When you think of cat treats, fruit might not be at the top of your list. Cats are obligate carnivores—they get pretty much all their nutrition from meat. But cats are known to be curious about plant foods, and some fruits are okay in moderation. That includes honeydew. The ASPCA advises that it’s safe and non-toxic for cats—so if your cat wants a bite, go right ahead!
Benefits & Drawbacks of Honeydew
When you eat honeydew, there’s a range of good benefits that you get from it. Aside from healthy sugars, it’s full of moisture and vitamins like folate, vitamin K, and magnesium. But cats and humans have nutritional needs that are very different, and it’s unclear what will translate over.
When it comes to cats and honeydew, it’s likely that any vitamins they process will be negligible compared to their normal food. But that doesn’t mean that it’s totally benefit-free. Honeydew is around 90% water, and that moisture is good for your cat. It might also be a cool, refreshing treat with a satisfying texture. Many cats get dehydrated when fed just dry food, so letting your cat munch on a tiny bit of fruit can help with that.
That doesn’t mean it’s all great, though. Honeydew also contains sugar, and that’s not so healthy. Although a little bit of sugar isn’t bad for your cat, felines aren’t built to process plant sugars, and too much sugar can lead to health problems. That’s why it’s smart to keep fruit snacking to just a few bites here and there.
Safely Feeding Honeydew
If you do decide to share honeydew with your cat, start by removing any rind and seeds. These could be choking hazards or intestinal blockers and aren’t very digestible. Give your cat a few small, bite-sized pieces. Or if your cat likes to nibble, you can let your cat take a few bites from a long slice that’s too big to swallow. Avoid pieces that might be a choking hazard. Remember, sugary fruits are an occasional snack, not a meal. A few bites can be good for your cat, but you shouldn’t feed honeydew to your cat every day.
Other Yummy Snacks for Cats
If your cat likes one fruit, it might like others. Small amounts of fruits like banana, mango, watermelon, and apples (without the seeds) are good for your cat. You can also try veggies like cucumbers, cooked carrots, and pumpkin.
If you think your cat is eating fruit because of heat or lack of water, consider making some changes to bring moisture into your cat’s diet. Freezing sp oonfuls of canned food or bits of low-sodium meat broth in an ice cube tray can be a great way to give your cat some extra fluids and keep things cool in the summer. Consider adding multiple water dishes throughout the house or a water fountain to encourage water drinking as well. Make sure to position water dishes away from food bowls and litter trays.
Honeydew can be a safe, yummy treat for cats. The moisture and texture of the food might be interesting to your cat, and some are more adventurous than others. So if it’s often on your plate, why not let your cat have a bite as well?
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