Pistachio nuts are members of the cashew family. These nuts originally grew in Central Asia and the Middle Eastern countries and are tasty human snacks. They are great sources of natural fats, sugars, and other essential nutrients.
If you have a feline pet, most likely you have wondered, “Can cats eat pistachios?”
This article discusses the benefits and dangers when cats eat pistachios.
Can cats eat pistachios?
No. Pistachios can do more harm than good to cats. While these pistachios may not be poisonous to cats, but they can cause several health problems.
Many commercially packed pistachios contain a lot of salt, garlic, and onion. These seasonings can cause gastrointestinal distress and other health issues. Also, it can lead to foreign body obstruction and lead to death.
Omnivores like humans can easily digest fat from nuts. But, carnivores like cats cannot metabolize pistachios and other nuts. They can result in bloating and stomach upset if eaten regularly.
If you’re not convinced, here are the benefits and risks of feeding pistachios to your cats so you can decide for yourself.
What are the health benefits of pistachios for hamsters?
An ounce of pistachios, which has an average of 50 nuts, contains the following nutritional value.
- Vitamin B6
- 159 calories
- 5.72 grams protein
- 7.7 grams carbs
- 12.85 grams fat
- 3 grams fiber
Health benefits in eating pistachios
Here are some health advantages of feeding pistachios to your cats.
Pistachios are low calories and high protein content.
Pistachio is one of the nuts that have low caloric content and it is second to almond nuts in protein content.
Pistachios have amino acid content.
Essential amino acids in pistachios are converted into nitric acid. It causes blood vessels to dilate making blood flow easier.
Pistachios promote healthy gut flora.
These nuts contain fiber which helps promote healthy stomach bacteria. The short-chain fatty acids that come from the fermented fiber reduces the risk of digestive and heart diseases.
Pistachios lower blood pressure.
The antioxidants in pistachios lower blood cholesterol and blood pressure and lead to reduced risks of heart diseases.
What are the dangers of eating pistachios to cats?
Now let’s discuss the dangerous effects when cats eat pistachios.
Pistachios can lead to gastrointestinal distress.
The contents of pistachios can cause severe stomach pain and discomfort.
A cat’s digestive system cannot process natural fats and plant proteins as efficiently as they process animal protein. It can lead to gassiness, bloating, and abdominal pains.
Even small amounts of pistachios can cause digestive irritation for sensitive cats.
Pistachios are also high in complex fiber. While this is good news for humans. For cats, a high fiber diet can cause loose stools. It can lead to diarrhea.
If diarrhea persists for several days, cats can die from dehydration. Before this happens, bring your cat to the clinic.
Pistachios can lead to pancreatitis.
Cats need fats for energy. Pistachios have high fat. But eating too many pistachios can cause obesity and related complications like pancreatitis.
Pancreatitis happens when the pancreas becomes inflamed due to too many toxins and fats. The pancreas will stop producing digestive liquids.
Cats with pancreatitis will experience nausea, still changes, and extreme abdominal pains.
Pistachios can lead to foreign body obstruction.
Pistachios can cause foreign body obstruction.
Because cats are carnivores, a cat’s body cannot synthesize the nutrients in plant-based matters. Pistachios can cause a blockage in a cat’s intestinal tract.
This condition can be excruciating for a cat and, most of the time will need surgery. If not treated immediately, it can lead to fatal results.
Pistachios contain harmful additives.
Many nuts in the grocery store contain seasonings that are harmful to a cat. Commercial pistachios can have salt, garlic, or onion seasonings.
Ingesting a lot of salt can have toxic effects on cats. It can lead to seizures, gastric distress, and muscle incoordination.
Similarly, garlic and onion are dangerous to a cat.
Pistachios carry harmful fungi.
Cats can have aflatoxin toxicosis from the fungi Aspergillus in pistachios.
Aflatoxin toxicosis has the following symptoms.
- Cats will refuse to eat and drink
- Mucous membranes will turn yellowish in color
- Vitamin deficiency
- Diarrhea with bloody or dark tarry stools
- Pain and discomfort
If you see these signs, call a vet immediately.
Pistachio can be a choking hazard.
For kittens and small cats, pistachios and other fruit seeds pose a risk of choking and blockage of the intestinal tract.
The pistachio shells are a choking hazard because they are hard and rough. It means that they can get stuck on the esophagus.
Kittens are more likely to develop side effects from pistachios since their bodies are still developing. Pregnant and old cats can also suffer because they have weak immune systems.
Can cats eat ice cream with pistachios?
Should we give ice cream to cats? There are 6 things you must know. But, in general the answer is no – especially pistachio ice cream.
Aside from its pistachio content, ice cream is has a lot sweeteners that can give rise to a lot of health problems.
Too much sugar can result in drastic weight gain and give your cat diabetes.
Ice cream also contains lactose or milk sugar. It is potentially harmful to an adult cat. While a kitten can digest milk, an adult cat is lactose intolerant. When it grows into an adult, a cat’s body stops producing lactase. Lactase is the enzyme capable of breaking down lactose.
Are you surprised about this fact? Well, you’re not alone. We are programmed to believe that cats love milk from movies we watch. The truth is, milk is no good for cats.
Can cats eat pudding with pistachios?
Pistachio pudding is not safe for cats. Your cat may like the taste and consistency of pistachio pudding but they should not be included in their diet.
Pudding has carbohydrates and fat which your cat cannot digest properly.
During the early 20th century, cats were given milk-soaked bread for breakfast. This is the early form of pudding. But studies showed that milk and bread should not be made staple foods for cats.
Can cats eat fudge with pistachios?
Like ice cream, pistachio fudge is not okay for cats to eat. They are high in sugar and can bring about health complications and irritate a cat’s digestive system.
Can a baby cat eat pistachios?
Kittens are more sensitive and have a still-developing body.
When kittens eat pistachios, their digestive system will not be able to handle them and they can experience severe consequences.
How many pistachios can cats eat?
The recommended amount is zero. We have already emphasized that pistachios are no good for a cat. But if you are still intent on giving this food to your cat, you can give them one or two nuts a week.
If you notice any adverse effects after feeding your cat, do not continue to give it as a treat. If there are severe side effects like choking and abdominal pains, you must bring your cat to the vet immediately.
What are other food alternatives for pistachios?
If your feline pet has developed a liking for pistachio nuts and you’re trying to break this habit, you can try adding these foods to your cat’s diet.
Nut-shaped cat feed
There are several commercially available cat food that is shaped like nuts. You can buy the green one and give your cat the impression of eating pistachios.
Organic seeds are packed with nutrients and are very tasty. Unlike nuts which have high-fat content, seeds contain vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. Smaller seeds like pumpkin, chia, and sunflower seeds are safe for cats. Your cat will surely love these treats.
Pumpkin seeds contain beta-carotene, antioxidants, vitamin A, potassium, iron, manganese, magnesium, copper, and zinc.
Sunflower seeds have protein, fiber, vitamin E, and vitamin B1.
Chia seeds are rich in omega 3 vitamins A, B3, and B12, zinc, potassium, and thiamine.
The shells of pumpkin and sunflower seeds are dangerous and can lead to choking. Make sure to remove all of the shells before giving them to your cat.
Meat and fish
Cats should primarily eat meat-based foods. For instance, salmon is safe for cats, and they will surely enjoy this fish. Unlike humans, cats cannot tolerate too much plant food in their diet.
Meat provides your pet protein which leads to a healthy reproductive system, strong heart, and good vision.
Domesticated cats can become sick from eating too much raw meat. They can also develop stomach infections from spoiled meat. Raw and spoiled meat can contain E. coli and salmonella bacteria that can are toxic to cats.
Give your cat cooked meat. But be careful in feeding them leftover food from the table. Most human food contains salt. It can cause health risks for your pet.
Your cat can easily gain weight from animal fat. So, choose lean meat to feed your pet.
Whole grains like oats, barley, and cornmeal are also delicious treats for your feline friends. These contain complex fibers that can aid in digestion and avert digestive diseases.
What are other foods that are dangerous to a cat?
Here are some foods that have potential health risks and poisonous effects on cats. The impact can cause mild gastrointestinal upset or risk of death.
- dairy products (milk, cheese, and yogurt)
- raw meat, fish, and eggs
- dog food
- bread and yeast
- onion and garlic
Do not attempt to include these in your cat’s diet.
Final thoughts: “Can cats eat pistachios?”
The answer is a resounding no. Pistachio like all nuts is not recommended for cats. While they are nutritious snacks for humans, they are a health risk to your pets.
A cat’s pancreas cannot handle the fat content of nuts can lead to pancreatitis. It can also result in obesity, diabetes, pancreatitis, and heart problems.