If you are a health junkie, chances are there’s a big bag of almond somewhere in your pantry right now. And because it looks like a bag of treats, your kitty companions would be easily lured towards it. But, can cats eat almonds? Isn’t feeding almonds toxic to cats?
Tree nuts like almonds, cashews, and macadamia nuts have a lot of health benefits to humans. And they can be served in different ways which make them even more palatable to eat. Of all these nuts, almonds are the most popular.
Today, there is even almond flour and almond butter. Almond milk is also used as an alternative for whole milk in keto diet, as well as for those with dairy allergy or lactose intolerance.
Almonds deliver massive amounts of nutrients to humans. They are filled with fiber, healthy plant fat, proteins (amino acids), vitamins and minerals. Without a doubt, almonds make a healthy snack for humans, but how about to cats?
Cat owners here and there definitely have a lot of questions about nuts and felines. So, let’s answer all of these once and for all before you go nuts thinking about these things.
Related Article: Can Cats Have Almond Milk?
Can Cats Eat Almonds?
Almonds are not toxic to cats, so, they can eat almonds. If one or two almonds fell on the floor, and your cats start to lick on them, you shouldn’t worry that much.
However, to be on the safe side, it is better not to introduce almonds to your cat since these nuts also pose some health risks to them. And besides, your cats wouldn’t benefit from the vitamins and other nutrients found in almonds.
Why is that so? The human digestive system is different from that of a cat’s. Our feline friends have a shorter digestive tract, so they can’t properly digest almonds. And the nutrients that make almonds healthy for humans are not really useful for cats.
It’s not a secret that cats are obligate carnivores. Their gastrointestinal tract and metabolism are designed for meat consumption. This is why canned cat foods are all meat, jelly, and gravy.
Some might argue that almonds have proteins just like meat, so they should just be fine for our cats. However, the truth is that plant proteins are simply not the proteins that cats can absorb.
They need animal protein, and as such, the only food that they could get the most nutrients from is meat.
Are Almonds Poisonous to Cats?
According to ASPCA, almonds are not toxic to cats. So, your cat should just be fine if ever she ingests a small amount of almond or any food that contains some almonds.
However, ASPCA also cautioned pet owners of the other potential dangers of almonds to cats and dogs.
What Happens When Cats Eat Almonds?
Although almonds are not toxic to cats, it’s still better to err on the side of caution and just skip almonds totally. After all, like what was mentioned earlier, cats won’t benefit from the nutrients found in almonds the same way as humans.
And just in case you are still not convinced that almonds are bad for cats, below are some of the potential dangers of almonds to your feline companions:
1. Stomach Upset
Cats can get stomach upset as a result of the fats present in almonds. While humans are just perfectly fine with plant fats, it’s not the same for our feline friends.
It turns out that animal fat has a different composition from plant fat which makes the latter harder for cats to digest. This can lead to vomiting and diarrhea, which can then also lead to dehydration.
And if high levels of fats start to accumulate inside the body because your cat can’t digest them, there’s also the danger that your cat may develop pancreatitis.
2. Cyanide Poisoning
Cyanogenic glycosides are a totally natural toxin found in almonds, as well as in peach pits, cherries, and apple seeds. If cats consume huge amounts of cyagoneic glycosides from large servings of almonds, they may experience symptoms of cyanide poisoning.
Some of these hallmark symptoms are rapid breathing, an upset stomach, and dilated pupils. Sadly, in severe cases, cats could go into shock and die from cyanide poisoning.
3. Sodium Ion Toxicosis
Almonds that are sold in stores as a form of snacks, are mostly roasted and salted, or coated in chocolate toppings. We all know that chocolate is toxic for cats, so we should definitely keep these foods away from our cats.
Aside from chocolates, salts are also toxic to cats. Excessive intake of salt can lead to a condition called sodium ion toxicosis.
This condition could happen when cats consume too much salt without drinking enough amount of water. In severe cases, this could also be fatal.
Considering the size of almonds, they can also be a choking hazard for cats. Symptoms of choking in cats include extreme distress, drooling, and pawing at the mouth. Immediate interventions would include mouth sweeping, and cat Heimlich maneuver.
And even if you’ve successfully removed the almond, you should still bring your cat to the nearest vet immediately for thorough checkup.
5. Intestinal Obstruction
Given that cats can’t digest almonds properly, there’s a high chance that the almond would just sit inside his stomach and wait for it to be expelled naturally.
However, it things will go wayward, stomach and/or intestinal obstruction can happen, and it may warrant a surgical intervention.
What to Do When Your Cats Eat Almond?
In most cases, you just have to keep an eye on your feline companion, and observe for unusualities. Your cat may be sick, or he may pass on loose bowel once, but these are not really alarming.
However, if these symptoms persist, you’ll need to consult your vet right away. Also, just make sure that your cat has a bowl filled with fresh water at all times to prevent dehydration.
Yes, cats can eat almonds but considering all the bits of information above, I think the cons outweigh the pros (if there are).
Once again, cats won’t get any nutrients from almonds, and they would also be in danger of being choked and getting stomach upset, cyanide poisoning, sodium ion toxicosis, and intestinal obstruction.
With the overwhelming food choices and treats that you can give to your cat, why settle for almonds?
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