Cashews can be a great snack for people, but what about squirrels? Can they eat cashews? This is a question that has been asked for years, and there are plenty of opinions out there on the matter.
Some people say that squirrels can’t eat cashews because they’re technically not nuts, while others insist that it’s just fine to feed them these tasty treats. So which side is right?
Let us break down this question so you can decide whether or not feeding cashews to squirrels is a good idea.
Can Squirrels Eat Cashews?
Yes, squirrels can eat cashews. They don’t contain any known toxins that can harm our furry little friends. So if they happen to snack on a couple of cashews, there’s nothing to worry about.
Do Squirrels Like Eating Cashews?
There’s not much that squirrels won’t eat. But as far cashews go, they don’t just eat them to sate their hunger but do so because they love the taste and texture of those delicious nuts.
The downside to squirrels having a strong appetite for cashews is that they can go overboard and end up sick due to overeating.
What Nutrients Do Cashews Contain?
Cashews are a good source of protein, fiber, magnesium, and zinc. They also contain some essential vitamins such as vitamin B-12 and E. All of these nutrients can be beneficial to squirrels, helping them stay healthy and strong.
Should Squirrels Eat Cashews?
Although cashews pack a good amount of nutrients and squirrels love to eat them, they aren’t really a good snack for our furry little friends. Why is that, you ask? Well, the answer is multifactorial.
First off, they’re high in fat and can cause weight gain if eaten in large quantities. So while it’s okay to give your pet a few cashews on special occasions, you shouldn’t make these nuts a regular part of your pet’s diet.
Let’s talk a bit more about why feeding cashews to squirrels is a bad idea.
Why Feeding Cashews to Squirrels Isn’t a Good Idea
There are several reasons why cashews aren’t an ideal snack for our furry little friends. Among those reasons, the following ones are the most concerning.
Cashews Contain Oxalates and too Much Fat
As we mentioned earlier, cashews are high in fat and calories. So if these nuts become a regular part of your pet’s diet, they can end up gaining too much weight and causing health problems due to obesity.
Furthermore, oxalates can be found in cashew seeds. They can cause serious damage to our furry little friends’ kidneys when consumed regularly over time because oxalic acid binds with calcium to form crystals within their bodies that can’t pass through urine very well. These kidney stones can lead to life-threatening conditions such as renal failure if left untreated by veterinarians who have experience dealing with this type of condition in pets.
Cashews Cause Calcium Loss In Squirrels
Another reason why feeding cashews can be a bad idea is that they can lead to calcium loss or bone resorption.
Calcium recycling may sound like something good but can actually do more harm than good if it happens constantly over time through consuming foods high in oxalates and low in minerals such as magnesium. This causes the bones of squirrels to become brittle, which can lead to serious fractures when these little guys are playing around.
Cashews Can Lead to Metabolic Bone Disease
Cashews can also lead to metabolic bone diseases in squirrels. As a result, they may experience the following symptoms:
- Poor growth
- Weak bones that can fracture easily
- Soft, pliable bones
- Deformity of the limbs and spine
- Compression fractures of the spine can lead to paralysis
As you can see, these symptoms can be debilitating and even life-threatening. So it’s best to avoid feeding your pet squirrel cashews on a daily basis.
Cashew Alternatives that Are Healthier For Squirrels
If you’re looking for a healthier snack alternative for your pet squirrel, we recommend the following.
These nuts are high in protein, fiber, magnesium, and vitamin E. They also don’t contain oxalates so they can be safely eaten by squirrels without any negative side effects.
2. Sunflower Seeds
These seeds are a good source of both protein and essential fatty acids. They also don’t contain oxalates or harmful toxins that can damage our furry little friends’ kidneys.
3. Pumpkin Seeds
Like sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds are a great source of both protein and essential fatty acids as well as zinc. Zinc is an important mineral that helps keep the immune system of squirrels strong.
Bananas are a good source of dietary potassium, vitamin C, and manganese. They also don’t contain oxalates or harmful toxins that damage your pet’s kidneys or any other organ.
Yes, that’s right! Squirrels are omnivores who eat meat from time to time. Meat not only satisfies their hunger but also gives them the nutrients that their plant-dominated diet is lacking.
Squirrels enjoy feasting on the meat of birds, lizards, small rodents, rabbits, bats, and caterpillars.
As you can see, there are plenty of healthy snack alternatives to cashews that are available for your pet squirrel. So if you’re looking to give your furry little friend a safe and nutritious snack, try one of the options we’ve listed above.
In conclusion, while cashews make for a nutritious snack for humans, they do not sit so well with our furry little friends. They aren’t a suitable addition to a squirrel’s diet for several reasons as we discussed earlier. So the only time you should feed these tasty nuts to your pet is on special occasions.