Cats have a diet you have to monitor closely to keep them in good health. During the Halloween season, pumpkins are everywhere, and cats are tempted to eat them. But are pumpkins safe for cats to eat?
Certain types of pumpkins are safe for cats to eat. Raw pumpkins are hard for cats to chew on, and they’re not good on their digestion system. However, canned, cooked, and baked pumpkins are safe for cats to eat.
The rest of this article will cover raw pumpkins, canned pumpkins, cooked pumpkins, and baked pumpkins.
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Raw Pumpkins Are Not Good For Cats
If you were to go to your local pumpkin patch and grab one of those large pumpkins for your cat to eat, that wouldn’t be a good idea. Not only is the skin too tough for the cat to chew through, but the inside of the pumpkin isn’t good for them as well.
Pumpkins are great for carving, and while you’re cleaning the juice and seeds out of the pumpkin, it may be tempting to give your cat some of it. However, please don’t do that. There are multiple reasons, but the main one is that your cat won’t be able to digest it.
The texture of the insides of pumpkins isn’t meant to be eaten by cats. It’s very slimy and stringy, and those two qualities are hard for a cat’s stomach to process. The safest way to feed your cat pumpkin is by giving them something canned, cooked, or baked.
Canned Pumpkins Are Good For Cats
Canned pumpkins are healthy and safe for cats, but you need to get the right canned pumpkin. Read the ingredients of the can you’re choosing and make sure it’s not overly seasoned. Most canned pumpkins don’t do this, but there is a specific type that does.
The specific type is pumpkin pie filling. These are cheap cans, and they’re a popular type of canned pumpkin. However, these fillings are seasoned and too heavy on a cat’s stomach. Your cat won’t be in any danger if you accidentally give them this, but they will be uncomfortable.
On Amazon, sellers do have specific canned pumpkin brands made for cats. To check if the canned pumpkin will be good for your cat, make sure there aren’t any added sugars, fillers, spices, and additives. Products without those are the best for your cat.
For the best results, give your cat small amounts of the canned pumpkin to see how they react to it. If they like the canned pumpkin, keep giving it to them. You can also check with your local vet to see just how much you should be feeding them based on their health.
However, giving them a couple teaspoons of pumpkin whether it be straight up or mixed into their food, won’t harm them. If you want to give them a lot of pumpkin, such as several tablespoons, check with your vet before doing so.
Cooked Pumpkins Are Safe For Cats
Since pumpkin is a source of fiber, it’s great for helping a cat’s health. Some of the benefits are improved digestion, preventing hairball buildups, and settling down upset stomachs. Cooked pumpkin is a way to get these benefits, and there are a few recipes you can try.
One of the best types of cooked pumpkin is mashed pumpkin. Make sure when feeding your cat with pumpkins, you don’t add any salt. It won’t endanger them if you add a small amount of salt, but it’ll make them dehydrated and uncomfortable. Avoid salt as much as you can.
By cooking the pumpkin, you’ll add more texture to it and also give the cat a new source of nutrition. This makes them more eager to eat, and you’re giving them healthy food that helps with their digestive system. After cooking a pumpkin, you can also bake it.
Baked Pumpkins Are Good For Cats
After doing some cooking, some cat owners like to bake their pumpkins too. This baking gives the pumpkin a crisp feel that cats like. The best part about baking pumpkins for cats is that there are so many different ways to bake it, and those ways are all safe for your cat.
Cats like eating roasted seeds. However, don’t give it to them raw. Clean the seeds and prepare them in your oven. The best way to do this is by putting them on a large tray and baking them in your oven at 350 degrees for an hour. After, put the seeds in a grinder and grind it on their food.
Another way you can feed your cat baked pumpkin is by baking a fresh squash. However, unlike before, make sure the seeds are not inside it. Even though cats like roasted seeds, baking the seeds while they’re inside the pumpkin does not guarantee them to be safe to eat.
The best part about baking a fresh, plain pumpkin for your cat is that it’s very simple and easy. All you have to do is bake it in your oven until the pumpkin is soft enough to eat. From there, give it to your cat in small quantities and see how they like it.
Pumpkins that are canned, cooked, and/or baked are safe and good for cats. However, raw pumpkin is not good for them since the seeds are uncooked and the texture of the pumpkin juice is slimy and stringy. That means it’s not good for their digestive system.
Canned pumpkin is a great choice as long as there are no added sugars, additives, fillers, and spices. Cooked pumpkin is a great choice too since you’re giving them a source of fiber that improves their digestive health. There’s also many online recipes you can use.
Baked pumpkin is the best since it has the most versatility. There’s plenty of recipes, and you can even bake the seeds to give them roasted seeds. You can grind those seeds into their meal to make them more eager to eat.