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No, there’s more to life than kibbles and swill! Cats are very curious animals by nature and they like to taste many foods, especially those that we humans enjoy.
These foods include fruit in general, and melon (also known as cantaloupe) in particular. But, can cats eat melon without it being dangerous for their health?
Well, that’s what we will see in this article!
Can Cats Eat Melon?
In short, the answer is yes. Cats can safely eat melon because melon is not toxic to cats.
Cats are curious animals, which is why they like to try new treats or foods. Some cats may try a new food here and there.
Also, you may have seen cats eat melon with great pleasure, and they are really crazy about melons.
However, why cats love to eat melon remains a mystery. There is a lot of speculation around the question, it could be the texture, taste and sensation.
Why Do Cats Like to Eat Melon?
What could explain why many cats like melon comes from a study conducted on what are called “volatiles”, which evaporate to give their smell to food.
According to this study, volatile substances derived from amino acids are the main contributors to the aroma of melon. And amino acids are the building blocks of proteins.
Most of the amino acids present in meat are also present in melons, although in much smaller quantities, so for cats, melons probably have a meaty smell.
It is not possible to say exactly what the smell of meat is for a cat. Most of them are attracted to meat and this is logical, because carnivorous animals are very sensitive to all meat compounds.
This may be the reason for their interest in melon. It is therefore safe to say that your feline is not attracted to melon for any nutritional reason.
The reason is that melon produces an odor similar to that of meat proteins. So they would simply eat melon thinking that it is a kind of meat.
There are other theories about why cats like melon. Scientists have discovered that cats are the only mammal that does not have the ability to detect the sweetness in food, they think it may be an acquired behavior.
What Are the Health Benefits of Melon for Cats?
Does melon have beneficial effects on the health of your feline friend? As far as nutrition is concerned, no, your cat wouldn’t get much out of eating melon.
Indeed, cats are obligatory carnivores. That’s why your feline friend is so inclined to ignore non-carnation foods such as apples, bananas, pineapples and broccoli.
All strict carnivores must satisfy all their nutritional needs by eating foods based on animal proteins.
However, it likes to have more than just the taste of meat. As a result, their dietary needs and digestive capacities have been modified. A direct result of their adaptations.
Looking at their nutritional profile, melons contain valuable nutrients, including carbohydrates, fibre, vitamins, minerals and small amounts of fat and protein (amino acids).
Your cat will benefit from minerals such as calcium, iron, manganese, phosphorus, potassium, zinc and sodium as well as vitamins A, C, K, folic acid, vitamin B6, thiamine, riboflavin, niacin, choline and pantothenic acid.
However, the fact that it is nutritious or that felines like it does not mean that it is good for them. That’s why it should be consumed in moderation.
That said, your cat may benefit a little bit from eating fruits such as melon, watermelon and other melons. Melon is rich in antioxidants, which will help reduce the risk of heart disease, cognitive decline generally associated with aging, and cancer, infections and arthritis.
That’s why antioxidants can destroy free radicals. These are the particles that cause much of the cellular damage that leads to mutations in our cats. This is believed to be the cause of many fatal diseases.
Now here’s a feature that may be useful: melon is excellent for hydration, since it contains more than 90% water.
Even a small amount can be beneficial to the cat on a hot summer day, as many felines tend to forget about water.
Can Melon Be Dangerous for my Cat?
The main problem with melon, as with all fruits in general, is that they are rich in sugar. This can lead to weight gain problems in cats and even diabetes.
The other problem of the melon comes from the skin. If the skin is ingested by the cat, it can cause gastrointestinal problems due to its fibrous texture.
On the other hand, melons contain many seeds inside. While these are theoretically harmless to the cat, it is still best to make sure that your cat does not eat them.
Also avoid your cat licking the skin of the melon, which may contain pesticides and other hazardous materials, as well as bacteria.
How Should I Give Melon to my Cat?
If you decide to give melon to your cat, first make sure to remove the skin and seeds from the fruit. Then cut it into small pieces before serving it to your cat.
However, every pet owner must keep in mind that too much of anything is terrible and that is why he must give his pet a new treat in sufficient quantity to avoid health problems.
What Parts of the Melon Should I Give my Cat?
The best way to give melon to your cat is to cut it into pieces or crush it before serving it to your cat to avoid any risk of choking.
Melon can be mixed with your cat’s kibble as a treat. You must make sure that the fruit is pure.
Cats are sometimes very picky. Some cats may not like the fruit.
Don’t forget to observe your cat’s reactions because cats are very picky eaters. Your cat may not like to eat melon.
So, if you notice that your cat does not eat melon or refuses to eat it, do not force it to eat it. Melon is not a survival food for cats.
How Much Melon is Safe for my Cat?
Cats can eat melon in moderation. Many cats like to eat melon more than any other fruit.
We know that cats eat meat. But many pet owners like to discover that their furry friend is more than just a devoted meat eater.
Most fruits are safe for cats, melon is one of them. So there’s no need to panic if you discover your cat licking the cubed melon you left on the table.
You will even discover that it is not only your cat, many cats all over the world like to eat melon from time to time as a treat.
All this in moderation, of course. So be careful and be aware of the consequences of the treat you are going to introduce into your pet’s life. But don’t forget that, as with everything, moderation is essential.
Conclusion: Can Cats Eat Melon?
Melon is therefore a safe option for healthy cats. So we can safely answer a big “Yes” to the question: Can cats eat melon?
The good thing is that they are low in calories and fat, non-toxic and generally well tolerated.
As with any new food, watch for any negative effects or reactions of your cat after eating melon. If he shows any, you must then stop feeding him the fruit.