Why Do Some Cats Love Watermelons?

You wouldn’t think cats would go near a watermelon. But some cats adore them. I don’t know why but I can guess, although my guess is quite possibly wrong. I couldn’t find an answer on the internet.

Watermelons are sweet and juicy with quite a firm texture to bite into. The “meat” of the watermelon is red. They are a very healthy food for humans. I’m told that they contain an amino acid called L-citrulline, which the human body converts to L-arginine. I am not sure whether this is significant. Cat might like watermelons be because L-arginine very important to a cat. Perhaps cats are able to detect this particular amino acid in watermelons through smell.

Perhaps the most obvious reason why quite a lot of domestic cats like watermelons is because the “flesh” of the watermelon (the bit inside) appears similar to bloodied flesh. The firm texture may also feel a bit like flesh when eaten by a domestic cat. Cats like eating animal flesh, obviously. There is lots of water in a watermelon and the classic domestic cat prey, the mouse, is made up of 70% water. So there are similarities between the watermelon and the mouse!

One big difference is that watermelons are sweet in flavour. You would have thought that it would put off a cat. You may know, though, that the domestic cat cannot taste sweetness in foods and therefore it is irrelevant that the watermelon tastes sweet.

A domestic cat eating watermelon looks odd but it isn’t that far from a domestic cat eating a mouse from the cat’s point of view. The cat in the video is a Persian.

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Michael Broad

Hi, I'm a 71-year-old retired solicitor (attorney in the US). Before qualifying I worked in many jobs including professional photography. I have a girlfriend, Michelle. I love nature, cats and all animals. I am concerned about their welfare.

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  • Molly seems to like it. I think that when a cat drinks water it doesn’t get so much in it’s mouth lapping it up like they do. Infact they are mean’t to hydrate through food.

    But

    I would guess that for a cat, a bit of water melon is about the largest amount of liquid/water they would ever in their mouth since the melon holds til you start to chew on the piece.

    So it must be a very wet and refreshing thing for a cat - and very natural too. They like the organic smells of plants and grasses and fruits I find.

  • OMGosh!! Our Abby LOVED watermelon juice which she would steal from my husbands breakfast plate - quite unfortunately, it gave her terrible diahhrea... eeks!

  • This is a new one for me.
    I've never had a cat interested in watermelon.
    Maybe the water content has something to do with it.
    Cheerios, sour cream, and apples are fairly popular.

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