Why pumpkin for cats?

carmen_grower_2007January 17, 2009

I see this referred to from time to time on this forum but haven't figured out what is in pumpkin that is beneficial for whatever it is used for. (strange sentence, I know)

Just wondering - thanks.

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gajopa

Carmen, what I've been told is that pumpkin will fix the BM issue whether for diarrhea or constipation. However, I used it for my dog that had constant diarrhea, probably due to his meds, and it didn't make much difference in him.

    Bookmark   January 17, 2009 at 11:12AM
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lfnyc

Carmen, I have become a major proponant of pumpkin for bowel issues. It could have been a coincidence, or due to a combination of factors, but my cat had the 'loosies' when she came home from the shelter. After 3 moths of anti-biotic treatment, dietary changes, probiotics, I started mixing pumpkin in with her meals...her BMs normalized the next day and have been fine since. I've kept her on the pumpkin as well as a probiotic and slippery elm supplement just for good measure. It can't hurt (its fiber & water with a small number of calories from digestable CHO)and can only help.

L

    Bookmark   January 17, 2009 at 12:07PM
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rivkadr

I've also heard it's good for hairballs?

    Bookmark   January 17, 2009 at 1:59PM
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carmen_grower_2007

I was more interested in if it has some sort of nutritional value. I am going to make cat food from around 20 qt. jars of chicken that I canned a few years ago when we ended our meat chicken business. The texture is kind of mushy and we won't eat it so I plan to use it.

Other than kelp meal, Diatomaceous Earth and chicken, what else do you suggest I put in cat food. Should I mix some of their dry food in with it?

    Bookmark   January 17, 2009 at 4:08PM
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dirthappy

I guess it would be the same for cats but our vet had me use it on our dog for fiber. He had an anal gland issue and it's supposed to bulk up the feces to expel the gland.

    Bookmark   January 17, 2009 at 4:27PM
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joepyeweed

Pumpkin has a good combination of calcium, magnesium and fiber all things that are good at calming the digestive system...

think of a tums tablet combined with a fiber pill...

Pumpkin Nutrition Facts
(1 cup cooked, boiled, drained, without salt)

Calories 49
Protein 2 grams
Carbohydrate 12 grams
Dietary Fiber 3 grams
Calcium 37 mg
Iron 1.4 mg
Magnesium 22 mg
Potassium 564 mg Zinc 1 mg
Selenium .50 mg
Vitamin C 12 mg
Niacin 1 mg
Folate 21 mcg
Vitamin A 2650 IU
Vitamin E 3 mg

    Bookmark   January 17, 2009 at 5:18PM
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mazer415

besides, they like it. My kitties use to sit out on an October night and help us clean up while we were carving out our pumpkins...they loved it when ever we opened up a pumpkin for them.

    Bookmark   January 17, 2009 at 5:36PM
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Elly_NJ

If you are making you own cat food, you had better make sure it addresses the cat's nutritional needs, including additional taurine, without which they can go blind.

Since cats come from wild cats of Africa, and wild cats do not eat squash, I do not think they need pumpkin in their diet.

    Bookmark   January 18, 2009 at 8:28AM
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carmen_grower_2007

What food has taurine in it? I guess they must get it in the wild and since these cats much prefer little critters they catch, (little taurines?) I expect they get that naturally. Still, if you know a food that naturally has it, please tell me.

With a heavy ground cover of snow and temps in the minus numbers, these cats are staying indoors most all the time these days.

    Bookmark   January 18, 2009 at 9:02AM
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joepyeweed

Pumpkin isn't recommended to be part of a regular diet, especially for cats.

A couple tablespoons of pumpkin is recommended for pets when they are having digestive issues, such as diarrhea or constipation.

    Bookmark   January 18, 2009 at 10:03AM
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lfnyc

Taurine is contained in animal protein...it cannot be derived from plants and is essential to cats.

    Bookmark   January 18, 2009 at 10:18AM
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joepyeweed

Taurine is mainly found in bile - the stomach and intestines.

    Bookmark   January 18, 2009 at 2:33PM
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Elly_NJ

This is from a vegetarian website recommending not to feed cats a vegetarian diet. I know you were not proposing that, but it is the first site I found about cat nutrition. I am sure there are more.

Here is a link that might be useful: Cat nutrition

    Bookmark   January 18, 2009 at 2:43PM
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carmen_grower_2007

Re: adding organ meats to home made cat food, that seems strange to me because when the cats hunt, the only thing they seem to leave behind are the intestines and the heart. (with birds, they eat the beaks, feet and even most of the feathers that haven't blown around, but not the organs.)

I have tried giving them chicken giblets in the past and they won't eat them.

    Bookmark   January 18, 2009 at 3:28PM
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Elly_NJ

Wild carnivores eat all the organs except the intestines. Some (like owls) eat intestines.

Just because your cats don't eat giblets does not mean they are not good for them.

I think if people are going to leave off commercial diets, then provide wild mice - note, wild, because they eat a better diet than lab mice - and chipmunks.

    Bookmark   January 18, 2009 at 5:21PM
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Meghane

Canned pumpkin has a good balance of digestible and non-digestible fiber, which promotes healthy stool consistency. I have no idea why it works better for cats than dogs, that has been my experience as well.

Taurine is also found in rodent brains. Yet another reason whole prey is best, not just skeletal meat and organs.

    Bookmark   January 20, 2009 at 11:17AM
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yogacat

Taurine is found in many raw meats. Cooking destroys it, which is why it is added to commercial food and must be added to a cooked homemade diet.

Humans synthesize taurine, but cats just get if from their food. Very efficient when feeding in the wild, not so great when depending on humans to provide food.

    Bookmark   January 22, 2009 at 8:26PM
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cats2010_yahoo_com

I don't have a position on this, but I think any cat lover would enjoy this video.

Here is a link that might be useful: Big Cats and Pumpkins

    Bookmark   May 18, 2011 at 12:49PM
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