Summertime is in full swing, and we're taking the question of "Can Cats Eat Fruit?" one step further. Have you wondered if cats can eat watermelon?
What should cats eat? Like, in general.
Fruit should never be the primary food of cats. Cats are obligate carnivores, meaning they require high-protein food made with meat from animals. Biologically, cats have no need for carbohydrates or sugars in the same way humans or other animals do. Keep this in mind before passing a human-food snack to your feline friend.
Okay, but can cats eat watermelon?
The short answer is that watermelon, along with some other fruits, are a nice treat for cats. Watermelon doesn't have a nutritional benefit for cats, since it has a fairly high carbohydrate content, as well as natural sugars that cats don't need. Watermelon isn't toxic for cats, but here are some key things to keep in mind before sharing a slice of fresh watermelon with your feline:
Watermelon is safe for healthy cats
If your cat has a health condition, such as diabetes, it would be better to avoid sharing watermelon or other fruits. Natural sugars in watermelon and other fruits are easily digested, and could pose a problem for diabetic cats. For healthy cats, watermelon should only be shared on occasion and in moderation.
Chat with your vet
Before giving your cat any new food, human or otherwise, it's important to have a conversation with your veterinarian. Your veterinarian can best assess if your cat is healthy enough to try the occasional human-food treat.
If your vet gives you the green light, make sure to prepare the watermelon for your cat carefully. Do not give your cat the watermelon rind, or watermelon with seeds. Wash the watermelon with water before cutting pieces that are easy for your cat to chew on. Tiny bites, about kibble size, are best for cats. Double-check the watermelon pieces for seeds before serving: the seeds could cause gastrointestinal irritation.
Keep a close eye on your cat
Even "safe" foods can have unexpected reactions, so monitor your cat after trying watermelon, watching for signs of gastrointestinal distress, such as vomiting or diarrhea.
Other safe fruits for cats
Toxic fruits for cats
*If you suspect your pet may have ingested a potentially toxic substance, call the APCC at (888) 426-4435 or contact your local veterinarian as soon as possible (*A consultation fee may apply).
- Grapes (and rasins)
- Citrus (including oranges, tangerines, clementines, grapefruit, lemons, and limes)
[#BeginTLDR#]Cats can technically eat watermelon, but they really don't need to. And the risk of toxic seeds or misshapen chunks that could lead to choking just makes it not feel like a risk worth taking for most pet parents.[#SplitTLDR#]There are plenty of treats that are healthy for cats—even designed for them.[#SplitTLDR#]If you think your cat may have ingested a potentially toxic substance, call the APCC at (888) 426-4435* or contact your local veterinarian as soon as possible[#EndTLDR#]