Can Cats Eat Pistachios?

We only ever want what’s best for our cats. Sometimes finding the best for them requires a little research. There are so many different foods out there, and we don’t always know which ones are harmful to our cats. 

Take pistachios. They’re fine for humans, even healthy in the right amount, but what about for our cats? Our bodies are clearly very different, so must our diets be.

There are things that we can eat that cats can’t and things cats can eat that we’d find gross. 

So what about pistachios, then? Are they harmful to cats or not? We’ve done the research to save you the trouble. Find out the truth about pistachios and cats. 

What Are Pistachios?

A pistachio is a small green nut with a hard shell. It has been cultivated since ancient times and was used as an ingredient in food and medicine. The name comes from the Greek word “pistos” meaning “to bite.”

Pistachios have long been known for their health benefits. They contain high amounts of protein, fiber, iron, calcium, zinc, copper, and manganese. In fact, one cup contains more than 100% of your daily requirement for vitamin E.

The nutritional value of pistachios makes them a great addition to any diet. But do they really harm cats? Let’s take a look at some facts.

What Kind Of Foods Do Cats Eat?

There are two main types of cat food: dry and wet. Dry food is usually made up of meat and bones, while wet food includes vegetables and fruits. Both kinds of food should provide all the nutrients necessary for your cat’s body to function properly.

Dry food tends to be cheaper, but it may also cause digestive problems if your cat isn’t accustomed to eating it. Wet food is generally considered healthier because it provides more vitamins and minerals.

If you feed your cat both types of food, you’ll get the best results. If you just give him dry food, he will probably end up overweight and unhealthy. On the other hand, giving him wet food might make him constipated.

Wet food is also easier to prepare and store. You simply add water to the dry food and mix well. This way, you won’t need to worry about keeping the food fresh.

You can buy canned pet food, but it’s expensive and often full of preservatives. If you want to avoid these additives, you can try making homemade meals using ingredients like chicken, fish, beef, lamb, and turkey.

But How Does This Affect Your Cat? Is It Safe For Them To Eat Pistachios?

It depends on the type of pistachios. Some are natural, and others are processed. Natural pistachios are grown without pesticides and fertilizers. Processed pistachios come from trees that were sprayed with chemicals.

Natural pistachios are available in most supermarkets. They’re sold loose or shelled. Shelled pistachios are much harder to digest, so you may want to skip those.

Processed pistachios are found in snack bars, cereals, crackers, cookies, and ice cream. 

It is safe for your cat to eat natural, de-shelled pistachios. However, it is bad for their health to eat processed pistachios. This is because they are often infused with sugars, fats, and other harmful processed chemicals.

Your cat can eat natural pistachios so long as it is in a small amount and not every day. Pistachios are nuts, and like all nuts, they are still high in fat despite being natural. Too much can cause a tummy problem for your kitty and weight issues.

Cats can eat pistachios whole, but they prefer to nibble on them instead of swallowing them whole. This allows them to enjoy the flavor without having to deal with indigestion.

What Nuts Are Harmful To My Cat?

The reason people are divided about pistachios is that most nuts are actually toxic to cats. Many contain cyanide, which is poisonous to animals.

Some nuts have been linked to kidney failure in cats. Other nuts can cause vomiting, diarrhea, and even death.

Nuts are not good for your cat. Here are some of the worst offenders and nuts to avoid: 

  • Almonds – Almond shells are very hard and can damage your cat’s teeth. The almond itself contains cyanide, which can cause liver and kidney failure.
  • Cashews – Cashews are similar to almonds, but they are smaller and softer. Like almonds, cashews contain cyanide.
  • Macadamia nuts – Macadamias are similar to cashews, but they are larger and firmer. Like almonds and cashews, macadamias contain cyanide.
  • Peanuts – Peanuts are another nut that is dangerous for cats. They are high in fat and protein and can cause stomach upset and blockages.
  • Pecans – Pecans are one of the hardest nuts for cats to chew. They contain a toxin called gossypol, which causes nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea.
  • Pistachio – Pistachios are safe for cats to eat, but they should be avoided if you have an allergy to nuts.
  • Walnuts – Walnuts are rich in omega-3 fatty acids, but they can cause vomiting and diarrhea in cats.

In large doses, these nuts can cause serious harm to your cat. Aside from Macadamia nuts, however, some experts agree that you can give these nuts to your cat in very low doses.

However, since the potential risks outweigh the taste, we’d recommend not risking it and just avoiding these foods altogether as they add very little by way of nutrition to your cat’s diet anyway. 

Final Thoughts

Many people argue over whether you should or shouldn’t feed your cat nuts. We’d argue right back that it depends on the type of nut and the benefit of eating it vs. any potential risks. 

With pistachios, only natural and de-shelled ones are safe for your cat to eat. However, they are still high in fat and should be given to your cat in very low doses, and never every day.

Pistachios are actually relatively low in nutrition for cats. You should always consult with your vet first, as your cat could have potential allergies that you are unaware of. 

Courtney Trent
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