Cat constipation and pumpkin is surprisingly a tried-and-tested combination.
If you’re wondering: “is pumpkin toxic to cats,” then you can cross it out from all the “toxic human food” your cats are not allowed to consume.
Adding pumpkin to a cat’s diet has many health benefits, thanks to the pumpkin’s high nutrient and fiber content.
Cat Constipation and Pumpkin Benefits
There are 10 grams of fiber in every cup of pumpkin. Its rich fiber content helps with:
- Diarrhea: The soluble fiber in pumpkin absorbs excess water in your cat’s digestive tract, which relieves diarrhea.
- Constipation: Fiber from pumpkin becomes a natural laxative that stimulates bowel movements.
- Weight control: Having a diet high in fiber makes pets feel fuller quicker. If your veterinarian has advised helping your cat lose weight, adding pumpkin into her diet could be effective in reducing the need to eat more treats.
Aside from fiber, pumpkin also has high contents of:
- Vitamin A (for eye health and immune system),
- Vitamin C (for collagen production)
- Vitamin E (as a fat-soluble antioxidant)
- Calcium (for healthy teeth, bones, and claws)
- Lutein (to promote healthier coat and skin)
- Iron (cell and hemoglobin production)
- Alpha Carotene (an antioxidant that fights cell damage).
How Much Pumpkin Can I Give My Cat?
Most of the time, cats would love the taste of pumpkin and wouldn’t mind eating it as a puree or straight from a can.
However, if your cat doesn’t like its taste, you can mix pumpkin into wet cat food.
Don’t feed it to kittens though, unless your veterinarian recommends it.
You can feed adult cats 1/2 to 1 teaspoon of pumpkin every day. Use a measuring spoon so you add the right amount into their diets.
When you’re new to incorporating pumpkin into your cat’s diet, be on the lookout for firmness, frequency, or any other changes from her stools. This could help you determine if the pumpkin is helping with constipation or not.
Warning: Pumpkins may be nutritious, but they’re also high in carbohydrates. If your cat is already diagnosed with diabetes and follows a low-carb meal plan, check with your vet to see if and how pumpkin can be included in your cat’s meals.
DIY Pumpkin Puree for Cat Constipation
Pumpkin pie filling and spiced pumpkin puree are not ideal for cats. If you’re planning to shop for store-bought canned pumpkin, you need to choose a plain, pureed, and unseasoned pumpkin.
If you want to prepare a homemade pumpkin puree to relieve your cat of constipation, buy either a pumpkin or butternut squash (yes, they come from the same squash family).
3 Ways to Make Pumpkin Puree Recipe for Cats
- Blend. Remove the seeds and pulp from a pumpkin. Puree the pumpkin until it looks like baby food. You can serve it as is.
- Boil. Deseed your pumpkin. Cut into cubes, put into a pot, and add distilled water. Boil everything until soft throughout. When done, strain the water except for 2 cups. Blend everything until pureed. Store in an airtight bottle in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.
- Bake. Remove seeds of your pumpkin. Bake in the oven until soft. Serve.
Adding Pumpkin into Your Cat’s Diet
Even the pumpkin seeds can be given to your cats, but you have to clean them thoroughly and roast in the oven at 350 degrees for an hour or two. When it gets cold, you could grind the seeds and feed your cat in powder form.
Here are other ways to squeeze pumpkin into their meals:
- Add into wet cat food.
- Pick a cat food like Applaws that contain pumpkin. Check labels to be sure.
- Find a pumpkin-infused supplement, such as Fruitables. Ideal for cats who aren’t fond of the pumpkin taste.
- Add butter with a vegetable mix and pumpkin puree for a creamy mixture.
- Combine pureed pumpkin with raw cat food meat with raw liver
- If you pureed a lot of homemade pumpkins, freeze some of them into smaller servings, so you can extend the shelf life and give them to your cats occasionally as treats.
Cat Constipation & Pumpkin Do’s and Don’ts
Before giving your cat pumpkin puree or treats for her constipation, read some of these guidelines:
- Never feed raw pumpkin to your cat.
- When deseeding a pumpkin, make sure to remove and throw away the stem. When eaten by your cat, it could prick her digestive tract.
- Pumpkin skin is not edible. Even if you’re boiling and blending the ingredients, remove the skin first before anything else.
- Pumpkin pulp, the sticky and slimy stuff with the seeds, has been known to block disposals. Imagine what that would do to your cat’s tummy. Throw it with the skin.
- The canned pumpkin should be plain. If the label has any hint of sugar, salt, spices, additives, or other chemicals, skip it.
- Don’t feed your cat leftover Jack-O-Lanterns that have been sitting on your porch. This pumpkin could have bacteria from being left out in the open, so feeding it to your cat could make her sick.
If your cat doesn’t like the taste of pumpkin, don’t worry. She’s more than likely to let you know of her “distaste.”
If your beloved cat has a sensitive stomach, introduce pumpkin into her diet carefully. Be attentive to her stools afterward, and monitor signs of vomiting, diarrhea, straining while walking or peeing, painful bowel movements.
Only increase the amount of pumpkin if your cat seems to be doing well with the addition. In most cases, your cat will be able to feel the effect of a teaspoon-worth of pumpkin puree after an hour or two.
If this doesn’t help, your cat’s constipation could be a sign of something serious. The veterinarian could be more helpful in evaluating your cat’s overall condition.
Even if your cat isn’t constipated, adding pumpkin into her diet encourages regular bowel movements and a healthier digestive system.