Pumpkin seeds may be small, but they pack a punch as far as their health benefits are concerned.
Pumping seeds are rich in dietary fiber, which aids in digestion. The seeds also pack antioxidants that might help to keep certain diseases at bay. And depending on how they’re prepared, pumpkin seeds can turn out to be very tasty.
If you own a cat, you may have realized that your feline friend tends to beg for pumpkin seeds whenever it spots you snacking on these seeds.
At first, it may be difficult to tell whether your cat really loves pumpkin seeds or their interest is purely out of feline curiosity.
However, the most pertinent question you should try to settle is whether pumpkins are safe, healthy, and nutritious for your feline friend. So, you might find yourself wondering, can I give my cat pumpkin seeds?
Yes, cats can eat pumpkin seeds, and there are no immediate health concerns to worry about. Pumpkin seeds carry numerous health and dietary benefits for your feline friend.
But as with any plant matter, you should introduce your furry friend to pumpkin seeds slowly, as well as watch the portions of the seeds that you offer to the cat. Too much pumpkin seeds could wreak havoc on your cat’s system.
Read on as we explore the benefits as we also highlight the possible risks of offering pumpkin seeds to your kitto.
Are Pumpkin Seeds Safe for Cats? A Look at the Benefits
Can cats eat pumpkin seeds?
Yes, your cat can safely eat pumpkin seeds. As we’ve just indicated, pumpkin seeds come with numerous health and dietary benefits.
The following are some of the ways your feline friend can benefit from occasionally snacking on pumpkin seeds.
1. High in Fiber
Pumpkin seeds are rich in dietary fiber, with shelled seeds able to provide as much as 1.1 grams of fiber in every 28-grams serving. Your cat can benefit from these dietary fibers in four different ways.
First, dietary fibers are a source of nutrients for gut-friendly bacteria. Gut-friendly bacteria reside in the gut and play a crucial role in promoting healthy digestion.
Secondly, dietary fibers are famous for their ability to create a sense of fullness.
By mixing pumpkin seeds into your cat’s main food, the cat will eat less but feel fuller for longer. And by reducing the amount of food your cat eats, the dietary fiber in pumpkin seeds can help to manage weight-related conditions in cats.
Not only does that help obese and overweight cats to shed off a few pounds, but it also prevents these conditions from happening in the first place.
Dietary fiber is also known to bulk up stools, a process that’s crucial in maintaining regular bowel movements. If your cat is battling with constipation and other digestive issues, dietary fibers can make all the difference.
Lastly, dietary fiber is associated with reduced risks of heart and cardiovascular diseases, as well as type-2 diabetes.
2. Protect Your Cat from Diseases
Another benefit of pumpkin seeds for cats is with regard to the prevention of disease.
Like most plant matter, pumpkin seeds are loaded with powerful antioxidants that can boost your cat’s immunity. Examples of antioxidants found in pumpkin seeds include carotenoids and Vitamin E.
These antioxidants contain anti-inflammatory properties, making them able to avert the harmful effects of free radicals in your cat’s body cells.
Some of the diseases that pumpkin seeds can help to keep at bay include;
- The heart and cardiovascular diseases;
- Cancer (particularly stomach, lung, prostate, colon, and breast cancers); and
- Feline arthritis.
Magnesium, a mineral that’s abundant in pumpkin seeds plays various crucial roles in maintaining your cat’s heart and cardiovascular system.
Some of the functions of this mineral include;
- Regulating blood pressure;
- Regulating blood sugar levels;
- Slowing down the heart rate;
- Reducing cholesterol levels and
- Lowering the risks of heart disease.
Magnesium also works alongside calcium to maintain the health of your cat’s teeth and bones.
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3. Improve The Health of Your Cat’s Prostate and Bladder
Cats, especially older ones, are susceptible to prostate and bladder issues. Thankfully, this is also another area where your feline friend can benefit by snacking on pumpkin seeds. Pumpkin seeds can relieve benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH).
BPH is a medical condition that’s characterized by the enlargement of prostate glands. It causes problems with urination and if not treated with the urgency it deserves, the condition could lead to complications in your cat’s urinary tract.
4. Paralyze Parasites
Like most pets, cats are highly prone to parasites and parasitic infections.
Examples of parasites that cats can get include;
- Flukes; and
Allowing your kitto to snack on pumpkin seeds can help to paralyze intestinal parasites, making them loosen their grip on the cat’s intestinal walls.
The active compound in pumpkin seeds that acts on parasites is an amino acid known as cucurbitacin. As soon as they loosen their grip on your cat’s intestinal walls, your cat will be able to poop these parasites out.
When it comes to pumpkin seeds for cats with parasites, expert advice that cat owners administer the seeds to their feline friends regularly.
It shouldn’t be a one-off detox event. That’s because there could be some unhatched eggs that may hatch later on and continue with the flow of parasites.
So, do pumpkin seeds get rid of worms in cats?
Yes, they do. However, you should understand how to deworm a cat with pumpkin seeds. We shall briefly go over that later on when discussing the best way to offer pumpkin seeds to cats.
The following are other minerals in pumpkin seeds;
- Copper; and
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Are Pumpkin Seeds Dangerous To Cats? Here Are the Potential Risks
While pumpkin seeds come with numerous benefits for cats, there are certain side effects to watch out for.
First, remember that your feline friend is an obligate carnivore. As such, snacking on plant matter like pumpkin seeds could cause gastrointestinal irritation, That’s because your cat’s body isn’t designed to process plant matter.
The following are other possible side effects of your cat eating pumpkin seeds;
1. While the fiber content in pumpkin seeds is highly beneficial, feeding it to your cat in large quantities may produce laxative effects, leading to diarrhea and dehydration. Excess fiber could also cause gas, bloating, and constipation.
2. Since pumpkin seeds are fairly tough, your cat might choke on them. That’s especially considering the fact that most cats don’t chew their foods properly.
3. Pumpkin seeds are also high in fat and calories. One cup boasts as much as 12 grams and 285 calories. So, feeding the seeds to your feline friend in high quantities might result in weight gain.
How to Feed Pumpkin Seeds To Cats
Can cats eat raw pumpkin seeds? And what about roasted seeds, can cats eat roasted pumpkin seeds?
Cats can eat raw, boiled, or roasted pumpkin seeds. However, the best way to offer pumpkin seeds to your kitto is to ground the raw or roasted seeds and add the powder to your cat’s meal.
And when it comes to the right portions, 1 teaspoon per day, 2 days a week is the recommended pumpkin seeds intake for adult cats.
Conclusion: Can Cats Have Pumpkin Seeds
Pumpkin seeds come with immense benefits for your cat. And as we’ve examined, the benefits far outweigh the risks.
So, if you’re considering incorporating these seeds into your kitto’s diet, don’t reconsider. Only ensure you go slow on the portions.
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