Can Cats Eat Watermelon? There Are Precautions Which You Must...

Can Cats Eat Watermelon? There Are Precautions Which You Must…

image of a kitty eating a watermelon

In one of Beverly Clearly’s books about a spunky girl called Ramona Quimby, the Quimby’s cat Picky-Picky eats the family’s Jack O’Lantern after turning up his nose at discount cat food. Mrs. Quimby remarks that she knew he liked watermelon, but she didn’t think he would eat pumpkin.

Actually, watermelon is similar to pumpkin when it comes to fiber content. Both of these foods are quite safe for your cat to eat. However, your furry friend should not eat the seeds. As a child, you may have been told swallowing a watermelon seed would cause a watermelon to grow in your belly. This is not so! (Too much acid, not enough sun.) Still, do not let your cat swallow the seeds.

Farmers who grow watermelons (Citrullus lanatus) often have to deal with coyotes and bears stealing their melons. Farmers growing watermelons in their native Africa might have to look out for elephants. Wild felines seem indifferent to it. You may wonder; can cats have watermelon? Is watermelon safe for cats?

Can cats eat watermelon?

image of a Citrullus lanatus cut on half

In answer to “Is watermelon bad for cats?”, it is completely safe to feed a cat watermelon, as long as it is in strict moderation and if certain precautions are taken. If your cat is constipated or a little dehydrated on a hot day or even just curious about what you are eating, watermelon might satisfy her. Some people like to sprinkle a little salt on their watermelon to enhance the flavor. Salt is not very good for cats, so skip it.

Frozen watermelon on a stick is a popular summertime treat, particularly in the southern United States. A cat may need more time eating frozen watermelon, but she will enjoy every minute! It has become a trend among foodies to serve melon balls with feta cheese. Take care to remember that too much dairy is not good for adult cats and feta is particularly salty.

Benefits of Eating Watermelon

image of a beautiful red Citrullus lanatus

Parents love feeding their kids watermelon because the kids are getting treated to something as sweet as candy but far healthier. Cats are not normally drawn to sweet foods, but a moist watermelon might attract them, particularly on a warm day. It is a soft food that is easy to eat. What else would your cat be getting out of watermelon?

Click Here To Find Out If Your Kitty Can Eat Bananas.

Which Nutrients Do Watermelons Contain?

Watermelon is, as said before, about as rich in fiber as pumpkin. As one cup of raw watermelon only has 46 calories, it is a very low calorie food with absolutely no cholesterol. It is also full of many vitamins such as Vitamin C, Vitamin A, Vitamin B1 and Vitamin B6. It also has the nutrients biotin, magnesium, potassium and plenty of healthy antioxidants.

Water

There is a reason it’s called watermelon! This fruit is 90 percent water. Cats need water, but are notoriously particular about how they get their hydration. Many cats prefer to eat their water in the form of very succulent foods such as watermelon.

Concerns about Eating Watermelon

A normally healthy cat should only have watermelon in moderation. A diabetic cat shouldn’t have it at all as even the natural sugar may be too much for her system.

The Seeds And Rind Can Be Very Harmful

While there is no chance of a seed taking root and germinating in any digestive system, it is still dangerous for cats to swallow watermelon seeds.

For one thing, they present a choking hazard or intestinal blocker, particularly in very small cats and kittens. For another, these seeds are full of cyanide.

While the amount of cyanide in one or two seeds is not enough to affect a human, remember that your cat has a much smaller, more delicate system. She could be more susceptible to cyanide poisoning. Either remove the seeds first or feed her seedless kind.

The rind is not particularly good for your cat either. She may gnaw on it, but the rind will generally be far too rubbery to actually eat. A swallow or two of the white bit of the rind will not hurt your cat, but the rind is majorly hard to digest, unlike the fiber rich flesh. Eating too much of it can cause gastrointestinal upset, so it is for the best if you just remove it before serving.

Symptoms Of Watermelon Allergies Or Toxicity

If your cat has never had watermelon before, you should keep an eye on her after feeding it to her for the first time. You want to make sure your feline companion isn’t allergic. Vomiting, indigestion, diarrhea or constipation are all symptoms of a cat having a bad reaction to what she ate. If your cat reacts badly to it, she may be allergic and you should not give her any.

Click Here To Find Out If Your Kitty Can Eat Yogurt.

Conclusion

As sweets go, this food may be one of the healthiest things to give a cat. Of course, it does not contain the protein a cat needs but is very moist and rich in many vitamins and minerals. If your cat is not diabetic but could stand a little extra moisture and fiber in her diet, a little snack of watermelon could be what she needs. Just remember to skip the salt, remove the seeds (if any) and cut away the rind.

If she has a bad reaction, stop feeding it to her. And as always, discuss things with your veterinarian before making any drastic changes to your cat’s diet.

Resources:

  • Overview of Cyanide Poisoning By Rhian B. Cope, BVSC, PhD, DABT, ERT, FACTRA, Toxicology Section, Office of Scientific Evaluation, Therapeutic Goods Administration of Australia MSD and the MSD Veterinary Manual
  • Sugar 101 at American Heart Association
  • Feline Diabetes Cornell Feline Health Center Cornell University College of Veterinary Medicine
  • Citrullus lanatus at sciencedirect.com
  • Watermelon at The World’s Healthiest Foods
  • November 28, 2018
Mary Nielsen
 

A huge animal lover, born and raised around dogs, cats, chickens... Self-educated pet care nerd. Currently parent of three adopted cats and one small mutt. Animal adoption advocate. Loves a good book (about animals) and playing the piano.