Can Cats Eat Pistachios?
During my afternoon protein power snack, it never fails. One of my favorite protein foods to eat is pistachios. I love their buttery taste and love even more the essential healthy fats, vitamins, and protein they offer. Incidentally, someone else sitting beside me shares my love. My cat Giggles has been meowing, sniffing, and pawing at me since I ate the first pistachio.
Looking into those green eyes, it's hard to say no to her. But, while pistachios are healthy for me, are they also healthy for her? I don't want to deny her things she enjoys but I also don't want to risk her health unknowingly. Hence the question - can cats eat pistachios?
The Facts About Cats and Pistachios
After browsing some authoritative web sites devoted to cat care, I learned quite a few things. According to All Pet Magazine, while pistachios and all other nuts are not exactly hazardous to cats, feeding them to your furry feline poses a lot of health risks. However, if he or she does end up eating a few of them, not to worry. Chances are, they'll be fine.
Humans, who are omnivorous (we eat everything), can easily digest nuts and other food items. On the other hand, cats and other animals who are carnivorous (they only eat meat) will have a harder time digesting the fats from nuts such as pistachios. As a result, they can develop gastrointestinal problems such as gas and bloating if they eat pistachios on a regular basis.
Pistachios are also often flavored with salt, garlic, or onion, which are all big kitty no-nos. These flavorings won't hurt us but cats cannot tolerate onion, garlic, or salt.
If accidentally eaten by cats, pistachio shells can cause blockages in your cat's intestinal tract. This is not only very painful to your cat but also potentially fatal. If a foreign object such as a nutshell or seed is embedded in your cat's intestine, it will need to be removed via emergency surgery.
In a Nutshell
As you can see, the answer to the question - can cats eat pistachios - is, in a nutshell (pun intended), no. While a few won't hurt, if they eat them all the time, it is very dangerous.
Can Cats Eat Pistachios Pudding?
Pistachio pudding is a common favorite dessert among humans. But what about cats? We all know how much cats love ice cream, pudding, and almost all other dairy products. If cats shouldn't eat pistachios, can cats eat pistachios pudding?
Cats and Dairy
We all have a common mental picture of cats drinking milk from a saucer. However, here is an interesting piece of history I found on The Happy Cat Site. In the early 20th century before kitty dietitians discouraged the practice, it was common to give cats bread soaked in milk for their morning breakfast.
Cats are attracted to the taste and consistency of puddings, ice cream, and whole milk but this doesn't mean that it is necessarily good for them. Much like the fats in pistachios, they will have trouble digesting the fat and carbohydrates in ice cream and pudding, leading to digestion problems such as diarrhea.
Lactose Intolerance in Cats?
Like humans, cats drink their mother's milk as babies. As they grow older, they are less able to digest the lactose present in milk and dairy. This means that just like us, they can be lactose intolerant. The degree of intolerance may vary with some being able to handle more dairy than others; however, you want to limit their intake to an occasional small spoonful at the very most.
The Facts Are in the Pudding
As pistachios are not a recommended food source for cats and dairy products also pose risks of their own, pistachio pudding is therefore not a good idea for your little kitty's tummy.
Don't Let Your Cat Go Nuts (or Dairy)
Pistachios and pistachio pudding are not immediately toxic to your cat. That said, these little furry friends are much smaller than we are and therefore less able to properly digest even small amounts of the same things we can.
We all love our pets and want the very best for them. Any questions you may have about what to feed your kitty companion, feel free to ask them here. More information on foods that are dangerous to your cat can be found here. If you'd like to know what human foods you can share with your cat, check out this video.
As for Giggles, I think some small pieces of leftover salmon from last night's dinner will make her just as happy and she will feel better too.