Can Cats Eat Pistachio? (Full ANSWER)

Can Cats Eat Pistachio?

Pistachio-loving cat parents always have this certain question in mind “can cats eat pistachio?”. A fun fact is that pistachio trees are believed to have first grown in Iran.

In the 1880s, pistachios gained popularity as a healthy food. As studies proved that it is rich in vitamins, potassium, fiber, proteins, and carbs. A lot of people started munching on it, simply because of its health benefits but soon enough it became a favorite snack

For a fact, if it was a crime to share human food with our fur friends, many cat owners would be guilty as charged. Well, thankfully it isn’t and we share because we want our pets to have a taste of whatever good we are eating. 

However, we need to be aware that some of our meals can be toxic to cats. And for a snack such as pistachios, it is of essence to know if it is safe before putting it in their bowl. 

No, cats can not eat pistachios. Although this snack is harmless and beneficial to humans, it can cause a lot of havoc in your cat’s system. They are enriched with fat which can lead to digestive problems among other things. 

The simple answer above is not enough explanation for this topic. Still, faced with the dilemma of giving your cat pistachios as a treat? You are reading the right article! There’s more to find out below, keep reading.

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Are Pistachios Bad For Cats?

We love pistachios, it provides a lot of nutrients to our body that can boost our health status. However, pistachios can cause some health issues for cats. And this means it is a terrible choice for them. This meal is hard for cats to digest and is high in fat.

The amount of sodium in some pistachios is also a factor to consider as well, as it is highly salted. 

Pistachios are not exactly poisonous to cats but can wreak havoc on their bodies. Cats have an entirely different nutritional need from humans. You shouldn’t expect some meals you enjoy to be beneficial as well for your cat. 

Cats can be quite mischievous and sneaky, and there might be cases where they eat a few pistachios without your notice. If this happens there’s no cause for alarm, just watch your cat for a few hours if it shows signs of being sick, call the vet. 

Hungry cat
Image: @robinmccauley via Twenty20

What Are The Dangers Of Pistachios To Cats’ Health? 

Your cat may meow and paw at you while you are eating pistachios, it’s only reasonable to look past its cute face and resist the urge to indulge it in this snack. The following are the risks involved in feeding pistachios to your cat;

1. Gastrointestinal Distress

Pistachios are very high in fiber. Fiber is very good for humans and cats. However, when consumed in excess, pistachios, which are a rich source of fiber, can influence health issues like gastrointestinal distress.

Cats’ digestive systems also find it hard to easily digest this treat. The symptoms of gastrointestinal distress include:

  • Vomiting
  • Loose stools or diarrhea
  • Nausea
  • Dehydration.

2. Choking Hazard

Asides from causing gastrointestinal problems in cats, pistachios are capable of choking your cat. Due to the nature of pistachios, cats may find it difficult to chew them. This can lead to them swallowing pistachios as a whole without much chewing.

As a result, this treat can get stuck in their throats and block their airways. Signs of choking in cats are;

  • Drooling
  • Difficulty in breathing
  • Stressed face
  • Coughing
  • Restlessness
  • Fainting
  • Choking sounds.

3. Pancreatitis

Pistachios are heavy on fats, although cats will need fats in their diet, the amount of fat in this way is too much for cats. It is no news that meals that are high in fat are unhealthy for our feline friends and can lead to enormous weight gain and ultimately pancreatitis.

Pancreatitis is a health condition where the pancreas, liver, or intestines are inflamed. The symptoms of pancreatitis in cats are;

  • Lethargy
  • Fever
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Abdominal discomfort
  • Loss of appetite
  • General weakness.

4. Salt Toxicity

Usually, a lot of packaged pistachios are very high in salt. Salts can be very fatal to your cat’s health. When cats eat pistachios in excess they are at high risk of sodium poisoning. The following are the signs of salt poisoning;

  • Seizures
  • Lethargy
  • Vomiting
  • Dehydration
  • Excessive urination
  • Decreased appetite
  • Coma
  • Tremor.
Cat lying down
Image: @tascha_aleks via Twenty20

5. Fungus Infection

Molds always find a way to form on pistachios, these molds may not be exactly harmful to humans but they can be very toxic to cats. This ingestion of these molds in cats can cause aflatoxin toxicity which is referred to as a fungus infection.

Ultimately this infection can be very critical and can damage the liver. Symptoms of fungus infection include;

  • Decreased appetite
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Jaundice
  • Weakness.

Frequently Asked Questions 

Can kittens eat pistachios?

By all means, do not give kittens any form of human food. Unlike adult cats, kittens’ digestive system is not active enough to break down some solid human foods. Pistachios are an absolute no-no for kittens, their teeth are not strong enough to chew this snack. They can easily choke or get stomach upset.  

Can cats eat pistachio pudding? 

No, cats should not eat pistachio pudding. Although there is no risk of choking hazards, it is high in fat and may contain harmful ingredients like heavy cream, sugar, salt, and some artificial flavors. For lactose intolerant cats, symptoms of diarrhea, constipation, and vomiting. 

Is pistachio ice cream safe for cats? 

No, pistachio ice cream is not safe for cats. Lactose intolerant cats will be faced with diarrhea and vomiting. Pistachio ice cream contains sugar, heavy cream, and artificial flavoring which are toxic to cats. Pistachio already is fattening and can be hazardous to cats. Ensure you avoid this treat for cats. 

What nuts and seeds are safe for cats?

A lot of nuts are bad for cats, however, cashew is offered to cats in small quantities. But it’s best not to include any form of nuts or seeds in your cat’s diet as nuts are very high in fat, and fatty foods can cause issues for cats. Moreover, cats are obligate carnivores, give them meals that are appropriate and beneficial to them. 

Final Note

Pistachios are not an appropriate choice of foods for cats. Though a lot of cats will pass on this snack, some might show interest. Either way, it is best not to share this snack with our feline companions as it can take an ugly turn on their health. 

Other treats made from pistachios such as pistachios ice cream and pistachios pudding must be avoided as well. If your cat consumes this snack without your notice, relax, and monitor it closely.

If you notice any signs of sickness, reach out to the vet right away. 

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