Can cats eat squash? Yes, squash is non-toxic and nutritious for cats. If prepared well, squash will boost your pet’s well-being. But just like any fruit or vegetable, it should be given in moderation. After all, your cat is a carnivore, so too much squash isn’t needed on their diet. Overindulging your cat in squash might only defeat its benefits in the end.
For this post, I will discuss the benefits of squash to cats as well as some recipes to make it more appealing to your pet.
Is squash good for cats?
If there’s one fruit that truly benefits your cat, it would be squash. It’s rich in calcium, beta-carotene, potassium, and fiber that all boost a cat’s health.
There are many types of squash, but the good news is that most of them are safe and healthy for felines. The following are five of the benefits your cat will reap from eating squash:
1. It’s loaded with nutrients
For example, the popular summer squash is low in calories but a good source of calcium and potassium. On the other hand, winter squashes like acorn squash and butternut squash are packed with Vitamins A and C as well as dietary fiber.
Overall, squash is a good source of Vitamins A, C, and E as well as iron and calcium. Your cat will also receive a dose of lutein and alpha-carotene that keeps the eyes, skin, and coat healthy. It also helps reduce cell damage.
2. It’s very palatable
In my experience with my kitten Watson, he prefers winter squash. Cats are very particular with the taste of their food, which explains why many kitties gravitate toward this type. Winter squash has a nice texture and rich flavor that appeals to both human and cat taste buds. Please read here: Can Cats Taste Spicy Food
You can try different squash types and see which appeals best to your cat.
3. It helps ease stomach upset
Is your cat experiencing diarrhea? A small serving of boiled and mashed squash will help abate the stomach upset. Squash is rich in fiber, which will help restore the digestion of a cat. It’s also soft and very easy to chew and swallow. Most of all, it contains nutrients to help replenish the lost vitamins and minerals in your cat’s body.
In fact, veterinarians recommend cooked squash or pumpkin for cats that are experiencing stomach irritation. While it works well for diarrhea, it also helps for cats with constipation.
4. It helps in weight control for cats
Another benefit to the fiber content of squash is it makes your cat full. This is very helpful if your cat needs to cut back on calories and lose weight.
You can mix cooked squash or pumpkin to your cat’s food to make it full faster and longer. Still, you should consult the vet first before making any changes to your cat’s diet. This is to prevent any side effects, especially if your kitty has a sensitive tummy.
5. It’s an excellent hairball solution
Lastly, squash is a natural hairball solution. It will help your cat flush our hairball, thanks to its fiber content. This is aside from the extra nutrition without excess calories.
Can cats eat pumpkin?
Pumpkin and squash belong to the same family. In fact, pumpkin is a type of squash, and it’s very healthy for cats. It contains a lot of fiber, vitamins, and minerals that boost your cat’s health.
You can also use pumpkin to supplement your cat’s diet with extra fiber if it’s experiencing digestive problems. You can purchase canned pumpkin if you don’t want to go through the hassle of manually preparing it for your kitty.
It’s best to start with two to three teaspoons to let your cat’s tummy adjust. You should also ask the vet’s advice about incorporating pumpkin into the cat’s diet.
Can cats eat pumpkin seeds?
This may come as a surprise, but pumpkin seeds are actually good for cats. As long as it’s cooked, peeled, and ground, it would be a tasty treat for a kitty.
Aside from its taste, pumpkin seeds also contain loads of nutrients. It even has fatty acids that nourish your cat’s coat and skin. It’s something you can’t find on squash or pumpkin flesh alone.
Most of all, pumpkin seeds help eliminate parasites. It’s an age-old solution for intestinal worms of domesticated pets. Just make sure that you ground the seeds first to ensure that it will pass through your cat’s digestive system. It will also help distribute the seeds on your cat’s intestines.
Also, you should only give a teaspoon of ground pumpkin seed per meal. Even if your cat doesn’t have worms, you can give pumpkin seeds from time to time as a preventive measure.
But again, the vet’s advice is needed here. Some worm infestations can’t be cured by pumpkin seeds alone.
Can cats eat raw squash?
You should never give raw squash to your cat. It’s stiff and can be hard to digest. Even if it’s minced, raw squash can still ball up and cause a blockage on your cat’s throat or intestines.
You should always cook the squash and mash it. This is easier to eat and swallow, especially if you’re giving it to your cat with diarrhea. Giving raw squash may only cause further digestive problems.
Aside from that, you should always peel the squash. Its skin remains stiff even when cooked, which is hard to eat and digest.
How do I prepare squash for my cats?
Squash is pretty versatile and can be prepared in different ways. The following are some of the basic recipes I make when giving squash to my kitten Watson:
- Pumpkin puree. For this recipe, you should peel, wash, and remove the pumpkin or squash seeds. After that, boil it until it’s soft throughout. Mash this using a fork until it has a puree consistency. You can add a small amount of hot water to make the puree less thick.
- Squash soup. If you have a picky eater, you can level up the puree into a soup. Simply add low-sodium broth until the puree becomes light and soupy.
- Squash+kibble pate. For this, you need a watery puree where you will add the kibble. Mash this continuously until the kibble becomes soggy and mixes with the squash. This is suitable for cats with diarrhea or poor appetite.
- Chicken squash meal. You can mix boiled chicken and mashed squash using a food processor. You can also add some tuna oil to make it more appealing to your cat’s taste buds. Please don’t add the bones because it can splinter and injure your cat.
- Salmon squash meal. If your cat is allergic to chicken, you can use steamed salmon instead. Smoked salmon also works since it’s very tasty. It’s also rich in Omega fatty acids that are beneficial for your cat’s skin and coat.
Can cats eat squash? Definitely! It’s a very nutritious fruit that will give your kitty an added dose of nourishment. It also helps with different health problems like diarrhea and even intestinal worms!
Just make sure that you peel and cook it well before giving it to your cat. You can also be creative by making simple yet delicious recipes for your pet. Most of all, be modest with the serving since your cat still needs meat as a major part of its diet.
Marco Vasquez is a passionate animal lover and writer with extensive experience in the pet care industry. He has worked with various pets, including dogs, cats, birds, and fish, and deeply understand their unique needs and behaviors. Marco’s love for animals has driven him to become an expert in pet health, nutrition, and behavior, and he is always eager to share his knowledge and insights with others. As a member of the Petcosset team, Marco brings his expertise to help pet owners make informed decisions about the well-being of their little friends. He enjoys hiking and spending time outdoors with his pets in his free time.