Can cats eat Watermelon?

Posted by Aug 11, 2016 | Nutrition

Cats watermelon

Author Amira

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I’m Amira, founder and editor at Cattention.

This website is dedicated to share useful but entertaining information and help You understand Your cat’s actions, behavior and needs.

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Cats are known for their finicky personalities. However, not all cats are the same. While some would just stick to their regular daily diet, others want to experiment with all the unfamiliar foods available.

In one way or another, their curiosity takes over and makes them approach whenever we start eating our tasty snacks.

In this situation, when we see our cats giving us the sad look begging for some pieces, we are definitely tempted to offer them some.

And though, sharing food with our lovely pets seems absolutely harmless, there are a number of foods and ingredients that are not only bad for cats, but can put their overall health and life at risk. Do fruits like watermelon that are healthy for humans fall into this dangerous category?

Watermelon is one of our favorite fruits during the hot summer days. It is an excellent source for hydration and carries some vitamins and minerals as well. For us, humans. But what about cats? Can cats eat watermelon? Is it safe for them? Do they get any health benefits from eating watermelon?

Read on to get all the answers to these important questions about cats and watermelon.

Can cats eat Watermelon? – Only in moderation

When it comes to cats and watermelon, the great news is: yes, cats can eat watermelon. However, only in moderation, and occasionally as a treat. Watermelon is not toxic to cats and will not cause any serious health problems, though, there are a couple of essential precautions to follow to keep our pet away from any risks:

  • Moderation is key. While a little piece every now and then is safe for cats, too much of watermelon can upset their stomach and cause digestive problems.
  • Make sure that all the seeds are removed before offering watermelon to your cat as they can be very harmful.
  • Don’t forget to remove the rind as well. It is hard for a cat’s digestive system to digest and could lead to several health issues.

All in all, the flesh of the watermelon is just fine for your cat to eat in small amounts. Just remove the seeds and the rind, and right away it is ready to be offered as an amazing summer treat.

About cats and watermelon

Watermelon, an annual plant, originated in Africa, has become synonymous with hot summer days, and for good reason. The watermelon’s refreshing, watery content, and sweet taste help us overcome the sweltering days. More than that, it has nutritional benefits.

Despite the popular belief that watermelon consists only of water and sugar, this refreshing fruit is actually soaked with nutrients.

Although watermelon is mostly water – more than 90% – it also provides a high amount of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants for a low amount of calories.It contains an appreciable amount of vitamin C and a lower amount of vitamin A and vitamin B. There is even a modest level of potassium, magnesium, and dietary fiber.

All these ingredients make the watermelon a good source of hydration and an ideal healthy snack for humans.

What about cats? Do cats get any benefit of the watermelon’s great ingredients or they don’t really affect the cat’s body and health? Let’s take a closer look.

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Benefits – Is watermelon good for cats?

As mentioned before, for humans, watermelon can be a healthy refreshing snack during the hot summers. It contains a lot of water, and many healthy ingredients that are just great for our health.

Regarding cats and watermelon; this fruit does offer some nutritional benefits to cats as well. As long as the rind and the seeds are removed, it is not only safe for cats to consume but actually good for their overall health.

Since watermelon contains sufficient amount of water, it is a very valuable source to keep a cat hydrated.

Beside the water content, the dietary fiber found in watermelon can help a cat’s digestive system function smoothly.

In addition, watermelon also contains a considerable amount of vitamins (like vitamin C and vitamin A) and minerals such as potassium and magnesium that are important for a cat’s healthy balanced diet.

However, we should not forget, cats are carnivores, so their regular diet has to contain mostly meat, and that cannot be replaced by watermelon.

Risks – Is watermelon bad for cats?

Although cats can eat watermelon without having any health issues, we have to be cautious as their digestive system is smaller and much more sensitive than ours.  There are several risks to pay attention about while feeding watermelon to our cats.

First of all, we have to proceed the same way as with other human foods. Cats are carnivores, and they need a certain balance of their nutrients.

Next to their regular meat-based food, some watermelon can be offered. However, we have to make sure not to cross the limit. Too much of watermelon may cause digestive problems, not to mention the fruit’s quite high sugar level.

Cats’ digestive system cannot digest sugar as properly and efficiently as ours. While a little amount of watermelon is healthy for cats, too much sugary fruit can have adverse health effects over time and can lead to feline obesity.

For the same reason, if your cat suffers from diabetes you may want to avoid feeding her watermelon completely.

Apart from the fruit’s nutrients, the seeds can also cause an upset stomach to cats.

This is due to the fact that they could result in intestinal blockage, not to mention that they contain compounds like cyanide that is a harmful natural by-product that cats cannot digest.

It is also believed that too much watermelon seeds can even lead to cyanide-based poisoning. Although it takes quite a serious amount that could cause this much severe problem, it is highly recommended to remove all the seeds from the watermelon before offering it to cats.

Along with the seeds, the rind has to be removed from the watermelon as well. It is very difficult for a cat to digest, and can easily cause gastrointestinal upset.

If it is your cat’s first time to eat watermelon, be very careful. Some cats have a more sensitive digestive system than others and may have allergies to certain fruits.

Start with a very small amount and monitor her reactions. Watch out for the possible signs like vomiting or diarrhea. If you cannot notice anything out of ordinary and your cat is enjoying her little treat, feel free to give her watermelon occasionally in moderation.

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How much watermelon is safe for cats?

As it is highlighted previously, cats can eat watermelon, but only as occasional treats in small amounts.

In general, veterinarians suggest that a cat’s daily calorie intake should be made up mostly from their regular meat-based diet, and not more than 5-10% treat including things like watermelon. Strongly stick to the limit even if your cat looks at you with her cute eyes begging for some more pieces.

While a little piece of watermelon once in a while can be healthy for cats, in large amounts it can upset their sensitive stomach and can cause different digestive issues.

It is also important to remember that cats are carnivores, so their body is not capable of digesting large amounts of plant matter. Feed your cat her regular meat-based food and if it makes her happy, maximum occasionally a little bite of watermelon.


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Do cats like watermelon?

If you have ever searched on the internet looking for a cat eating watermelon, you might found many cute videos about cats and watermelon. However, it is not really sure why they like it.

People like watermelon for its refreshing watery content and sweet taste. But as you may already know, cats do not have the ability to identify sweet things. Rather, what they could like about watermelon is its watery content.

If you are interested whether your cat likes it or not, just give her a little piece. If she seems to like it, you can offer some occasionally as a treat.

However, if she rejects it, don’t be surprised, most cats are very finicky and will not try any kind of new food no matter how hard you try.

Recommended to read: Can cats eat Chocolate?

What cats really need

Although fruits like watermelon can be given to cats occasionally in small amounts, we should not forget that they are carnivores.

They require a certain balance of nutrients and plenty of room temperature water which cannot be replaceable with fresh fruits like watermelon.

Feed your cat with high-quality cat food and lots of water, and occasionally offer some refreshing, healthy piece of watermelon. In this case, you will most likely end up with a healthy, satisfied and happy little cat.


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Conclusion – Can cats have watermelon?

Sharing food right from our plate with our beloved pets seems completely harmless. However, we should remember that cats function differently and have a sensitive digestive system.

So while we are tempted to offer some pieces, we have to be aware that there are many foods and ingredients that are dangerous to them.

Luckily, our favorite summer food, watermelon, does not belong to this category.

It is an excellent source for hydration, and as long as the rind and the seeds are removed, cats will have no problem eating this occasional, healthy little snack – provided that they get their regular, well-balanced meals as a routine.