Let’s know about Do cats eat watermelon. Watermelon, to me, is the flavor of summer. Does Your Cat Beg for a Piece of Watermelon? We’re going to look at whether cats can have watermelon, how much 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 generally large fruits, up to several pounds in weight, with hard, striated, green skin. Inside, the watermelon flesh or pulp is a bright reddish-pink color and is sweet or watery. It has hard black seeds. Watermelon is a refreshing fruit that is often eaten to help with hydration. It can be eaten 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
Watermelon has one of the lowest calorie counts for a fruit, and is mainly composed of water.
In fact, according to the USDA , 100 grams of watermelon contains:
Water 91.45 grams
protein 0.61 g
fat 0.15 g
carbohydrates 7.55 grams
fiber 0.4 g
This makes it a very low calorie snack. Watermelon is also a good source of certain vitamins and minerals, especially:
vitamin C 9.1mg
Vitamin A 28ug
Watermelon Nutritional Benefits
Unsurprisingly, the main component of watermelon is water. In fact, watermelon is often recommended as a delicious way to stay hydrated during the hot summer months, especially since the low calorie count of watermelon has been shown to reduce the risk of obesity. Besides 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 also contains copper, which can be difficult to find in a high-meat diet. Although it contains potassium and magnesium, many other fruits have more of these important minerals. Unlike most fruits, watermelon doesn’t offer much in the way of fiber or plant compounds such as antioxidants. 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 carnivores for the most part, many cats actually enjoy snacking on watermelon. As with all foods that are not part of their normal complete and balanced diet, you should feed them in moderation. Although watermelon is not really high in sugar, it can cause an upset stomach in cats. To avoid this, only small pieces of watermelon should be fed, and only occasionally. Another 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 have 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 packed 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 get their water intake from their prey, and are very short of water. They do not have a high thirst drive, and will often not seek water, even if they are slightly dehydrated. This is why watermelon is great – your cat can `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 some 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’ve said, moderation is the key. Giving your cat too much watermelon can cause more problems than it solves, especially if they get diarrhea and vomit! The sugar content of watermelon also means that it should be given with caution to diabetic cats. Calorie-wise, your cat needs to get 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 9 lb cat can have about 20 calories of treats 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 wanting to share watermelon with their feline friend take a piece no larger than a two and a half inch cube. Don’t forget to remove the seeds! If your furry friend likes 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 a one 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 amounts or as their main meal; it is at best as an occasional snack with cat food. Remember to remove the seeds, and not feed the hard outer skin, which is not digestible and is a choking hazard as well as can cause a bowel obstruction.