Squash is a large fleshy fruit, although it is often mistaken for a vegetable and is usually considered so in recipes and cooking instructions. The most common forms of squash are the zucchini and the pumpkin. We humans typically enjoy the food scooped out of its skin. The seeds can be eaten, or they may be removed, and the high water content of squashes like the zucchini do best with dry heat cooking techniques like stir fry or griddling the ingredients.
Generally speaking, all forms of squash are considered safe for cats to eat. In fact, while the cat is an obligate carnivore, this is one type of fruit that can be fed quite safely, and that might give benefit to your feline friend. There should certainly be no reason to be concerned if your cat steals some pumpkin from your plate, and if they are looking longingly at your griddled zucchini, you can try sharing if you like.
It is always worth remembering that the cooking method and additional ingredients used will ultimately determine how safe a particular ingredient is for your cat. While squash might be good for your cat, pumpkin pie, with its added sugars and other ingredients, is not.
Cats are obligate carnivores. In the wild, they would get all of their nutrients from animal and meat protein. The only vegetables, fruit, grain, and other ingredients they would consume would come from the stomach of their prey.
Most commonly, wild cats consume rodents and may take down some small animals like rabbits and birds. Rarely would they eat fish, although there are some exceptions to this rule, and they would never eat squash in the wild.
However, the modern cat is domesticated and not wild. They have unique dietary requirements, and the addition of some additional ingredients to their food can help ensure that they receive all the vitamins and minerals that are considered an important part of their diet. Ingredients like grains or substitutes like peas are used to bind dry food together, while vitamin-rich foods like blueberries are also found in the list of cat food ingredients.
Is Squash Good for Cats?
Squash is another ingredient that cats would not eat in the wild, but it is considered a healthy addition to your cat’s diet.
Summer squash is low in calories, so it won’t cause your cat to pile on the pounds. Despite this, it is high in vitamins.
It is also loaded with dietary fiber, which is vital to your cat’s digestive and gut health and could be the biggest benefit of this ingredient.
How Do I Prepare Squash for My Cat?
Squash is good for your cat, but you should not feed it raw. Raw squash is hard and very difficult to digest. It could cause an obstruction and prevent your feline from properly swallowing. For similar reasons, you should also ensure that the squash is thoroughly peeled before preparing and feeding.
What Vegetables Can I Feed My Cat?
Although cats are carnivores, some fruits and vegetables are considered safe and palatable for their consumption. As well as squash, in its various forms, you can feed:
Learning about what your cat can and cannot eat is a crucial part of keeping them happy and healthy! Choosing a bowl to serve cat-friendly foods in is another important decision pet owners face. Satisfy the specific needs of your cat with the innovative design of the Hepper NomNom Cat Bowl. Learn why it’s our (and our cats!) favorite food and water dish here.
At Catster, we’ve admired Hepper for many years and decided to take a controlling ownership interest so that we could benefit from the outstanding designs of this cool cat company!
Should You Feed Squash to Your Cat?
Your cat needs meat to ensure that they receive all the required essential amino acids. While they should not be fed a vegetarian diet, they can benefit from having a bit of fruit and vegetables added to their diet. One such addition is squash, in its many forms and varieties.
Ensure it is peeled and properly cooked because the skin and the raw flesh are too difficult to digest. Consider combining it with additional ingredients like chicken or salmon to make it more palatable, and avoid giving processed squash or dishes containing squash unless you have checked all the other ingredients.
Featured Image Credit: guvo59, Pixabay