Updated: August 11, 2022 by Kristen Chapple
Cashew nuts and all kinds of nuts, as a matter of fact, are very popular these days. They are tasty, convenient, and healthy snacks. Most of the diets allow or encourage eating nuts. Actually, some people call nuts ‘superfood’ alongside kale, berries, legumes, and other. So, you are sitting on your couch, munching the delicious cashew nuts when your Fluffy comes around to check it out. What should you do? Can cats eat cashews and is it healthy for them as well? After all, it would be cruel not to share at least a bite with your feline companion. Now, stop for a moment.
Our cats can be so cute that we forget about the fact that we have a brain, and all we want to do is to indulge them with whatever makes them happy. But, you have to resist your urge. You want the best for your cat, and human food is not highly rated in the feline world. At least when it comes to nutritional value. And some of our food can be toxic and dangerous for our cats. So, make sure that you have the knowledge about any kind of food or snacks before you share with your Fluffy.
What Is Cashew
Cashew is a tropical tree that produces cashew apples and cashew seeds called nuts. Most of us have never seen a cashew apple because it is rarely used outside its natural habitat. But, cashew nuts are very popular all around the world. So, why are these nuts so popular and healthy? Well, it is more or less the same as with other nuts.
Cashew nuts are very rich in so-called healthy fat. Furthermore, it contains moderate amounts of vitamins, and high amounts of minerals such as copper, manganese, potassium, magnesium, selenium, and zinc. So, it does make a good addition to the human diet. Especially because it is so convenient to eat it as a snack. It’s a great way to replace unhealthy snacks that so many people eat on a daily basis. It is tasty, you can carry it around, and it is healthy. But, all of this works only for humans. Our cats, unfortunately, have very different needs.
Cats and Cashew Nuts
It is time to get to the point. The question ‘Can cats eat cashew nuts?’ should be rephrased to ‘Should cats eat cashew nuts?’. The simple answer is that cats can, but shouldn’t eat any nuts including cashew. There are no studies on this subject, but the truth is pretty obvious. Cat’s digestive system is not well equipped to deal with plant food. That’s why any cat diet must include meat as the main ingredient. It is just an evolutionary thing. Cats can’t convert some of the vitamins, minerals and fatty acids from plant sources into a form that can be used. Some others they can’t digest efficiently. So, eating nuts can’t benefit your cat’s health.
Another reason to avoid cashew nuts is that they often come roasted and salted, or coated with sugar or something else. None of this is good for your Fluffy, and some can be dangerous. So, even if you give your cat an occasional snack, make sure the nuts are raw.
On the good side, cashew nuts are not harmful to our cats, either. Of course, I am talking about small amounts of nuts. All nuts have very high levels of fat, so they can cause an upset stomach if your cat enjoys one too many. But, occasional morsel is absolutely safe. Having said that, I still don’t recommend it. But, at the end of the day, it is your decision to make.
Your cat doesn’t need cashew nuts or any other nuts. Nuts can’t be a part of cats diet because they are more or less empty calories. Nuts can’t meet any of your cat’s nutritional needs. On the other hand, cats are curious and often want to have a taste of whatever their human companions eat. You don’t have to be strict and freak out if your Fluffy steals a couple of nuts. You can even share a morsel or two with your cat occasionally to calm your conscience. But, keep in mind that it is neither healthy nor beneficial snack for your cat. Actually, chances are that your cat wouldn’t like it anyway.
High-quality cat food will meet your cat’s nutritional needs and you don’t have to bother figuring out if human superfood can benefit your cat, too. It is your choice to avoid nuts altogether or to give some to your cat as a treat from time to time. Anyhow, now you have reliable and genuine facts so that you can make an educated decision on your own.