Walnuts are a storehouse of nutrients and minerals. Therefore, they are very healthy for humans and should be a part of the regular diet. However, can the same be said about the cats? Or rather, can cats eat walnuts?
Should you worry if your cat eats a piece of walnut out of your plate? Are walnuts toxic? Is there any benefit of feeding walnuts to cats? Being a cat parent, these might be some of the questions in your mind. To find their answers, keep reading further.
Can Cats Eat Walnuts?
Nuts are beneficial for the human diet since they are rich in protein, fat, fiber, and other nutrients. But the digestive system of cats is adapted to consuming meat. As such, cats can’t derive the nutrients from plant food. Therefore, foods like nuts don’t have much nutritional value for cats.
Though most kinds of nuts aren’t toxic for cats, it’s not advisable to include them in your cat’s diet. Walnuts also fall in the same category. They might be nutritious for us, but not for cats. In addition, since they have high-fat content, a regular intake of walnuts would result in weight-related issues.
So, the answer can cat eat walnuts seems to be pretty straightforward. If the cat eats walnuts accidentally or you feed it as a snack, you should not worry. There are also some benefits of walnuts for cats, which you’ll get to know as you read ahead.
What Are the Benefits?
It’s already established that walnuts don’t provide many nutrients to cats. Therefore, it isn’t a good idea to feed them walnuts. However, walnuts do have some possible health benefits for cats. So let us look at them.
Improves Brain Function
Walnuts contain Vitamin E, polyunsaturated fat, and polyphenols, which support the functioning of the human brain. This is also true for cats.
These minerals help in eliminating stress by reducing oxidative inflammation. This safeguards the brain from damages while promoting its health. Thus, walnuts can improve a cat’s memory and relieve anxiety.
Prevents Premature Ageing
Like humans, cats are also susceptible to premature aging. You might see the signs of early aging on your cat. It’ll become lethargic and disease-ridden. But walnuts can prevent that.
These nuts contain elements that improve the motor functions of the body. Eventually, this would slow down the aging process.
Protects From Heart Disease
The high amount of nutrients in walnuts ensures that our heart stays healthy. Similarly, it reduces the risk of heart diseases in cats. In addition, alpha-linolenic acid, which improves heart function and reduces heart attack risks, is abundant in walnuts.
So, such benefits incline you to think – what could go wrong in feeding cats walnuts? Let us tell you how nuts affect a cat adversely.
Problems Related to Feeding Walnuts
The benefits mentioned above may not be very effective. The reason being – cats are obligate carnivores, and they get nutrients from animal protein.
Their digestive systems won’t be able to digest the plant food. Instead, it treats the plant food as a foreign substance, resulting in digestive issues. So, if your cat eats a large number of walnuts, chances are it would lead to gastrointestinal problems.
Walnuts also have high contents of fat and oil. The sensitive system of cats is unable to absorb this fat, thus resulting in sudden weight gain. The oil can also lead to vomiting, acidity, and diarrhea. Furtherance of these issues could also result in pancreatitis.
The last danger is the salt content present in walnuts. Cats shouldn’t eat a lot of sodium or salt as it could cause sodium ion poisoning.
So, can cats eat walnuts? No, they can’t. If they see it lying around, they’ll probably eat it. But you should be careful not to offer any walnuts to cats.
While they have exciting benefits, walnuts aren’t fit for cats. Accidental ingestion is not a thing to worry about unless your cat starts showing symptoms of stomach issues. In such a case, you should approach a vet.
Frequently Asked Questions
What Nuts Are Bad for Cats?
Nuts have high amounts of fat and oil, which can cause obesity, digestive issues, diarrhea, and pancreatitis in cats. Walnuts, Brazil nuts, macadamia nuts, cashews, pine nuts, hazelnuts, etc., are some examples of harmful nuts.
What To Not Feed a Cat?
There are plenty of foods that cause severe reactions in cats. Tuna, onion, garlic, chives, dairy, grapes, raisins, chocolate, nuts, caffeine, and raw meat should never be a part of your cat’s diet. These foods could lead to problems that require emergent medical care.
Is Peanut Butter Ok for Cats?
If your cat is healthy, you can give it peanut butter. However, it should be given in controlled quantities and only on some occasions. Also, pay attention to the ingredients of peanut butter. Usually, it contains xylitol as an artificial sweetener. Xylitol is poisonous to pets and requires medical attention.