Watermelon is an edible, sweet fleshy fruit that belongs to the family Cucurbitaceae, which also has cantaloupe, winter, canary, Korean, horned, sugar, oriental pickling melon, among many others.
These fruits are considered healthy to humans as they help hydrate, have a lot of nutrients, relieves sore muscles, among other roles. Are they also good for kitties?
Can cats have watermelons?
Yes. Cats can have watermelon without seeds or the rind as a snack once in a while. It is safe and most cats do love it. However, do not be tempted to give them more simply because they may seem to enjoy eating it or make it part of their diet.
Watermelons are loaded with many nutrients including carbohydrates, vitamin A, B1, B2, B3, B5, B6, choline and vitamin C as well as small amounts of fats and protein. Additionally, they have calcium, iron, magnesium, manganese, phosphorus, potassium, zinc, sodium and antioxidants.
Cats stand to benefit from all these nutrients. Furthermore, since it has over 90% water, it may help your kitty to stay hydrated which is very essential especially in kitties with kidney disease, when constipated or not drinking enough water.
Unfortunately, since they are obligate carnivores, it is not the ideal source for the various nutrients required for growth, development and adult maintenance. These pets require high-quality cat food or well-balanced ones if homemade.
Fruit, grains, or vegetable treats should not account for more than 10% of your feline pal’s total food requirement.
Being sugary, consult your vet in case your kitty has feline diabetes as it may worsen blood sugar levels.
Finally, should you notice any stomach problems, diarrhea or if your feline vomits, stop feeding her watermelon and see your vet if these symptoms do not resolve within a day or two. Any new food can potentially cause these symptoms as well as allergies.
What about leaves, rind, and seeds?
Unless it is seedless remove its seeds and rind as these two are hard to digest. Kitties don’t have enzymes to digest such plant materials. Avoid this melon’s leaves or plant too.
Additionally, the “seeds can also cause gastrointestinal upset and potential blockage in some cats” as Petplace says. Some sources ,  note that seeds the have amygdalin which may be converted to cyanide by some naturally occurring gastrointestinal bacteria. Cyanide is very toxic.
Finally, when giving your cat this fruit, it should be fresh, and you need to cut it into small pieces to make eating easier and reduce choking hazards which rarely happen.
Why do cats love watermelons?
Although they have only a small amount of amino acids, some of these amino acids have an aroma that makes them smell like meat notes research on Branched-chain and aromatic amino acid catabolism into aroma volatiles in Cucumis melo L. fruit published in the Journal of Experimental Botany.
It is not the sweetness that attracts cats since these pets do not have taste buds for sweet things.
While your cat may love a crunchy and fleshy piece of watermelon or even its juice, give them only as a treat since it has little dietary value. Sometimes, your cat may love playing with this fruit. This is normal.