Can Cats Eat Pistachios Safely?

Russell Cargill

Human foods aren’t always suitable for our cats and can actually be toxic for them. But, not all human foods are toxic to cats so you might be left wondering, can cats eat pistachios?

Most people worldwide would like to pamper their pets and one thing we have all done at some point in time is give them a piece of our food. 

Can Cats Eat Pistachios?

The short answer is no, cats can’t eat pistachios as they can cause tremendous digestive issues. 

If you didn’t know your cat is what’s called an obligate carnivore. That means they can survive entirely on a diet of animal protein. 

Think of your little domestic like a wild lion, they thrive on a rich diet high in protein, fats and a very small amount of carbohydrates found in animal meat and skin. 

As sophisticated as your cats digestive system is, they’re unable to produce taurine naturally among other essential nutrients. That is why they solely rely on their nutrition from food to help them get all the nutrients they need. 

A cats regular diet plays a huge role in their health, and because they have adapted to eating a meat based diet they require very little to no plant based foods. 

Yes even those plant foods rich in protein aren’t going to cut it for your feline friend, sorry vegan cat owners!

Strangely enough, cats do seem to enjoy eating some plant-based foods although it offers them such little nutrients.

So to get to the point! Pistachios aren’t toxic for your cat but they offer them no benefits.

In fact, they actually present a greater risk to your cat but, more on pistachio nuts and their dangers below!

Can Kittens Eat Pistachios?

Kittens require a highly tuned diet in order to grow into a healthy adult cat. Your kitten’s digestive system is different from your adult cats as they require a select group of nutrients. 

Their immunity is also significantly weaker than adult cats and are more likely to suffer from the health risks of a pistachio. 

It’s recommended to feed your cat nothing but a good high quality kitten food

Are Pistachios Toxic To Cats? The Health Risks 

Below is a list of dangers that pistachio nuts present to cats. 

1. Risks Of Gastrointestinal Upset

Pistachios are great for humans and not so great for cats. The nuts are rich in fibre, so rich in fact that they can cause a laxative like effect on your cat. 

While the right amount of fibre intake for your cat will allow them to have normal stools too much fibre can cause them to have loose stools. 

That means that your cat could potentially develop diarrhea causing dehydration and discomfort. Along with that they can also experience bloating and stomach aches. 

2. Risks Of Pancreatitis

We all know nuts are not only high in dietary fiber but also high in fats. It’s true that these good fats are what gives your cat that abundance of energy but, too much fats could lead to weight problems or obesity. 

Along with weight problems are the digestive issues mentioned above, there is a risk of developing pancreatitis from too much fatty foods. 

Pancreatitis is caused by inflammation. When the pancreas can’t function properly and releases “digestive juices” as it should, that “juice” acts like a toxin and starts to damage vital organs and tissue. 

Your cat will show signs of severe abdominal pain, blood in their stools and vomiting. 

3. Choking Hazard

Pistachio, almond, peanut, cashew, and macadamia nuts all present some sort of choking hazard for cats and kittens.

Take for instance, the shell of the pistachio nut. The shell itself is a choking hazard for your cat.  

If choking wasn’t scary enough a more serious hazard of foreign body obstruction can occur if your cat eats nuts.

Your cat will usually digest food within 10-24 hours of eating. Some objects can take months, yes months!

Objects that are too large to pass through the digestive tract become stuck and that’s what’s known as foreign body obstruction. If the foreign body makes it to the colon then it’s likely to be passed however, it can still cause extreme pain and discomfort. 

Because nuts often have sharp edges it’s easy to understand how these can present problems for your cat’s highly tuned digestive system. 

4. Dangerous Additives

These days most nuts are sold with additional additives such as salt to add more flavor to the nuts. Other additives could be garlic, onion or butter. 

These additives can cause your cat health problems and should be avoided at all times. In fact garlic is about five times more toxic than onions for cats. 

If It’s not clear yet, just avoid giving your cat any type of nuts, it’s really not necessary. 

If the toxic additives weren’t bad enough, a pistachio is known to harbour a fungus dangerous to cats and dogs.

This fungus could lead to what’s known as aflatoxin toxicosis and below are some of the symptoms related to aflatoxin toxicosis:

  • Bloody diarrhea or black-tarry stool
  • Lethargy
  • Loss of appetite
  • Seizures
  • Vomiting
  • Yellow mucus 

Let’s talk about cat allergies.

Despite nuts generally being considered nontoxic to animals by the ASPCA, nut allergies are not uncommon in cats. In fact, nut allergies are one of the three most common causes of itching in cats.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can Cats Eat Pistachio Pudding?

No.Not only should they not eat pistachio pudding, they shouldn’t be eating pudding of any kind. Pudding contains high levels of sugar and fat that are dangerous for your cat. 

Can Cats Eat Pistachios Ice Cream?

No. You should avoid feeding your cat pistachio ice cream due to the high level of sugar and artificial flavors or sweeteners. Adult cats are actually lactose intolerant so they shouldn’t be eating any ice cream or dairy products. 

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