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Can My Cat Eat Watermelon?

September 09, 2021

can my cat eat watermelon

Watermelon is a good summer treat because it somehow quenches our thirst. It contains 92% water too, so it will make you feel fuller for a longer period of time. However, even though watermelon is a human favorite, is it safe to feed it to cats?

The simple answer is yes, when given on smaller amounts occasionally. Watermelon is not toxic to cats, but it doesn't automatically mean that you can regularly add it to your cat's diet. This article will show you how watermelon affects a cat's system and how to feed your cat with watermelon safely.

Are there natural benefits of watermelon to cats?

First off, cats and humans are very much different species, and we have varying nutritional requirements. While watermelon provides nutrition to humans, it doesn't necessarily mean that it will give the cats their everyday needs. "Cats don't have a minimum daily carbohydrate requirement, and watermelon is fairly high in carbohydrate content," Theresa Entriken, DVM, a veterinary consultant based in Leawood says.

The safest way to determine a healthy, nutritious diet for your cat is to provide them with a balanced and complete commercial diet with the aid of your veterinarian or someone with broad knowledge in animal nutrition. If your cat is healthy and is getting all the nutrition it needs, then there is no need to feed it with sugar-rich food such as watermelon. The more nutrients a cat consumes a day can lead to more problems in the future.

Will watermelon be hazardous to my cat's health?

As said earlier, watermelon contains a load of carbohydrates and sugar. This means it could be consumed safely if your cat is healthy. BUT suppose your cat has some underlying conditions such as diabetes or obesity. Having too much sugar can cause digestive issues and can aggravate diabetes over time. 

Never feed your cat with huge quantities of watermelon, and do not make it as a meal replacement. Also, whenever you feed your cat with watermelon, make sure to take off the seeds as it could pose a choking hazard to your pet.

Feline diabetes can be determined if your cat is exhibiting the following symptoms:

  • excessively thirsty
  • always urinating
  • poor appetite
  • body is no longer agile, cannot jump
  • vomitting frequently

If you notice these symptoms in your cat, bring it to the veterinarian immediately. 

Also, observe your cat's reaction to the watermelon. Sometimes they love it, and sometimes they don't. As cats vary in personality, it would be better to observe them closely while feeding them new food or treats. Lastly, if your cat is already getting a balanced diet and nutrients from its regular food intake, make sure that you feed it with watermelon and other human food occasionally and with your veterinarian's permission.

Are there other fruits that I should avoid feeding to my cat?

  • citrus fruits (citric acid can cause damage to your cat's central nervous system if consumed in large amounts; it can also cause stomach aches if eaten in smaller quantities)
  • grapes and raisins (toxic to cats)
  • coconut or coconut oil (can cause upset stomach in cats)

Can I feed my cats with vegetables instead?

“Pet owners can always try to give vegetables to cats in food or treats. Not all will eat them. There certainly are good nutrients in vegetables when part of a balanced meal,” according to Gary Richter, DVM, owner and medical director of Montclair Veterinary Hospital in Oakland, California.

According to ASPCA, here are some vegetables that are safe to feed your cat:

  • brocolli
  • pumpkin (good source of fiber!)
  • peas
  • spinach (safe source of vitamin A,C and K)
  • bell peppers
  • carrots
  • celery
  • zuchinni

Alhough cats need fiber to maintain a balanced diet, fruits and vegetables alone will not be safe for them. They still need to eat a full meal with the cat food diet approved by your vet. Fruits and veggies could be given as treats only and not as frequent.