Almonds are packed with beneficial oils, minerals, and other nutrients and have been enjoyed by humans as part of our diet for over 5000 years. But what about cats? Can cats eat almonds safely? Do cats enjoy eating almonds and are almonds toxic to cats?
Cats can eat small amounts of certain types of almonds safely. Sweet almonds are the type sold for human consumption. These are not toxic to cats. The other type, called bitter almonds, contain cyanide and are toxic to cats. So, avoid feeding them to your cat. However, sweet almonds may cause digestive problems such as vomiting or diarrhea.
Most cats do not enjoy eating almonds, and you may have to tempt your cat to eat almonds if you want to feed them as a snack. Cats are carnivores and are much more interested in meat products than nuts.
Nuts such as almonds are not part of a cat’s natural diet and cats do not have the taste receptors for the flavors found in nuts. However, you may find that once your cat has tried eating almonds, they will develop a taste for them and enjoy them as a tasty snack on an occasional basis.
Are Cats Allergic to Almonds?
Cats can develop allergies to many food substances, and some cats do have nut allergies. Almonds are a type of nut known as a tree nut. Some cats may be susceptible to tree nut allergies, but as most cats will never eat a tree nut in their lifetime it is impossible to say how often this occurs.
Food allergies in cats normally cause a skin reaction but may also cause vomiting and diarrhea. Symptoms of skin reactions include itching, hair loss, sneezing, runny eyes, and excessive grooming.
If you believe that your cat may have a food allergy such as an allergic reaction to almonds it is important to seek advice from your veterinarian promptly.
Feeding Almonds to Your Cat
Although almonds are a healthy and nutritious snack for humans, there is little nutritional benefit in feeding almonds to cats. Cats are carnivores, and their diet is mostly made from meat. This means that they find other foodstuffs such as almonds difficult to digest and cannot benefit from their nutritious content.
However, cats can eat a small number of sweet almonds and some may enjoy them as a tasty snack. If your cat has been showing an interest in your almond snacks you must understand how to feed them safely to your cat.
Firstly, make sure that you are feeding the correct type of almond. The almonds sold for human food consumption are a variety called sweet almonds that are not toxic to cats. The other type, bitter almonds, contains cyanide which is toxic to both humans and cats.
Ensure that the almonds you are feeding to your cat are not coated with flavorings or salted, as this may be harmful to your cat.
Some cats are known to eat whole almonds and appear to enjoy crunching them up at snack time. However, whole almonds could cause choking if your cat attempts to swallow them whole and it may be better to slice or crush them first.
Preparing them in this way may also make them more appetizing for your cat and means you can feed smaller quantities at any one time.
How Often Can Cats Eat Almonds?
Almonds are high in natural oils, which can cause stomach problems in cats in large amounts. It is recommended that nuts and other treats constitute just 2% of your cat’s daily diet. For average-sized cats, this would equal one or two almonds daily.
Cats are carnivores and their digestive systems do not cope well with the oils contained in nuts. So eating almonds frequently or in large quantities may cause stomach problems such as vomiting and diarrhea.
It is best just to occasionally feed your cat a tiny bit of almond at a time as a treat, rather than feeding it as part of the daily diet.
The other problem with almonds is that they are high in calories but low in nutritional value for cats. Modern cats are prone to weight gain and obesity, and snacks such as almonds are not a healthy treat for them.
Are Almonds Toxic to Cats if Fed Daily?
Sweet almonds can be fed daily in small quantities to cats without causing any toxic effects. Larger quantities may cause digestive upsets such as vomiting or diarrhea.
Only sweet almonds should be fed to cats since bitter almonds contain cyanide which is toxic to cats.
Can Cats Have Almond Milk? Is Almond Milk Bad for Cats?
Cats can have almond milk in small quantities, and most cats will enjoy drinking almond milk more than the nuts themselves. Almond milk has the added benefit of being lactose-free, making it less likely to cause stomach problems than dairy milk products.
As with almonds themselves, almond milk should be given in moderation. Start by giving your cat a small amount and monitor for any digestive problems, such as vomiting or diarrhea.
If no reaction occurs, then a small quantity of almond milk can be given on an occasional basis as a treat.
Is Almond Oil Bad for Cats?
Almond oil is not bad for cats, but as with almonds themselves, only sweet almond oil is safe for cats. Sweet almond oil is not easily digestible for cats and may cause digestive upsets such as vomiting or diarrhea. Only a small amount should be given at any one time.
Cats have been known to develop a taste for sweet almond oil, even licking it from their owners’ skin after it has been applied! A drop or two of sweet almond oil can also help to tempt cats to eat their food if they are being fussy.
So, Are Almonds Good for Cats?
Almonds are not bad for cats if we follow some careful guidelines when feeding them.
- Ensure that only sweet almonds are fed to your cat; these are the type sold in stores for human consumption.
- Almonds may be fed whole to cats. Other acceptable methods of preparing apples to feed to cats include slicing or crushing the almond.
- Feed only small amounts of almond to your cat. Recommended maximum of one or two almonds per day.
Feeding almonds to cats can cause digestive upsets and cyanide poisoning if these guidelines are not followed.
Here are some other related questions on this topic.
Can Cats Drink Vanilla Almond Milk?
Vanilla Almond Milk is made from Almond Milk which has been lightly sweetened and flavored with vanilla. This means it may contain preservatives, sugar, artificial sweeteners, and other flavorings that are detrimental to your cat’s health.
It would be better for your cat’s health to stay away from almond milks containing sugar and additives. So stick to pure unsweetened milk rather than vanilla almond milk.
Can Cats Drink Unsweetened Almond Milk?
If you want to give almond milk to your cat, then unsweetened almond milk is the healthiest option. Look for a natural brand with no additives, and make sure that it is only given in small amounts to avoid digestive upsets and weight gain.
Can Cats Eat Almond Butter?
Almond butter is made from ground almonds and can be eaten by cats; however, it may contain additives such as salt and sugar which can be detrimental to your cat’s health. Almond butter is a high-calorie foodstuff with little nutritional value to cats.
Almond butter may also cause digestive upsets due to the high levels of indigestible oils in the butter.