There’s no denying that macadamia nuts are a delicious treat for us humans, and you might even find your cat is interested in them. While these are a good, albeit high-calorie, snack for people, macadamia nuts should not be fed to your cat, as they can cause several serious problems. While macadamia nut toxicity is widely known in dogs, it is unclear whether cats are similarly affected. However, it is still recommended to avoid macadamia nuts in cats.
Macadamia nuts can cause lethargy, ataxia, and even paralysis. The problems don’t stop there, though, as hyperthermia, vomiting, and tremors are also known to occur upon ingestion. These alone are a good reason not to give your cat any macadamia nuts, but how can you tell if they’ve consumed them?
What to Look For if You Suspect Your Cat Ate Macadamia Nuts
Cats that have eaten macadamia nuts tend to act very lethargic and won’t seem like themselves. Early on, they will often vomit, which would be an ideal scenario as they could remove the nuts from their system. As things continue to go unchecked, the symptoms become more severe.
One of the most common and apparent giveaways that a cat has suffered from macadamia nut poisoning is a, which causes abnormal movement in your cat’s head, legs, and torso. You’ll see their hind end start to droop over. They might catch themselves, or they could stumble and fall. Ataxia makes cats appear drunk and nauseated from not only the macadamia nuts but the sensation of having lost their balance.
Sadly, hypertension, seizures, coma, and death can also occur in some cases. While macadamia nuts might be better known for their toxicity in dogs, they should be considered equally poisonous to cats. These are obviously not things that any loving pet parent would wish upon their beloved pet, so it’s best to stick to your cat’s dietary needs as closely as possible.
Your Cat’s Nutritional Needs
Cats are carnivores, and carnivores don’t eat nuts. The nutrition your cat requires comes from animal tissues. Cats need a diet that is high in animal proteins, fat, and only a little carbohydrate content. If they eat too many carbs, cats are prone to diseases such as diabetes, pancreatitis, and more. Most nuts are toxic for cats and present a choking hazard.
It’s best not to bother with any nuts, even though some are less harmful than macadamia nuts. Keep your cat on a diet of high protein, medium fat, and low carbs. A healthy kitty is a happy kitty.
Safe Macadamia Nut Alternatives for Cats
It’s not recommended that you give any nuts to your cat. Many people will choose almonds as an alternative, but we’re not convinced. They may not be poisonous to cats, but they are known to cause gastrointestinal upset and even diarrhea. So, what can you do if your cat has a really bad nut craving and you want to get on with your life?
Well, nuts just aren’t suitable for cats in general. They weren’t made to eat them. If they can’t stop begging for them, sunflower seeds are the best alternative.
Sunflower seeds are one of the safest seeds that your pet can eat.
The seeds make a good stand-in since they are a similar texture. We would recommend pre-crushing them because, even though they are smaller, a cat can still choke on the seeds. Sunflower seeds are high in fiber, and we mention this because if you happen to have a cat who is craving sunflower seeds, it might actually indicate that they need more fiber in their diet.
You should never feed cats macadamia nuts or really any nuts for that matter. Though we don’t know if they affect cats similarly to dogs, it is not worth the risk. While it can be understandably tempting to give in to your cat’s demands, it’s imperative to know what you’re feeding your pet and the dangers the foods pose. Your pet’s diet is a massive part of your responsibility as a cat parent, which you are obviously rocking since you’re doing research with your cat’s well-being in mind.