Pumpkins are a well-known vegetable used a lot during the fall season for Halloween and Thanksgiving celebrations. It is a versatile vegetable used in many different culinary and decorative situations.
So what is it and can cats actually eat it? Let’s take a look at it.
What is pumpkin?
Pumpkin is a squash that has a smooth but ribbed skin. It is round in shape and will vary in size. Some pumpkins are quite small, most are the size of a soccer ball but there are also some very large pumpkins grown The thick skin or shell of a pumpkin will protect the pulp and also the seeds inside it.
In the USA and Canada, pumpkins are grown widely for commercial purposes for both recreation and food. They are used for Halloween and carved as lanterns for decoration. They are also used in a variety of different commercial food situations not to mention culinary dishes. It is most popularly used in pumpkin pie but instead of using fresh pumpkin, canned pumpkin is used primarily in that dish.
Most parts of the pumpkin can be eaten by humans including the shell, pulp and seeds not to mention the flowers.
When pumpkins ripen, it is cooked pumpkin can be roasted, steamed, or boiled. In North America, it is often mashed as part of the traditional autumn harvest thanksgiving. The seeds are often roasted and eaten as a snack.
Pumpkin can also be used in soups and as a flavor in drinks for both non-alcoholic and alcoholic drinks.
When they are in their unripened state they are a smaller size and are green in color. They can still be eaten like this.
So what do pumpkins contain?
Let’s take a look at their nutritional data and find out more. As far as cats are concerned we are interested in their carbohydrate, acidic, water, sugar, fat, salt, calcium, and phosphorus content as these nutrients will affect a cat detrimentally. It would also be helpful if they had a good amount of vitamin a in them.
What does it contain?
Nutritional value per 100 g (3.5 oz)Energy109 kJ (26 kcal)
Carbohydrates 6.5 g
Sugars 2.76 g
Dietary fiber 0.5 g
Fat 0.1 g
Protein 1 g
Vitamin A equiv.
lutein zeaxanthin (53%) 426 μg (29%)
Thiamine (B1) (4%) 0.05 mg
Riboflavin (B2) (9%) 0.11 mg
Niacin (B3) (4%) 0.6 mg
Pantothenic acid (B5) (6%) 0.298 mg
Vitamin B6 (5%) 0.061 mg
Folate (B9) (4%) 16 μg
Vitamin C (11%) 9 mg
Vitamin E (3%) 0.44 mg
Vitamin K (1%) 1.1 μg
Calcium (2%) 21 mg
Iron (6%) 0.8 mg
Magnesium (3%)12 mg
Manganese (6%) 0.125 mg
Phosphorus (6%) 44 mg
Potassium (7%) 340 mg
Sodium (0%) 1 mg
Zinc (3%) 0.32 mg
Water 91.6 g
As you can see pumpkins contain a huge amount of water, a hint of salt, quite a bit of phosphorus and carbohydrates, a little calcium and sugar, quite a lot of acidic content. It also contains quite a bit of Vitamin A equivalent beta-Carotene.
Can cats eat pumpkin?
From the nutrients that pumpkins have, we can gather that the large water content and acidic content that they contain are not good for cats. But other than that pumpkins don’t contain a great deal that is bad for cats. This means that they can eat pumpkin. Not all the time though, a few slices, times a week is sufficient for them. If they have too much pumpkin there is a risk that they get diarrhea or get sick because of the water content that it contains. Pumpkin also contains a very good amount of Vitamin A equivalent beta-Carotene. This is very good for cats as it helps their vision.
Can kittens eat pumpkin?
With their sensitive tummies, kittens are quite acute to the food that they eat. They will try anything to eat and won’t kind what it is as long as they like the taste and smell. Kittens require a diet that is protein rich as well as strong in other nutrients. Up to about 20 weeks old, it is unwise to feed pumpkin, its skin, seeds or any other pumpkin related food to kittens. Their tummies aren’t ready for it and it is recommended that they are just fed kitten food which has the nutrients that a kitten needs and is specially made for their dietary requirements. There is plenty of time for them to eat pumpkin in their later years.
Can pregnant cats eat pumpkin?
It is usually best not to feed irregular foods such as pumpkin, pumpkin skin, pumpkin seeds or any other related pumpkin food to pregnant cats. They can nibble a little pumpkin but pregnant cats usually need the benefit of good quality canned cat food to give them the nutrients that they need during the early stages of pregnancy. Then in the last three to four weeks of the term, she should be switched to kitten food to help her strength and stamina during this time.
Can senior cats eat pumpkin?
There is no harm in senior cats eating pumpkin, pumpkin skin, pumpkin seeds. However do be aware that their appetites significantly decrease as they get older as they just don’t need the energy that younger cats require from food.
Can cats eat pumpkin seeds?
Pumpkin seeds are found at the center of pumpkins in amongst the pulp of the pumpkin. They are full of nutrients and are edible for humans. They measure about 1.5cm and are long, oval and flat in shape and are a light green color covered in a white husk. They are often eaten as a health food snack as they are a good source of zinc, copper, magnesium, and protein. they can be purchased from health food stores and some grocery stores and supermarkets
The good thing is that pumpkin seeds are fine for cats to eat however do be aware that seeds are high in fat so too many will be fattening for your kitty. The other good thing about pumpkin seeds is that they also have health benefits for cats as well.
The copper, zinc, magnesium, manganese, iron, potassium and vitamin A, beta-carotene that they contain will be for a cat. The acids and fats that they contain will help their fur coat shine and benefit the health of their heart. The antioxidants will benefit them by helping to nullify any potential bad cells. The fiber that it contains fiber is good for keeping things moving in their bodies. They have also been used down the years as a remedy for getting rid of intestinal worms in a pet.
The best way of serving them is to grind them down so that they can be easily be swallowed and they pass through a cats digestive system easily.
This means that when you feed pumpkin flesh to your cat you can also give the measure of an egg cup of pumpkin seeds as well. They can also be purchased from a good health food store or select supermarkets and grocery stores who stock them. They can be fed to them straight from the pumpkin itself or some owners like to roast them in the oven for five to 10 minutes at 375 degrees F. Make sure they are well cooked before feeding them to your cat.
Can cats eat pumpkin pie?
Pumpkin pie is a dessert that is eaten in many different countries around the world. It is usually served with a spiced custard filling. It is often eaten during fall as part of Thanksgiving celebrations in the United States and Canada.
It is made with a pastry crust then filled with a pumpkin-based custard which ranges in color from brown to orange. The pumpkin pie is usually flavored with cinnamon and powdered cloves, ginger and nutmeg. Sometimes allspice is used as well.
Real pumpkins are not usually used in the making of pumpkin pie.instead a packaged pumpkin pie filling or canned pumpkin is used.
Cats can nibble a little pumpkin pie if they happen to do so. If they happen to eat a little incidentally or steal a small piece of your plate, for instance, they should be fine. But it’s not a food that is recommended to be fed to them purposely. Eating too much of it will make them sick because of the custard-like pumpkin filling that is used. They are better off having real pumpkin sliced up for them into a few small pieces than having pumpkin pie.
Can cats eat pumpkin soup?
Pumpkin soup is a popular soup eaten in a never of different countries around the world. It is especially eaten in the fall in the United States and Canada. It contains butter, flour, milk, onion, boiled pumpkin, sugar, and salt and pepper.
There may be an occasion where a cat may try to drink it but it really isn’t a good food for them to eat. If they drink a little of they will be fine, but a lot of may cause them to be sick or get diarrhea.
Can cats eat canned pumpkin?
Canned pumpkin is an alternative pumpkin flavored food which is used often in culinary dishes. It is often recommended by veterinarians as a dietary supplement for cats who have had trouble with digestive ailments such as hairballs, diarrhea, or constipation. This is due to its high fiber content and so it can get things moving so to speak in a cats system.
Canned pumpkin isn’t the same as the canned pumpkin mix that is also sold in supermarkets and grocery stores and the products often look similar.
Canned pumpkin isn’t recommended for cats unless your veterinarian actually advises a course of it to help with digestive issues and can cause problems if your cat isn’t actually suffering from any digestive issues.