Let’s know about Can Cats Eat Watermelon. Watermelon, to me, is the taste of summer. Is your cat begging for a piece of watermelon?
We’re going to look at whether cats can have watermelon, how many they can have, and whether watermelon is good for cats.
What is watermelon?
A watermelon is a fruit from the climbing or trailing vine Citrullus lanatus , originally from South Africa, and related to other melons such as cantaloupe. They are usually large fruits, up to several pounds in weight, with hard, striped, green skin.
Inside, the flesh or pulp of the melon is a bright reddish-pink color and is sweet or watery. It has tough black seeds.
Watermelon is a refreshing fruit that is often eaten to help with hydration. It can be served with a spoon, chopped, or made into a refreshing salad with cheese and mint. It is also an important ingredient in traditional Chinese medicine.
Watermelon Nutrition Stats
Watermelons have one of the lowest calorie counts for a fruit, and are primarily made up of water.
In fact, according to the USDA , 100 grams of watermelon contains:
This makes it a very low calorie snack. Watermelon is also a good source of certain vitamins and minerals, especially:
watermelon nutritional benefits
Unsurprisingly, the main component of watermelon is water. In fact, watermelon is often recommended as a delicious way to stay hydrated in the summer months, especially since eating watermelon with a low calorie count reduces the risk of obesity.
Apart from water, the main constituents of watermelon are carbohydrates, most of which are natural plant sugars and give it its sweet taste.
Watermelon is known to be a good source of vitamin C and vitamin A, and it also contains copper, which can be difficult to find in diets high in meat. Although it contains potassium and magnesium, many other fruits contain more of these important minerals.
Unlike most fruits, watermelon doesn’t provide much in the way of antioxidants like fiber or plant compounds. However, it is high in lycopene, an important carotenoid also found in tomatoes. According to the USDA, watermelon actually contains more lycopene than tomatoes, gram for gram.
Do cats eat watermelon?
Yes! Cats can eat watermelon! Despite being a carnivore for the main part, many cats actually enjoy snacking on watermelon.
As with all foods that are not a part of their normal complete and balanced diet, you should feed it in moderation. Although watermelon is not really high in sugar, it can cause upset stomach in cats. To avoid this, only small pieces of watermelon should be fed, and only occasionally.
The other thing to be aware of are watermelon seeds. These seeds can cause problems for two reasons. First, the seeds are large enough that they can cause choking.
Second, if your cat chews on watermelon seeds, they release amygdalin. While Amygdalin itself is not a problem, it is converted by the body into cyanide, a toxic chemical. However, the amount of cyanide in one or two seeds is not enough to cause problems for your cat. While you should take them outside if possible, they are unlikely to cause any ill effects if your cat falls on that floor. Even better, find a seedless variety.
Is Watermelon Good for Cats?
So, cats can eat watermelon, in moderation. But does watermelon have health benefits for cats? Watermelon has a high water content, and is low in calories, so it is not loaded with important nutrients. However, it can be useful in itself.
Watermelon is good for hydration
Cats are not very good at keeping themselves hydrated. As desert dwellers, they consume their water from their prey, and very little from water. They do not have a high thirst drive, and will not seek water often, even if they are slightly dehydrated. Watermelon is great for this reason – your cat can’t eat its water!
Keeping hydrated can help reduce the risk of kidney disease and constipation, as well as improve urinary problems such as urinary crystals and cystitis.
Watermelon contains lycopene
Lycopene is considered an excellent antioxidant and free-radical scavenger , protecting the body from oxidative stress and chronic disease as well as the effects of certain cancers, particularly prostate cancer .
Some studies have also suggested that lycopene may help protect the body from herbicides and it may have anti-fungal benefits as well. However, most of these studies have been done in rats or humans, and there are no studies on the benefits of lycopene in cats.
How much watermelon can a cat eat?
As we have said, moderation is the key. Giving your cat too much watermelon can cause more problems than it solves, especially if they get diarrhea and vomiting!
The sugar content of watermelon also means that it should be given with caution to diabetic cats.
Calorie-wise, your cat needs to have no more than 10% of its calories from all of its treats, including watermelon. The good news is that watermelon is low in calories, so it’s fairly easy to make.
A 9lb cat can have a treat of about 20 calories each day, which is about 70 grams of watermelon. However, this is probably still too much for your average cat!
I would recommend that pet owners want to share watermelon with their feline friend, with a piece no larger than a two-and-a-half-inch cube. Don’t forget to remove the seeds!
If your furry friend loves watermelon, and doesn’t have adverse effects like upset stomach after 24-48 hours, you can proceed to give them more next time. However, I would not feed more than an inch cube per day.
Cats can have watermelon as a healthy treat, and, while not a vitamin powerhouse like other fruits, it can be a good way to make sure they stay hydrated. Like all human foods, watermelon is not balanced and should not be fed to your cat in large quantities or as their main food; it is best as an occasional snack with cat food.
Remember to remove the seeds, and do not feed the hard outer skin, which is not digestible and is a choking hazard as well as can lead to bowel obstruction.