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The quick answer: Yes, plain 100% pumpkin without spices or additives is safe for cats to eat, and may even help with gastrointestinal issues.
Benefits of pumpkin
Pumpkin contains many beneficial nutrients, including potassium, phosphorous, calcium, magnesium, vitamins A, C, and K, and dietary fiber. You may even see pumpkin as an added ingredient in commercial cat foods. Pumpkin can help cats with constipation and diarrhea. Canned pumpkin is 90% water and contains soluble fiber, which is a combination that can be helpful for balancing the digestive system.
How much pumpkin should I give my cat for constipation?
According to PetMD, 2-4 teaspoons of canned pumpkin added to canned cat food can help with mild cases of constipation. Canned pumpkin can help get more water into your cat’s system, making it a natural and safe way to help constipated kitties. For more serious cases, be sure to consult your veterinarian.
Canned pumpkin for diarrhea in cats
Pumpkin contains fiber, which can add bulk to the stool, which means pumpkin can also help cats with diarrhea. However, before trying to treat your cat for diarrhea with canned pumpkin, be sure to chat with your veterinarian. Diarrhea is a common symptom of other medical issues, so it’s best to determine the root cause of the diarrhea rather than just treating the symptom.
Note that if your cat consumes too much canned pumpkin, it can cause or worsen diarrhea.
Hazards of sharing pumpkin with cats
If your kitty would like a taste of pumpkin, be sure it is plain and cooked. Uncooked pumpkin, including the tough outer skin, can be very difficult for a cat to digest. Eating raw pumpkin could pose a threat of choking or an internal blockage.
Pumpkin pie filling is off limits for cats because it contains sugar and spices.
Cats are obligate carnivores, which means their digestive systems are meant to process meats. Though pumpkin is generally healthy and safe, it should only be fed sparingly.