Pumpkin for Cats: A Guide

Pumpkin for Cats: A Guide

  • Kirsten Thornhill - 26.10.2020

Would you believe me if I told you that pumpkin can make a great addition to your feline’s daily diet? 

Pumpkin, in its natural and purest form, can be enjoyed by your catto all year, making it an amazing additive to your cat’s diet and digestive well-being. 

In today’s article, we’ll talk all things pumpkin-like, why you may want to incorporate it into your cat’s diet sooner than later, and what to look for at the grocery store in regards to pumpkin quality. 

Let’s fall into this category!

What is Pumpkin for Felines?

While many of our paw parents are familiar with this delicious fall tasty treat, you may not yet realize that pumpkin is so much more than just that! In particular, pumpkin can provide a variety of therapeutic benefits for your cat, including digestive health improvements to furball relief to promoting a healthy coat. 



Are Pumpkin Seeds Okay for Cats?

As Halloween is quickly approaching, carving pumpkins with close family and friends may be on your agenda. Although carving pumpkins can be fun and somewhat like a science project, the gooey “pumpkin guts” aren’t the most fun to deal with. In these gooey guts are typically the pumpkin seeds.

Some people enjoy roasting and eating the seeds for a tasty fall snack, whilst others quickly toss them to the trash. However, you may want to reconsider throwing them away, as pumpkin seeds are packed with vitamins, fatty acids, minerals, and antioxidants. They are also super-rich in lipids, a type of fat that is very beneficial to your cat’s diet. 

Pumpkin for Cats: What is it?

First things first, pumpkin is a type of squash that is native to North America. It can come in a variety of forms, shapes, sizes, and colors, yet not all of this glorious squash should be added to your cat’s diet. So how can it be beneficial to your furry friend, you ask? 



Dietary fiber includes two main types: insoluble fiber and soluble fiber. Foods that are rich in fiber, including pumpkin, have both insoluble fiber and soluble fiber. 

What Are Insoluble Fibers?

Insoluble fibers do not dissolve in water. They remain intact as the food moves through the gastrointestinal tract, or GI tract for short. Insoluble fiber is well-known for helping the body feel fuller longer, in addition to lowering the risk of various diseases, such as diabetes, obesity, metabolic syndrome, etc. 

Types of Insoluble Fiber Foods

  • Nuts
  • Cauliflowers
  • Beans
  • Whole wheat products
  • Pumpkin
  • Green beans
  • Potatoes

What are Soluble Fibers?

Soluble fibers dissolve in water and are processed through the colon. They are known to help with weight loss and management, as it lowers fat absorption. It has also been suggested to help lower cholesterol, reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease, promote healthy gut flora, and stabilize blood sugar levels. 

Types of Soluble Fiber Foods

  • Pumpkin
  • Peas
  • Oats
  • Barely
  • Carrots
  • Broccoli
  • Apples
  • Sweet potatoes

What are the Benefits of Pumpkin for Cats?

Many paw parents find themselves actively looking for 100% natural remedies to cure specific health issues and serve as disease preventatives. We totally get that health issues can come up out of nowhere, without any warning. In these instances, having pumpkin in the cabinet may make a significant difference in your cat’s diet possibly sooner than later. 



In addition, the use of pumpkin as a means to prevent and treat disease is certainly not “breaking news”, as it has been talked about for years! Native Americans have used pumpkin to promote healing and eliminate worms from the body for centuries. However, with the recent holistic move towards all-natural remedies and options, paw parents are surely jumping on the healthy bandwagon, especially in regards to the benefits of pumpkin. 

1. Pumpkin for Diarrhea

Pumpkin for cats may help treat their diarrhea. Pumpkin is packed with vitamins, including A, C, and E, as well as iron and potassium. This combination of minerals and vitamins, along with the amount of soluble fibers present, help to add nutrients to your cat’s stool. This is done through excess water absorption in the digestive tract.

And of course, all cats are different. We highly recommend getting appropriate recommendations from your holistic veterinarian once you talk about your cat’s digestive/stool issues as well as how long the problem has been lingering around. 

With that being said, experts have suggested adding one teaspoon of pumpkin to your cat’s food in order to help alleviate their diarrhea and associated symptoms. 

Another great option about choosing pumpkin is how quickly it can come into effect. Many feline parents report that they see a difference in their cat’s stool in only a couple of hours. 

2. Pumpkin for Constipation

Canned pumpkin can make a major difference for your cat, especially if he or she is suffering from constipation. As we briefly mentioned above, pumpkin is a great source of soluble fiber, helping the natural movement of the digestive tract. Many over-the-counter (OTC) laxatives will “get the job done”, but there are often harsh adverse effects that can result in diarrhea, especially when your cat has too much. 

When lessening an ailment’s symptoms, the last thing you’d want to do is to help one issue while bringing on another. 

One tablespoon of pumpkin in your cat’s food may help ease their constipation. Oftentimes, constipation and dehydration go side-by-side. Thus, it’s important to ensure that your cat always has a source of clean water nearby. 

3. Pumpkin for an Upset Stomach 

Canned pumpkin may be a great way to prevent an upset stomach, especially when switching your cat’s food. Paw parents may not realize that feeding your cat one type of over a long period of time can lead to potential food allergies. 

Thus, changing up your cat’s food every now and then is important, but can also have some unpleasant effects. In these instances, adding pumpkin to their new food may help ease the introduction to their digestive system. Especially when switching food, it’s important to go slow. By slowly incorporating their new food into their old food, this can help ease their potential tummy issues down the road. This can help prevent GI upsets!



The fiber contents in pumpkin may also help with relieving furballs, helping them move through the GI tract. Similar to when a cat has diarrhea, an upset stomach can be considered a “non-specific symptom”. GI upset is a symptom of a whole slew of potential health concerns, ranging from minor to mild to severe. Further testing and analysis may be necessary to ensure that your cat doesn’t have a more serious underlying issue going on. 

4. Pumpkin for Weight Management

Fat cats can be adorable at times! However, weight issues and obesity are directly related to severe health conditions that need to be avoided at all costs! Pumpkin is a great way to aid in their digestion, weight loss, and support their weight management. The insoluble fibers in pumpkin help cats feel fuller longer, thus preventing them from overeating. 

In order to promote healthy weight loss, experts recommend substituting a portion of your cat’s normal food with pumpkin, since it is low calorie and highly nutritious!  

What Pumpkin is Best for Cats?

When it comes to pumpkin, not all forms are equal! When purchasing pumpkin products, only buy plain, canned pumpkin. DO NOT buy pumpkin pie filling or pumpkin with additives, like salt or sugar. These additives can do harmful damage to your cat. In addition, make sure the canned pumpkin does not have xylitol, a sugar substitute that is extremely toxic for cats and dogs. 

We typically promote all things organic, fresh, and natural, but here we highly recommend canned over fresh pumpkin. Canned pumpkin has a higher percentage of fiber and nutrients than fresh pumpkin. 



Once you’ve opened a can of pumpkin, it can spoil within a week, unless it is kept in an air-sealed container. If you are unsure of whether or not your canned pumpkin is still fresh, there is always the smell test!

Pumpkin for Cats: Final Thoughts

When all is said and done, we know that you only want the absolute best for your furry feline child. We don’t have to tell you twice that GI issues aren’t ideal and can cause distress to you and your catto. Fortunately enough, there are natural ways to help alleviate any digestive issues your cat may be experiencing. 

One of our favorite all-natural options is clearly canned pumpkin. Even if your cat isn’t constipated or experiencing diarrhea yet, it may help boost their digestive health by adding some pumpkin into their next meal. This can be a scrumptious treat for your feline, not to mention a friendly intestinal support option!



It might be time to try canned pumpkin a try for your cat, regardless of the fall season or pumpkin-flavored everything right now. 

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