Wednesday, September 9, 2015

Benefits of Pumpkin for Cats

Pumpkin patch
It's the time of year when pumpkin-flavored foods and beverages are making an appearance.  I love pumpkin pie, bread, ice cream, and lattes.  Not only is pumpkin delicious, though, it also has a lot of health benefits for pets.  Carmine and Milita eat canned pumpkin everyday with their wet food dinner, and it has been very helpful for Carmine's Irritable Bowel Disease and Milita's hairballs.  

Please note that if you choose to give your cat pumpkin, it's important to use plain canned pumpkin with no spices in it.  The spices put into pumpkin pie filling are not good for kitties.  

Potential Benefits of Pumpkin for Cats

Digestive Health: Pumpkin is high in fiber, which can help alleviate both constipation and diarrhea.  The soluble fiber in pumpkin absorbs excess water and helps bulk up a cat's stool, reducing or eliminating diarrhea.  Fiber can also act as a laxative for cats suffering from constipation.  The fiber in pumpkin adds bulk to a cat's stool and can soften it, making it easier to pass.  

Carmine suffers from Irritable Bowel Disease (IBD) and eats canned pumpkin everyday as part of his diet.  Carmine used to suffer from bouts of constipation, but since he's been eating pumpkin everyday, he no longer gets constipated.  

Weight Loss: Fiber also promotes a feeling of fullness, which may help your cat eat eat less and lose weight.  Ask your veterinarian about replacing a small portion of your cat's food with pumpkin as part of her weight-loss plan.

A brown tabby with white.
Hairballs: Pumpkin can help kitties digest the fur they swallow while grooming.  Regularly feeding pumpkin can help reduce the number of or eliminate hairballs for your cat.  

Moisture: Pumpkin is 90% water.  Adding pumpkin to your kitty's meals increases his water intake, which aids in the prevention of dehydration.  Increasing water intake is especially important for cats with any type of urinary tract condition.  

Feeding and Storing

Most cats like the taste of plain pumpkin, so you can feed it as a snack.  Alternatively, you could put a little pumpkin in your cat's wet food.  Carmine and Milita eat their pumpkin mixed into their canned food dinner each day.  

Some companies also make canned cat food with pumpkin in it.  I've seen pumpkin in Natural Balance, Weruva, Against the Grain, Wellness, and Soulistic canned cat foods.

You can store pumpkin in the refrigerator for a few days.  If you don't go through pumpkin quickly, divide it into ziploc bags and store it in your freezer, thawing as needed.  You could also fill an ice cube tray with pumpkin and thaw as needed.  

Do you feed your cat pumpkin?  What benefits have you seen from doing so?



  1. I eat Soulistic food with pumpkin soup every day to, um, keep the parts oiled and working. Unfortunately, due to several incidences with that supplier, we need to switch brands so I’m looking for some good food in pumpkin soup. I won’t eat real pumpkin or cat food with pumpkin unless it’s pumpkin soup.

  2. My favorite orange food is still sweet potatoes. But pumpkin is good. So are cranberries. But they aren't orange. Neither is salmon. But I like those, too.

  3. We've been told to try pumpkin but we just ignore it no matter what the Dad does.

  4. Mommy says Pumpkin may be a new staple in our diet now. Thank you for great information.

  5. My human needs to do the ice tray thing - Binga really could use pumpkin!

  6. do we feed pumpkin? Do cats have fur? (well, most cats do lol)
    Yep! mostly just when Cody is on Pred, it avoids a $500 vet bill to have him "unplugged" like we had happen once when Cody was on Pred.
    We give it to Dakota too for if he has the's strange how it works for both problems!

  7. We never knew that. Thanks for sharing.

    Purrs xx
    Athena and Marie

  8. Meowmy should try that with Minko.

    Not sure how much to feed though?

  9. We've heard of the benefits of pumpkin but have never tried it. Sounds like we should! Thanks for sharing this great info.

  10. So far we don't like pumpkin but Mommy tries every time she has some. Our neighbor works for a company that makes a kitty canned pumpkin and we don't like that stuff either. We're picky.

  11. I'm a big fan of pumpkin, too, and often recommend the ice cube trick so you can thaw just the amount you need.

  12. We use a lot of pumpkin here. My huskies love it!
    ღ husky hugz ღ frum our pack at Love is being owned by a husky!

  13. My kitties enjoy a little pumpkin once in a while too. That is a great point about how it can make them feel fuller when they need to lose weight. I hadn't thought about that one. :)

  14. I give Mr. N pumpkin occasionally for digestive health. I have to mix it with stuff for him to eat it though.

  15. We feed pumpkin to our cats with every meal - it really does work.

  16. This is great info! I didn't know of all the wonderful benefits of pumpkin for the kitties. Thank you for this wonderful post.

  17. I never thought of giving my cat Nala pumpkin- she went crazy for chicken but ignored vegies and I was unaware of the benefits. Kilo the Pug loves pumpkin.

  18. We've recently received some cat food that contains pumpkin in it. We like some of it, but not others.

  19. Thanks for those sources =) I've always said pumpkin is some kind of miracle on dogs when they are constipated, or when the opposite is the problem and all that fiber keeps them feeling full when they are being trimmed down, plus the great vitamins too! So interesting to hear that it's excellent for kitties too!!