While pumpkin spice season only lasts a couple of months, pumpkin is often hailed as a cure-all in the animal world. It’s tasty, it’s healthy, and most pets can’t get enough of it. While it’s well-known that giving pumpkin to dogs can be beneficial for digestive health, can cats eat pumpkin?
The good news is that pumpkin can be just as beneficial to cats as it is to dogs! In fact, offering your kitty a bit of pumpkin once and a while, especially if they are experiencing digestive issues, can be a great home remedy as well as a great treat.
In this article, we’ll cover the following:
- Can Cats Eat Pumpkin?
- Can Kittens Eat Pumpkin?
- Can Cats Eat Pumpkin Seeds?
- Can Cats Eat Pumpkin for Constipation?
- Can Cats Eat Pumpkin for Diarrhea?
Can Cats Eat Pumpkin?
Yes, cats can eat pumpkin! Pumpkin, canned or fresh, contains a ton of healthy vitamins and minerals such as vitamin A, vitamin C, and alpha-carotene. Pumpkin is also very rich in fiber. Its moist consistency can also be very helpful in treating kitty constipation and diarrhea.
But, just like with all human foods, there are certain precautions you should take before giving your cat pumpkin, either for medicinal purposes or as a treat.
Here are some basic rules to follow when feeding your cat pumpkin:
- Don’t give them pumpkin pie filling! It’s easy to mix up plain, canned, pumpkin with canned pumpkin pie filling. Pumpkin pie filling contains added sugar and spices which aren’t healthy for your cat and which may make any digestive issues worse. Read the can carefully!
- Only feed your cat small amounts of pumpkin. Healthy adult cats should not consume more than ½ teaspoon of pumpkin in a day.
- If feeding fresh cooked pumpkin, make sure to remove the skin completely and only give your cat the soft flesh within.
- Don’t feed your cat raw pumpkin.
- Don’t feed your cat the leftovers of your jack-o-lantern that’s been sitting on your porch for a few weeks. It may contain mold or harmful bacteria.
This cat is really getting into the pumpkin spirit!
Can Kittens Eat Pumpkin?
In general, it’s best to avoid giving kittens any kind of human food. This is because kittens are still growing and should only be drinking plain water and eating a quality kitten food, such as Blue Wilderness Kitten food, which is grain-free and lists meat as the first ingredient.
Another good reason not to feed your kitten human food is that you risk raising a picky cat. If a kitten discovers human food when they are small, they may turn up their nose at regular cat food as they grow up.
If your veterinarian recommends a little bit of pumpkin as a natural remedy help your kitten with digestive issues, such as diarrhea or constipation, follow their instructions carefully and make sure to purchase plain canned pumpkin and not pumpkin pie filling.
There is even a special canned pumpkin formulated especially for pets, Nummy Tum-Tum, which is great to keep on hand if your cat is susceptible to digestive issues.
Can Cats Eat Pumpkin Seeds?
Pumpkin seeds can be very beneficial to feline health, as long as they are fed to your cat in the correct quantities and only on occasion.
Pumpkin seeds contain many of the health benefits that the flesh of pumpkin does, and many cats really seem to enjoy them. Pumpkin seeds also contain vitamin D, which is a very important nutrient for cats.
Make sure to only feed your cat a few pumpkin seeds at a time, and only offer them plain, unsalted pumpkin seeds! Flavored commercial pumpkin seeds contain tons of sodium and other spices that aren’t good for your cat.
Can Cats Eat Pumpkin for Constipation?
Pumpkin has a very high fiber content. Just as with human beings, fiber can be very beneficial when treating constipation. The combination of the fiber content and the moisture of the pumpkin itself can help “get things moving” for your kitty.
If you want to feed you cat pumpkin to treat constipation, here are a few tips:
- Try giving your cat plain pumpkin first. If they don’t like it, you can mix it in with their food.
- Only feed your cat plain, canned pumpkin for constipation. Be careful not to accidentally buy pumpkin pie mix, which won’t help and may make the situation worse.
- Give the pumpkin a day or so to take effect. If your cat is constipated for more than 48 hours, bring them to the vet.
Some cats like pumpkin so much that they’ll eat it right out of your hand!
Can Cats Eat Pumpkin for Diarrhea?
While it seems a little counterintuitive that pumpkin can be used to treat feline constipation as well as diarrhea, it’s true.
The fiber in pumpkin is soluble and can absorb excess moisture and water in the digestive tract, which may help reduce the symptoms of diarrhea. Try giving your cat ½ teaspoon of pumpkin with their regular food and see if the diarrhea stops.
If your cat has diarrhea for more than 24 hours, it’s best to bring them to the vet to make sure it’s nothing serious.
So, can cats eat pumpkin?
Indeed they can! If used correctly, pumpkin can have marvelous health benefits for your cat, both as a treatment for digestive issues and as a treat. Just remember to only feed them plain pumpkin and not pumpkin pie filling! Better yet, you can purchase a few cans of Nummy Tum-Tum, which is canned pumpkin specially-formulated for pets.
Does your cat love pumpkin? How have you incorporated it into their diet? Is pumpkin your go-to home remedy for kitty constipation or diarrhea? Let us know in the comments!