Watermelon is one of the most popular summer fruits for humans, and it’s easy to see why. It’s a great option for a refreshing, quick and low-calorie snack, and it can also be blended up and made into a delicious smoothie. Not to mention this fruit is also loaded with health benefits for people, as it contains a large number of vitamins and minerals.
Because this well-loved fruit is so healthy for us, you may find yourself wondering if your feline friend can try a piece. Keep reading to find out if cats can eat watermelon, and if your kitty will experience any of the same benefits that humans do.
Can cats eat watermelon?
The short answer is yes, cats can eat watermelon. The fruit is non-toxic for cats and it’s fine for them to have occasionally as a small treat. However, it’s not a necessary part of their diet, so we wouldn’t advise to feed them watermelon too regularly, and just offer them one or two bite-sized pieces.
It’s also important to only feed watermelon flesh to your cat, making sure you fully remove all the seeds, as these contain cyanide which is toxic to cats.
Is watermelon good for cats?
Not particularly. Cats can get everything they need from a high-quality feline diet containing animal products, so they won’t really see any of the benefits that we do from eating watermelon.
And you should always avoid giving watermelon to overweight cats or those with diabetes, as watermelon has a lot of naturally occurring sugars. Additionally, as fruit isn’t a natural part of your cat’s diet, it’s not a good idea to feed them too much of it, as it can cause stomach upsets and diarrhoea and is unlikely to be beneficial for them.
How to feed watermelon to your cat
If you’d like to offer your cat a small piece of watermelon, you’ll need to prepare this fruit correctly. Firstly, make sure you wash the flesh of the fruit, then remove the seeds (as these contain cyanide and are also a choking hazard!), then chop the fruit into a small, bitesize piece before feeding, and if your cat does like it, only feed a small piece occasionally as a treat.
Avoid giving your cat watermelon rind, as it’s difficult for them to chew and digest, and this may also cause choking, intestinal blockages or stomach upset.
Remember that each cat is different, and some won’t like the flavour or smell of watermelon, whereas others will! If your cat turns their nose up at the watermelon you offer them, don’t force it, they’re just telling you that this fruit isn’t for them.
When feeding your cat treats (such as watermelon), always be sure to follow the 10% rule, making sure that treats only make up 10% of their diet, with the other 90% coming from their complete and balanced cat food. It’s also worth considering treats that have been made specifically for cats, as these are normally safer for your feline, and there are even some healthy cat treats that can nutritionally benefit your cat.