Can Cats Eat Walnuts? A Comprehensive Guide For Cat Owners

can cats eat walnuts

Can cats eat walnuts? This question, often asked by cat lovers, has different answers from experts. Walnuts, a snack that’s good for people, can harm cats. 

Walnuts have antioxidants but can harm cats, causing diarrhea and pancreatitis due to their high oils and fats. The hard shells are also dangerous for cats, so choosing different snacks for your furry friend is safer.

This article explores the question, “Can cats eat walnuts?”, what to do if consumed, and the symptoms to watch for. Keep reading for more information.

Can Cats Eat Walnuts?

Indeed, while it’s technically possible for cats to eat walnuts, it’s not recommended. Unlike dogs, a small amount won’t trigger a life-threatening situation, but walnuts aren’t suitable snacks for cats. They may cause stomach upset and general discomfort.

Considering that humans are advised to consume only a quarter cup of plain walnuts daily, it’s essential to recognize that this amount is more than sufficient for a small animal like a cat. Due to their high fat content, walnuts can lead to diarrhea and vomiting in cats. Regular consumption may result in inflammation of the pancreas and even kidney failure.

Understanding the implications of “Can cats eat walnuts?” is essential to promoting the well-being of your cat. The risks escalate with salted walnuts, as the added salt can induce vomiting, tremors, and seizures. Regular intake of salted walnuts could be fatal for cats. While an accidental ingestion by Fluffy may be okay, it’s wise to keep walnuts away from them for their overall well-being.

If you’re curious about other foods, also read, Can Cats Eat Pancakes? Guidelines For Cat Lovers.

Why are Walnuts Bad for Cats

Exploring the question, “Can cats eat walnuts?” can help owners make informed decisions about their cats’ diets.

Interestingly, walnuts aren’t inherently toxic for cats but aren’t recommended for consumption. The main concerns for cats eating walnuts arise from their:

are walnuts bad for cats

1. High-Fat Content

Walnuts possess a high-fat content that may disrupt a cat’s digestive system, potentially resulting in gastrointestinal issues such as vomiting and diarrhea. Moreover, consuming walnuts can lead to pancreatitis, an inflammation of the pancreas, a severe condition demanding prompt veterinary attention.

2. Pancreatitis

This inflammation of the pancreas can be severe and requires immediate veterinary attention.

Choking Hazard: Whole walnuts or large pieces pose a choking hazard for significantly younger or smaller cats. The rough texture and size can get lodged in their throat, causing respiratory distress.

3. Moldy Walnuts

Moldy walnuts contain mycotoxins, which are toxic to both humans and animals. If your cat ingests moldy walnuts, they can experience tremors, seizures, and organ damage.

4. Black Walnuts 

These walnuts have a higher concentration of juglone, a naturally occurring chemical found in walnuts. While not directly toxic, it can negatively impact cats with sensitive digestive systems.

Symptoms to Watch For

Understanding the implications of “Can cats eat walnuts?” is essential to promoting the well-being of your cat. You should look out for the following signs of ingestion.

  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Loss of appetite
  • Lethargy
  • Abdominal pain
  • Difficulty breathing

If your cat consumes walnuts, you should take the following actions beforehand.

Steps to Take

If you have cats and walnuts in your home, storing the nuts in a secure location is a good idea to prevent any potential mischief or accidents involving your curious pets.

After they consume walnuts, it’s crucial that you promptly take the following precautionary measures.

a. Contact your veterinarian

Regardless of the amount consumed, it’s always best to avoid caution and consult your veterinarian. 

They can assess the situation and recommend the appropriate action, including monitoring, inducing vomiting, administering medication, or even surgery in severe cases.

b. Monitor your cat closely

If you monitor your cat at home, watch them closely for 24 hours. Take note of changes in their behavior, appetite, or elimination habits.

c. Keep your cat hydrated

Encourage your cat to drink water to prevent dehydration, especially if they’re experiencing vomiting or diarrhea.

d. Do not force food

If your cat doesn’t feel like eating, forcing them could make them vomit. Allow them to eat when they’re ready.

If your cat consumes a significant quantity of walnuts at once, contact your veterinarian right away. Watch for signs such as vomiting, diarrhea, and potential kidney issues.

Additional Tips

Many pet owners often wonder, “Are walnuts safe for cats?” Well, they are not and if your cat ingests walnuts flavored with sugar, salt, onion, garlic, or chives, notify your vet, as these ingredients may lead to additional symptoms. 

Poisoning indicators encompass salivation, vomiting, diarrhea, twitching, difficulty breathing, shock or collapse, skin inflammation or swelling, depression or coma, and alterations in drinking, urinating, and appetite.

You may also be interested in knowing about Can Cats Eat Ginger? Understanding the Risks & Benefits.


So can cats eat walnuts? Cats should steer clear of walnuts, which can cause severe digestive issues. If your cat consumes walnuts and you’re uncertain, seek veterinary assistance immediately. Avoid giving walnuts to your cat, especially uncoated ones. Nuts are unnecessary for cats, and while a small piece of plain walnut is not life-threatening, contact your vet if your cat shows distress symptoms.

Similar Posts

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *