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Can Cats Have Cashews? 

Can Cats Have Cashews? 

If you are a cat lover like me, you’ll be only too used to the sound of meowing by now. Especially when it comes to food.

Whether it’s trying to trick you into thinking you forgot to feed them, or it’s knocking the cat treats off the counter and devouring the bag, most feline friends are always hungry.

After all, where do you think Garfield got his reputation? So it’s not hard to see why owners might want to share some of their favorite snacks with their favorite kitty.  

However, before you start snack sharing, you always need to check if what’s good for you is also good for your cat.

Not everything that’s suitable for humans is suitable for cats and the very last thing any owner wants is a poorly baby needing a dreaded trip to the vet. 

Nuts are a great and nutritious snack for humans, but for cats, they’re not the best option. They aren’t toxic, so if you drop some on the floor, or if it’s sneakily snatched off of your plate, you don’t have to worry.

A little in moderation is fine, but it shouldn’t be a regular occurrence as it can cause some damage if ingested regularly. 

What’s The Problem?

So you may be wondering what exactly is the issue with cashews? They are a fairly healthy option so you may not think of them as something that your cat shouldn’t be eating but there are actually quite a few reasons why they aren’t really a suitable snack for your favorite friend and I’ll go into a little further detail below. 

High In Fat

So way back before cats were domesticated and living in the laps of their adoring humans, they would be out in the wild.

They would live mostly off of lean meat. It wasn’t very often that they would need to eat anything that had much fat content and especially not to the levels that are in cashews. 

Because they never needed to digest those fats in the wild, their bodies haven’t really evolved to digest them efficiently.

So because they can’t digest the fat properly it means that they will instead store most of this fat which can lead to an overweight kitty. 

While the thought of a chubby little kitty might seem adorable, it can actually be a really serious problem that can lead to lots of other problems much like in humans. 

Your cat’s tummy just isn’t really up to digesting high volumes of fat, which there is in cashew nuts, and it can cause a poorly tummy and vomiting if they eat a lot of cashew nuts. 

High In Sodium

All nuts, even unsalted ones, are really high in sodium. Your cat won’t have ever had any natural sources of sodium in their diet and so their bodies don’t really know how to go about processing it. 

Do you know how if you ever eat something really salty, you always find yourself really desperate for a drink? Well, it’s similar for your pet except they only need to ingest a fraction of the amount of sodium.

Can Cats Have Cashews?

When your cat eats something salty like cashew it can cause severe dehydration issues. 

If you do decide to feed your cat even just one or two cashews you’ll need to make sure that they drink plenty of water after to keep them hydrated. Also, try to pick the lowest sodium option possible.  


If your cat eats cashews consistently, you run the risk of them contracting pancreatitis. This is a really serious and long-term problem that we really want to avoid.

Pancreatitis is when your cat’s pancreas enlarges and your pet will need medical treatment. 

It’s expensive and stressful to try and rectify and really it’s just not worth putting your pet’s life at risk for in my opinion.

Pancreatitis will also cause your kitty to have a fever, a loss of appetite, and lethargy which no one wants to put their pet through. 

Choking Hazard 

Something that you also may not have considered is that nuts can be a serious choking hazard – remember that cats don’t have the same teeth or throats that we do. 

If you’re going to feed your cat cashews you need to make sure that you do not under any circumstances feed them a whole nut.

Break it down into smaller pieces for them as a full nut can easily get lodged in their throat and it is possible for them to die from not being able to breathe if it isn’t dislodged immediately. 

Cats And Kittens

Not all the rules that apply to cats apply to kittens. Kittens bodies are not yet fully developed so they can’t always ingest the same things that they can once they’re fully grown. 

Kittens CAN NOT have cashews. 

Even fully grown cats do not have the correct type of teeth to properly chew cashews, but young kittens don’t have teeth at all yet and so they cannot chew it. It would be like giving a nut to a newborn baby. 

Also, your kitten’s digestive system isn’t developed enough yet to digest solid foods – and that’s if you’re lucky enough for the cashew to even reach the stomach. It is very likely that a kitten would choke on a cashew. 

Under no circumstances give your kitten nuts of any kind. There’s a really high chance that it would be fatal – and absolutely no one wants that to happen. 

Cashew Milk

You may be wondering about cashew milk. As mentioned before, cashews aren’t toxic so, in moderation, a little cashew milk can be okay for an adult cat.

It’s still not recommended for kittens though as they will have trouble digesting it and it may make them ill.

If you’re going to give your cat cashew milk, make sure it’s not too much as it is still high in fat and sodium. It is a better option than whole cashews though as there isn’t really a choking hazard with the milk. 

Final Thoughts

If you really want to feed your cat cashews you can do so sparingly. I personally wouldn’t recommend it.

Especially since there are so many tasty treats out there for your feline friends, I would opt for something more suitable with fewer risks to your kitty’s health. 

If your cat accidentally eats a bit of cashew you need not panic as it’s not toxic in small doses.

But if cashews are included as part of a regular diet there can be long-term dangerous effects, which no one wants their pet to have to go through.