Pumpkin is a safe and nutritious food for cats, though they should only eat it in moderation.
Pumpkin is a truly versatile root vegetable. It's low in calories, high in fiber, and packed with essential vitamins and minerals such as potassium, magnesium, beta-carotene, and vitamins C and E. All of these nutrients are important for maintaining healthy digestion, immune function, and overall well-being. (Ever-friendly to felines, pumpkins also get along great with black cats on Halloween night.)
Pumpkin can promote digestive health in cats. The high levels of soluble fiber help regulate bowel movements by absorbing excess water from the intestinal tract. For cats who suffer from constipation or diarrhea, adding a small amount of pureed pumpkin to their diet can be incredibly helpful.
Pumpkin may also aid urinary tract health by increasing urine volume, which can prevent infection or blockages caused by crystals or stones. Plus, the vegetable's antioxidants may help reduce inflammation throughout your cat's body.
Just keep in mind, cats are obligate carnivores, which means they need to get most of nutrients from meat. Feeding them pumpkin in small quantities can be healthy, but plant-based foods should never displace the meat in their diet. And high-fiber foods like pumpkin can lead to digestive troubles such as diarrhea if your cat eats too much.
As always, before introducing a new food item into your pet's diet, consult with your veterinarian first. If your cat eats pumpkin (or any food) and is showing signs of illness such as lethargy, diarrhea, or vomiting, reach out to your veterinarian immediately. If they require veterinary care related to eating any unsafe foods, pet insurance can help cover the cost of treatment.