Can Cats Eat Pumpkin? What are the Benefits?

cat with their paws on top of a pumpkin

It’s fall season and every year pumpkin and all things pumpkin-spiced are increasingly popular. What better time than to ask yourself if your cat can eat pumpkin? Are there any benefits to giving pumpkin to your cat? What about pumpkin-spiced treats?

This article informs you about cats eating pumpkins as well as pumpkin-spiced treats. Read further and find out everything you need to know.

Can Cats Eat Pumpkin?

Cats can, in fact, eat pumpkin. The squash is not only safe for them to eat, but it is also exceptionally healthy to them too. Keep in mind that if you are considering giving pumpkin to your cat, make sure to ask your vet first. They will give you better advice on how to safely feed them, how often you can feed them, and how much they are allowed to eat. While this article is informative, it only gives you general instructions that apply to most cats. And not all cats are the same. Your vet knows your cat better than anyone else. So, be sure to consult them first.

Health Benefits to Pumpkin

Giving pumpkin to your cat offers quite a few benefits. Pumpkin contains vitamin A, C & E, fiber, iron, calcium, and lutein. Vitamin A helps maintain your cat’s immune system and good vision. Vitamin C is a catalyst for enzymatic reactions and collagen synthesis. Vitamin E is an antioxidant and regulator of enzymatic activity.

Moreover, the richness in fiber contributes to a number of important health benefits for your cat:

  • Weight control: Fiber makes you feel full by consuming fewer calories. This can result to weight loss which can be extremely beneficial for obese cats. Note that, you must always consult your vet for any dietary plans.
  • Treatment of diarrhea: Fiber absorbs excess water in the digestive tract and as a result, it can reduce or relieve diarrhea.
  • Constipation treatment: Fiber is also a good laxative that helps the GI tract move in regular patterns.
  • Hairball treatment: Just like constipation, fiber can relieve hairballs in cats..

Pumpkin Choices for your Cat

Pumpkin comes in two forms: canned and raw. And you can safely feed them either of the two:

  • Canned pumpkin is very popular for cats because you do not need much preparation for it. Simply make sure you are getting plain, unsweetened pumpkin and not pumpkin pie filling for them. You can also find it all year round unlike fresh pumpkin. You may refrigerate it for up to a week after you open.
  • Raw pumpkin can be served raw or cooked. Do not feed your cat the stem, skin, or pulp of the pumpkin. These do not contain any nutritional value for your cat unlike the flesh. Chop up the flesh into bite-size pieces or blend it into a purée.

Can Cats Eat Pumpkin Spice Products?

Pumpkin spice products do not always contain pumpkins. For this reason, pumpkin spice products will not give your cat any of the health benefits that pumpkin itself has to offer. Moreover, pumpkin spice is oftentimes a mix of cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, cloves, and allspice. Each of the ingredients, from cinnamon to nutmeg and cloves, can cause mild to severe reactions to your cat:

  • Cinnamon: vomiting, diarrhea, reduced blood sugar, mouth & lung irritation, changes in heart rate, liver problems.
  • Nutmeg: dry mouth, stomach pain, hallucinations, disorientation, high blood pressure, increased heart rate, seizures.
  • Ginger: stomach pain, lethargy
  • Cloves & allspice: liver toxicity

In Conclusion

Cats can safely eat pumpkin whether it’s raw or canned as long as you consult your vet first. You may safely offer them pumpkins in small, bite-size pieces and enjoy the fall season together!

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