Can Cats Eat Pistachios?

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Tossing two or five of whatever you’re munching on to your furry feline companion is normal. Though you diligently feed your cat healthy food, it’s hard to deny them treats occasionally. Even if you provide it to them rarely, the type of snack or treat you give them matters a lot.

One of the snacks that you need to be careful about feeding your cat is pistachios. So, keep reading this article to learn why pistachios are harmful to your pet and what alternatives you can feed them.

Can You Feed Pistachios to Cats?

Feeding pistachios to your cat is a strict no! But the question is can they eat it? Well, yes, in a very low quantity. Though pistachios are healthy for humans, they are not beneficial for your feline friend. Instead, they offer more harmful impacts on your cat’s health than nutritional aspects.

They are packed with a high level of fats, just like many other nuts, which are not suitable to be consumed by cats. The fats and carbohydrates are not digested by cats easily. Also, pistachios have high dietary fiber, which is healthy for humans but creates a severe laxative issue for cats.

Are Pistachios Toxic to Cats?

Though pistachios are unhealthy for cats, they are not toxic. Indeed, the nuts are not truly poisonous, but they can turn risky in some situations when cats eat them. So it’s highly advised that cats are not given pistachios in any form.

Cats usually get their nutrition from red meat and poultry. And pistachios do not offer any specific health benefits they can’t get from their diet.

How Many Pistachios Can You Give Your Cat in a Day?

Pistachios can cause an adverse reaction in your cats, but not when given in small quantities. So, provide no more than one ounce if you want to feed your cat pistachios.

However, sometimes, cats can even have allergic reactions to nuts like pecans and pistachios. They might have diarrhea and digestive problems.

How Can Pistachios Affect Your Cat’s Health?

As most of the cats’ nutrients are from meat, pistachios have too little to offer them. So, though your feline friend might crave it, it’ll do them more harm than good.

These nuts are highly fibrous. And this fiber content is too stiff for the cats to process, causing a laxative effect and leading to diarrhea and digestive issues.

Moreover, pistachios have a fungus called Aspergillus, creating a toxin called Aflatoxin. This toxin can trigger a harmful reaction called ‘Aflatoxin Toxicosis’ in your cat.

The following are the symptoms that your cats may have when they experience this reaction.

  • Vomiting
  • Lethargy
  • Reduced appetite
  • Seizures/ convulsions.
  • Blood in diarrhea
  • Yellow-tinged mucous membranes.

So, when you see your cat undergoes these symptoms after eating pistachios, take them immediately to a veterinary clinic.

Thus, to be on the safe side and avoid any risk, it is recommended not to feed your kitty with pistachios.

What are The Other Effects of Pistachios on Cats?

Cats can experience other issues besides the toxic reaction when they consume pistachios. So, always take them to the clinic if they start to feel sick after eating pistachios.

However, below are some issues your cat can face when they consume pistachios.

1. Causes Digestive Issues

One of the primary issues your cat might face is gastrointestinal/digestive issues. The pistachios can cause cats to bloat and build up gas that can cause pain and extreme discomfort. Moreover, the cats can’t process the shells of the nuts, and this will lead them to be stuck in their digestive tract and cause conditions like obstruction.

2. High Sodium Content

Pistachios are naturally high in sodium. The level of salt present in the nuts won’t be of any benefit to your cat. The most critical condition your cat can go through is Hypernatremia. This alone can lead to convulsions, polydipsia, lethargy, or even coma. Sometimes cats naturally don’t like salt, and it’s wise not to give them any for snacking.

3. Renders a High Risk of Choking

Pistachios are small-sized food items. Your cats won’t be able to grind them into digestible pieces. It will lead to them choking on the pistachio and struggling to breathe. In addition, the nut can sometimes get stuck in the intestine leading to your cat needing surgery.

4. Comes with Seasonings

Pistachios, in themselves, are harmful to cats. Additionally, pistachios seasoned with onion, salt, or garlic are bad for cats’ health. Salt will induce toxic reactions in your cat. Moreover, garlic and onion are poisonous to your cat. Though cats naturally don’t like these seasonings, there are always exceptions. There are chances that the pistachios have preservatives in them that are bad for your feline buddy.

5. Causes Pancreatitis

The high-fat content in pistachios not only leads your cat to be obese but also develops conditions like pancreatitis. Your cat’s pancreas gets swollen because its body doesn’t secrete enough enzymes to digest what pistachio contains. As a result, the digestive juices act on the tissues of your cat’s stomach, and this causes inflammation and, eventually, pancreatitis.

Alternatives to Pistachios for Your Cat

Although pistachios harm your cat, some nuts are good for them. So, below is a detailed list of pistachio alternatives for cats and their health benefits.

Nut Alternatives to Pistachio Health Benefits
Peanuts They help lower blood pressure.
Hazelnuts These nuts are a good source of protein for your furry friend.
Roasted cashews (never feed raw cashews) Cashews help cats get vitamins that can boost their immunity.
Pine nuts They have a high fiber content that can help your kitty avoid constipation.

However, the benefits of the nuts mentioned above are effective only when you feed your cat in low quantities. Overconsumption of any nuts can cause many health issues in your kitty.

So, meat and fish are always the best food choices for your cat. But also, commercial dry or wet cat food is suitable for their health. In this regard, Purina ONE Natural Dry Cat Food is one of the best dry food for your feline friend. Made with real salmon and bits of veggies, this dry cat food tastes good and renders balanced nutrition.


Pistachios are packed with nutrients that are not truly beneficial to cats. Furthermore, not only pistachios but certain foods humans eat are harmful to your feline friend. Hence feeding them dairy, nuts, and anything from specific cat food or meat has the potential to harm your cat if not adequately monitored. So, monitor what you feed your cat and keep them happy and healthy!

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