We love our cats and want to make them happy. Some pet owners freely share their snacks with their cats because they want to include them in everything. While it’s good to share and give them treats, it’s important to make sure that the foods we give them are safe for cats to eat. Some human foods are highly toxic to cats, but some make healthy snacks. One question that was recently asked is can cats eat pumpkin seeds? While we didn’t have an immediate answer to the question, we did find reliable research that answers the question. Here is what we learned about the surprising facts about cats and pumpkin seeds.
What does the research have to say about feeding cats pumpkin seeds?
Pet nutrition experts at Cat Time, allow that yes, cats can have pumpkin seeds. There is nothing toxic in the seeds and they won’t present any health hazards from a nutritional point of view. There is a caveat to go along with this confirmation though. Although your cat won’t be poisoned by sharing a handful of pumpkin seeds with you, there are a few hazards that go along with eating them. The size of the seeds could present a choking hazard. Most of us have experienced the jagged edges that these seeds develop when we chew them. It’s no different for your cat, but he may not realize that he should not swallow the sharp debris of the outer shell that isn’t easy to chew into small pieces. The risks are not worth the benefits, so baked seeds are out, but there are other ways to prepare them that are safer.
How can you solve the choking hazard?
There are ways to serve your cat pumpkin seeds that reduce the risks of choking. Pumpkin seeds can be safely given to cats when you prepare them properly. Raw pumpkin seeds that are uncooked are much softer and they’re likely to slide right down. It’s the cooking that makes them hard and brittle. Also, make sure that the seeds are served raw without any additions, such as salt, sugar, or any other kinds of spices. Salt and sugar are ingredients that are not healthy for your cat and should be consumed in only small amounts if at all. Another excellent way to serve pumpkin seeds to your cat is to crush them up finely, then add them to your cat’s regular food. There is little chance of choking and it’s a healthy addiction that may even provide nutritional benefits for your kitty. If your cat likes the taste or texture of pumpkin seeds, it’s perfectly fine to share with him as long as they’re raw and unseasoned.
What is the nutritional value of pumpkin seeds for cats?
Pet nutritionists at The Nest advise that pumpkin seeds are not only okay to feed your cat, you definitely should include them in his diet. Pumpkin seeds contain nutrients that are very healthy for felines and there may be additional health benefits that can improve some existing health conditions. The seeds are chock full of healthy vitamins and minerals that your cat needs for good health. These include vitamin A, essential fatty acids, fiber, and antioxidants. Pumpkin seeds also contain rich supplies of manganese, magnesium, copper, zinc, potassium, iron, and beta carotene.
What are the potential health benefits?
Pumpkin seeds can help your cat’s coat to shine with a glossy coat thanks to the essential fatty acids. They’re also good for heart health. The antioxidants contain anti-aging properties and they help to boost your cat’s immune system so he can ward off illness and disease. It also helps his cells to repair themselves and to replenish more rapidly. Antioxidants are even known to help prevent certain types of cancer. Pumpkin seeds are a treasure trove of nutrients, but as with any good thing, you can overdo it. Some nutrients such as vitamin A or iron should be given in moderation because too much is unhealthy. Pumpkin seeds make a healthy snack alternative now and then.
What health issues can pumpkin seeds improve?
If your kitty suffers from irregularity or other digestive issues, the fiber found in pumpkin seeds can help him to become more regular. It keeps things moving through his digestive tract healthily. It’s recommended by veterinarians for cats with constipation or diarrhea. Just a few ground-up pumpkin seeds can get him back on the right track to improved digestive health. Also, pumpkin seeds are known for their ability to kill intestinal worms in dogs and cats. If you suspect your cat has an infestation of worms, grind up a teaspoon full of pumpkin seeds for each meal until the worms are flushed from your cat’s system. You’ll see the results in his stool. A few pumpkin seeds a week can help to prevent the issue from happening again. Pet Parkway adds that pumpkin seeds are not only nutritious and healthy, they also give you a tasty alternative to share with your feline friends. Pumpkin seeds are one of the human foods that are perfectly safe to share with your kitty if they’re prepared properly. Research confirms that this is one of the healthiest human foods you can feed your cat as long as it’s done in moderation.
The next time your kitty begs you for a bite of food, it’s good to share if you’re eating raw unsalted pumpkin seeds. If you prepare your own pumpkin seeds and you like them cooked with seasoning, save a few servings out for your cat and let him have a teaspoon or two along with you. Now that you know the potential health benefits for your furry friend, this is just one more way that you can bond with him. It’s great to share a healthy snack with the ones that you love.