Watermelon is probably one of the top favorite healthy snacks of people every time summer comes around. But is it safe for cats? Are there any risks involved in feeding cats watermelon? Read on to find out the answers to these questions and more!
Is watermelon a good snack for cats?
If you have been caring for a cat for a while, you probably know that this species is a classic carnivore. That means that most of their diet should consist of animal-based protein, although cats should also eat some amount of fiber, too.
In general, fruit is not the best type of snack that you can give your feline friend. That doesn’t mean that it can necessarily put their health in danger. Not all fruits are equal, and watermelon is perhaps one of the least risky ones.
Watermelon also contains massive amounts of water, which means that it can make a good treat for a cat that usually doesn’t drink too much. Because of their low appetite for water, cats are always predisposed to developing urinary pathologies, particularly in their senior years – and kidney failure is one of the most severe ones.
Watermelon is rich in a few typical nutrients that can be found in other fruits, such as vitamin C, vitamins B6 and B1, as well as vitamin A. In terms of minerals, watermelon contains both potassium and magnesium.
Can eating watermelon put your cat’s health in danger?
It depends on two different factors – how much watermelon the cat eats in one serving and which parts of it they ingest. The rind and the seeds can present a serious choking hazard, although most cats are capable of eating their food normally.
Unfortunately, the seeds and the rind are more difficult to digest, which means that they can cause some problems once they end up in your pet’s digestive tract.
An intestinal blockage can lead to a variety of other complications, and if the cat isn’t diagnosed quickly, they might actually lose their life because of this health issue.
Another aspect to consider would be the fact that not all cats are the same, which means that some can be allergic to various foods, whereas others might not experience any negative symptoms whatsoever. Allergic reactions usually have a plethora of clinical signs, and they can range from digestive distress to more concerning ones such as difficulty breathing.
How much watermelon should a cat have?
Watermelon can’t be considered a staple of your pet’s diet, but that doesn’t mean that they can’t have it every once in a while.
It’s difficult to tell how much can lead to health complications or not, and there are no serving guidelines regarding this fruit coming from official veterinary authorities – because, in theory, cats aren’t supposed to have watermelon.
One or two teaspoons per week shouldn’t cause any issue. When you give your cat watermelon for the first time, make sure that you only try a very small amount – just so that you can rule out them being allergic to the fruit.
How often should you give your cat watermelon?
This fruit should only be looked at as an occasional snack. While there are many cat treats available for sale these days, some might indeed contain a series of artificial ingredients that are anything but healthy.
So, if your cat is a huge fruit aficionado, you may be able to give them watermelon once every 4-5 days or so, but always make sure to have complete control over the amount that your pet has.
In the end, watermelon doesn’t contain the proper nutrients for your cat in the sense that it can’t substitute any other food that they’re used to having every single day.
Is watermelon good for kittens and seniors?
The answer to this question is that it depends on every animal’s health status. If the kitten doesn’t have a large amount and you make sure that you remove the seeds and the rind, it might not cause any problem.
With seniors, things can be a little different because some might have higher blood sugar on average, so it is not a good idea to increase their glycemia by giving them any type of fruit, including watermelon.
Are other types of fruit better for cats compared to watermelon?
Not necessarily. Given the amount of water that can be found in watermelon, it’s relatively harmless, which means that it is among the best types of fruit that a cat can have.
Other examples are peeled and seeded apples, bananas, strawberries, as well as blueberries. Do consider that organic, pest-free fruits are better for your cat because some of these fruits can retain traces of pesticides and weed killers that might be acceptable for humans but can be way too much for your furry friend.
So, can cats eat watermelon? Yes. So long as you control the amount that your cat has and don’t make a habit out of giving them fruit every single day, they can definitely have watermelon on occasion.