Is it Safe for Cats to Have Watermelon?
In this modern era, people seldom find enough time for themselves. You will also find many office going people who lead a lonely life. However, most of them will have a pet at home. A pet helps you to unwind and relax after you return home from a hectic day at work. Some prefer to have a dog around, whereas, some like to have cats. The type of pet you keep is basically on your personal preferences.
If you have a pet at home, then one of the biggest questions in your mind may be what to fee the animal that will be suitable for it. This is a common question that haunts the minds of most of the pet owners. If you have a cat at home, some of you may even wonder whether your cat will eat watermelon with you. It is needless to say that watermelons are quite similar to pumpkins. This is in terms of fiber content. Both the foods are quite safe for cats to consume. However, it should not eat the seeds of the watermelon.
Is It Safe For Cats To Have Watermelons?
Well, the answer to this question is watermelons are safe for cats to consume. However, this should be done in strict moderations and under certain precautions.
Is your cat constipated or slightly dehydrated especially on a hot day? Does your cat show high levels of curiosity while you eat? In that case watermelons may prove to be good for the animal. It will satisfy her immensely. There are some cat owners who like to sprinkle some salt on the watermelon to enhance the taste. This should be avoided at all costs as salt is not good for cats.
Frozen watermelons on a stick is one of the popular summer time treats. This is especially seen in the southern US. Compared to humans, cats will need longer to eat frozen watermelons. Nonetheless, they will love the opportunity of doing so.
It is a common sight these days to find foodies serving watermelons with feta cheese. It is good for you to note that too much dairy is never good for cats and feta cheese is especially salty. Thus, this concept is not good for cats.
Advantages of Having Watermelons
Usually, it is common to find parents feeding their kids with watermelons. It acts as a sweet candy and is also quite healthy. However, cats are not usually attracted towards sweet foods. On the contrary, cats are attracted towards moist watermelons, especially on a warm day. Watermelons are soft and easy to eat, which actually attracts cats.
Nutrients Found In Watermelons
As discussed above, watermelons are rich sources of fiber just like pumpkins. A single cup of watermelon will contain 46 calories. This proves that it is a low calorie food with practically no cholesterol.
You will also find several vitamins in a watermelon, such as vitamins C, vitamin A, vitamin B1, and vitamin B6. Other essential nutrients found in the fruit include potassium, biotin, loads of healthy antioxidants and magnesium.
Watermelons are called by such a name for a reason. 90% of the fruit is water. Although cats require water, they are quite specific about the way they get their hydration. There are some cats that prefer to have water in the form of succulent fruits. Such fruits include watermelon.
Some Concerns of Having Watermelon
If your cat is a healthy and normal cat, then it should be given a moderate amount of watermelon. If your pet suffers from diabetes then it should not be given the fruit at all. This is simply because the natural sugar in the fruit may also prove to be serious for the cat’s system.
The Rind and the Seeds May Be Harmful
Most of you may be told by your mothers not to have watermelon seeds that it may grow in your stomach. Well, these are all fables that are practically baseless. Although watermelon seeds cannot grow in your stomach, it may still prove to be dangerous for cats if they swallow the seeds.
First of all, watermelons seeds may present a choking hazard or may even be an intestinal blocker. This is especially possible in kittens or small sized cats. It is also important for you to remember that watermelon seeds are filled with cyanide.
The amount of cyanide in one or two seeds is certainly not sufficient to affect a human. However, cats have a smaller and more delicate system. The animal will be more susceptible to cyanide poisoning. You may either get rid of the seeds before feeding the pet or feed a seedless variety.
It is also crucial for you to understand that the rind is also not good for your pet cat. Although she will gnaw at it, the rind may prove to be far too rubbery for the cat to swallow. Swallowing the white portion of the rind will not hurt the pet much. However, in general, it is too tough to digest unlike the flesh that is rich in fiber. Consuming too much may result in gastrointestinal upset. Thus, it is always better to remove it first before you serve it to the cat.
Symptoms of Watermelon Toxicity or Allergies
Have you ever fed your cat with a watermelon before? In that case you need to keep a strict eye on the animal if you decide to feet it with watermelon for the first time. It is important for you to ensure that your feline friend is not allergic to the fruit in any way. Some of the symptoms of cats being allergic to watermelons are diarrhea, indigestion, vomiting or constipation. If the pet shows strong signs of reaction, you should never feed it ever again.
Nutrition Facts of Watermelons
2 cups of diced watermelons will provide around 80 calories and 0% total fat. Some of the other essential nutrition content of the fruit are discussed below.
- Total Cholesterol – 0mg, Sodium – 0mg, potassium – 270mg, protein – 1gm
- Total Carbohydrate – 21gm (7%), Dietary Fiber – 1gm (4%), Sugars – 20gm
- Vitamin A – 30%, Vitamin C – 25%, Calcium – 2%, Iron – 4%
Health Benefits of Watermelons
Watermelon has multiple health benefits. However, one of the most crucial of them all is its anti-inflammatory properties. The fruit contains lycopene that gives this property to the fruit. Lycopene is basically an inhibitor for different inflammatory processes. It works as an antioxidant that helps to neutralize all the free radicals.
It is also good to note that watermelons contain choline that helps to control all the chronic inflammation and keep them down. Apart from being beneficial for humans suffering from arthritis, watermelons may also prove to be beneficial for cats that have joint aches. Sick cats may have cellular damages that may be caused by several factors. In humans these varieties may be stress, disease, pollution, and smoking. If you consume anti-inflammatory foods during such times, it can boost the overall immunity and your general health.
Even if you feel dehydrated ever in life, one of the best fruits that can help fulfil your hydration needs is watermelons. As discussed above, these fruits contain 90% water that helps to compensate for the loss of water in your body. It is said that 20-30% of your fluid needs can be fulfilled by your diet alone.
If you decide to feed your cat with a watermelon, better think twice and be prepared for any consequences. If you are lucky then your cat may easily digest the fruit. Otherwise you may have to take it to a vet for a checkup.