Pumpkin is an effective home remedy for a variety of stomach ailments, and many cats will happily eat it pureed. If your cat is on a prescription diet or has a history of food allergies, consult your veterinarian before feeding pumpkin.
Benefits of Pumpkin
Pumpkin is a highly nutritious squash. However, the nutrition in squash is not accessible to cats because it contains high quantities of cellulose, which cats can't metabolize. Pureeing the pumpkin breaks down the cellulose, making the nutrition accessible to cats. Pumpkin is high in fiber and can help regulate digestion by absorbing water and preventing diarrhea. It also helps to soften the stool, making it an excellent home remedy for mild constipation.
Amount to Feed
Give between one half and one teaspoon at each meal. Smaller cats and kittens should get closer to half a teaspoon, while larger cats should have closer to one. Because pumpkin is not medication, dosing is not a precise science. You can give slightly more when your cat is having stomach trouble.
How to Feed
Most stores sell pureed pumpkin, but you can also puree it yourself. Simply scoop the seeds and pulp out of a pumpkin and puree in a blender until the consistency resembles that of baby food. Add to your cat's food or, if your cat likes the taste, use it as a treat and allow your cat to lap it from a spoon or out of your hand.
Introducing a new food always poses some risks, especially for cats with sensitive stomachs. Try adding very small quantities of pumpkin—just a drop or two—and gradually increasing the amount. Never feed pumpkin pie filling. It contains sugars and other additives that will harm your cat's digestive tract.
- orange pumpkin image by Maria Brzostowska from Fotolia.com
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