Updated: August 4, 2022 by Kristen Chapple
As you are feasting on a big slice of juicy, sweet, mouth watering cantaloupe, you might notice a couple of green eyes protruding from that ball of fur and watching your every move. Even though the look on her face doesn’t exactly betray starvation, someone’s very curious to get a nip. But is she supposed to have one and can cats eat cantaloupe?
Cantaloupe has been around for tens of thousands of years, since the time of ancient Egyptians. Cats were their favorite animals too. Hell, they considered them divine and made them gods – everything a cat could ever want! Maybe Egyptians struggled with the same dilemma like you do today. When the kitty sniffs the slice, will she just walk away with scorn or devour it and ask for more? (Or maybe even bury it in the litter box, as an act of protest. That’s what my cat usually does when he dislikes new food.)
And if yours is one of those weird cats that admire fruits, is it safe for him to eat cantaloupe in particular?
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What Is It About Cantaloupe That Attracts Some Cats?
My cat loves to sniff things. His little nose is so eager for new experiences that it sometimes gets into conflict with his taste buds – he licks a thing, as if to confirm that it is indeed edible, and just turns around and utters a squeamish “meh” before meowing for meat. That won’t stop him from sniffing it again tomorrow, of course. It might have changed, who knows?
There aren’t many scientific studies about the cats’ affection for melons (cantaloupe, watermelon, honeydew, etc), so we will have to give it our best guess. One of those guesses has to be the smell. Cantaloupe’s irresistible aroma springs from amino acids, organic compounds whose basic form comes in proteins – yes, meat! So, it may be that cats can actually sniff out this relation.
As for the taste, it is sweet alright. But your cat couldn’t care less for that. Humans and dogs do have a sweet tooth, but felines just don’t. Thankfully!
Can Cats Eat Cantaloupe and Melons in General?
To put it simply – yes. It isn’t toxic for them, according to ACPCA (American Association for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals). It won’t hurt the nutritional balance in their tiny organisms. There’s a bunch of stuff that aren’t substantial to your cat’s nutrition and health but can be fed to them in moderation. Add cantaloupe to this list as cats can eat cantaloupe.
Now, should they eat it and how often? You’re definitely not supposed to replace a proper meal with a cube of cantaloupe. If your cat likes it, a bite or two from time to time won’t hurt anything – but that’s not to say it should become a regular. This is just to say that you have no reason to scream in horror when you notice an orange parcel coming from the kitty’s mouth. Treat cantaloupe like an occasional treat and that’s it!
Just like cabbage, lettuce and some other fruits and vegetables, melon can actually serve as a substitution for grass. A little cube every now and then can actually distract your cat from chewing on your houseplants!
What’s the Safest Way of Feeding Cantaloupe to Your Cat?
Cantaloupe skin can contain or develop many harmful bacteria such as Salmonella. So, you will want to make sure to thoroughly wash the melon and scrub everything off the skin before peeling it, since you don’t want anything nasty to end up on that juicy slice. You will need to remove every bit of skin and all the seeds. If ingested, they could make a mess in your cat’s little belly.
If your furry bundle of joy is one of those quirky felines who are crazy about cantaloupe, it’s entirely up to you prevent their overeating! Maybe you can mash up a cube or two with the cat’s regular meal. That way, she will get to enjoy her favorite treat while not disturbing the delicate nutritional balance. And those one or two little cubes is all she’s allowed to get – remember, cantaloupe is full of sugar, which can be really bad for felines’ health!
Basic Facts About Cantaloupe
I know, your cat doesn’t care about facts. If he loves melon, he’ll go bonkers when around it. If he doesn’t, there’s not a person in this world he would listen to.
The fact is, cantaloupe is a really good nutritional source. It is packed full of vitamins A, C, B, as well as magnesium, calcium, potassium and other beneficial ingredients. But all of these vitamins are practically lost on your cat. Everything he needs is already in his food, provided it’s premium quality.
Now for a feature that can be helpful – cantaloupe is great for hydration, since over 90% of it is water. A little bit of it can actually be good for the kitty on a hot summer day, since many felines tend to forget about drinking water.
So, my final point is: never forget that your cat is an obligate carnivore. As much as she may enjoy having a non-carnivorous snack from time to time, meat has to be a lion’s share of her diet.