Can Cats Eat Almonds?

Cats often want to eat the food that their owners are eating. But, human foods are not always safe for cats and cat owners should be very careful when they are feeding their pets. Sugary food like honey isn't good, as well as those containing dairy. Even a small amount of certain foods can be harmful to cats and even lead to their death.

In this article we will tell you something more about almonds and their effects on cat’s health. Many of us enjoy eating almonds and there’s no doubt that these nuts have many health benefits, but can we share them with our cats?

More About Almonds

Almonds are popular nuts which grow on the almond tree (lat. Prunus dulcis). Almonds are highly nutritious and very healthy. They are loaded with antioxidants and vitamin E, which can protect our cell membranes from damage.

Also, almonds are rich in healthy fats, fiber and protein and they can help with blood sugar control. If you eat them regularly, these nuts can also lower cholesterol levels and prevent harmful oxidation of LDL cholesterol. A small handful of almonds can be a healthy snack that contains only 161 calories. Almonds are sold raw or roasted.

Are Almonds Safe for Cats?

Many cat owners are not sure if they can feed their cats with almonds. The good news is that almonds are not toxic to cats. This means that you can give your cat a small portion of these nuts or a food which contains almonds. But, although a small amount of almonds is not threat to cat’s health, you should avoid giving them to your pet. Greens like celery can be treats for cats, but shouldn't also be given as much.

Also, almonds don’t contain all the nutrients that your cat needs to grow healthy. Almond milk seems to be a healthy alternative to regular milk, because it doesn’t contain dairy, but it can still be harmful to your cat.

How Many Almonds Can be Given to Cats?

Cat owners should know that almonds contain a natural toxin called cyanogenic glycosides, which can lead to cyanide poisoning if it is consumed in high amounts. If your cat eats excessive amounts of almonds she may develop some symptoms of cyanide poisoning. These symptoms can be an upset stomach, dilated pupils and hyperventilating. In some cases your cat can go into shock or even die.

We recommend you to give your cat a taste of almond milk and to watch the reaction of your cat within an hour or two. If there are no signs of poisoning, you can give your cat some more almond milk, but not too much. Have in mind that almond milk should not become a major component in the diet of your cat.

Also, it is very important not to substitute water with almond milk. You have to be sure that your cat drinks enough water. Water is the most important for your cat’s health.

Side Effects of Eating Almonds

Your cat can have some side effects even if she doesn’t consume high amounts of almonds. Almonds are loaded with fats, which can upset the digestive systems of cats. This can cause loose bowel movement, diarrhea or vomiting. Also, one of the side effects of eating almonds can be pancreatitis. If you notice some of these symptoms, you should take your cat to your nearest vet as soon as possible.

Almonds can also be prepared with salt and covered with chocolate and other toppings. If your cat eats such almonds it can lead to sodium ion toxicosis, a condition that occurs when cats consume too much salt without consuming enough water. In some cases that condition can be fatal for cats.

Also, chocolate is known to be toxic to cats, so avoid feeding your cat with almonds covered with chocolate. You should also avoid giving your cat almond milk or desserts which contain almonds as an ingredient.

Final Thoughts

As you have seen, almonds are not toxic to cats, if they are consumed in small amounts. But, if you feed your cat with high amounts of almonds, that can be harmful to her. Maybe your kitty will not get sick immediately after eating almonds, but they can be very dangerous for her health. Remember that these nuts are not a food to share with your cat.