Can Cats Eat Walnuts? The Truth About Risks and Benefits

Can Cats Eat Walnuts
77 / 100

For humans, walnuts provide a tasty and healthy food. Omega-3 fatty acids, antioxidants, fiber, and minerals can all be found in abundance in them. They are effective at reducing cholesterol, boosting cognitive ability, and quelling inflammation. But what about the cats among us? Can cats eat walnuts too?

The short answer is no. Walnuts and other nuts are toxic to cats. While cats can safely ingest walnuts in moderation, excessive or chronic consumption can lead to several health issues. In this article, Canvas Personalized will explain why walnuts are bad for cats and what to do if your cat accidentally eats some.

1. Can Cats Eat Walnuts?

No, you shouldn’t give your cat walnuts since they might create serious problems with its neurological system. To be sure, you should never feed them to your cat since they contain no special nutrients that would benefit their health.

Cats don’t seem to have the same negative reaction to nuts as dogs, so there’s no need to rush them to the vet if they accidentally consume any.

Fortunately, most cats aren’t interested in eating nuts, but that doesn’t mean some won’t try to devour a handful of walnuts. Cats should avoid walnuts and other nuts like hazelnuts and pine nuts, although there are some safe options.

Can Cats Have Walnuts
Can cats have walnuts (Image: Ladders)

2. Why Are Walnuts Bad for Cats?

There are several reasons why walnuts are bad for cats, such as:

  • Walnuts are high in fat and calories, leading to obesity, diabetes, pancreatitis, and liver problems in cats. Your felines are obligate carnivores, which means they need a high-protein and low-carbohydrate diet. Walnuts also contain many omega-6 fatty acids, which can cause inflammation and skin issues in cats.
  • Walnuts are known to induce bloating and other digestive issues. Cats have difficulty digesting walnuts, especially if they retain their shells or skins. Cats may have nausea, diarrhea, flatulence, and gastrointestinal pain due to eating them. They can cause choking, blockage, or perforation if lodged in the cat’s throat, stomach, or intestines. This is quite serious and often necessitates surgery.
  • Walnuts can be contaminated with mold or toxins. Walnuts can grow mold or fungus on them if they are stored improperly or for too long. Some molds can produce aflatoxins, which are very toxic to cats. Aflatoxins can damage the cat’s liver and kidneys and cause cancer. Walnuts can also contain pesticides or herbicides that harm the cat’s health.
  • Walnuts can trigger allergies or intolerances. Some cats may be allergic to or intolerant to walnuts or other nuts. This can cause itching, swelling, hives, sneezing, coughing, wheezing, or anaphylaxis in cats. Anaphylaxis is a severe allergic reaction that can affect the cat’s breathing and blood pressure and be fatal.
Are Walnuts Bad For Cats
Are walnuts bad for cats (Image: Pet Consortium)

3. What to Do If Your Cat Eats Walnuts?

If your cat eats walnuts, you should monitor them closely for any signs of distress or discomfort. If your cat shows any of the following symptoms, you should contact your veterinarian immediately:

  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Loss of appetite
  • Lethargy
  • Abdominal pain
  • Jaundice
  • Seizures
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Collapse

Your veterinarian may perform blood tests, x-rays, ultrasounds, or endoscopies to diagnose the problem and provide the appropriate treatment. Depending on the severity of the situation, your cat may need fluids, medication, surgery, or hospitalization.

Can Cats Eat Walnuts
Can Cats Eat Walnuts (Image: Love Your Cat)

4. How to Prevent Your Cat from Eating Walnuts

The best way to prevent your cat from eating walnuts is to keep them out of their reach. Store your walnuts in a sealed container or on a high shelf where your cat cannot access them. Do not leave walnuts on the counter, table, floor, or couch where your cat may find them.

If you want to treat your cat, choose something safe and healthy for them. There are many cat-friendly snacks that you can offer your cat, such as:

  • Cooked chicken
  • Cooked fish
  • Cooked eggs
  • Cheese
  • Yogurt
  • Catnip
  • Cat grass

Always check with your veterinarian before introducing new food to your cat’s diet. Some foods may be harmful or inappropriate for your cat’s age, health condition, or preferences.

Can cats eat walnuts? No, they cannot. Walnuts are unsuitable for cats and can cause many health problems if eaten. Walnuts are high in fat and calories, hard to digest and blockage-prone, potentially contaminated with mold or toxins, and possibly allergenic or intolerant for cats.

>> Another related post that you may be interested in:

If your cat eats walnuts by accident, you should watch them closely for any signs of trouble and contact your veterinarian if needed. To prevent your cat from eating walnuts, store them securely away from your cat’s reach and offer them safe and healthy treats instead. Find out what your pet can and cannot eat by reading more Canvas Personalized articles.