Watermelon has been enjoyed since forever as a summertime treat as it has lots of water. The most important aspect is that this giant fruit is supposed to be shared with friends and family in abundance. Since your cat is a component of your family, do they need this satisfying fruit too as a part of their diet?
Watermelon isn't only delicious, it has plenty of health benefits for us humans. However, for our feline friends, it is often a different kind of story.
Cats are carnivorous and they have a digestive system that is different from dogs and humans. Since we’re omnivores, we are able to digest vegetables and fruits more easily. For cats, it’s a case by case basis. While some “human” foods are also non-toxic or perhaps beneficial to a cat’s diet, others may cause dyspepsia or worse.
Can cats eat watermelon? Here’s what you wish to understand.
Health Benefits of Watermelon in Humans
When it involves humans, one amongst the foremost important advantage of eating this ruby-colored fruit is that it keeps you hydrated. Because watermelon is 92% water, it helps you're feeling fuller longer.
Another advantage of getting high water content implies that watermelon is lower in calories. Even fruits with low-sugar like blueberries, that have about 85 calories per cup, can’t compete with watermelon that has 46 calories per cup.
However, if you're thinking that watermelon is just water, you're mistaken. Watermelon is jam-choked with vitamins and minerals like ascorbic acid and carotenoids. Lycopene, the compound that provides watermelon and tomatoes their bright red color has several wonderful uses in our bodies like lowering pressure level and is linked to helping fight disorder.
Can Cats Eat Watermelon?
Cats not only can eat watermelon, but many cats also enjoy it. During the summer months, watermelon isn’t only enjoyed for the taste, but it keeps cats hydrated.
However, the fruit isn't a part of a cat’s natural diet. Having an excessive amount of sugar (even natural sugar that is found in fruits) can cause digestive or perhaps diabetic issues over time. It's recommended to not feed cats watermelon in large quantities, especially as a meal replacement.
If you are going to commit to feed your cat watermelon, make absolutely sure that the seeds are removed. Watermelon seeds can present a choking hazard.
How much is simply too much?
Though watermelon is usually water, it also contains sugar. You should be careful with the amount of fruit you give to your cat because, if the fruit is introduced in your cat’s everyday diet, it could lead to obesity or diabetes symptoms. Raising glucose levels on a frequent basis in cats can create future health issues.
According to University of medicine, symptoms of feline diabetes include: excessive thirst, constant urination, lack of appetite, inability to leap, vomiting.
You should ontact your veterinarian as soon as you notice that your cat has these symptoms because it could also represent the start signs of diabetes.
If you’re worried about the sugar that your cat ingests from the fruit, consider checking the packages. Some cat treats may have too much sugar and carbohydrates.
Can Cats Eat Fruit In General?
Though cats are known for liking watermelon, there are many fruits that cats don't have any interest in.
Gary Ritcher, an owner and a medical director of Montclair Veterinary Hospital in Oakland California, says that fruits are not so problematic for cats, because cats are not usually interested in them. So, as they don't really like to eat large amounts of fruit anyway, you should not be worried about the sugar quantity that they ingest.
That being said, though watermelon is nontoxic, there are fruits that cats should steer clear of:
- citrus (all citrus contains some level of acid, which may cause central systema nervosum issues in large enough doses; it causes dyspepsia in smaller amounts, according to the ASPCA);
- grapes/raisins/currants (toxic to cats, consistent with the ASPCA);
- coconut or vegetable oil (technically the seed is problematic, but we must include it here because coconut can cause a stomach upset in cats, as it is said by ASPCA).
Alternative Healthy Snacks
If you’re trying to find something beyond the hydrating watermelon, consider vegetables as an acceptable alternative.
Dr. Richter says that pet owners can always try to give vegetables to feed their cats because there are good nutrients in vegetables when they are introduced in a balanced meal that contains everything your cat needs.
According to the ASPCA, these veggies aren't toxic to cats: zucchini, celery (they love the crunch!), carrots, green bell peppers, spinach (filled with vitamins a, c, and k!), peas (often found in many prepackaged foods for cats and dogs as a vitamin-filled addition), pumpkin (pumpkin is employed often as some way to urge fiber in your cat’s diet), broccoli.
Dr. Richter also says that instead of giving cats treats as a part of their diet we should better give them veggies but in a moderate quantity.
Though it's fun to experiment with different food options, remember that your cat is a carnivore. If you replace full meals with veggies they’ll miss out on vital nutrients of properly formulated pet food. Try introducing these new foods sparingly and thoughtfully and you and your cat will reap the advantages.