You can feed your cat a wide variety of human foods, some of which may be harmful. The nutritional value of foods like nuts is well-known.
Pine nuts, in particular, are beneficial for increasing stamina and maintaining youthful skin. Pine nuts are wonderful for people, but are they also good for cats?
Pine nuts are not toxic to cats, but they shouldn’t eat too many of them. Read on to learn the ins and outs of cats and pine nuts.
Can Cats Eat Pine Nuts?
Most cats can safely consume pine nuts, as we mentioned in the introductions. Your cat shouldn’t have any adverse reactions to them because they are non-toxic.
As with most nuts, pine nuts are relatively high in fat, so we advise serving them in moderation. A cat’s digestive system isn’t built to process a lot of fat, so feeding it a lot of pine nuts can make it sick to its stomach.
Pine nuts are extremely small and can easily become lodged in your cat’s throat if ingested. Your cat won’t be able to chew the pine nuts because its teeth are better suited for tearing prey into bite-sized pieces than for chewing food.
Though safe for consumption, pine nuts aren’t the best snack for your cat. If your cat shows interest in what you’re eating, there are plenty of other people foods it can have.
All About Pine Nuts
Pine nuts, which are shaped like teardrops, are a popular ingredient in pesto sauce. Pine trees produce these, which average about an inch in length.
Raw, they have a buttery and mildly sweet taste, but most people choose to toast them to bring out the full flavor.
What Nutrients Do Pine Nuts Have?
Okay, so we know that cats can safely eat a very small amount of pine nuts, but are they actually benefiting from this?
Pine nuts are tiny, so the answer is “yes,” but only slightly. Pine nuts, for instance, are a good source of protein for a cat’s diet.
However, due to their high fat content, pine nuts are not an appropriate source of protein for your cat.
Pine nuts are a good source of copper, vitamin E, magnesium, and zinc, all of which are essential micronutrients for cats. The tiny amounts of pine nuts allowed will simply not provide them with enough of these micronutrients. However, there are a few perks.
Are Pine Nuts Toxic for Cats?
Pine nuts are not poisonous to felines. However, the high amount of fat in pine nuts could cause digestive issues if they eat too many of them.
This could be unhealthy for cats because they aren’t used to (or should not) eating a high-fat diet. In fact, pancreatitis can develop if you consume too much.
We should also stress the importance of exercising caution before feeding your cat any kind of nut. Due to their small size, nuts can easily cause a cat to choke.
They are also more likely to become impacted in the digestive tract, esophagus, or stomach.
Can Cats Be Allergic to Nuts?
There are about three million people in the United States who are allergic to nuts. Given those statistics, it stands to reason that nut allergies are not limited to humans.
Cats typically have reactions to protein sources like beef, fish, chicken, and dairy, but nut allergies are possible as well.
There are additional signs to watch out for, such as:
- hot spots
- watery eyes
- hair loss
- Facial enlargement
- Breathing problems
Even a tiny amount of nuts can trigger an allergic reaction in people with nut allergies.
My Cat Loves Pine Nuts. Can He Eat a Lot of Them?
We’ve established that occasional consumption of pine nuts shouldn’t pose any health risks for most cats. However, if your cat has discovered your supply of nuts, they may do more harm than good.
The high amount of fat in nuts is the main reason to avoid them. Hyperlipidemia and pancreatitis are two conditions that can affect cats whose diets contain an excessive amount of fat.
An abnormally high concentration of lipids (blood fats) is called hyperlipidemia.
If your veterinarian diagnoses your cat with hyperlipidemia, he or she will likely recommend a prescription diet that is low in fat and high in fiber. If you alter your diet, you may find that your symptoms improve.
Inflammation of the pancreas is what causes pancreatitis in your cat. When this occurs, inflammation can spread to other organs like the liver and intestines. The severity and speed with which pancreatitis is diagnosed will determine treatment options.
What Happens if My Cat Eats a Lot of Pine Nuts?
Pine nuts can cause a variety of digestive problems in your cat. Dehydration, nausea, vomiting, and stomach distress are all possible side effects. In the long run, it can lead to health problems like obesity and pancreatitis.
Pine nuts are high in fat, which has been linked to hyperlipidemia. Too much fat in the bloodstream causes gastrointestinal distress, tenderness, and loss of appetite.
What Should I Do If My Cat Ate Pine Nuts?
If you discover that your cat has been snacking on your pine nuts, the first thing you should do is count them.
Ingesting one or two nuts probably won’t have much of an effect on your cat, but if they’ve eaten a lot, you should keep an eye on them.
You may observe that they are suffering from diarrhea, vomiting, or even dehydration as a result of their gastrointestinal distress.
The above symptoms should prompt a call to your veterinarian. One or two pine nuts probably won’t hurt your cat, but if they eat more than that or if they have a nut allergy, your cat could have problems.
What to do next is something your vet can help you figure out. It’s possible he’ll advise you to keep an eye on your cat at home for a while to see if the symptoms improve on their own or if he becomes dehydrated.
What About Other Nuts? Are They Okay for Cats?
Your cat may enjoy eating other types of nuts, but keep in mind that the high fat content of nuts may be harmful if they consume too many of them frequently.
Avoid giving them any nuts if at all possible. If they do eat some of your nuts, you need to know which ones are fine and which ones could be dangerous.
Are There Other Nuts That Are Safe for Cats?
Your cat can also have some other nuts (in small amounts). Among these are:
- Dry-roasted peanuts without salt
- Cashews, unseasoned, roasted, and shelled
- Natural hazelnuts
What Nuts Shouldn’t be Fed to Cats?
The list of forbidden nuts is longer than the list of permitted nuts. Among these are:
- Walnuts that have gone bad. Even though you wouldn’t intentionally feed your cat moldy food, she might still get into the moldy nuts in your pantry. Bad walnuts can bring on convulsions.
- Pistachios. We’ve already established that the high-fat content of these nuts can lead to gastrointestinal distress and even pancreatitis.
- Natural cashews. Raw cashews contain a compound that is hard for cats to digest, and can cause diarrhea and vomiting.
- Almonds. Almonds are a major choking hazard and have a propensity to mold.
- Pecans. Yet another nut that might grow mold and cause nausea, vomiting, and possibly even convulsions.
- The nuts from the hickory tree. Because of their small size, they pose a choking risk and also have the potential to cause intestinal blockages.
Pine nuts probably wouldn’t hurt your cat too much if they aren’t allergic to them, but there are plenty of other healthy treats you could give them instead.