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Can Cats Eat Pine Nuts – Is It Same Or Harmful?

Pine nuts are a tasty snack that we snack on, and feeding them to our cats can be tempting at times. They contain good nutrients and lots of fat that provide good energy. Anytime your cat sees you snacking on nuts, they’ll surely come near for a taste. But as we know, cats can’t eat everything that we eat right? This leaves many cat owners wondering; can cats eat pine nuts?

Cats can eat pine nuts. Pine nuts are high in fat and can only be fed to cats in moderation. Cats that eat too many pine nuts may suffer from diarrhea, vomiting, and digestive issues.

While pine nuts are not necessarily toxic to cats, too many can cause some serious issues for them. It’s essential to know the good and bad about pine nuts, and how they may affect your cat’s health in the short and long term. We’ll dive into all those details next!

Are Pine Nuts Toxic To Cats

No, pine nuts are not toxic to cats. Pine nuts carry some nutritional value that cats can benefit from. This includes a combination of fat, carbohydrates, protein, and water.

Below is a chart showing the list of ingredients in pine nuts along with estimated percentages:

Ingredients In Pine NutsPercentage
Water2%
Carbs13%
Protein14%
Fat68%

Pine nuts aren’t exactly what you think they are. They are actually seeds that come from pine trees, and not nuts as we traditionally know them to be. The problem with pine nuts is not the ingredients in them, but it’s the percentages and how that fits within a cat’s balanced diet.

For example, pine nuts are only 2% water, which offers little value to cats in large amounts. Eating too many can simply put your cat into a state of dehydration.

The other components of carbohydrates and protein carry about 27% of the makeup of a pine nut. There’s some value there for cats because they need at least 2 grams of protein per pound of bodyweight on a daily basis.

Let’s take an average cat for example. The average cat weighs between 8 – 10 pounds, and most pine nuts contain 0.2 grams every 10 nuts. To get their protein requirement, cats would need to eat just over a cup of pine nuts to fill their daily protein requirement. By contrast, a can of cat food covers this with fewer ingredients.

No one should want their cat eating hundreds of pine nuts to fulfill their protein requirement. Especially because pine nuts are 68% fat content. at the most, cats should only be getting 20 – 25% fat from their foods.

In addition to the core components of pine nuts, there are plenty of micronutrients they also offer that cats could benefit from:

Micronutrients In Pine NutsPercentage
Magnesium71%
Manganese 420%
Zinc67%
Copper65%
Vitamin E62%

While cats won’t benefit from every single ingredient in pine nuts, mostly due to them being small in size as it is; they can gain something from it in moderate amounts.

What Happens If My Cat Eats Too Many Pine Nuts

If your cat eats too many pine nuts it can suffer from the following symptoms:

  • Diarrhea
  • Vomiting
  • Obesity
  • Upset Stomach
  • Dehydration
  • Pancreatitis

The main issue with pine nuts is the fat. Cats who take in too much fat can end up with Hyperlipidemia. This is a condition where too much fat has entered the bloodstream.

You’ll notice your cat displaying signs of abdominal discomfort and even tenderness in that area to the touch. In addition to that discomfort is a loss of appetite and the symptoms listed above.

Fortunately for cats, pine nuts are not high in saturated fats. If they were, your cat would end up with clogged arteries.

Cats that consume too much fat as a result of eating pine nuts can end up with obesity issues. This symptom may take some time to show and is not something you’ll notice right away.

Cats that are overweight will weigh between 10 – 20% over their normal body weight. Consuming pine nuts in large quantities can easily cause this to happen.

What To Do If Your Cat Eats Too Many Pine Nuts

While pine nuts are not toxic to cats, they can have an adverse impact on your cat’s health. If your cat eats too many pine nuts there are a few things you should do:

  1. Monitor your cat for symptoms and odd behaviors
  2. Take your cat to the vet
  3. Provide plenty of water (your cat will likely be dehydrated)
  4. Focus on getting your cat more exercise to help cut weight
  5. Limit your cats access to pine nuts
  6. Stop feeding your cat pine nuts until symptoms subside

Ultimately, if you want to share a few pine nuts with your cat, that’s fine. Not only will they enjoy the taste, but you can use them as a treat. Do keep in mind the ingredients in pine nuts. It’s not specifically formulated for cats, and so you’ll have to consider the imbalance that it presents.

Carefully measure out how much you feed to your cat so that they are not getting too much fat content. Fat content is the main problem you will face, and it’s the toughest one to manage once your cat starts to pick up body weight.

If you measure out the pine nuts and still find your cat suffering from stomach issues or in rare cases developing an allergy, then you should stop feeding them pine nuts immediately and contact your vet.

While pine nuts are generally safe, there are plenty of alternatives out there you can give your cat. This includes standard cat treats, wet cat food, and much more.

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