Can Cats Eat Pumpkin?

Cuteness may earn compensation through affiliate links in this story.
Can cats have pumpkin?
Image Credit: chendongshan/iStock/GettyImages

Can cats eat pumpkin? Not only is pumpkin safe for cats to eat but it also has several health benefits, and in particular, it can help with digestive issues. Take care around the holiday season, however. Although pumpkin is safe, many of the other ingredients in your pumpkin pies and bread may be harmful.

Advertisement

Video of the Day

Pumpkin for cats

Plain pumpkin is perfectly safe for cats to eat. You can serve them pumpkin raw or cooked but be sure to remove the skin and stem completely. If you do cook the pumpkin, use a fresh pumpkin, as decorative pumpkins that have been left on the porch may have mold that can harm your cat. Can cats have pumpkin puree? Yes, you can buy canned pureed pumpkin, or you can blend it into a puree yourself.

Advertisement

Pumpkin has several health benefits, but it should be used to supplement your cat's diet rather than as a significant part of her daily food. You can feed about 1 tablespoon of pumpkin each day, but you may want to start with a smaller amount and build up. While pumpkin is nontoxic and generally safe, it is always a good idea to talk to your veterinarian before giving any type of people food to your cat.

Advertisement

Can cats have pumpkin pie mix?

Image Credit: kobeza/iStock/GettyImages

Pumpkin pie mix is not safe for your cat nor are many pumpkin recipes, including pumpkin bread. This is because of the spices that are added to these recipes. Some toxic spices that you may see include ginger, cloves, nutmeg, and cinnamon.

Advertisement

Ginger can cause lethargy and pain in the abdomen, while allspice and cloves can cause more serious liver toxicity. Nutmeg can also cause stomach pain as well as more serious symptoms, including hallucinations, high blood pressure, and seizures. Cinnamon can cause abnormal heart rate, liver problems, low blood sugar, vomiting, and diarrhea.

Advertisement

Cats and pumpkin fiber

Many cat owners cite fiber as the main reason for feeding pumpkin to their cats. Fiber can help to resolve both constipation and diarrhea in cats. Pumpkins may also help to soothe an upset stomach.

Advertisement

The fiber in pumpkin can also help to maintain even blood sugar levels, which is useful if your cat has diabetes. Just as with humans, fiber can increase satiation and fullness after a meal, so you may want to consider adding pumpkin if your cat is on a weight-loss plan.

Pumpkin does contain fiber, and this may help your cat. However, it is important to note that the amount of fiber in a single tablespoon may not be enough to make a significant difference. Fiber is not the only beneficial part of pumpkin. It is also high in vitamins A, C, and E as well as carotenoids, iron, and potassium.

Advertisement

Can cats eat pumpkin seeds?

Pumpkin seeds are safe for cats to eat, and they share many of the same benefits as the flesh of the pumpkin. Like pumpkin, the seeds are high in fiber, although the water content in the seeds is much lower. In addition, the seeds have beta-carotene, copper, zinc, and vitamins A and B12.

Advertisement

Image Credit: Okssi68/iStock/GettyImages

Consult your veterinarian before adding pumpkin seeds to your cat's diet. Most cats can eat pumpkin seeds without a problem, but if your cat doesn't chew, the seeds can be a choking hazard. Consider crushing the seeds and adding the resulting powder to your cat's regular meals. Make sure to use raw, unseasoned seeds.

Advertisement

references