Can Cats Eat Almonds?
Nut products are soaring in popularity — from almond milk to almonds themselves; this nut has never been as popular. Almonds are popular in the health-conscious fields and among those with lactose allergies. This little nut packs a big boost of many vitamins and minerals. If almonds are one of your favorite snacks, you might be wondering if your cat would enjoy them as well.
Our pets are a part of our families, and since they are family members, we want to make sure they have the best of the best. It’s also important to ensure that your pets are safe from anything that could harm them, including the things that are harmless to people.
Keeping track of foods that are dangerous for cats can be a tall order. There are many different foods that we keep around the house that our cats might get into. Cats are very curious, and they like to investigate new things in the home.
At Spot Pet Insurance, we understand the responsibility of being a pet parent. Even though it can be a lot at times, the grateful purrs of your kitty make it all worth it. We want to help you keep your cat healthy and happy.
Part of the way we want to help is by providing pet parents with educational resources. By helping pet parents learn more about their pets, we can help them take care of their furry family members.
One of the things that you need to know is what food your cat can or cannot eat. Can cats eat almonds?
Are almonds safe for cats to eat?
There are quite a few things that we need to consider to figure out if cats can eat almonds or not. First, we need to understand the benefits, if there are any, and the dangers. We should also discuss whether or not our cats can have almond products, like almond milk.
First, let’s take a look at almonds themselves:
There are two kinds of almonds that you can buy: bitter almonds and sweet almonds. It seems simple enough until you consider the extra factors, like how the almond was prepared (seasonings, coatings, and more can influence pet safety).
Are bitter almonds safe snacks for cats?
Bitter almonds aren’t really edible since they have a much higher amount of cyanide. Although eating one wouldn’t be deadly for us, if we ate ten or more, it could be lethal. Bitter almonds are banned in many locations. That’s a no for people and a no for cats.
Are sweet almonds safe snacks for cats?
Sweet almonds have a much lower cyanide concentration, so they don’t usually harm us. You would likely need to eat over 1,000 to get cyanide poisoning from them.
Cats can eat small amounts of plain sweet almonds, although it isn’t a good idea. However, if you accidentally drop a couple on the floor and your cat eats them, you don’t need to worry too much. You should just keep an eye on them to watch for any adverse effects.
Are there any health benefits to giving my cat almonds?
Almonds are well-known for their nutritional value, but just because something is good for us doesn’t mean it’s good for our cats. Are almonds good for cats?
Almonds contain omega-3 fatty acids that can strengthen people’s joints and cardiovascular health. They contain proteins, and they have many other vitamins and minerals that are beneficial for us. Even with all these nutritional elements, almonds don’t benefit cats.
Cats are carnivores, which means they eat only meat. Their digestive tracts struggle to process plant matter. The proteins and fatty acids in almonds have a different makeup than the ones cats get from meat.
Almonds may not be harmful to cats in small amounts, but they don’t have any benefits for them either.
What are the dangers of giving my cat almonds?
The most common issue that almonds can cause is digestive problems. Since cats can’t process the proteins, fatty acids, and other elements in almonds properly, your cat may show signs of internal distress.
Usually, the problem will show itself through vomiting and diarrhea. Prolonged vomiting and diarrhea can lead to dehydration. It’s also possible for the almond to obstruct the digestive system, which could lead to constipation.
If the fats from almonds, or another food source with a lot of fats, build up over time, it could cause pancreatitis.
An almond’s size makes it difficult for your cat to swallow, especially since their teeth aren’t really made for crunching on almonds, so your cat might choke on an almond. If you notice your cat choking, you should check their mouth and attempt to perform the cat Heimlich maneuver.
After you’ve removed the almond, you should take your cat to the vet, just in case.
We’ve already mentioned that sweet almonds contain trace amounts of cyanide. Since our cats are smaller, it takes fewer almonds to cause a problem for cats than it would for a human. That’s why you must ensure your cat doesn’t eat too many.
Most people eat salted almonds. These can cause yet another issue called sodium ion toxicity. This condition occurs when your cat eats too much salt, especially if your cat isn’t drinking enough water.
Unfortunately, there are many more possible dangers to feeding your cat almonds than there are benefits. Fortunately, there are many other treats that you can allow your cat to try, like some types of shrimp or tuna.
Are there any types of almonds that are safe for cats to eat?
There are many different ways of preparing almonds, as well as many different almond products. As a general rule, it’s probably best to avoid giving your cat almonds, but some can be more dangerous than others.
Chocolate-covered almonds, for example, are much more dangerous than plain almonds. Chocolate is toxic for cats, so anything with a dash of chocolate is a bad idea for your fluffy friend’s tasting menu.
You shouldn’t feed your cat any baked goods with almonds in them. Baked goods, in general, aren’t good for your cat since they have an excess amount of sugar, butter, or other foods that aren’t healthy for your kitty to eat.
What about almond milk?
Almond milk is a popular substitute for dairy milk, especially among lactose-intolerant people. It’s not just people; cats are lactose intolerant too. This can be surprising to some since cats are often illustrated drinking milk. Like cats, dogs also tend to be lactose intolerant.
Interestingly enough, almond milk is actually safer than almonds for cats.
The chance of choking on milk is low, and while the distinctive taste does come from almonds, it is primarily made with water and other liquids, so there isn’t much of an increase in the chance of cyanide poisoning.
However, it could cause digestive problems, especially if your cat is sensitive to nuts. You should avoid almond milk with artificial ingredients, especially sweeteners.
My cat ate some almonds; what should I do?
If you like almonds and snack on them often, you might be wondering what you should do if your cat eats some almonds. Having a game plan can make dealing with a potential emergency much easier.
If your cat only ate a few almonds, you don’t need to worry. You should just keep an eye on your cat for signs of choking, digestive issues, or constipation. If your cat has vomiting or diarrhea that persists, you should take them to the vet.
If your cat has a large number of almonds, you will need to keep an eye out for the symptoms of cyanide poisoning and sodium ion toxicosis.
Symptoms of cyanide poisoning include:
If your cat does eat a lot of almonds, you should probably discuss it with a vet. Policyholders of a pet insurance plan provided by Spot get access to a 24/7 pet telehealth service provided by VetAccess™, who could advise you on your next steps.
Should I give my cat almonds?
Although almonds are a beneficial and delicious snack for us, they aren’t something we should share with our pets. They are difficult for cats to digest since cats are carnivores and can’t properly process plant matter.
Sweet almonds have a trace of cyanide in them as well, so if your cat eats too many, they can experience cyanide poisoning. Another potential issue is the salt that is usually on almonds. It can lead to sodium ion toxicosis.
Even though almonds aren’t the snack for your cat, there are a wide range of treats that you can find to give your cat to keep them happy and satisfied.
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