Halloween Pumpkin Treats for Cats
Days filled with virtual meetings might have turned you into a Zoom Zombie, but Halloween is right around the corner and there are pumpkins popping up everywhere. Even if you don’t have a black cat, you can still get in the Halloween holiday spirit by baking your favorite feline some pumpkin cat treats. You wait all year for those yummy pumpkin-spiced lattes and muffins — why not make a special pumpkin treat for your favorite fur ball?
Pumpkin is also a guilt-free holiday snack, since it’s safe and healthy for felines in small doses. Try these DIY recipes and give your cat something to purr about on All Hallows Eve.
Pumpkin is a Healthy Kitty Treat
The experts at PetMD love pumpkin because of its high-fiber content. Many vets advise pet parents with constipated furry friends to mix pumpkin in with their food to get things moving. It can even help with other kitty ailments like hairballs and diarrhea.
Besides easing constipation, pumpkin’s high-fiber content can also help your cat in their battle against the bulge. For plumper cats who tend to overeat, pumpkin makes them feel fuller faster, so they eat less and feel satisfied sooner. By adding more bulk to their diet, pumpkin might just be your cat’s ticket to a healthier and more svelte feline physique.
Fresh and canned pumpkin contain high levels of Vitamins A and C, both of which help keep your cat’s immune system and vision in top working order. They also contain natural immune-system boosters like Vitamin E and beta carotene, which keep harmful free radicals at bay. This fabulous gourd is a superfood, high in the kind of vitamins that are beneficial for middle-aged and senior cats.
Several other vitamins and minerals found in pumpkin have health benefits for cats. Zinc helps keep your cat’s coat and skin healthy, and cucurbitacin is a naturally-occurring plant chemical which, when eaten, may have anti-parasitic effects.
Just Plain Pumpkin Please
Read the can or ingredient list if you are looking to purchase a processed product containing pumpkin. Cans of pumpkin pie filling and other store-bought pumpkin treats contain excess sugar and sweeteners, which can be harmful to cats, especially those with diabetes. That’s why making your own cat treats is always the best bet — no surprise ingredients when you’re the chef!
Now that you know how healthy pumpkin is for your cat, here are two recipes that’ll spice up your fur baby’s diet:
Catnip Tuna Pumpkin Delights
Cats are obligate carnivores, which means it is unhealthy for them to be 100% vegetarian. These easy-to-make treats contain tuna, guaranteeing your cat gets the protein, healthy fish oils, minerals, and vitamins only meat can provide. Because they contain tuna, they will keep longer (and smell less) if stored in your refrigerator.
Recipe courtesy of Shed Happens
- 1/2 Cup of Oat Flour (Don’t have oat flour? Make it by placing rolled oats in the blender. Blend for 10 – 15 seconds or until you have a fine powder.)
- 1/3 Cup of Canned Pure Pumpkin Puree
- (1) 5-Ounce Can of Tuna in Water
- 1 Teaspoon Dried Catnip (Optional)
- Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.
- Combine all ingredients in a bowl. Mix until well-combined and formed into sticky clumps of dough.
- Roll out dough between 2 sheets of wax paper. Cut into small squares or use small cookie cutters. You can also roll the dough into small balls between your hands if you’d like.
- Place on a lightly greased cookie sheet or line sheet with parchment paper.
- Bake for approximately 15 minutes, or until firm and browning on the edges.
- Allow to cool before removing from cookie sheet. Cool completely on cooling rack before placing in an airtight container for storage. Refrigerate until ready to eat.
Pumpkin Pie Cookies
This recipe is chock-a-block full of fruits and vegetables like carrots, apples, and canned pumpkin.
Recipe from The Kitty Expert
- 2 cups of rice flour
- 1 cup of canned pumpkin
- Half cup of unsweetened apple sauce
- 1 cup grated carrots
- Half cup of uncooked oatmeal
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- Combine all ingredients except oatmeal and rice flour, using a blender or food processor. In another bowl, mix rice flour and oatmeal.
- Add in rice flour and oatmeal. Mix all ingredients together until a firm dough forms.
- With a rolling pin, roll out the dough to an approximate thickness of 1/3 to 1/4 inches. Shape into squares or other holiday shapes using a cookie cutter.
- Place onto a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper.
- First bake for 7 minutes, then flip and bake for 5 more minutes.
- Remove them and serve once cooled completely.
- Store in an airtight container once fully cooled.
Variety Is the Spice of Life
You would get bored eating the same kind of food every day… and so would your cat! In the wild, cats are hunters, which means that they eat a variety of different foods – whatever they come across within their habitat. Adding new foods, treats, and even cat-safe human foods is a way to keep your cat’s palate and brain excited and satisfied. You can safely add diversity to their diet by making your own healthy cat treats.
Help your cat join in the Halloween hullabaloo by cooking up these DIY pumpkin treats. Regardless of whether you dress up in a costume, you and your kitty can still enjoy some Halloween fun together!