If you have a fur baby at home, it is not unusual for them to eye on your plate while you enjoy your favorite food. You may sometimes share your meal with them, yet not possible every time.
The eating habits of cats are quite different from humans. While humans are omnivores, and their body is adapted to survive on both plants and animals, cats are carnivorous animals who inevitably need meat in their diet. You can offer other foods to your feline baby only as a treat besides meat and cat food.
As summers are approaching, and every household enjoys watermelon to kill the heat, you might see your cat looking at you longingly. As your fur baby is also a part of your family, can they eat watermelon?
Yes. Cats can eat watermelon in moderation.
Cats are carnivorous and their digestive system is not designed to process sugars in large amounts. If your cat asks for watermelon in summer, it is not only a yummy treat but also helps keep the feline baby hydrated.
Despite the benefits of watermelon, it is not safe to give it in large quantities to the cat. Watermelon contains a considerable amount of calories that can cause weight gain and sugars that may lead to diabetes in your cat when given uncontrolled.
How Should I Give Watermelon to My Cat?
Cats are like babies and need care at every step. You cannot give your cat a large slice of watermelon and expect them to enjoy it. Slice it into small pieces as tiny as the kibble or only big enough for them to eat easily. Always remember to remove the seeds before giving the fruit to your pet.
Can Cats Eat Watermelon Rind?
Like watermelon seeds, cats cannot ingest and digest the rind of the fruit either. Watermelon rind does not contain any nutritional benefits, and thus the consumption of the rind is not advised. It may cause upset stomach, intestinal blockage, or choking.
How much Watermelon is too much for my Cat?
The Clinical Nutrition Services suggest that the treats only account for 10% of your cat’s total diet.
As cats typically take 200 to 250 calories per day, you can give up to 25 grams of watermelon to the feline baby in a day. According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, it comes out to be around half a cup. This amount of fruit every day will restrict your cat from enjoying any other treat. Consuming an excessive amount of watermelon can lead to health issues like GI problems and diabetes.
Symptoms of Diabetes in Cats
The Cornell University College of Veterinary Medicine mentions the following as symptoms of diabetes in cats:
- Polydipsia (excessive thirst)
- Polyuria (frequent urination)
- Loss of appetite
These symptoms are associated with diabetes in felines. However, it is not necessary for your cat to have diabetes if they experience one or two of these symptoms. It is best to consult a veterinary doctor when your pet exhibits any of these signs of changes in the diet, such as sudden, excessive consumption of fruits.
Is it Safe to give Watermelon to Kittens?
Like cats, young kittens can also consume watermelon in a regulated amount that does not surpass the daily treat allowance. Although your kitten may enjoy the sweetness of the fruit with the water content it provides, it is better to offer healthy foods to your kittens.
What is Healthy Treat Alternatives?
Like your cat has started enjoying watermelon, they can move past and relish something else without much hassle. As a pet parent, you must take care of the nutrient content in the food your cat takes and the need for those nutrients. Unlike fruits, vegetables do not contain many carbohydrates and are a better alternative.
You can offer a few vegetables to your cat, including
- Green bell peppers
The Bottom Line
Though cats can eat watermelon as a treat, it should not cross the daily limit of 10% of the whole day meal intake. Fruits contain lots of sugars and may cause health issues, including GI disturbances and diabetes in cats. It is recommended to avoid giving fruit to young kittens and instead offer a different variety of cat food or add vegetables to their diet like broccoli, peas, carrots, zucchini, etc.