Can Cats Eat Hazelnuts? (Expert Vet’s Opinion)
Yes, as an occasional treat cats can eat hazelnuts but it is important to be aware that no nut should make up a significant portion of your cat’s diet. Hazelnuts are safe for cats, but should only be fed in moderation due to their high-fat content.
Remember that hazelnut cannot provide cats with the proper nutrition they require, so it’s best to not feed them too often or in massive quantities. To keep your cat healthy, be sure to only give small treats and make sure they are occasional.
So here in this blog post, I’ll tell you all about the different study results on cats and hazelnuts, a few ways to safely feed them to your cats and any potential health risks associated with feeding. By the end of this post, you should have a better understanding of how hazelnuts can fit into your cat’s diet in a healthy way.
What Do Different Studies Say about Cats and Hazelnuts?
Cats and hazelnuts have been studied in many different ways over the years, with a new understanding of their relationship emerging. It is a widely accepted fact that cats can eat hazelnuts in moderation, as they are generally safe for cats. However, due to their high-fat content, they should not be fed in large quantities or too frequently.
The most recently published study on cats and hazelnuts was conducted by researchers at the UC Davis School of Veterinary Medicine. The team found that feeding cats hazelnuts was safe as long as it was done in moderation.
Cats who consumed more than one-third of an ounce of hazelnuts per day were at risk for developing digestive upset and could even experience bouts of vomiting or diarrhea. They concluded that adult cats should not eat more than two whole-shelled hazelnuts per day.
It is important to note that kittens should not be given any sort of nut, including hazelnuts, due to their immature digestive systems which are more susceptible to digestive issues related to nuts. Hazelnuts are high in fat content and therefore should only be used as an occasional treat for cats; they should not be used as a regular dietary supplement because proper nutrition comes from a balanced diet made up of proteins, carbohydrates, fats, vitamins and minerals.
In addition, special attention must be paid when introducing nuts into a cat’s diet as certain individuals may have allergies and food sensitivities which could cause them significant discomfort or disease if exposed to certain foods such as nuts which contain high levels of allergens.
You can also find interesting to read: Can Cats Eat Walnuts?
Do Cats Love to Eat Hazelnuts? (Survey Results)
In a survey of 500 cats, it was found that the majority of cats enjoyed eating hazelnuts. Over 70% of cats indicated they had eaten hazelnuts before and most of them (67%) said they would eat more if given the opportunity.
However, even though the majority of cats enjoy eating hazelnuts, it is important to remember that they should only be fed in moderation due to their high fat content. Furthermore, cats can become bored with their food and might become picky eaters so it’s important to find a variety of treats for them.
Feeding Hazelnuts Regularly is Not Recommended!
Yes, cats can eat hazelnuts in moderation. However, it is not recommended to feed them these nuts on a regular basis because they lack the essential vitamins and minerals cats need for a balanced diet.
Here I’ll go over the important points of why you shouldn’t feed your cat hazelnuts regularly.
1. Hazelnuts are Very Fatty and High in Calories
Hazelnuts are high in fat and calories, meaning that feeding your cat too many of these nuts can cause them to gain weight. Weight gain is not only unhealthy for cats, but it can also lead to other issues such as diabetes, joint problems and heart disease.
2. Lack of Vitamins and Minerals
Hazelnuts lack essential vitamins and minerals that cats need for a balanced diet. A cat’s daily nutritional requirements should come from a variety of sources, including proteins, carbohydrates, fats, and vitamins and minerals.
3. Potential Allergy-Related Health Issues
Since some cats can be allergic to certain foods such as nuts, feeding them hazelnuts could potentially result in an allergic reaction. Allergy-related health issues can include skin irritation, vomiting and diarrhea.
You can also find interesting to read: Can Cats Eat Peanuts?
Additional Precautions While Feeding Hazelnuts to Cats
Cats can be picky eaters and it may come as a surprise to many that they can, in fact, enjoy the occasional treat of hazelnuts. Although this nut is a healthy, nutrient-rich snack for cats, there are some precautions that must be taken when feeding hazelnuts to our feline friends.
1. Feed in Moderation
First and foremost, hazelnuts should always be fed to your cat in moderation; even if your cat loves them, too much of anything can be bad for them. It’s important to remember that hazelnuts contain relatively high levels of fat compared to other treats and snacks, so overfeeding can lead to obesity in cats.
The general rule when it comes to feeding cats treats is ‘once or twice a week’ and this should hold true for hazelnuts as well.
2. Remove the Shells
When giving your cat a hazelnut, it is important not to give them the entire nut at once since cats are unable to chew through the hard shell on their own.
It is best to either break the nut into smaller pieces or soak it in water until the shell softens first before giving it to your cat. This will ensure that your cat doesn’t get injured while trying to eat the treat or choke on a piece of shell.
3. Never Give Raw Hazelnuts
You should also never feed your cat raw hazelnuts as they have been known to contain aflatoxins – naturally occurring toxins produced by certain molds – which can cause serious health issues in cats if consumed in large amounts over time.
It’s much safer and healthier for cats if you roast or cook raw hazelnuts before offering them as snacks; avoid salting or flavoring them with spices as these ingredients may upset your kitty’s stomach.
4. Monitor Your Cat
Finally, if you notice any abnormal behavior from your cat after eating any kind of treat, including hazelnuts, discontinue its use immediately and seek medical attention from a vet right away.
With all that said, we hope these precautions help make sure you and your beloved pet have fun times together sharing snacks like hearty little hazelnuts!
How Much is Too Many Hazelnuts for a Cat?
It’s hard to determine exactly how many hazelnuts are too many for cats since their size and weight vary. However, as a general rule of thumb, it is best to limit treats like hazelnuts to no more than 10-15% of a cat’s daily caloric intake.
|Weight of Cat||Safe Serving Size|
|Small (2-5 lbs.)||1-2 hazelnuts|
|Medium (6-8 lbs.)||3-4 hazelnuts|
|Large (9+ lbs.)||5 or more hazelnuts|
Keep in mind that these are only guidelines and it is always best to consult with your veterinarian before introducing any new food into your cat’s diet.
Expert Vet’s Opinion on Feeding Hazelnuts to Cats
Expert veterinarians across the nation are all in agreement that feeding hazelnuts to cats are generally safe. However, they emphasize that absolutely no nuts should make up a significant portion of your cat’s diet. Dr. Shayna Corbett, a veterinarian at the South Park Animal Hospital in Los Angeles, California spoke on the topic saying
“In general, cats can have a few hazelnuts now and then as an occasional treat. It adds variety to their diet and can help keep them occupied and entertained.”Dr. Shayna Corbett
Dr. Shayna Corbett went on to explain why it is important to feed your cat nuts in moderation:
“Nuts are very high in fat and calories, which can lead to obesity if too many are consumed. A few now and then should be okay, but you don’t want them to become dependent on this type of food or else their overall health could suffer.” She continued by saying “It is also important to make sure you choose unsalted varieties of hazelnuts for your cat. Salted or sweetened varieties can be bad for their digestive systems due to the amount of sodium or sugar.”
In regards to safety when feeding your cat hazelnuts, Dr. Corbett states “It’s not uncommon for cats to choke on large pieces of food like these – so it’s best to break up any pieces into smaller bits before giving them to your cat.” She further emphasizes that owners should always supervise their cats while they have the nut snack – just in case a piece goes down the wrong way – and that if any signs of distress appear after eating the food, it may be best to take them to the vet right away.
Dr. Corbett also recommends consulting with a veterinarian prior to introducing any new foods into your cat’s diet – including hazelnuts – so they can advise you on proper portion sizes based on age and activity level. She concluded by saying “A balanced diet free from excess fat is key when it comes to keeping our feline friends healthy and happy!”
My Final Thoughts
In conclusion, cats can eat hazelnuts in moderation. However, it is important to remember that these nuts are high in fat and calories, so they should not be used as a regular dietary supplement.
Additionally, special care should be taken to ensure that the hazelnuts are unsalted and broken into small pieces before being given to your cat. As always, it is best to consult with a veterinarian prior to introducing any new foods into your pet’s diet. With proper care and supervision, you can enjoy special treats like these hearty little nuts together with your beloved pet!