It’s that time of year again, folks. Pumpkin Season.
I’m not complaining at all. I love a good pumpkin bread, pie, or a PSL from Starbucks. I’ve definitely already started decorating my house for the fall season even though it’s barely September. Here in Minnesota, though, you can already feel the chill in the air, so I think I get a pass.
Turns out that pumpkin season isn’t just delicious and fun for humans; it’s also great for your cat!
The Health Benefits of Feeding Your Cat Pumpkin
Baking your cat some pumpkin treats or simply adding a spoonful to their food can have a lot of surprising health benefits. As always, consult your vet before making changes to your cat’s diet.
A Great Source of Fiber
Vets often advice incorporating pumpkin into your cat’s diet as a treatment for constipation, as well as diarrhea. The fiber in it can help to regulate bowel movements, working as either a laxative or a way to absorb extra water in the dietary tract.
A Great Source of Vitamins
Pumpkin contains a ton of vitamins that are great for your cat. It can be a great source of Vitamin E, Vitamin A, and Vitamin C, as well as beta-carotene which can all help support a healthy immune system.
Pumpkin is also a good source of zinc which can contribute to a healthier, shinier fur coat.
A Good Way to Curb the Appetite of Overweight Cats
Obesity is the most common preventable disease in cats, according to VCA Animal Hospital.
The fiber and nutritional content of pumpkin helps add bulk to your cat’s meals, helping them feel fuller for fewer calories. Adding a spoonful or two to mealtime can be a healthy, effective way to help your cat lose weight.
How to Add Pumpkin to Your Cat’s Food
The easiest way to incorporate pumpkin is to use canned pumpkin. This is easy to scoop and mix with wet or dry food, and can also be added to a variety of treat recipes (my cats love this pumpkin tuna recipe!).
Do not buy pumpkin pie filling. Make sure to double check the ingredients before buying the canned pumpkin. If the ingredients list any additional spices or sugars, these can be harmful to your cat. The only ingredient should be pumpkin.
You can also grind up roasted pumpkin seeds and add to their food. Again, be sure that the pumpkin seeds are plain and do not contain any spices or sugars.
Cats can also eat pieces of actual pumpkin as long as it has been roasted and peeled. Don’t feed them the stem, skin, pulp, or any pumpkin that has been left carved and sitting out, like a jack-o-lantern.
How Much Pumpkin Should You Feed Your Cats?
Depending on your cat’s dietary needs, the amount that you should feed them may differ. You should discuss the exact amounts with your vet.
According to PetMD, the general recommended amount is 1-4 teaspoons of canned pumpkin 1-2 times a day.
Will you be enjoying the pumpkin season along with your cat this fall?