As you turn on the AC and bite into a large slice of a watermelon, you may notice your cat getting curious, as always. Your feline friend hangs around, eyeing your fruit, and as soon as a piece drops, he rushes in to eat it. If you have never fed your cat watermelon, you might get worried, thinking perhaps there are serious health issues that will result from that small bite. Before you reach for your phone to type “can cats eat watermelon?” on Google, we are here to alleviate all your fears by telling you all you need to know regarding the safety, or not, of watermelons to your feline. Let’s get started, as you also learn which other fruits you should avoid feeding your cats.
Eating watermelons can benefit cats
Like humans, cats feel dehydrated, especially during warm weather, and a piece of watermelon is enough to quench their thirst. However, unlike what most people think that the taste entices them to take a bite, cats are “sweet blind.” They are indifferent to the taste of sweeteners or sweet carbohydrates. On the other hand, they do not like bitter or sour foods. That being said, feeding watermelons to your cat is the easiest way to ensure he gets enough water, without necessarily drinking the transparent liquid. According to Pawsome Talk, felines do not like drinking water, causing kidney problems and a urinary tract infection.
Cats also need fiber in their diet, and even if they can get it from store-bought pet food, why not give your furry friend from a natural source. Different pet foods have varying amounts of fiber, meaning your cat could be at risk of not getting enough fiber. Besides, cats only need moderately fermentable fiber – poorly fermentable fiber results in dilution of calories. The right amount of fiber is essential to prevent constipation, and watermelon has been said to be as effective as a pumpkin.
Moreover, watermelon is loaded with minerals and vitamins, including magnesium, potassium, vitamin C, vitamin A, and vitamins B1 and B6. Since cats are at risk of developing intestinal problems due to furballs, magnesium plays a huge role in preventing such ordeals for your furry friend. On the other hand, vitamin A is essential to avoid muscle wastage, loss of weight, and stunted growth. You might even be surprised to learn that the same way vitamin A enables us to see better, it plays a similar role in cats. Thus, its deficiency can cause night blindness in the felines.
You should take precaution
As much as watermelons have a myriad of benefits in a cat’s body, you should be careful not to give it too much. According to Rover, since watermelons contain a lot of sugar, your cat can become obese and develop diabetes-like symptoms. Such signs to watch out for include vomiting, constant urination, and excessive thirst. It also goes without saying that if your cat is already diabetic, then watermelons should not be your go-to fruit whenever they need a snack.
Watermelon seeds have been described as a powerhouse of nutrients because they are packed with minerals like iron, potassium, magnesium, among others. However, while for humans, eating the seeds has its advantages, for the felines, it does a lot of harm. Besides the seeds being a choking hazard, they contain cyanide in small traces. Cyanide is used to kill cats because it affects enzymes that facilitate oxygen transportation; hence the body cells lack enough supply of oxygen.
The rinds are also a health hazard because they could cause your furry to choke. Additionally, although we said cats need fiber in their diet, too much of it will have adverse effects. The rinds have a high fiber content which, when consumed by the felines, results in ineffective digestion of other nutrients; hence your cat’s nutritious food fails to meet its purpose.
Plants and fruits poisonous to cats
We may all enjoy a refreshing glass of lemonade in the summer heat, but you will notice your cat will not be interested in tasting the fruit. To the felines, the smell of citrus fruits is repulsive, and Cuteness explains that the reaction is a defensive mechanism because the fruits can cause serious health issues when ingested. However, some cats will still be curious enough to taste the fruits which, if consumed in large quantities, can result in vomiting, diarrhea, and gastrointestinal discomfort. Some cats are so sensitive to citrus fruits that any contact leads to allergic dermatitis. Luckily, the cat’s dislike of the citrus smell comes in handy because you can spray your furniture to prevent the felines from scratching it.
Cherries may have been declared safe for feline consumption, but you should note that it is only the ripe pulp that is not poisonous. Every other part, including the stem, pits, leaves, and seeds, is toxic to your furry friend because it contains cyanide. Cyanide poisoning symptoms are dilated pupils, difficulty in breathing, bright red mucous membranes, shock, and in extreme cases, death.
One pet owner was skeptical because her cat kept eating Begonia, yet although she got sick every time the kitty did not die. Begonia is highly toxic to cats, and the most poisonous part is the tubers due to their high concentration of insoluble oxalates. You can tell if your cat has consumed the toxic plant from symptoms like oral irritation, burning of mouth, lips, and tongue, which leads to excessive pawing at the mouth. You will also observe a lack of appetite, vomiting, and difficulty in swallowing.
Since felines get the symptoms hours after ingestion, they are likely to continue eating poisonous plants because they can hardly make the connection between consumption and getting sick. Therefore, instead of waiting for your kitty to consume and then consult your vet, why not be proactive and ensure that the poisonous plants are not within reach of the felines.