We love our cats. Because we love them so much, we want to make sure that they are OK. In this article, we will explain if your cat can eat pumpkin.
The short version of the answer is that cats can eat pumpkin without any issues. There are plenty of benefits for cats. Giving your cat a large amount of pumpkin could be harmful. Normal quantities should not create problems for your furry friend.
Cats Eating Pumpkin
You can’t avoid your cat looking at your food or begging for it. Our furry friends love whatever we have in our hands, and they won’t hide the fact that they want it.
The issue comes when we give our cats too much of something that is not for them. Let us not forget that their digestive system is different from ours.
Knowing that cats are mainly carnivores indicates that we should not feed them with fruits or vegetables.
In this article, we will present information about pumpkin being a good food for your cat. Also, we will explain to you the reason why you should not feed your cat with pumpkin and much more, allowing you to make an informed decision.
Are Pumpkins Poisonous To Cats?
Quantity is critical when it comes to pumpkins being toxic for your cat. No component could be considered poisonous for your cat. The amount of pumpkin is what needs to be considered.
With that in mind, how much is too much pumpkin?
To answer that question, we need to establish something first, always verify with your vet if it is ok to introduce any “human” food to your cat’s diet.
Once you have confirmed with your vet, what we recommend are the following quantities:
- For adult cats, no more than 1/2 to 1 teaspoon of pumpkin daily.
- If you are interested in feeding your cat with pumpkin seeds, it is ok but no more than 1/8 teaspoon daily.
Can Pumpkin Make A Cat Sick?
Cats are susceptible to problems in their digestive system. You need to be aware of what and how you feed your cat because it is vital.
Pumpkin is a safe food to feed your cat, and it rarely agitates your cat’s stomach. The possibility of causing issues for your furry friend is there, and you need to know how to avoid it.
It would be best if you never gave your cat raw pumpkin. Cats don’t digest pumpkin raw, and you should always cook it.
Other parts of the pumpkin that you should avoid are the following:
- The stem is sharp and can be rough on the digestive tract of your cat.
- Pumpkin skin might not be processed well by your cat.
- Pulp, the soft, almost liquid material of the pumpkin center, is a no when it comes to feeding your cat.
- Pumpkin pie, either fresh or canned, contains additives, sugar, spices, or fillers. That means don’t feed it to your cat.
What can you feed your cat (pumpkin parts)?
- Pumpkin seeds, but they preferably need to be fresh. The seeds need to be clean and roast at 350 °F for 1 hour. With no seasoning added.
- Canned pumpkin without any additives, sugar, spices, or fillers is an option you can add to your cat’s diet.
- A fresh pumpkin that you have softened after baking. It needs to be cold before serving it to your cat.
Does Pumpkin Settle A Cat’s Stomach?
We know for a fact that pumpkins have a considerable amount of fiber in them. If your cat is suffering from constipation, adding a tablespoon of pumpkin to your cat’s food is a great way to help them with that problem.
Generally speaking, pumpkins can help settle a cat’s stomach because of the amount of fiber, which helps accelerate bowel flow.
The pumpkin should not be the main character on your cat’s diet. We need to always remember that cats are carnivores. Adding pumpkin to your cat’s diet has its benefits. This section will present some of the benefits pumpkins can have in your cat’s diet.
The essential nutrients your cat will get by eating pumpkin are the following:
- Essential fiber
- Vitamins A, C, and B6
- Riboflavin and thiamine
The main benefits of feeding pumpkin to your cat are the following:
- Fiber is the principal nutritional quality of the pumpkin, and it is rich in it. Fiber could help your furry friend to have a better bowel movement.
- Weight control. If you are trying to control your cat’s weight, pumpkin is a great way to do so. The sensation of fullness that it gives and its low-calorie count is perfect for that.
- Treatment of diarrhea. Pumpkin contains soluble fiber, and this can absorb excess water in the digestive tract, reducing or relieving diarrhea.
- Constipation. As we mentioned above, the combination of fiber and moisture can help create bulk that stimulates bowel movement.
- Hairball treatment. The same way pumpkins help with constipation, they can help your cat with hairball problems.
- High nutrient content. Pumpkin is full of vitamins and other nutrients that can provide multiple benefits to your cat’s whole immune system.
- Vitamin A helps with your cat’s vision and helps maintain a healthy immune system.
- Vitamin C is a cofactor for enzymatic reactions and collagen synthesis.
- Vitamin E is a fat-soluble antioxidant and enzymatic activity regulator.
- Alpha-carotene is an antioxidant that prevents damage to cells.
- Calcium supports cytoplasmic functions and mineralizes bones and teeth.
- Iron contributes to cellular respiration, oxidation, and hemoglobin production.
- Lutein supports the health of the eyes, skin, and coat.
- Supports urinary health with its fatty acids and antioxidants.
Examples Of Human Food That Your Cat Can Eat
There are other foods consumed by humans that can also be shared with your cat. In this section, we will present a list of alternatives to share with your furry friend.
- Apples: are a great source of fiber for your cat, but you should never feed your cat with the trunks, leaves, or seeds of the apple because this is toxic for your furry friend.
- Bananas: they are great treats for your cat, but you should be careful because of the high level of sugar bananas contain. Too many bananas could harm your cat and give them weight problems.
- Blueberries. Blueberries are a great source of nutrients for your cat. Blueberries contain antioxidants that will be beneficial for your furry friend. The fiber and water content in them will be suitable for your cat.
- Strawberries. Same as blueberries, strawberries are a great source of antioxidants. They also have a good amount of vitamin C and fiber that will be great for your furry friend.
- Seedless watermelon: this is an excellent vitamin A and C source and very good for your cat’s health. Seedless watermelon can provide your cat with beta carotene, fiber, and antioxidants.
- Mangos are an excellent way to provide your cat with different vitamins like vitamin C, Vitamin B6, and Vitamin A. You should avoid giving them the skin or the seed of the mango to your cat.
- Pineapples are a great source of vitamins as are mangoes. Pineapples have vitamins A, B6, Folate, and C. Pineapples also have a good amount of good minerals for your cat, like magnesium and potassium are present in pineapples. You should avoid artificially processing pineapple (canned) fresh, natural ones to be the number one option to feed pineapple to your cat.
- Carrots: the benefits of this one are very similar in cats and humans. The lycopene contained in the carrot helps slow down the progression of vision loss with age.
Pumpkins are suitable for cats. We need to always remember that a cat’s diet has to be based on animal protein. When it comes to fruits and vegetables, they should only be a complement to your cat’s diet and never the main course.
Always remember that there are parts of the pumpkin that you should never give to your cat. The stem and the skin of the pumpkin are not suitable for your cat. The pulp of a raw pumpkin, in general, is not a healthy food option for your cat.
When fall arrives, and you start making your Jack-O-Lantern, don’t feed them to your cat. Even though you cooked them and all, they also stay outside and get filled with bacteria.
We recommend consulting with your vet before trying any of the options for your cat’s diet.
As a general rule, no more than 10% of the diet should be comprised of all the items in the article. Lastly, we recommend avoiding giving any of the food presented in this article raw to your cat.
Shawn Manaher is a serial entrepreneur but when he isn’t working, he loves dogs. He’s owned different pets over the years, and always gives a part of his heart to each pet.