Can Cats Eat Pumpkin?
Can cats eat pumpkin? Most cat parents type this question in their search engines in the hope of finding an answer and some solace in what they discover. The prevalence of this question skyrockets around the Halloween season. So what does this mean? Well, for one, it only means that most cat owners doubt the benefits of pumpkins for their beloved cats and that some cats have shown some negative reaction to this type of human food.
So now, let’s jump right into it. Should you feed your cat pumpkin? The answer to this is a resounding yes. As a matter of fact, you can go as far as I did – incorporate pumpkin into your cat’s daily diet. As we shall point out later on in this piece, pumpkins are great treatments for diarrhea and constipation.
At this point, I should point out that your cat has actually been feeding on pumpkin for a long time – you just did not know it. How? Well, most canned foods have pumpkin as an ingredient. As such, if it were poisonous, most of these cat foods would be banned, and we would have at some point experienced health problem with cats all over.
Benefits of Feeding Pumpkins to Your Cat
You can serve your cat with pumpkin in some ways. However, the best is serving the pumpkin plain, cooked and unflavoured. This way, the pumpkin features lots of benefits to your cat.
As you are aware, pumpkin is rich in fiber. It is the reason why humans force themselves to eat them. I say forced because most people do not like their taste. But the case is different with cats. Their sense of taste is not as developed as that of humans and as such the pumpkin taste is not an issue. But that aside, pumpkins can provide up to a whopping 5 grams of fibre for each cup served.
So yes, it is rich in fiber, but how does the fiber benefit your cat? Fibber is nutritious to all animals, cats included. Their nutritional level does vary from one animal to the next depending on how efficient its digestive system is, but beneficial nonetheless.
1. Full of Fiber
Fiber helps to prevent constipation in cats. Fibber is more of a laxative. It helps to loosen the fecal matter. Also, it is known to help improve regular bowel movement in your feline.
2. Treating Diarrhoea
Soluble fiber present in pumpkins works to absorb extra water that may otherwise pass through the digestive system. This helps to relieve diarrhoea in your cat. For both constipation and diarrhea, a small amount of pumpkin should be enough to relieve your cat of its discomfort. In a few hours, you should start noticing some major improvement.
3. Cat’s Weight
the fiber in the pumpkin will help you control it better. How so? Well, fiber is usually low in calories. It does, however, give a feeling of being full for longer. As such, your cat will feed on small amounts of food and feel full for a prolonged period.
4. Get rid of hairballs in your pet’s digestive tract.
With the improved regular bowel movements, the swallowed hairballs will be pushed out of the cat’s system in no time and with great ease.
In addition to being rich in fibre, pumpkins are also rich in Vitamin A which is known to help improve vision. Sure a cat’s vision is great; however, it does need to be maintained. Vitamin A is a great nutrient for this purpose.
It is also noteworthy that pumpkins are rich in Vitamin C. a single cup of Vitamin C contains about 11mg of this vitamin known to promote and strengthen the immune system.
How Much is Too Much?
Now that we have answered the question can cats eat pumpkin, it is also vital that we delve into another matter; how much pumpkin is good for your cat. Is there a threshold past which things start rolling downhill?
Given the pumpkin benefits we have just outlined above, it can prove to be very tempting for cat parents to populate their cat’s diet with pumpkin. But it is important to bear in mind that too much of anything is poisonous. Having too much of the said fruit can reap adverse effects. That said, it is recommended that a limit is set to the pumpkin portions fed to cats. This will help to maximize its benefits.
In the case of an adult cat, you can start him off with just a half a teaspoon of pumpkin on a daily basis. After a few days or even a week, this portion can be raised to a full teaspoon.
If you prefer feeding your cat on pumpkin seeds, you should start very small. Make the portion about a sixteenth of a teaspoon. With pumpkin seeds, before you increase this ration, you might want to consult with a professional vet. This will help you remain on the safe side of things.
How Should You Feed Your Cat Pumpkin?
Lets’ start with pumpkin seeds; how does one prepare these for the cat? During my research, I came across a recommendation for cleaning the pumpkin seeds and roasting them for about an hour at temperatures of about 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
When preparing the pumpkins, you should refrain from adding any spices or even salt to it. Adding salt or spices may lead to a stomach upset. Most of the spices available in local shops include ingredients such as cinnamon, ginger, cloves, and nutmeg. All these ingredients can help in one way or the other manifest negative symptoms in cats.
Take cinnamon for instance. It can lead to vomiting, diarrhoea and a variation in the heart rate which can be life-threatening. On the other hand, Nutmeg will also increase the blood pressure and the heart rate. Ginger has in the past been linked to stomach problems in cats and cloves cause liver toxicity.
If you please, you also can feed your cat canned pumpkin. However, before jumping on these canned pumpkins, you should read up on the ingredients and ensure that the particular canned food is free from fillers and additives.
How Can One Preserve Canned Pumpkin for Cats?
While the answer to ‘can cats eat canned pumpkin’ the answer is yes, truth be told, a 15 ounce can of pumpkin is just too much for the cat to devour in a single seating. This is unless of course, you have dozens of cats in your home.
Now, this realization opens up another different can of worms – how do I store the canned pumpkin? You know that storing it in the fridge will not do anything to keep it fresh for more than a week. So what is the best way of storing the canned pumpkin?
The best way is to preserve the canned pumpkin contents in an ice cube tray and placing them in a freezer. When the cubes freeze, pack them neatly in a freezer bag.
Whenever you need to feed your cat with pumpkin, simply thaw a single ice cube then leave the remaining cubes in the fridge for a later date.
Can cats eat pumpkin? Yes. Pumpkin is actually one of the few foods that professional vets can recommend being fed to cats. What is even better and more impressive is the fact that the fruit can be incorporated into your cat’s feline diet without negative effects.
You can feed your cat fresh and plain pumpkin, or you can have it cooked. You also can feed your cat with canned pumpkin and its seeds. Be sure to follow recommendations for each though.