It is almost common knowledge that pumpkin can be beneficial to dogs. Can the same thing be said about pumpkin for cats?
Yes. It can!
As it turns out pumpkin can be just as beneficial to our feline companions. Aside from being a tasty treat, a little pumpkin here and there can offer major health benefits to any cat. Throughout this post, I will teach you how beneficial pumpkin can be for your cat as well as what type of pumpkin is the best to buy.
Pumpkin for Cats: Is Pumpkin Good for Cats?
Most pet owners are aware of how delicious pumpkin can be for themselves. However, with the latest holistic pet food trend, many pet owners are starting to learn how beneficial pumpkin can be for both dogs and cats. Aside from just being a treat that most cats will love, pumpkin can benefit cats in a variety of ways, similar to how it can benefit dogs. These benefits can range from helping to combat hairballs to even providing a source of additional hydration.
Canned Pumpkin for Cats vs. Pumpkin Seeds
- Important vitamins such as Vitamin A
- Essential fatty acids
- Essential minerals such as Magnesium, Zinc, Copper, Iron, Potassium, and Manganese
- Dietary Fiber
- Natural Antioxidants
Benefits of Pumpkin for Cats
Now that you understand what kind of nutritional benefits are within pumpkin, let’s take a closer look at the true benefits of feeding pumpkin to your cat regularly.
1. Packed with Essential Nutrients
Pumpkin may be low in calories and rich in natural sugars, but it is also rich in essential nutrients cats need. Some of the nutrients that can be found in pumpkin include:
- Vitamin A-needed to maintain a healthy immune system and protect vision.
- Vitamin C-needed to support collagen synthesis.
- Vitamin E-acts as a natural antioxidant and helps to regulate enzyme activity.
- Alpha Carotene-a natural antioxidant that helps to prevent cell damage.
- Calcium-needed to support bone and teeth growth.
- Iron-helps to produce hemoglobin, support cell respiration, and oxidation.
- Lutein-helps to support eye, coat and skin health.
- Potassium-regulates blood pressure, boosts the metabolism and helps support healthy muscles.
- Phosphorus-helps to support bone growth.
- Magnesium-helps to absorb potassium, zinc, and calcium. Needed for muscle regeneration and function.
2. Pumpkin, Cats, and Diarrhea
If you have a cat that suffers from loose stools or tends to get an upset stomach after eating, feeding a bit of pumpkin with each meal may help to settle their stomach. Pumpkin is a rich source of fiber, which can help alleviate most digestive issues. Just one tablespoon of pumpkin can help to make loose stools firm and help to promote regular bowel movements.
3. Helps to Keep Cats Hydrated
One of the things most cat owners are unaware of is how much water is contained within pumpkin. Pumpkin is made up of 90% water, which can keep cats hydrated during the summer. It can help not only keep cats hydrated (important since cats drink very little water as is), but it can also help to support healthy skin and promote a shiny coat.
4. Maintenance of a Healthy Weight
If you have an overweight cat that could lose a few pounds, adding some pumpkin to their food to replace a small portion of it can go a long way. Pumpkin is a low-calorie snack that can help cats feel full for longer periods of time without having to add fiber supplements to their daily feeding.
5. Support Urinary Health
Pumpkin flesh is loaded with antioxidants which can help to support urinary health in cats. One of the nutrients pumpkins contain is Omega 3 fatty acids, a nutrient that is known to have anti-inflammatory properties. These properties can help to naturally remove kidney stones and support healthy bladder function. It can also reduce incontinence leakage.
6. Constipation Relief for Cats
One of the best ways to gauge how healthy a cat is, is to study how many times they pass a bowel movement during the day and to look at the consistency of the movement. Most cats who have firmer stools may have a much harder time passing them. This can lead to strained muscles, possibly damaging them in the process. When you give your cat a dose of pumpkin, with the fiber it contains, it can help to make passing these firmer bowel movements much easier and alleviate constipation altogether.
7. Support Skin and Coat Health
As I said multiple times so far, pumpkin is rich in antioxidants and Omega 3 fatty acids. The fatty acids in pumpkin are known to help support healthy skin and help to promote a shiny coat. In addition, the water content found in pumpkin can also help to moisturize the skin.
8. A Natural Anti-Parasitic
Some of the most common types of parasites that can affect felines include roundworms and tapeworms. These parasites can cause destruction in a cat’s body, specifically affecting the digestive system.
In a specific study, pumpkin was found to contain an amino acid known as Cucurbitine. This amino acid was found to reduce faecal egg counts as well as inhibited parasite motility.
9. Support Healthy Vision
Pumpkin is rich in Vitamin A, an essential vitamin important to support eye health. Pumpkin can also help support a cat’s night vision and even help to prevent optical degeneration illnesses. It is just as beneficial to cats as it is in humans.
10. Act as an Anti-Aging Supplemental
I for one, know what it’s like to want our pets to live forever. Unfortunately, many of them tend to leave us well before we are ready. Pumpkin is a natural source of antioxidants and beta-carotene, two nutrients that can help slow the aging process and to support healthy joints as pets get older.
How to Feed Pumpkin to Cats
One important thing you need to understand is that not all parts of a pumpkin should be treated equally, especially when it comes to feeding it to cats. There are wrong and right ways to feed pumpkin.
Don’t Feed Your Cat:
- Pumpkin pulp
- Raw pumpkin
- The skin of the pumpkin
- The stem
- Pumpkin pie filling
What to Feed Your Cat:
What is The Best Canned Pumpkin for Cats?
With many options available, it can sometimes be difficult to find the best kind of canned pumpkin to feed your cat. Every can of canned pumpkin you find shouldn’t be treated as one and the same. You should avoid canned pumpkin such as pumpkin pie filling or canned pumpkin pie as they contain xylitol, a toxic ingredient for both dogs and cats.
Avoid canned pumpkin products that contain:
- Unnecessary spices
- Unnecessary additives
I highly recommend sticking with simple plain and organic canned pumpkin. I personally use this kind of pumpkin in many of my homemade treat recipes. I like to stick with 100% organic pumpkin so I don’t risk toxicity to my pets.
Pumpkin for Cats: The Bottomline
If you are anything like me, you want the very best for your cat. That is why I make it a point to understand your own concerns as if they were my own. Pumpkin can be a safe alternative to other supplements that may necessarily upset your cat’s stomach. It can also be a tasty treat to spoil your cat with.
Want to add more pumpkin into your cat’s regular diet? Check out our list of the Top 10 Pumpkin cat foods here!
What do you think of pumpkin? Do you think it can be just as beneficial to your cat that it can be for you? Let me know in the comment section below!