Although eating nuts provides significant health benefits to humans, does the same hold true for cats?
Can cats get the same nutritional benefits from eating nuts as we do? These questions will leave you wondering, can cats eat almonds?
Well, let’s find out, shall we!
Can Cats Eat Almonds?
Regular unsalted, raw almonds aren’t toxic to cats but, if ingested in large quantities can cause cats to experience some health issues.
Not all almonds are safe for cats to eat such as salted almonds. They are a no-no for cats and other pets.
Cats don’t respond well to salt, as excess salt can cause cats to develop salt poisoning or sodium-ion toxicosis. It’s a serious condition and requires immediate medical assistance, as it can be fatal.
Roasted almonds are another no-go as they also have a high sodium chloride content, making it easier for your cat to develop salt poisoning.
If your cat doesn’t drink enough water throughout the day that will also increase their risk of dehydration putting a strain on their bodies.
In addition, roasted almonds have higher fat and caloric content than raw almonds. The difference is minimal but should still be kept in mind when it comes to cats and other pets.
Raw, unsalted sweet almonds (the kind you and I would eat) are the easiest on a cat’s digestive systems because there are no additives.
But, cats aren’t equipped to digest almonds the way that we are, regardless of their type.
So, while your cat snacking on a few raw almonds isn’t the end of the world, don’t make it a habit.
High amounts of almonds can still cause them harm and lead to cyanide poisoning.
Are Almonds Safe Or Poisonous To Your Cat?
The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA) confirms that sweet almonds aren’t toxic to cats however, they don’t recommend them as part of your cat’s diet regularly.
The high-fat content in almonds can lead to some digestive problems, including stomach upset, diarrhea, vomiting, and even pancreatitis in some cases.
Keep in mind, cats can’t synthesize amino acids the same way the human digestive system can.
Not to mention, they lack the nutritional requirements that cats need in their meals. Sweet almonds contain proteins, which cats may benefit from slightly but that’s about it!
Even so, the amount of protein included in a couple of almonds isn’t enough to cover the needs of your cat’s body.
Warning! Have you heard of bitter almonds before?
Bitter almonds have been confirmed to be a toxic food to cats because they contain cyanogenic glycosides.
It’s a natural toxin that’s present in many plant-based food and whose hydrolysis forms the deadly hydrocyanic acid, which is hydrogen cyanide and water.
According to research, 10 to 70 raw bitter almonds can kill a 150-pound human adult, and only a few can kill a child. So, imagine what it’d do to your feline companion if they manage to ingest a bitter almond.
Before you enter panic mode, these types of almonds aren’t typically sold commercially in the U.S., which means you shouldn’t accidentally eat it or feed it to your furry friend.
They are usually sold in alternative natural health stores and should be clearly labeled as bitter almonds.
Remember, never feed them to your cat, and if you do have bitter almonds stored in your home keep them in a lock-tight container.
It’s worth mentioning that cyanide is also available in apple seeds, cherry pits, and peach pits.
Side Effects Of Eating Almonds
If your cat manages to swallow a whole almond or only partially chew one before it swallows them, it can be a choking hazard or worse, lead to bowel obstruction.
Your cat may vomit or experience diarrhea if they ingest enough nuts because almonds are loaded with fats.
If your cat begins to eat almonds regularly, you’ll potentially notice more serious issues, such as weight gain and pancreatitis.
Your cat is likely to experience cyanide poisoning by eating small amounts of bitter almonds rather than a relatively large amount of sweet almonds.
Common symptoms of cyanide poisoning are if your cat has dilated pupils or is hyperventilating.
You shouldn’t worry too much about cyanide poisoning if you don’t have bitter almonds at hand. However, you should still be mindful of how many almonds your cat consumes and what kind.
If the almonds that your cat ate aren’t raw but roasted or salted this can lead to further problems. These almonds are too high in salts for cats and may lead to sodium ion toxicosis.
Sodium-ion toxicosis can cause your cat to have symptoms of diarrhea, lethargy, retention of fluid in the body, dehydration, seizures, and in serious cases, death.
Can Cats Eat Chocolate-Covered Almonds?
No, cats should never eat chocolate-covered almonds, and here’s why.
Chocolate and cocoa are toxic to cats because they contain theobromine and caffeine, both of which cats can’t metabolize, leading to toxin build-up.
Dark chocolate is far more toxic to cats than regular chocolate as it contains higher percentages of cocoa.
Almonds covered with dark chocolate should be avoided at all times.
A cat’s sensitivity to chocolate varies from one to another. If you suspect that your feline friend has eaten chocolate, you should call your vet immediately.
Symptoms of chocolate poisoning in your cat are restlessness, hyperactivity, muscle rigidity, and increased heart rate.
The toxicity of chocolate, combined with the dangers of almonds, are good enough reasons to avoid feeding your cat almonds altogether.
Can Cats Have Almond Milk?
Most adult cats naturally become lactose intolerant, so drinking lactose or eating dairy can cause them to have an upset stomach, diarrhea, or vomiting.
Because they can’t digest lactose properly it ends up fermenting in their stomach causing them to have an upset stomach just like humans would.
While almond milk lacks the lactose that causes digestive problems to cats, it has no nutritional value to them.
As long as your cat doesn’t have a sensitive stomach or reacts negatively to almond milk, you should be okay giving it to them as an occasional treat from time to time.
Keep in mind, per cup, unsweetened almond milk contains anywhere from 30 to 60 calories so overfeeding it to your cat could cause weight gain.
Almond butter is more harmful to cats because it has a high-fat content. In addition, most commercial almond butter has sugar in it, which causes digestion problems, diabetes, and weight gain in the long run.
So, It’s not recommended to feed your cat almond butter at all.
Conclusion On Can Cats Eat Almonds
Nuts contain fat, protein, fiber, and other nutrients, making them superb for a human diet but the same can’t be said for cats.
Felines are natural carnivores that rely on lean meat for their nutrients, meaning they are unlikely to get enough nutrition by eating high-fat food, such as nuts and seeds.
Is it okay for cats to have nuts as an occasional snack?
Your local Vet isn’t likely to recommend you include nuts into your cat food.
Too much fat in the feline diet can cause weight gain and increase the risk of diabetes and pancreatitis.
What’s the simple answer? An almond or two shouldn’t cause any serious harm, but don’t expect these nuts to be of great nutritional value for your cat, and keep in mind the hazards.
Frequently Asked Questions
Can Cats Have Almond Milk or Soy Milk?
Cats can have almond and soy milk in moderation. That being said, you should use these types of milk as a cat treat and monitor your cat while they drink to make sure they don’t have any allergic reaction.
Can Almonds Kill Cats?
No, almonds or (sweet almonds), in particular, aren’t toxic to cats. Therefore, they can’t kill them.
However, large amounts aren’t recommended as your cat might not be able to digest them.
Are Bitter Almonds Toxic To Cats?
Yes! You should never feed your cat bitter almonds.
How Many Almonds Can be Given to Cats?
Moderation is the keyword here! While it’s recommended that you avoid giving your cat almonds at all, one raw almond once in a while wouldn’t be the end of the world.