Can Cats Eat Pistachios? What Are the Risks Involved?

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Can Cats Eat Pistachios

How do we love pistachios? Should we even count the ways? Let’s face it – it’s so easy to go nuts on these tasty and healthy treats.

But as cat owners, isn’t it just right to practice due diligence by finding answers to the common question, “Can Cats Eat Pistachios?”

As pet parents, can we simply dismiss the possibility of our cats eating pistachio nuts? And when they do eat one or two of these nuts, should we be worried?

In this article, we will discuss the answers to this question, so you can finally put your doubts and worries away once and for all.

Also read: Can Cats Eat Avocado?

Can Cats Eat Pistachios?

We know your time is precious, so let’s keep it short and simple – no, cats cannot eat pistachios. While pistachios bring a lot of health benefits for humans, we cannot say the same thing with our cats.

For our feline companions, pistachios can cause a plethora of health risks that can easily be avoided by keeping pistachios out of their reach.

However, as pet parents, we know that our feline babies can be devious and sneaky sometimes. So, if we are not extra careful, chances are they could easily lick and swallow a piece or two of these forbidden fruit seeds.

When that happens, as a cat owner, you should know better not to panic and immediately observe your cat’s reaction or behavior, instead.

Can Cats Eat Pistachios? What Are the Risks Involved? 1

The immediate concern when cats eat pistachios is choking. We, humans, can choke on these nuts, so the more that we should be careful with our cats.

Pistachio, almonds, and other tree nuts can be choking hazards for them. But this isn’t the only potential danger of pistachios to cats.

Let’s check out the other reasons why it’s not wise and safe for us humans, to be feeding our cat pistachios even as snacks.

Can Cats Eat Pistachios

What Are the Risks Involved When Cats Eat Pistachios?


We’ve said it earlier, and we’ll mention it again because no matter how minor choking can be for some, it can still be dangerous and even fatal.

Choking is a form of airway obstruction, and anything that impedes the flow of oxygen into the body could be catastrophic. Signs of choking in cats include extreme distress, pawing at the mouth, drooling, and continuous gagging.

If the foreign body is obstructing their effort to breathe, cats may also cough, have breathing difficulties, they may appear blue (cyanotic), and they could just collapse.

Don’t wait for the condition to progress. If you notice any of these signs, immediately interfere by doing a mouth sweep, cat Heimlich maneuver, and head on to the nearest veterinarian right away.

Foreign Body Obstruction

Aside from airway obstruction due to choking, cats may also be at risk for foreign body obstruction. In particular, pistachio shells can get stuck in their intestinal tract.

And when this happens, it can cause them a lot of pain and discomfort. Most often, cats would need to undergo emergency surgery to remove the cause of obstruction.

Although the cats would be under anesthesia, they may still experience pain and discomfort once the effect of anesthesia wears off already.

And since this is a surgical operation, it can also be expensive. So, it’s better not to take chances and just hide your pistachios away from your cats.

Gastrointestinal Problems

Pistachios are rich in dietary fiber, which is good for us, humans. However, for cats, foods with high fiber content could have a laxative effect.

And this becomes problematic when cats eat a lot of pistachios potentially causing loose bowel movements and dehydration.

Also, a cat’s digestive system can’t digest pistachios as effectively as humans can since their body is designed to digest animal protein and not plant-based proteins. Symptoms of indigestion in cats include bloating and gassiness.

Can Cats Eat Pistachios


Nuts like pistachios also have high-fat content. And we already know that too much fat can lead to obesity and weight-related complications.

Also, along with too much dietary fiber, high-fat intake can lead to gastrointestinal problems in cats.

However, the more serious health risk of a diet rich in fats is the threat of getting pancreatitis. This is a condition characterized by the inflammation of the pancreas.

Symptoms of pancreatitis in cats include abdominal pain, nausea, changes in stool, etc.

Exposure to Artificial Flavoring Ingredients and Harmful Additives

Most commercially available pistachios come in different flavors such as salted, onion, and garlic. While the added flavor makes the treat more palatable for human consumption, it makes it more dangerous for our feline companions.

Too much salt in the diet can lead to sodium poisoning (hypernatremia) and kidney disease, which can be fatal for cats.

Aside from salt, cats should also not be fed with foods that contain garlic or onion because both of these ingredients are toxic for them.

Also read: Can Cats Eat Bacon? Find Out If It’s Safe or Not!

Aflatoxin Toxicosis

Aflatoxin toxicosis or poisoning can occur when pets consume food that contains unsafe levels of aflatoxins.

Unlike humans, pets are more susceptible to this condition because they generally eat the same type of food for a long time.

And if their food contains aflatoxins, these toxic substances can build up in their system over time as they continue to eat the same food over and over again. 

Aflatoxin poisoning can also happen when cats eat moldy nuts and grains, or other foods that are contaminated with aflatoxin.

Cats experiencing aflatoxin toxicosis exhibit symptoms such as sluggishness, vomiting, loss of appetite, jaundice, and/or diarrhea.

Some cats may also show signs of liver damage. And in severe cases, aflatoxin toxicosis can also be fatal.

Can Cats Eat Pistachios

Other Related Questions About Cats and Pistachios

Can Cats Eat Pistachio Pudding?

Pistachio pudding is rich in fat and carbohydrates, which cats may have trouble digesting. And of course, when eaten regularly can also lead to weight gain and other weight-related problems.

Plus, pudding also contains dairy products which can be irritating for the cat’s digestive system. So, by all means, avoid feeding pistachio pudding to your feline friend.

Can Cats Eat Pistachio Ice Cream?

Pistachio ice cream is filled with sugar, artificial flavorings, and dairy products, which are all unhealthy and harmful for cats.

And the pistachio alone is already a problematic ingredient for them, so better yet, stay away from feeding pistachio ice cream to your cats.

Related article: Can Cats Eat Ice Cream?

Can Your Kitty Companions Eat Raw Pistachios?

In this article, we’ve pretty much established the fact that pistachios are not good for cats. Hence, the more that these nuts are bad for kittens, seniors, pregnant, and sickly cats because they have a weaker immune system.

And with their vulnerabilities, these groups are also more likely to experience the documented health problems associated with pistachios.

And for the record, kittens are also more at risk for foreign body obstruction because of their smaller digestive tract.

Can Cats Eat Pistachios

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