I recently found out that pistachios are toxic to cats ... after my cat had nibbled/licked a couple I had dropped on the floor. She didn't actually eat the whole thing, just licked and nibbled all the salt off. Should there be any concern over her getting sick over the small amount she ingested? Thanks muchly!

Asked by Tipper on Dec 27th 2010 Tagged pistachios, toxic, poison, salt, licked in Food & Nutrition
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Found this on the Internet:

Pistachio nuts naturally contain aflatoxin, a fungal Aspergillus strain. It causes liver degeneration/failure/cancer and possibly liver necrosis (the fastest liver route to death). Humans are the only known mammals to have a high tolerance to it. Other mammals like dogs and cats are ravaged by it. Also, pistachio nuts that are imported are often treated with horrific acaricides like strychnine and organophosphates. California-grown pistachios should not have this problem.

Since it seems your kitty only licked them, and isn't showing any ill effects, I would guess she's okay (I'm not a vet). If she starts acting sick, obviously you should go to the vet, fast. Otherwise, you might mention it the next time you have a health check. Or give your vet a call just to make sure.

Chibi answered on Dec 27th.

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Izadore (Izzie)

As usual, Chibi gives excellent advice. I would like to add that in the future, you must be extra-vigilant about your baby. The next time, if you accidentally leave the bag of pistachios on the end table, she may get into it and actually eat them. Not only that, but if she is the sort who investigates and eats things, she may start on non-food items. My daughter's cat ate a soft foam puzzle piece once and we had to decide on euthanasia or $2,000 worth of vet care/surgery. We decided on the surgery, and Sophie is fine now, but we had some scary times with her.

Izadore (Izzie) answered on 12/28/10. Helpful? Yes/Helpful: No 1 Report this answer