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Can cats eat almonds? Read first

Let’s face it, we love to share our food with our little furry ones, we even feel selfish when we don’t, and that’s because it’s like withholding candy from a child. But have you ever wondered, “can cats eat almonds“? What if that snack you love so much turns out to be toxic or too heavy for his delicate stomach?

To avoid going through that terrible anguish again, I’m going to tell you about almonds, a super popular and nutritious snack for humans, but what about cats? We will talk about everything you need to know and a little more.

A little about the origin of almonds

Almonds or almond trees originate from the Middle East, specifically Iran, and have existed for thousands of years, being present in the history of various cultures and regions of the world. Currently, more than four million tons are cultivated each year, and the largest producing countries are the United States, Spain, Australia and Iran, Turkey, and Morocco.

The consumption of almonds for humans is highly recommended by doctors, as they are a rich source of fiber, essential oils, and vitamins such as B and E, as well as calcium, iron, magnesium, phosphorus, zinc, and copper, among many others. All of this makes them ideal for helping the body to reduce the risk of heart disease by lowering blood sugar and cholesterol levels. In addition, some studies suggest that it can help prevent certain types of cancer, and it also strengthens bones.

Can cats eat almonds? Are almonds toxic for cats?

The good news is that the almonds we commonly eat are not toxic to cats, so you can rest easy if you see your cat accidentally eats one. But before you completely rule out the danger, keep in mind that there are two general varieties of almonds, sweet and bitter. This last one is the one you need to be careful with.

Sweet almonds are the ones we eat all the time, the ones you find in any supermarket and serve for any dish or dessert, while bitter almonds are not consumed because they contain a substance called amygdalin. This compound is natural. The problem is that it is synthesized or decomposed in the body as cyanide, a lethal chemical.

can cats eat almonds - toxic

A handful of bitter almonds of about 10 almonds is lethal to a human being, so imagine what a single one would do to a small cat. They are highly toxic. This reason is why you won’t find them anywhere. You would have to go to a specialty store to find them, so don’t panic. It is improbable that you or your cat would consume one.

As a fun fact, some people use bitter almonds as an alternative medical treatment to cure pain, coughs, spasms, or even stretch marks. However, it is essential to note that more scientific studies are needed to validate the healing properties of bitter almonds.

OK. Can cats eat almonds, then?

Speaking of sweet almonds, now you know they’re not poison for your cat, but that doesn’t mean they’re the ideal snack for your furry friend. If one day you find yourself eating almonds and your cat asks you for one, or if you drop one on the floor and the cat eats it, it’s OK; nothing terrible will happen to your cat, but try not to make it a recurring thing or let it eat more than one or two.

While they are an incredible source of plant-based protein, you have to remember that a cat’s nutritional needs are very different from humans. For example, as a cat parent, it is essential to know that cats, regardless of their breed, are obligate carnivores, i.e., there is no way to substitute their animal protein-based diet with a vegetarian or vegan one.

Although these plant-based diets seek to raise awareness about the right to life of all living beings, they are not suitable for the cat’s stomach that biologically cannot process plants, fruits, cereals, fats, you name it, only meat. So if our cat eats almonds regularly, it is likely to have digestive problems or even develop pancreatitis. Also, the vegetable protein in the almond does not bring nutritional benefits to the cat.

What happens if my cat eats almonds?

In itself, the cat gets no benefit from eating them, it simply fills up, but it exposes itself to certain risks:

  • Since the almond is relatively large for the size of the cat’s mouth, which is small, your feline may choke when trying to eat a whole almond. If you want to share one, cut it in half to make it easier for your cat to chew. The same risk happens with popcorn.
  • Almonds have 22% of carbohydrates and 50% of fat. Being natural ingredients, these compounds do not represent a risk for us. Still, as the cat’s body cannot process fats and carbohydrates, it is impossible to use them as energy, and they only accumulate in the organism making your cat overweight (if your cat eats a lot of almonds regularly).
  • As it is heavy food for cats, it may cause diarrhea, vomiting, constipation, or bloating.
can cats eat almonds -what happens

Can cats drink almond milk?

Just as almonds provide no benefit other than soothing hunger and filling the stomach, almond milk does the same. While it is true that plant-based milk does not contain lactose like cow’s milk, which is even harder to digest, it is also not suitable for pets because it contains fats that can upset their stomach.

Of course, your cat will love the taste of sweet almond milk, especially if it is vanilla flavored, but it is best not to offer it to him.

Can cats eat almonds? Wrapping it up

My advice would be, no, cats shouldn’t eat almonds. It’s not the most detrimental human food for their health, and maybe a single almond won’t hurt them, but almonds are not a snack and certainly not a substitute or complement to cat food.

Cats shouldn’t eat cashews or peanut butter, either.

If you want to give a treat to your beautiful cat, you can opt for one of the following options that are also very nutritious:

  • Zucchini
  • Celery
  • Banana
  • Salmon
  • Apple
  • Carrot

Have you ever given an almond to your cat? Tell us in the comments how it went!

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