As pet lovers, we all know that cats are some of the pickiest eaters in the animal world. A normal house cat takes most of the day sleeping, while following their regular diet. But there are also those curious cats who like to experiment with their daily routines and their food choices.
Just like cats, I also try to eat right by balancing my food intake with meat, vegetables, and fruits. And one of my many favorites are mouthwatering watermelons. This beautiful fruit is not only pleasing to the eyes, but is also a wonderful treat. So it got me thinking: Can cats eat watermelon?
With other questions in mind such as cat’s safety when eating fruits like watermelon or the health benefits they acquire with this tasty treat, it is fitting to learn about the fruit itself. Here are some facts you need to know:
Which nutrients watermelons contain?
A watermelon is a delicious and refreshing tropical fruit made up of water and sugar. Originating in South Africa, this big and round fruit is rich in lycopene, as recent research suggests. Lycopene is beneficial for bone health as well as protection from cardiovascular or heart diseases. Here are some of the nutrients found in watermelons:
- Carotenoid lycopene
- Phenolic antioxidants
- Pantothenic acid
- Vitamin A in the form of carotenoids
- Vitamin B1
- Vitamin B6
- Vitamin C
Minerals such as potassium and magnesium are low, while the said fruit is rich in vitamins A and C.
Furthermore, a ripe watermelon with a reddish color is proven to be more nutritious, compared to unripe ones which are known to be color white.
Now that we’ve established the following nutritional benefits found in the tasty tropic fruit, we will now discuss its health benefits for both cats and humans.
Watermelon is known as an annual plant that is inclined to grow in summer and with good explanation. It’s watery and sweet, which means itcan help alleviate the summer heat.
Two of its primary health benefits for humans are its anti-inflammatory and antioxidant support. Furthermore, it also contains other benefits for cats as well, such as:
Watermelons are low in calories
Cats are natural born hunters and normally feed on meat which is high on protein. Protein comprises amino acids that are significant in the growth and maintenance of the body. The sugar in the watermelon is natural. Furthermore, sustaining a low calorie for both cats and humans is important to keep a healthy lifestyle.
It battles dehydration because it is 90% water
Our body uses the water in all the organs, cells, and tissues to help normalize our temperature and maintain our supplementary bodily functions. Through breathing, sweating, and even digestion, our body loses water.
That’s why it’s essential to keep ourselves hydrated at all times. This includes regular consumption of water and eating food that contain water such as watermelons.
Fruits like watermelons do not contain cholesterol. They are sources of many important nutrients that are not usually consumed such as potassium, dietary fiber, vitamin C, and magnesium, all of which are found in watermelons. Furthermore, Dietary fiber from fruits benefits the body by decreasing blood cholesterol levels that may lead to lower risk of heart problems.
But how is this fruit beneficial for cats? We have to ask ourselves this pressing question because we want to know if these health benefits affect our lovable furry feline friend.
Do cats need watermelons?
One good thing about watermelons is how it also offers nutritional benefits for your fun and loving pet cat. But heed this warning: the rind and the seeds of the said fruit must be removed before the cat can actually consume it. But overall, the seasoned fruit is beneficial for cats and not just us humans. Why?
- Watermelon contains 90% water which means your cat will be well hydrated if it eats them.
- Watermelon contains sufficient dietary fibers that also help the cat’s digestive system.
- Watermelon contains vitamins that can also be beneficial for your feline pet because they also need to maintain a well-balanced diet.
Needless to say, cats are known as carnivorous creatures and it draws back to their ancestry. So always keep in mind that their diet must still include meat.
After this, it is safe to assume that in some ways, even though it is not necessary, watermelons show health benefits for your furry friend.
How watermelons affect cats – the good and the bad
In the following statements, I will show you the good and bad effects of watermelons for cats.
As stated above, watermelon is a great source of Vitamins A and C, which are known as important nutrients for the body. Other than that, it has no loss of water supply which suggests watermelons actually affect your furry cat’s health in a positive way even in minute amounts.
You may want to avoid feeding your pet cat with watermelons if they suffer from diabetes. Why? Aside from water, watermelons are also high in sugar. There are even studies suggesting they only contain water and sugar. Though factual, it is always important to note that there are vitamins and minerals found in this tropical fruit.
Aside from this, not all the vitamins and minerals will directly benefit your cat in comparison to other food they usually partake in. Always note that they are carnivorous creatures, thus high protein meat is still their natural food supply. But just like any other living things, cats still need to drink water to survive and watermelons have a mouthful of that.
Furthermore, as tempting as watermelons are, do not turn them into your cat’s main source of food but rather, consider it as delightful treats.
Now that we’ve answered the following important questions before actually feeding watermelons to your cats, there’s one more question we have to finally answer.
Can cats eat watermelon?
After discussing the nutritional facts and health benefits of watermelons, it is with pleasure to announce that yes, cats can actually enjoy the goodness of the tropical fruit, but with a catch: they can only eat them in moderation.
Feeding them in small amounts is the key to keep your cat safe from possible harms due to the fact that watermelons may upset your feline friend’s stomach. If moderation is not taken seriously, it can cause digestive problems which you don’t want your cat to experience. As a responsible pet owner, it is vital to always consider your little’s furry companion’s safety as the first and foremost priority.
Apart from that, there are also other factors to consider before actually feeding them with the mouthwatering treat, specifically the risks.
- Your cat’s digestive system is much smaller and more sensitive.
- If your cat indulges in watermelon more than usual, it may result to digestive problems.
- Your cats’ digestive system cannot digest sugar as efficiently and properly as humans do.
The seeds and rind can be very harmful
Whenever we think of watermelons, we always consider the process of eating them. We remove the seeds and we do not usually eat its rinds.
The rind is the green hard shell of the watermelon while the seeds are found inside the fruit scattered all over the red juicy fruit. As we humans avoid them, it is relative to also do the same for our lovable pet cats.
In this part of the summary, I will educate you with the possible harms these two components of the watermelon for your pet cat.
In some studies, eating the rinds of the staple summer fruit can be beneficial for humans. It helps stimulate better and healthier heart and even suggests better performance in bed. However, these benefits do not concern your cat’s health and in reality, even do more harm than good.
Because the rind can be hard for your cat to digest, it is safe to be cautious and just remove them before it causes problems such as gastrointestinal upset.
The seeds found in the watermelon must also be removed to avoid complications when you feed this fruit to your cat. This primary reason is to avoid the possibility of an upset stomach to your cat.
- It may result to intestinal blockage.
- The seeds contain harmful compounds such as cyanide also known as cyanogenic glycosides.
- Digesting the seeds may result to cyanide-based poisoning.
And even though it actually takes quite a massive amount of seeds before it can cause severe harm, it is still highly advisable to be precautious at all times, especially if it is your cat’s first time to try the delicious treat.
Apart from these facts, the seeds may even result to allergies because different types of cats have a certain allergic reaction to specific food including fruits and meat.
Symptoms of watermelon allergies or toxicity
As humans, we are also sometimes picky with the food we eat. We try to avoid indulging ourselves with treats that do not interest us. Moreover, we completely disregard food that may lead us to harm such as rashes caused by an allergic reaction.
As responsible pet owners such as yourself, it is wise to feed your furry feline friend with an ample amount, especially if it’s their first time. After which, study and examine how your cat reacts to the watermelon.
This is to avoid the following:
- Intestinal blockage
- Internal damage
Meanwhile, if these symptoms will continue, stop feeding watermelons to your cat because clearly, they are neither comfortable nor compatible with the said fruit.
What to do if my cats have allergic reactions to watermelons?
As pet owners, it is our duty to always care for them. This includes overseeing their habits and always taking into consideration their wants and needs. This trait will help us become closer with our loving little pal.
And as we try to understand their needs and wants, sometime we overlook important details because we really want them to try some things that we do. In this case, letting our feline friend eat watermelons without cautioun may lead to complications.
One possible reason for allergic reactions is the fact that cats are not all the same, and furthermore their digestive system is totally different from ours. Some cats are more compatible with certain types of food compared to others.
Here’s a step-by-step plan for you to become a more responsible cat owner:
- All cats are hunters. They prey on meat and not fruits. You should be aware of this fact because these cats, being carnivores draw back from their ancestors who used to feed on small rodents.
- To avoid a possible allergic reaction, make sure the watermelon is fresh and clean. Assure that the watermelon you want them to eat is not rotten.
- Always make sure to remove the seeds and the rinds to avoid complications.
- If you are still doubtful, do not feed your cat watermelons.
Apart from this, when your cat does have an allergic reaction, here’s what you have to do:
- Stop feeding your cat watermelons.
- Go to your veterinarian and have your cat checked.
Going back to the first question, the answer is yes. Your furry cat companion can enjoy munching on watermelons, as long as you feed them in moderation. Furthermore, since most domestic cats such as your house pet have easily adapted to their environment and feeding on the food from our table.
It is always safe to note the following safety precautions such as removing the seeds and rinds, as well as examining whether your cat is allergic to watermelons or not. Remember, an observation can give you a lot of possibilities, so be sure to keep a close eye on your pet. Lastly, your cat is a carnivore and watermelons cannot replace meat.
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