Can Cats Eat Watermelon?

can cats eat watermelon

Summertime for cats means warm, sunny window naps and camping out in cool, shady spots under the bed. You may also notice your kitty drinking more water than normal when it’s hot outside. I know my cats prefer wet food to dry pellets in summer months. This is good, because cats can be notoriously camel-like when it comes to drinking water, depleting up to 8 percent of their water stores before rehydrating. Keeping them hydrated in the heat is important. For humans, on top of chugging H2O, eating foods like watermelon help us maintain hydration. But, can cats eat watermelon?

Yes, some cats can eat watermelon

Yes, healthy cats can eat seedless watermelon in small amounts. Watermelon (Citrullus lanatus) is roughly 92 percent water, which is why it’s so popular when everyone’s sweating bullets. This means it also helps felines stay hydrated. Many cats develop kidney issues later in life, and proper hydration helps combat kidney malfunction. Watermelon contains plenty of fiber, too, which helps regulate digestion. 

But, not all cats should eat watermelon

However, if your cat is diabetic, steer clear of watermelon. The sugar content is relatively high (about 6 percent) and could wreak havoc on a delicate system. In fact, due to its sweetness, watermelon may not even appeal to your kitty. Cats are carnivores and typically only crave savory proteins. 

Make sure to remove the seeds

It’s also necessary to remove any seeds when feeding your cat watermelon, in part because they contain trace amounts of cyanide, but more so because they could be a choking hazard. Rinds are also best kept far away from your cat for the same reasons, not to mention its high fiber content could cause painful gastrointestinal problems. 

The bottom line

As long as you don’t make it a habit, cats can consume watermelon in small quantities. Try replacing your usual treats with bits of this fruit during hot days, or freezing watermelon juice for your cat to lick as she cools down.

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Freelance Writer

Sarah Ashley is a Chicago-based freelance journalist. She has covered pets for PureWow for six years and tackles everything from dog training tips to the best litter boxes. Her...