What is it about pistachios that we find so appealing? Let's face it; it's easy to overeat these delicious and nutritious snacks. And at times, we also love to share our snacks with our beloved cats.
But, as cat owners, don't we have a responsibility to do our research and find out the answer to the frequently asked topic, "Can Cats Eat Pistachios?"? Would we be harming our cats, and should we be concerned if they consume one or two nuts?
Let us look at the concerns on this topic in detail, allowing you to put your questions and concerns to rest.
Can cats eat pistachios?
Yes, cats can eat pistachios. However, of course, pet owners should be aware of a few risks that can result from eating pistachios; such as:
Pistachios contain many Lipids, which is just a fancy term for any insoluble compounds in water, such as fat or oil. Both roasted and raw pistachios contain a lot of fat and dietary fiber, like most nuts.
Unfortunately, a cat's digestive system is designed to process animal protein, and it's less efficient for plant-based proteins, leading to gastrointestinal distress in some cats. Signs of distress can be loss of appetite, vomiting, lethargy, bloating (gassiness), and diarrhea.
Just keep in mind that not all cats are created equal, just like people.
I remember my grandpaw, who lived be 98 years old. I can't remember how many occasions I watched my gramps pour bacon grease over his cornbread. Your cat could have a castiron stomach just like him.
Sodium Poisoning (hypernatremia)
A 1/3 cup of dry-roasted pistachios (salted) contains about 175 milligrams of sodium. A salt consumption for an adult cat of more than 41 milligrams a day can be life-threatening. Signs of salt poisoning can lead to vomiting, decreased appetite, lethargy, diarrhea, incoordination, and excessive thirst or urination. Tremors, seizures, coma, and even death are feasible in extreme cases.
Choking or Intestinal Obstruction
Pistachio shells have the potential to induce choking as well as intestinal obstruction. Of course, it's doubtful you would feed your cat shells, but your cat could get into a bag if you left it sitting out. An intestinal obstruction interferes with the passage of food and fluids, can damage digestive tissues, and result in life-threatening consequences.
Signs of gastric or intestinal obstruction vary but often include vomiting and loss of appetite. Other symptoms include lethargy, diarrhea, abdominal pain or swelling, fever or subnormal body temperature, dehydration, and shock.
Garlic or Onion Poisoning
Pistachios are sometimes seasoned with garlic and onion, which are considered harmful to cats in specific amounts. In small quantities, poisoning could have a delayed onset and may not be apparent for several days. However, eating this has a high potential to destroy blood cells in cats. The destruction of these blood cells will lead to symptoms of anemia, including an increased respiratory rate, an elevated heart rate, lethargy, weakness, exercise intolerance, and even death.
As you can see, the answer to the issue of whether or not cats can eat pistachios is not a resounding no. But, there are some health hazards to keep in mind.
First, make sure your cat's tummy can tolerate the fats and high fiber content; feed your cat a small amount and watch them over several hours to see how they handle these nuts.
Second, manage the salt content and keep their daily consumption under the recommended limit.
Third, don't let them eat seasoned nuts unless you can fully understand the impact each ingredient can have.
Finally, follow the recommended practice of making sure treats only consist of 10% of their daily calorie consumption. Your cat needs a balanced diet, and they will not get the required nutrition by eating treats all day long.
The fact is that pistachios can be bad for cats. Also, keep in mind that kittens, elderly, pregnant cats, and ill cats are particularly vulnerable to the effects of these nuts, as their immune systems are already compromised. In addition, because of their smaller digestive tracts, kittens are more susceptible to foreign body obstructions than other animals. But with the proper precautions, your cat can enjoy these yummy pistachios, just as you. So the only question you need to ask yourself is, is the enjoyment of your cat eating these nuts worth the risk?
At Love4Cats, our practice involves consistent collaboration with licensed veterinarians and reputable industry experts. However, it's important to note that the content provided on Excited Cats is not intended as veterinary advice. While we strive to enhance your understanding of feline care, the information presented on this blog should not replace professional veterinary guidance.