Constipation is, unfortunately, a common problem for cats. Your feline friend can’t tell you when something is wrong, so it’s important to keep a close eye on them. This includes their intake of food and their output of poop. If your cat is experiencing constipation, pumpkin can help get things moving again.
How much pumpkin to give my cat for constipation?
Pumpkin can help relieve constipation. It’s also healthy for your cat, which makes it a great natural choice. Before we get into how to treat constipation with pumpkin, let’s look at how to know your cat is constipated in the first place.
Signs of Constipation
Your cat can’t tell you they are constipated, but the symptoms are easy to spot if you know what to look for. The downside is, you’ll need to inspect their litter box.
Your cat may be constipated if their poop is dry and hard. You may also notice that they are visiting the litter box more often, but are not able to poop. If they show signs of pain when pooping, like meowing or yowling, this is also a sign of constipation.
Your cat’s stomach may appear swollen and hard if they are constipated. This is because the poop can’t go out properly, so it takes up space in your kitty’s body.
Cat constipation can turn into a serious issue if it isn’t treated. Poop can build up in the intestine, creating a blockage. That’s why, in addition to your cat’s comfort, it’s important to treat constipation for health reasons.
How Much Pumpkin to Give My Cat?
Pumpkin is good for cats, but too much of a good thing isn’t a good idea. If you have an adult cat, you’ll need to give your cat 1/2 to 1 teaspoon of pumpkin a day. Kittens should have no more than 1/2 a teaspoon of pumpkin per day.
If your cat’s bowel movements aren’t normal within 24 to 48 hours, you can increase the amount of pumpkin. Give them 1 teaspoon of pumpkin twice a day. If necessary, you can double this to two teaspoons twice a day.
Your cat isn’t likely to suffer any serious health effects if you overdo their pumpkin intake. However, too much can cause diarrhea. It’s best to start with one teaspoon a day and work your way up to 4 teaspoons per day if needed to avoid diarrhea.
Another method is to replace 20% of your cat’s current food with pumpkin. This will provide them with needed nutrition with less calories than their regular food. This may be especially beneficial for overweight cats, or those with skin or coat issues.
What Should I Do If My Cat Eats too Much Pumpkin?
Your cat has had too much pumpkin if their stools become very loose. If they are a pudding-like consistency, they’ve had too much. Orange stool is another sign you should cut back on your cat’s pumpkin intake.
If your cat shows these signs, skip their next serving of pumpkin. From there, it’s wise to cut the amount of pumpkin you are giving them in half. If you are feeding them pumpkin for constipation, you can discontinue the pumpkin once they are no longer constipated.
However, you can also choose to continue giving them pumpkin. It can help keep them regular, and it has lots of other benefits as well.
What type of pumpkin to give my cat?
So pumpkin can ease your cat’s diarrhea, but what kind do you give them?
Canned pumpkin is easy to give your cat, and gives all the benefits they need. Be sure to get 100% pure canned pumpkin. Pumpkin pie filling has added sugar and spices, which are unhealthy and potentially even poisonous to your cat.
If you want to serve your cat fresh pumpkin, you’ll need to prepare it yourself. Cut and remove the seeds from the pumpkin. Cut it into slices. Bake in the oven at 350 degrees until its soft.
Once it’s cooled, you can serve it to your cat. Store the unused portion in the fridge for a few days. If you want to keep it for future use, you can freeze pumpkin cooked or raw.
Just freeze what you don’t plan to feed your cat within the next few days. When you want to serve it, get a portion from the freezer and allow it to thaw. It should thaw on the counter within a few hours. You can also thaw it by placing it in the refrigerator for 24 hours.
This is a simple way to keep fresh pumpkin to serve your cat, without a lot of prep work each time.
You can also make your own pumpkin puree. To make puree, you’ll need to bake the pumpkin first. Once it’s baked, remove the skin from the pumpkin. You can then use a food processor, blender, or potato masher to create a puree. Add a few tablespoons of water at a time, until you get the desired consistency.
Just like fresh pumpkin, the puree can be stored in the fridge or frozen until you are ready to use it. The best way to freeze pumpkin puree is to use an ice tray.
Fill the tray with puree. Once it’s frozen, you’ll have cube shaped frozen puree. You can then serve them one cube at a time.
Your cat can also eat pumpkin seeds. You can prepare them by roasting them in the oven for 1 hour at 350 degrees. Your cat can also eat the raw seeds. However, if you plan to store them, roasted seeds have a much longer shelf life than fresh seeds.
Is pumpkin good for cats?
Pumpkin is very good for cats. It’s full of fiber and vitamins and minerals your cat needs to be healthy.
The fiber in pumpkin is what makes it a great constipation remedy. It’s also good for overall digestion. It can even help obese cats on a diet feel full.
Fiber helps absorb stomach acid, which can ease tummy problems, including diarrhea. It also helps move hairballs through your cat’s digestive tract.
Pumpkin is rich in vitamins, particularly A, C, and E. Vitamin A is essential for eye health. Vitamin C helps the immune system function properly. Vitamin E helps keep their skin and coat healthy, and speeds wound healing.
Cats on a well balanced diet should get enough of these vitamins through their regular food. However, the extra vitamins found in pumpkin can still be beneficial.
Zinc and Cucurbitacin
Zinc is another benefit of adding pumpkin to your cat’s diet. It’s beneficial for the immune system. It also contributes to healthy skin and coat.
Cucurbitacin is a biochemical compound that is believed to be antiparasitic. If your cat is receiving parasite preventatives, they should prevent them from picking up parasites. However, pumpkin won’t hurt as a second line of defense.
How to get my cat to eat pumpkin?
You’ve decided that pumpkin would be good for your cat, and you want to incorporate it into their diet. Now the question is, how do you get your cat to eat it?
Add It to Their Food
Canned or pureed pumpkin can be added to your cat’s wet or dry food. You can mix it into their food or simply place it on top. Most cats enjoy the taste of pumpkin. In fact, pumpkin can even entice your kitty to eat their food.
Fresh baked pumpkin makes an easy snack or treat. Simply give them one to two pieces of baked pumpkin, once or twice a day. It may become your cat’s favorite snack.
If your cat loves cold treats on hot days, frozen pumpkin will do the trick. Freeze pumpkin puree in an ice tray. This gives you perfect individual serving size cubes. Give your cat a frozen cube as a treat.
You can also freeze fresh baked pumpkin. Give your cat a frozen piece and let them enjoy the cool feeling.
Pumpkin seeds provide the same benefits as the flesh of the pumpkin. If you want to roast the seeds, you’ll need to allow them to cool before serving. Fresh or roasted seeds can be added to your cat’s regular food.
You can also feed them to your cat individually as a crunchy treat.
Lastly, you can crush the roasted seeds with a coffee grinder or food processor. You can then add the powder to your cat’s regular food.