Can Cats Eat Watermelon?

Updated: 6/24/20242-4 minutes
white cat looking at watermelon, licking lips

Watermelon, a refreshing and light snack, is a warm-weather favorite for many. But can we share this treat with our feline friends? Is watermelon good for cats? The answer is mostly yes. When given in moderation, watermelon is a nontoxic fruit for most cats in good health. However, it's crucial to remember that moderation is key when feeding cats watermelon.

Our experts explore the common question, Is watermelon safe for cats? They discuss any potential risks associated with feeding it to your cat, unpacking which of several types of watermelon and watermelon products is safe for a cat to eat, and share tips on how much watermelon to feed a cat and how to best feed it.

So, Can Cats Eat Watermelon?

Is watermelon OK for cats? Yes, cat watermelon snacks or treats are OK. If, for example, you want to share some watermelon you prepared for the fourth of July or any other warm-weather occasion where watermelon is likely to be served, and if your cat is in good health, they’re free to participate in the festivities with you.

Cats can only eat watermelon flesh (known as the ‘mesocarp’), not the seeds or the rind. If you share some watermelon with your cats, remove all the seeds. Watermelon seeds are toxic to cats because they: 

  • Contain cyanide 
  • Can cause gastrointestinal distress 
  • Are a choking hazard

Is Watermelon Good for Cats to Eat?

While watermelon contains beneficial hydration and vitamins like vitamin C and potassium, it should never replace your cat's everyday balanced food. Always check with your veterinarian before feeding your cat human foods such as watermelon. If your cat ate watermelon a few times without you knowing, it’s most likely OK. Make sure to call your veterinarian if you see your cat looking unwell.  

Consulting with your veterinarian is always a good idea, in case you aren’t aware of preexisting conditions your cat might have, or you’re wondering, Are cats allergic to watermelon? They’ll be able to determine what your cat can’t eat. Here are a few examples of conditions where your cats should avoid watermelon: 

Can Kittens Eat Watermelon?

As with adult cats, watermelon is mostly safe for healthy kittens but not nutritionally beneficial. While watermelon contains beneficial hydration and vitamins like vitamin C and potassium, the benefits are minimal for kittens because they need a balanced diet to thrive.

The sugar content of watermelon is a primary reason to limit treating to small amounts in adult cats. Kitten digestive systems are more delicate than adult cats, so kittens would benefit more from sticking to kitten food.

Can Cats Eat Watermelon Rind?

No, cats can’t eat watermelon rind, even the part with almost the same texture as the juicy watermelon flesh but a little more rigid. Watermelon rind can disrupt a cat’s digestive system by: 

  • Creating intestinal blockage 
  • Being a choking hazard 
  • Causing a stomachache

Can Cats Eat Melon?

And, if while thinking of watermelon, you're wondering, Is melon good for cats? Did you know that watermelons aren't technically melons? Regardless, melons can also be an occasional cat treat for a healthy adult cat, but in moderation. The term “melon” is often used to refer to a variety of fruits, but watermelon is a distinct fruit with its own unique properties.

How Much Watermelon Can Cats Eat?

How much watermelon can a cat eat? In determining how much cats should eat, the amount of watermelon you can feed a cat varies depending on the cat’s age, breed, health and dietary needs. It's always best to consult with your veterinarian to determine the appropriate portion size for your cat and whether it’s even appropriate for your cat to eat.

After consulting your veterinarian for your cat’s nutritional needs, if you determine it’s safe to feed your cat watermelon, we recommend no more than one or two cat bite-sized chunks at a time, only occasionally. Know that treats, which include watermelon, shouldn’t make up more than 10% of a cat’s diet. The other 90% should come from complete and balanced cat food.

Feeding your cat excessive amounts of watermelon can lead to digestive issues and feline obesity. It's important to be aware of these potential risks and to always feed watermelon to your cat in moderation. And it is recommended that during your cat's veterinary visit, you should share with your veterinarian this and all other people food, including amounts and frequency, you are offering your cat.

How to Feed Your Cat Watermelon

To ensure cats eat watermelon safely, you should not consider watermelon a nutrient source. Watermelon should only be regarded as a sensory treat and offered sparingly after support from a veterinarian.

For more expert tips on cat feeding, explore our other what can cats eat articles.

 

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