Can cats eat pistachios?

No, cats cannot eat pistachios. But there is more than a simple “no” to this question because, technically speaking, pistachios are not really toxic to cats.

Pistachios and Cats

Loaded with proteins, fats, and other useful nutrients, pistachios make a great snack for humans. Having a handful of pistachios can boost you up for the rest of the day. Are you a pistachio lover who happens to be a cat parent?

If you are nodding your head, chances are you caught you chomping on pistachios and now she is asking—meowing and pawing at your leg—for a piece of pistachios. Can cats eat pistachios, you might ask yourself.

If you are looking for a short answer, here it is: Cats cannot eat pistachios.

Actually, cats not only have different nutritional needs than us humans but they also process food differently from humans. Thus, many things that are perfectly safe for humans to eat are often dangerous for cats to eat. For instance, chocolate, hot dogs, pickles, etc., are bad for cats, while being perfectly safe for humans. On the other hand, there are many humans foods that are safe for cats to eat.


When it comes to sharing human food with cats, be cautious. If you have not discussed the safety of that particular food for cats with your vet, or you are not sure about its safety for cats, you should not give it to your cat, no matter what.

If you are a pistachio-loving cat owner and you are having doubts about “can cats have pistachios,” then stick around. In this article, we are going to discuss all about pistachios and cats: Can cats eat pistachios? Can kittens eat pistachios? Are pistachios good for cats? Why are pistachios bad for cats? And in the end, we will list some healthy and nutritious alternatives to pistachios for cats.

Can Cats Eat Pistachios?

No, cats cannot eat pistachios. Pistachios are not really toxic to cats, so there is no need to panic if your cat has eaten a few plain pistachios. She will develop some gastrointestinal issues, but she is going to be alright by the end of the day.

However, given that pistachios are not healthy for cats and there are many risks involved, it is best that we keep pistachio jars away from our cats—in cat-proof containers.

Can Kittens Have Pistachios?

Kittens cannot have pistachios either—young kittens should not be allowed any way near pistachios. Pistachios are not considered a healthy treat for adult cats, so how can they be safe for young kittens who have sensitive internals?

In their early years, kittens are going through a whirlwind of developmental changes. To fuel these developments, they have special nutrient requirements. If you start feeding your cat foods other than their traditional kitten food—which is made considering their nutritional requirements—their nutritional requirements will be compromised. Therefore, we should avoid giving anything other than kitten traditional food to young kittens.

No Human Food for Young Kittens!

Let alone pistachios, no human food should be given to young kittens for three reasons: Kittens have sensitive internals Their nutritional needs might be compromised By eating human foods, they will grow into a spoiled finicky adult

Can Cats Eat Pistachio Ice Cream?

No, cats cannot eat pistachio ice cream. Milk, Sugar, and pistachio are the three basic ingredients of a pistachio ice cream. None of these three ingredients are healthy for cats.

Why Are Pistachios Bad for Cats?

Pistachios make a safe and healthy snack for humans, so knowing cats cannot eat pistachios, you must be wondering why not? Why are pistachios bad for cats?

Below, we have discussed some of the reasons that make pistachios an unhealthy treat for cats.

Pistachios Are Laden With Fibers

Pistachios are rich in dietary fibers, healthy for us as well as our cats. Dietary fibers have a laxative effect and help us—and cats—in smooth defecation. However, when there is an excess of fibers, it becomes problematic. It causes loose stools that lead to diarrhea and dehydration.

So, if your cat has eaten pistachios, you can expect her to have litter box issues—she might not be able to “hold it” for long.

Pistachios Are Loaded With Fats

Pistachios are not only laden with dietary fibers but also loaded with fats. Although cats need fats in their routine diet to stay healthy, too much fat present in pistachios is unhealthy for cats. They not only increase the risk of obesity in cats and other weight-related health issues.

One of the major health issues that the presence of excessive fats in pistachios can cause is pancreatitis in cats. Pancreatitis in cats is characterized by the inflammation of the pancreas. The inflammation of pancreatitis is often coupled with the inflammation of the liver and intestine.

Symptoms of Pancreatitis in Cats
Abdominal pain
Decreased appetite

Pistachios Are Heavily Salted

Another significant risk involved in cat-eating pistachios is the high salt content in pistachios. Pistachios are heavily salted to increase their shelf age and save them from fungal growth. Salting also makes pistachios more palatable for humans, but the same cannot be said about cats.

No doubt, cats need some amount of salt in their diet, but the amount of salt present in pistachios is too much. And eating excessive salt can lead to salt poisoning in cats.

Symptoms of Salt Poisoning in Cats
Decreased appetite
Excessive thirst
Frequent urination
Incoordination Tremors

Pistachios Pose a Choking Hazard

On top of upsetting our cats’ stomach, pistachios and their shells also pose a choking and intestinal obstruction risk to cats. The pistachio nuts can get lodged in cats’ airways and impede the flow of oxygen. Similarly, ingesting whole pistachio nut or shell can also lead to the obstruction of their intestinal tract.

Signs of Choking in Cats
Labored breathing
Panicking face
Pawing at face
Coughing or gagging
Face rubbing against wall or ground

Pistachios Pose Risk of Aflatoxin Toxicity

Salting greatly reduces the chance of the growth of fungus and mold on pistachios, but still, fungus often finds a way to contaminate pistachios. If cats eat fungus contaminated pistachio, they may develop aflatoxin toxicity, which could be fatal and lead to liver damage.

Symptoms of Aflatoxin Toxicity in Cats
Loss of appetite
Liver damage

Final Verdict: Can Cats Eat Pistachios?

Pistachios are not listed as toxic to cats, but they are loaded with fats that can cause gastrointestinal issues and pancreatitis in cats. Also, the high content of dietary fibers leads to loose stools in cats causing diarrhea and dehydration. On top of that, pistachios also pose a risk of salt poisoning, aflatoxin toxicity, and choking hazard to cats. So, it is best that we don’t give pistachios to cats.

Find out what other foods cats can eat or not eat:

CucumberStrawberriesBaconAlmond Milk
SpinachMangoesHot DogsWhipped Cream
MushroomsOrangesCinnamonPeanut Butter
RosemaryAvocadoSpiderPotato Chips
PicklesPistachiosChicken WingsFrench Fries
BroccoliBananasFishDog Food
Foods cats can eat or not eat

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