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Can Cats Eat Macadamia Nuts? What You Need to Know!

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By Nicole Cosgrove

Cat Eating Nuts

It’s common for pet owners to be curious when it comes to foods they can offer their pets. While it isn’t normally recommended for us to provide our cats or dogs with a lot of human food, it’s hard to resist when we’re snacking and our fur babies are so curious about what we’re enjoying. This is especially true with cats. Our little kittie friends can be quite inquisitive, nosey if we’re being honest, and want to be part of everything we do. Even eating.

Macadamia nuts are a treat lots of humans enjoy. When kicked back on the sofa, watching your favorite television show, macadamia nuts can be a light, healthy snack. But, if your cat crawls into your lap and tries to convince you to share, what should you do? Can cats eat macadamia nuts? Are they dangerous for them? Unfortunately, the answer to the question of whether cats can have macadamia nuts is simply no. Macadamia nuts can be quite harmful to your kitty pal and should be avoided. Let’s take a look at the macadamia nut and what could happen if you allow your cat to indulge in this treat.

What Is a Macadamia Nut?

Macadamia nuts on a table
Image Credit: Wow_Pho, Pixabay

Macadamia nuts are the fruit produced from the macadamia tree. This tree is an evergreen that is indigenous to Australia but is now grown in other parts of the world. In the United States, Southern California and Hawaii are the two states best known for providing us with these buttery-flavored nuts. Considering their rarity in the states, the great taste, and the quality protein they provide, it is understandable why macadamia nuts are the most expensive nuts in the world. They are also the hardest to crack.

For humans, macadamia nuts provide a few health benefits. They are high in healthy fats, help reduce inflammation, and even fight cellular damage. It’s when it comes to pets that you truly begin to see the cons associated with macadamia nuts come into play.

Why Are Macadamia Nuts Dangerous for Cats?

maine coon cat eating
Image Credit: Lita Keire, Shutterstock

While science is still trying to discover why macadamia nuts are so toxic to cats, and especially dogs, what we do know is the minerals inside this small nut and what they can do to your felines. The high levels of oils and fats inside these nuts aren’t suitable for cats, or any pet for that matter. You’ll also find that macadamia nuts are high in phosphorus and calcium. These two minerals aren’t absorbed well by your cat’s body and can lead to illness and unexpected weight loss.

Nuts Are a Choking Hazard for Animals

Beyond the scientific reasons that are still being explored about macadamia nuts and the illness they cause to our pets is the choking hazard all nuts pose for our fur babies. While macadamia nuts are on the smaller side, it is still possible for your cat to choke on them. Nuts are hard. Yes, our kitties are carnivores and have the teeth to help them tear into meat, but nuts aren’t the same. Any food that can pose a choking hazard to your kitty should be kept away. No question! This is the safest way to keep your kitty happy and healthy.

What Happens When a Cat Eats Macadamia Nuts?

sick grey cat
Image Credit: one photo, Shutterstock

Every cat will have different symptoms when they eat macadamia nuts. One of the most common things you will notice is diarrhea, vomiting, and lethargy. Yes, we’ve all seen our cat vomit, but when they’ve had macadamia nuts blood can present itself in the bile as well.

You may also notice your cat falling victim to trembling and an increase in body temperature. If your cat’s symptoms become severe, weakness, ataxia, or loss of balance, and even collapse are possible. This is why you should monitor your cat’s symptoms closely.

What to Do If Your Cat Eats Macadamia Nuts

You may feel the need to simply monitor your cat if they eat macadamia nuts and wait to see if symptoms present themselves. While this may be possible if your cat hasn’t ingested a lot of macadamia nuts, it’s still best to get into contact with your veterinarian immediately. Your vet will discuss the situation with you and help you determine whether your kitty should make a visit to the office for more advanced treatment.

In Conclusion

As you can see, macadamia nuts aren’t a good snack option for your cat. If you want to enjoy a macadamia nut from time to time, keep them safely stored away from your kitty and tell your feline friend no if they try to convince you to share. If your cat wants to snack along with you, offer them cat-safe treats to enjoy while the two of your share downtime snuggling together.

Related Read: Can Cats Eat Cashews? What You Need To Know!


Featured Image Credit: AlyaKernychna, Shutterstock

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