice half a melon into quarters, peel, and dice.
- Blitz cantaloupe in the blender until smooth.
- In a small bowl, mix 2 Tbsp yogurt and 1 Tbsp water into a pourable mixture.
- Place paw mold onto a cookie sheet or cutting board for stability when moving from counter to freezer.
- Place the yogurt mixture into the paw pads.
- Top each mold with pureed cantaloupe.
- Place in freezer until solid (2-4 hours or overnight).
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