Watermelon is a refreshing fruit with lots of nutrients and water which makes approximately 92%. Most people love it because it is succulent and tasty.
Research has shown that watermelon presents lots of health benefits because It has a significant amount of vitamin C, vitamin B6, lycopene, amino acids, and antioxidants.
Most people are wondering if watermelon can also be served as a treat to their feline friends. Well, I’ve provided this article so that we can establish if cats can eat watermelon. So let’s get into it.
Health Benefits and nutritional value of watermelon
Watermelon is rich in vitamins and essential minerals like magnesium and potassium. It can supplement nutritional needs as well as hydration since it contains lots of water hence it a perfect fruit to feed your cat, especially during summer.
The following are health benefits of watermelon
Watermelon has anti-inflammatory properties since Lycopene helps in neutralizing free radicals. It is also effective in controlling chronic inflammation and cellular damages.
Watermelon contains water and fiber which facilitates healthy digestion. Water facilitates the movement of food in the digestive tract while fiber adds some bulk to the stool.
It is good for skin and hair
Watermelon contains vitamins A and C which is very important in the skin. Vitamin C plays a critical role in the production of collagen which makes the hair supple and strong. On the other hand, vitamin A helps the skin cells to regenerate.
It relieves muscle soreness
The amino acid and citrulline help in reducing muscle soreness. If you normally take outdoor walks with your feline friend, then watermelon juice is the potential remedy to reliving your cat from muscle soreness.
It prevents muscular degeneration
Lycopene protects the cat against inflammation and oxidative damage. This works well, especially for older cats. That is why it is advisable to incorporate watermelon into their diet.
It improves heart health
Cardiovascular diseases are not only common in humans but also cats depending on their diet and other lifestyle factors. Cats are likely to get obese because they are fed on meat and milk which have high-calorie content. Watermelon plays a critical role in lowering the risk of cardiovascular diseases. It also lowers blood pressure and cholesterol levels which prevents oxidative damage that is attributed to obesity.
Watermelon and hydration (Especially during summer)
Dehydration among cats is common during summer and drinking water alone is not enough to rehydrate your cat. That is why watermelon is the best fruit for the summer because it contains electrolytes and minerals that present additional health benefits. Watermelon consists of approximately 92% of water which helps in hydration. During summer the temperatures are very high which implies there will be lots of sweating. Therefore, taking watermelon provides extra hydration because some few slices of watermelon can be equated to drinking an extra glass of water.
Why do cats love watermelon
Cats are known to be carnivorous but they also love watermelons. Well, it is rare to find a cat drinking water even when it is thirsty that is why most of them get dehydrated during summer. The following are some of the reasons why cats love watermelon.
It helps with dehydration
Watermelon can be the best source of hydration because it contains high water content. So cats find it a tasty snack which will also supplement their hydration needs during summer. Water plays a very important role in the body. All metabolic activities, digestion are facilitated by water. Therefore, as a pet owner, you can feed your cat with watermelon since it acts as their source of water.
Source of fiber
Additionally, fiber is one of the essential elements in a cat’s diet since it contains fiber which will help in preventing frequent constipation and bloating.
It has a high nutritional value
Watermelon can also supplement your cat with some extra vitamins. It is packed with potassium and magnesium which are some of the key elements in a healthy diet. Research has also shown that it is also important for bone and heart health because of the carotenoid lycopene.
It is aromatic
This is probably the most important factor why cats go crazy for watermelon: its fragrance.
Cats are also attracted to watermelon because of its scent. This is attributed to the fact that watermelon is packed with amino acids that present an aroma that smells like meat. This moves them to start eating the watermelon. Cats also love chewing moist and crunchy foods like watermelon. It is also the best fruit for the teething kittens since they will enjoy tearing the watermelon pulp.
Can cats eat watermelon seeds?
Watermelon pulp is safe for your cat. It is always recommended that you remove the seeds before you feed it to the cat. Therefore, it is not advisable to feed watermelon seeds to the cat because of the following reasons.
It can cause intestinal blockages
Watermelon seeds can be very harmful to your cat because it can cause intestinal blockages since the cat’s teeth are not structured for chewing. Therefore, the seeds will be swallowed hence leading to intestinal blockage which can be fatal. Always remove all the seeds before feeding your cat with watermelon.
It can be a choking hazard
Watermelon seeds are large which makes it difficult for cats or kittens to swallow. This leads to choking which can also be fatal. In some cases, the seeds might block the airway hence suffocating the cat. So take necessary precautions to prevent such incidences.
Watermelon seeds are toxic to the cat
Watermelon seeds are mildly toxic for a cat. When the seeds are crushed it releases some toxins that can cause internal damage. This is because watermelon seeds have cyanide which is a toxic compound. This will lead to poisoning which is characterized by diarrhea and vomiting. If this happens, it is important to take your cat to the veterinary so that he can treat your cat. The vet will try to remove the toxins before it is too late since it can lead to death.
Therefore, ensure that you have removed all the watermelon seeds before you feed it to the cat. This is a safety precaution that you need to take. Alternatively, you can buy a seedless watermelon to make your work easier.
Can cats eat watermelon rinds?
Watermelon rinds should not be fed on the cats because of the following reasons.
It is tough
Cats should not eat watermelon rinds just like the seeds because the rind is tough for the cat to chew. Typically humans find it hard to eat the rind of watermelon because it has a tough coating yet they have strong digestion systems and teeth. Therefore, it will be much difficult for the cats to feed on the watermelon rind.
It causes choking
Watermelon rind is a potential hazard because it can cause choking. This is because it will be difficult for the cat to crush it into smaller pieces which leads to choking. Always chop the watermelons into smaller sizes and place them on the bowl and throw the rinds.
It can causes intestinal blockage
Watermelon rinds will not be easily digested in the stomach. This causes stomach cramps which leads to intestinal blockage. This might prompt you to take your cat to a veterinary so that surgical procedures might be done to fix the bloggage because it is fatal. If your cat feeds on watermelon rinds you and you noticed some strange behaviors and pain then you should take it to the vet before it gets worse.
Remember that you cat should have a regular dose of malt paste to help with intestinal blockage and hair balls.
The following are some safety tips that you should consider when feeding your cat with watermelon:
-Always ensure you have removed the seeds and the rind since it is not safe for your cats.
-Feeding the cats with the ripe watermelons is also an added advantage because they are very aromatic and they are easy to cut.
-Never feed your cat to spoiled watermelon because it can lead to some stomach upsets.
-When slicing your watermelon don’t make too big or too small slices. Therefore, you can cut the watermelons into cubes and place them in a cat bowl. Alternatively, you can hold a slice and let the cat nibble it away.
– You can also make a drink out of watermelon especially during the summer because it plays a very effective role in hydration.
Watermelon is one of the favorite fruits for cats because they have high water and nutritional content. This makes it a popular treat during the summer when the temperatures are high. However, it is important to adhere to the precautions that have outlined in this article because feeding the watermelons without removing the rind or the seeds can be a potential health hazard to your cat.
Some cats can show some sensitivity towards watermelon through allergic responses that are characterized by vomiting and diarrhea, sneezing, drooling, and streaming eyes. When this happens, avoid feeding the watermelon for a while until your vet run some tests on your cat so that he can determine if the major cause of the allergic response is watermelon or there are other underlying health problems.