Pecans are great to add to baked goods such as pies, muffins, cupcakes, and more. If you’re a home cook, you might have a lot of pecans in your kitchen, and if you have a pet cat, you know how curious they can get. If your feline friend has accidentally eaten a pecan or two from the counter, should you panic? Or is it okay for cats to eat pecans? Read more to find out.
Are Pecans Toxic to Cats?
The answer is no; pecans are not toxic to cats. If it has accidentally eaten a nut or two, there’s no need to worry, as cats can eat pecans without consequences. But the more important question is, should they? The answer is no; cats shouldn’t eat pecans. Giving it a nut or two is okay if it’s curious and is begging you for a nibble. However, if your kitty has eaten a handful, you may need to start looking out for symptoms of medical problems.
Pecans may not be toxic to cats, but they contain high levels of fat and oils that may cause digestive issues. First of all, cats are obligate carnivores that get most of their nutrition from meat and other meat products. They do not need plants in their diet. Moreover, their digestive systems lack the enzyme needed to digest plants. So even if it’s safe for them to eat pecans, they may have a problem digesting the nuts.
Pecans having high levels of fat increases a cat’s risk for obesity. Obese cats, on the other hand, increase their risk for a wide range of health problems, such as kidney disease, pancreatitis, heart disease, and a host of other medical issues. Even if you’re giving small amounts of pecans to your cat every day, long-term consumption may contribute to your cat’s weight, increasing its susceptibility to becoming overweight.
Are There Benefits of Feeding Pecans to Cats?
Yes, there are. Pecans are highly nutritious. They contain high levels of protein, have low sugar levels, are packed with vitamins and minerals such as magnesium and manganese, and have high amounts of flavonoids, which are vital antioxidants that are good for weight management. Other nutrients it contains are calcium, phosphorus, and magnesium. Pecans are also a rich source of omega-3 fatty acids, which help reduce inflammation in the body. Reduced inflammation can alleviate the discomfort for arthritis, which so many cats suffer from.
While pecans add nutrition to your cat’s diet, they don’t exactly need them. Cats need most of their nutrition from meat since that’s all they eat in the wild. However, they do get nutrition from plant-based food, though it only consists of a very small portion of their daily nutritional needs, and they can even do without it. It is believed that wild cats get their nutrition from plants by eating herbivorous animals. Cats eat everything from their prey, which includes the organs in the body, including the stomach, which may contain plants.
However, these nutrients are mostly found in commercial cat food, so there’s no need to add pecans to your cat’s diet even though it’s nutrient-dense. You may give it as a treat or to calm your cat’s curiosity but it shouldn’t be a part of its daily diet.
What are the Disadvantages of Feeding Pecans to Cats?
While your cat won’t suffer any serious consequences of eating pecans unless it’s a handful, there are manifestations of health problems that may be caused by being allergic to pecans or having digestive issues caused by the nut.
Here are some of the disadvantages of feeding pecans to cats and the very reasons why they shouldn’t be given any:
1. Increased Risk for Obesity
Obesity in cats can cause heart disease, diabetes, cancer, and kidney stones, as well as an increased risk of joint deterioration.
2. Gastrointestinal Irritation
Because cats can’t digest plants, they may experience digestion issues when eating pecans. Some of these issues include diarrhea, vomiting, indigestion, gas, and stomach upset.
3. Mold in Pecans
Pecans are also susceptible to mold formation when they’re not stored properly. Mold can be fatal to cats, so if you’re intent on giving your pet a nibble of pecans, make sure the nuts are fresh and have no molds. Cats ingest pecans with mold can experience seizures, vomiting, and muscle tremors, and the results can even be fatal.
Though rare, some cats may be allergic to pecans. Signs of allergy include itching, rashes, difficulty breathing or wheezing, or your cat behaving abnormally after eating pecans.
Frequently Asked Questions
No, cats can’t eat pecan pie because baked goods have other ingredients that may be toxic or bad for cats. High sugar-content foods such as baked goods are to be avoided by cats at all times. If you baked the pie yourself and you know it doesn’t have toxic ingredients such as grapes or onion and doesn’t have high amounts of sugar, you may feed your cat a small bite.
If a cat eats pecans, it won’t experience any problems. Pecans are not toxic, but they’re not good for them either. If your cat ate a few nuts, there’s no need to worry. However, if your cat has eaten a whole bag or a whole handful, you should watch out for symptoms of digestive and allergy symptoms. Observe if your cat is vomiting, has diarrhea, is scratching its mouth, ears, or head, is having trouble breathing, or doesn’t have an appetite. Call a vet immediately or bring your cat to the vet in these cases.
Yes, macadamia nuts are toxic to cats, and the reason why is still unknown. Walnuts are also believed to be toxic to cats, so avoid giving macadamia and walnuts to your kitty. While you can feed your cat peanuts, cashew nuts, pecans, and other types of nuts, it is always better to be on the safe side, so avoid giving your cat any kind of nut at all times.
If you’re baking with pecans, make sure your cat doesn’t have access to the kitchen, and when you store your pecans, make sure you keep them in a place where your cat doesn’t have access.
Pecans are not toxic for cats, but they are not good, either. Cats should avoid pecans as much as possible because it increases their risk for several ailments, though not directly. If you want to give your cat a pecan or two, that’s okay, as they most likely will not suffer from any signs and symptoms of health problems. But if they’ve eaten an entire bag, please observe the signs and symptoms of negative effects, such as vomiting, diarrhea, seizures, and difficulty breathing. In such cases, don’t hesitate to bring your cat to the vet immediately.