Cats are obligate carnivores,1 meaning they need meat to remain healthy. Still, the occasional treat is OK to give your cat as long as it contains no harmful or toxic ingredients, such as garlic, onions, chives, milk, grapes, or raisins, to name a few. Some treats may even have health benefits, and pumpkin puree is one of them, meaning pumpkin puree is safe to give your cat, as long as it is 100% pumpkin with no additives or other harmful ingredients.
Let’s explore this topic more in-depth, along with other valuable information.
Can Cats Eat Pumpkin Puree?
Yes! Cats can have a little pumpkin puree. However, ensure the pumpkin puree is 100% pumpkin with no other ingredients. For example, pumpkin pie filling is harmful due to the added milk, sugar, and spices and should be avoided. Raw pumpkin, pumpkin pulp, stem, or skin should also be avoided.
Pumpkin puree usually comes in a can you can buy at any grocery store. Some cats are picky eaters, and chances are your cat may not want it, but if your cat shows interest, go ahead and let them have a ½ tablespoon or so.
Does Pumpkin Puree Offer Health Benefits for My Cat?
Not only is 100% pure pumpkin puree safe to give your cat, but it can also provide health benefits. Pumpkin contains potassium, calcium, phosphorous, fiber, and vitamins A, C, and K. Remember, though, that cats are obligate carnivores, and their digestive system is meant to process meat. They should not be fed significant amounts of plant material. However if your cat benefits from pumpkin puree, it’s fine to add it in their food to relieve constipation. It is not likely to significantly improve digestive health in those with more problematic digestive troubles.
That said, pumpkin puree also provides relief if your cat is experiencing tummy upset. Pumpkin has high water and fiber content that can help with constipation. Pumpkin also helps with diarrhea due to its soluble fiber content, which absorbs excess water to firm up the stool. You can give your cat about ¼ cup in a day to relieve digestive issues for an adult cat and roughly 1 tablespoon for a kitten. We don’t recommend doing this for more than one day without the advice of your veterinary surgeon.
How Much Pumpkin Puree Can I Give My Cat?
A good ballpark figure when providing pumpkin as a treat is ½ teaspoon to start, but you can increase it to 1 to 2 tablespoons if necessary. You can mix ¼ cup or so with your cat’s food to relieve tummy upset. However, if your cat is not experiencing tummy issues, give pumpkin puree only as an occasional treat.
Can My Cat Have Pumpkin Seeds?
While pumpkin seeds are not toxic, they could present a choking hazard to your cat, especially if your cat eats the seeds too fast. You can grind up pumpkin seeds for an added safety measure, but in general, it’s best to avoid the seeds to be safe.
Tips For a Healthy Diet
Cats require a nutritious and balanced diet to be healthy. The amount to feed will be based on your cat’s size and energy level. Obesity is a common problem in cats, and knowing how much to feed is essential for your cat to maintain a proper weight. Feeding too many treats and too much dry food can also lead to obesity. Indoor cats with low activity levels are also at risk for obesity. Always consult your veterinarian if you’re unsure what to feed and how much.
Pumpkin puree may have some health benefits for cats, such as relieving constipation and diarrhea. For cats with regular digestive issues, we recommend taking your cat to your vet for a checkup first to ensure nothing serious is going on.
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