Being a cat parent is daunting as you always have to ensure its health. Moreover, cats are sensitive animals. Thus, taking care of their eating habits becomes even more difficult. Cats are known to eat a variety of food, but it is still essential to keep an eye on the quantity of what they are eating.
Cantaloupe is a summer fruit that cats gravitate towards. It is like watermelon, sweet and refreshing, has low-calorie content, and is full of nutrients and fiber. However, there is always confusion over whether cantaloupe should be given to cats. Well, this fruit doesn’t provide cats with many nutrients, but it helps control their aging and susceptibility to diseases. Keep reading this article to learn more about it.
Can Cats Eat Cantaloupe?
The answer to this question of whether cats can eat cantaloupe is yes. Cats can eat cantaloupe but won’t reap the nutritional benefits humans can. According to various researchers, cantaloupe is non-toxic for cats which means it is safe to feed cantaloupe to cats but in moderation.
However, you need to understand that a cat’s body differs from a human’s. They aren’t designed to digest plant-based foods. Thus, it is difficult for them to process cantaloupe compared to humans. You should not feed them cantaloupe in excess.
Health Benefits of Cantaloupe
Cantaloupe is a summer fruit rich in several minerals and vitamins, such as vitamin C, vitamin A, magnesium, and iron. Considering all these, for us humans, cantaloupe is a healthy fruit. Although these vitamins and minerals are great for our health, they don’t have the same effect on our little fur animals.
Cats are obligate carnivores which means meat sources fulfill all their nutritional requirements. They don’t eat carbohydrates, legumes, plants, grains, or anything else, except meat. It makes up their entire diet, and cats have a bodily system designed to process raw meats easily and supply them with the nutrients they need for growth. However, we humans get nutrients from eating cantaloupe, but cats can’t.
Although these vitamins might not provide them with the health benefits it offers humans, they play the role of antioxidants. These antioxidants capture free radicals, which decrease the cat’s aging process, promote healthy cell function and reduce the chances of diseases. Moreover, the high fiber and water content in cantaloupe facilitate healthy digestion and thus prevent health issues like dehydration and constipation.
The Danger of Cantaloupe for Cats
Apart from all the benefits cantaloupes provide, the major issue is their high sugar percentage. However, the sugar is natural, which is good for humans but not for cats as they can gain weight. And weight gain can cause health issues such as diabetes. If your cat already has health issues, it is better to avoid giving them cantaloupe.
Another issue with cantaloupe is that it is like melon fruit which contains rind. If your cat eats cantaloupe, it can lead to gastrointestinal problems and impact the digestive tract. Moreover, the tough and fibrous skin of the rind can lead to choking hazards.
Additionally, the seeds of the cantaloupe can lead to choking hazards. However, they are technically safe. Moreover, the outer skin of the cantaloupe may contain harmful bacteria, pesticides, and chemicals which may lead to health issues in cats. So make sure they don’t lick it.
How to Feed Cantaloupe to a Cat?
If you want to feed cantaloupe to your cat, make sure to cut it into bite-size pieces, which are fine for cats. You can serve them the fruit on nice plates like Van Ness Pets EcoWare Cat Dish. However, ensure less quantity, as too much cantaloupe can upset their GI.
You should immediately consult your veterinarian if your cats develop symptoms such as lethargy, vomiting, and lack of appetite. Moreover, while giving any fruit to the cat, ensure it is thoroughly washed to remove bacteria and pesticides from its surface.
Also, remove the seeds and rinds from the cantaloupe before giving them to your cat. Cantaloupe can be given to cats once in a while as a treat but should not be a part of their regular diet.
Why Do Cats Seem to Like Cantaloupe?
Although cantaloupe doesn’t have many health benefits and cats do not have a sweet tooth like us, they seem to like it. This is because cantaloupe is a melon fruit, and like all other melon fruits, it produces a strong aroma. These aromas are amino-acid based, and thus cats assume it as meat.
Fruits Cats Can Eat, and Their Benefits
Apart from cantaloupe, cats can also eat other fruits, which are included in this table, along with their nutritional benefits.
|Apple||Source of vitamins, fibers, and antioxidants|
|Bananas||Rich in fiber and potassium|
|Pears||Offers cats an adequate amount of vitamins and dietary fibers|
|Blueberries||Enriched with Vitamin C|
|Strawberry||Offers Vitamin C, potassium, and fiber|
The bottom line is that cats can eat cantaloupe in moderation and a set manner. If you are giving it for the first time, ensure to provide it in a minimal quantity to check the after-effects. However, as a pet parent, you must consult a veterinarian before introducing new food to your cat.