Can Cats Eat Pistachios? 4 Useful Things For You

Protein, fiber, potassium, carbohydrates, and vitamins can all be found in a single serving of pistachios, making them a great human snack.

A nationwide advertising campaign that began in the early 21st century was so successful that itstPistachios gained in popularity and availability throughout the 20th century.

You might have pondered this as you crunched on these salty nuts: “Can cats eat pistachios?” Pistachios are not safe for cats to eat.

While safe for cats to eat, they provide no nutritional value and should be avoided. You also shouldn’t give your cat any pistachios in any other form.

You shouldn’t give your pet pistachio pudding or pistachio ice cream because of the dairy, sugar, and fat found in ice cream and whipped toppings.

Can Cats Eat Pistachios?

We value your time and will keep this brief: no, cats should not be fed pistachios. While pistachios have been shown to have many positive effects on human health, this is not the case for feline friends.

Pistachios pose a number of health risks to our feline friends, all of which can be easily avoided by keeping them out of reach.

As cat owners, however, we know that our furry little ones can be cunning and crafty at times. They could easily lick and swallow a piece or two of these forbidden fruit seeds if we are not careful.

As a responsible cat owner, you should know better than to freak out in such a situation and should instead carefully observe your cat’s reaction or behavior.

Tree nuts, such as pistachios, almonds, and others, pose a choking risk for them. However, this isn’t the only reason pistachios shouldn’t be given to cats.

Risks of Feeding Pistachios to Cats

While we humans enjoy salty snacks like pistachios, responsible cat owners know better than to feed their feline friends human fare.

Some of the many reasons why your cat should never eat pistachios are listed below.


High Fat Content

Pistachios, like other nuts, have a high fat content.

Even though fats are primarily used as an energy resource, eating too much of them can lead to weight gain and the complications that come with being overweight.

Inflammation of the pancreas, known as pancreatitis, is a potential side effect of eating too much fat. The following are some common symptoms of pancreatitis in cats:

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Pancreatitis Symptoms

  • Anorexia
  • Lethargy
  • Choosing not to hydrate
  • Dehydration
  • Vomiting
  • Fever
  • Abdominal discomfort or pain

If you ever notice any of these symptoms in your cat, don’t hesitate to call your vet.

Flavorings and Preservatives

In order to make them stand out from the other snacks in convenience stores, pistachios were traditionally dyed with a red powder a few years ago.

Commercial pistachios thankfully no longer include artificial coloring.

Due to its widespread consumption, however, many artificial flavors and additives have been developed for the nut that are safe for humans but toxic to pets.

The high fat content of pistachios is bad enough, but the added flavorings can make your cat sick.

Pistachios are frequently seasoned with garlic and onion, but these seasonings should be avoided if you have a cat.

Any member of the Amaryllidaceae family, which includes onion and garlic, is poisonous to cats.

In addition, some manufacturers add preservatives to the nut to increase its shelf life, and some of these preservatives are toxic to cats.

Sodium benzoate is used as a preservative in a wide variety of human foods and even some pet foods; however, it is toxic to cats.

Choking Hazard

If your cat is an enthusiastic eater, you should keep it away from pistachio nuts because they can cause choking. Your cat should not be given pistachios because the shell can become a choking hazard.

If your cat bites down hard enough on the shell, it could cause damage to its teeth.

Pistachios and their shells can cause obstructions in your cat’s digestive tract for a number of reasons. This might call for emergency surgery.

Veterinarian examining teeth of a persian cat

Digestive Issues

Due to the high fiber content of pistachios, they may induce bowel movements in your cat. While a small amount of fiber won’t hurt you, eating too much of it can make you sick to your stomach.

Pistachios are difficult for cats to digest, and giving them too many can make them uncomfortable with gas and bloating.


The pistachio nut is notorious for its propensity to grow mold and produce mycotoxin aflatoxins. This is because the pistachio nut’s shell naturally splits open as it ages.

Pistachios are susceptible to harboring fungi like aflatoxin if their shells are broken because the kernel is no longer protected.

When cats eat too many pistachios, they put themselves in danger of being poisoned by the fungus.

Foreign Body Obstruction

Cats are susceptible to foreign body obstruction, in addition to choking. Pistachio nut shells, in particular, can cause obstructions in their digestive systems.

When this occurs, it can be very unpleasant for them. In most cases, emergency surgery would be required to remove the obstruction in cats.

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After the anesthetic wears off, the cats may still feel pain and discomfort even though they were put under.

Because it involves surgery, the price tag can be high as well. It’s safer to play it safe and keep your pistachios out of the reach of your cats.


Pistachios and other nuts, like them, also have a lot of fat. And as we know, being overweight brings its own set of health problems that can be exacerbated by eating too much fat.

Cats can develop digestive issues from eating too much fiber or too much fat.

However, pancreatitis is a more serious health risk associated with a high-fat diet. The pancreas becomes inflamed, leading to this condition.

Abdominal pain, nausea, changes in stool consistency, etc. are all symptoms of pancreatitis in cats.

Aflatoxin Toxicosis

Food contaminated with excessive levels of aflatoxins poses a risk of toxicosis or poisoning in pets.

Because pets tend to consume the same diet for extended periods of time, they are more likely to develop this condition.

If their food is contaminated with aflatoxins, they may become increasingly poisoned as they consume the same food over and over.

Moldy nuts and grains, as well as other food sources, can also cause aflatoxin poisoning in cats.

Aflatoxin toxicosis causes lethargy, vomiting, loss of appetite, jaundice, and/or diarrhea in felines.

Liver failure may also manifest in some cats. Aflatoxin toxicosis can be fatal in extreme cases.

Top 5 Human Foods to Avoid Serving Your Cat:

Cats aren’t as persistent as dogs when it comes to getting fed, but they’ll meow for scraps if they smell something appetizing.

Some human foods are safe for cats to eat in moderation. A piece of raw chicken or beef can be a good addition to your cat’s diet.

Never give your cat a homemade treat without first consulting your veterinarian or a cat nutritionist for safe and appropriate snack options.

Cats can be poisoned by consuming many human favorites.

cat eating on floor at home

1. Dairy Products

A cat’s lactose intolerance is not brought to light by the outdated stereotype of cats drinking milk from bowls. Cow’s milk can make cats sick if they consume too much of it.

2. Chocolate

Cats and dogs can be poisoned by theobromine, a component of chocolate. A chocolate chip is probably not going to send your pet to the emergency room, but eating too much chocolate can cause seizures, tremors, and even heart arrhythmias.

varieties of chocolate bar

3. Garlic, Onion, Chives, and Shallots

Alliums, as a plant family, contain compounds that are extremely toxic to cats.

Even a small amount of these plants could make your cat sick to its stomach, but feeding it too much could cause anemia and other problems.

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4. Caffeine

Caffeine is a popular energy booster for humans, but cats should avoid it. It’s associated with symptoms like a racing heart, shaky muscles, and shallow breathing.

5. Alcohol

Alcohol, however, is dangerous for your cat at any dose, while many of the other foods we mentioned are safer in smaller amounts.

According to PetMd, giving your cat even a tablespoon of alcohol can cause a coma and even death.

Cat-Safe Alternatives to Pistachios

Here are some treats you can give your cat if it likes to snack alongside you and has shown an interest in some of the foods you eat. Keep in mind that only your vet should approve the use of any of these, and only in small doses.


It goes without saying that you should always check with your vet before giving your cat any of these ingredients if they have a preexisting condition, have been diagnosed with a medical condition, or are taking any medication.

Here Are Some Cat-Approved Snacks:

  • Steamed Eggs
  • Steamed pumpkin purée with no seasonings.
  • Blueberries
  • Peeled Apples
  • Cucumbers
  • Fish that has been gutted and steamed but not seasoned.
  • Shredded and boneless chicken that has been cooked.
  • There are other homemade cat treats you can try.
woman hang giving treat to a cat


Can Cats Eat Pistachio Pudding?

The high levels of fat and carbohydrates in pistachio pudding may be too much for some cats to handle. And, of course, eating them frequently can cause weight gain and related health issues.

In addition, the pudding’s dairy ingredients can cause stomach upset in a cat. Don’t risk your cat’s health by treating him to some pistachio pudding.

Can Cats Eat Pistachio Ice Cream?

Cats shouldn’t eat pistachio ice cream because it’s loaded with sugar, artificial flavors, and dairy.

Avoid feeding your cats pistachio ice cream because the pistachio is already a problematic ingredient for them.

Can Your Kitty Companions Eat Raw Pistachios?

We’ve covered why pistachios are bad for cats pretty thoroughly here. Because of their weakened immune systems, kittens, seniors, pregnant, and sick cats should avoid these nuts.

These populations are especially at risk for the pistachio-related health issues that have been documented.

In addition, a kitten’s smaller digestive tract increases its susceptibility to foreign body obstruction.


Your cat shouldn’t eat pistachios or any other kind of nut, despite the fact that they’re great for humans. They don’t provide the proper nutrition for our feline friends, and they also present a number of potential immediate and future health problems.

Pistachios have alternatives, such as store-bought or homemade treats made according to feline-friendly recipes. If you are unsure of your cat’s nutritional needs, it is imperative that you seek the advice of a veterinarian or a feline nutritionist.

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