Can Cats Eat Chestnuts?

Cats are just like any other animal; they discover the world through their mouth. However, sometimes they can accidentally chew on some food you left on the table or some water chestnuts you left over on the dining table. Water chestnuts can make a great snack for us and have proven to be very nutritious for us. However, a cat eating a water chestnut does sound dangerous.

Chestnuts or water chestnuts are very nutritious and a good source of protein or fat source. They can also provide complex carbs for your body and is a good source of antioxidants and vitamins, which makes them beneficial for health. But you need to be mindful about what you feed your cat.

Are they poisonous or toxic? Let us understand if chestnuts are poisonous for cats or not? Keep on reading below to understand better.

Can cats eat Chestnuts?

Well yes! According to ASPCA, cats can eat chestnuts and water chestnuts which are different from your regular chestnuts. However, they should not be considered a primary source of pet nutrition for a cat’s health. This is because cats are primarily carnivores in nature and need a high source of meat-based proteins, which they cannot derive from a chestnut.

Chestnuts have carbohydrates that can help them in storing energy for an ample amount of time. The carbohydrates found in these can be broken down into simpler sugar to derive energy. They also have smaller portions of dietary fibers, fatty acids, and fats; however, not as much protein is required for a cat.

Cats do not need many carbohydrates, and chestnuts may not satiate your cat’s hunger pangs. Therefore you might want to consider giving them something else that would satiate their hunger better.

Can cats eat water chestnuts?

Yes! Cats can eat water chestnuts. Water chestnuts are a softer version of a regular chestnut as they contain more water in them. Therefore, they are even better for your cat.

Water chestnut can be a better option for your cat as it is easily digestible since it is so soft and full of water. Cat’s digestive system would digest this even better and easier. However, water chestnut is still essentially a chestnut. Therefore, it would not provide any relevant pet nutrition to your cat but can serve as a snack for them.

A cat’s digestive system is small in size, and therefore, it needs to be cooked or boiled food to process the food inside its stomach easily. Therefore, cooking chestnuts would help the cats process them better. You could even use canned water chestnuts as they are already processed a lot and are comparatively softer than the raw water chestnuts for your cats.

Are water chestnuts poisonous to a cat?

As long as scientific studies are concerned, there has been no study made that can claim that a water chestnut is harmful or toxic for cats. But the water chestnut is not a part of a cat’s food items since they require meaty-based food or home-cooked food.  

Are they poisonous? No, they are not if eaten in moderation. However, if you eat more than moderation, then your cat could face some gastrointestinal diseases as a cat’s digestive system is quite weak and small. They are digestible enough for them as water chestnuts have a huge portion of water, but they cannot be considered nutritious.

Can kittens eat chestnuts as well?

Yes, kittens can very well eat a water chestnut. However, it cannot be counted as a nutritional option as it would not provide any kind of nutrients to them. Chestnuts can also be very hard for a cat to digest as it becomes difficult for them to break it down in simpler form because o their petite digestive systems. 

Since a kitten’s body is hardly fully developed and is rather still developing, their organs are smaller in comparison, and therefore they would find it harder to process the chestnut. You must feed your cat a very small portion of the chestnut, which is fully cooked to make it easy to digest.

Also, never depend on chestnuts as a nutritional food item as they do not provide any kind of nutrition to cats at all. Therefore, chestnuts can only become an occasional snack. You should consult your vet to ensure the cat is not allergic to it to prevent any mishap.

How many chestnuts can a cat eat?

You can feed your cat some water chestnuts. But you should keep in mind what amount or portion you are feeding them. You must keep this in mind because if you feed them an abnormal amount of water chestnut, it could lead to a poisonous disease or relative toxicity. Therefore, feed just a little amount and treat your cats with other food items that can satisfy their hunger needs.

What if my cat wants to eat a chestnut?

Well, since cats cannot control what they eat, you have to find better alternatives to chestnuts to feed your cat. Since a cat cannot keep a check on what item is poisonous, you will have to know that. You must be mindful of what you feed your cat as they are like small babies who need to be taken care of.

Can chestnuts provide nutrition to cats?

Not really! Since cats are carnivores in nature, they derive all their nutrition from meat-based foodstuff. However, water chestnuts, particularly, have carbohydrates that are not worth anything to their body and rather can lead to weight gain or gastric issues if eaten too much.

Are chestnuts okay for a cat?

Yes, it is a very common kind of snack for a cat. However, if they eat a high amount of chestnuts, then they could face serious illnesses. 

What nuts are poisonous for a cat?

A cat should never ingest a macadamia nut as it can cause vomiting, lethargy, hyperthermia, and even tremors in some cats. Another nut that you can avoid feeding your cat is walnuts, as they could be toxic for the cats. Beside nuts, many food items can cause cat’s death. Here, you can read. 

Is water chestnut a nut and is toxic for cats?

Water chestnuts are not nuts, but they come from the edible portion of a plant’s roots. Therefore, they are not toxic for your cat because it has a high portion of water content in them.

Can water chestnuts cause gas in cats?

Yes, if you do not eat water chestnuts, it could lead to the formation of gas as it is laxative in nature. Also, a cat’s stomach is very sensitive, and its digestive system can only hold so much.

Are water chestnuts poisonous?

No, they are not poisonous. However, sometimes it could transmit a disease known as fasciolopsiasis if eaten raw. Therefore, you must ingest it in a cooked state or thoroughly wash them.


Cats are the most lovable creatures and picky eaters too. However, they would always run after whatever you are snacking on. Water chestnuts, on the other hand, make for amazing snacks to nib on. But you can never eat anything in peace as long as your cat keeps eyeing it. Therefore, you must feed the cat some water chestnuts.

Water chestnuts are surprisingly a great form of antioxidants as they have a high amount of liquid content in them. Therefore, they make for a great snack for your cat. However, it would be even better if you cook them to feed your cat or buy canned ones as raw ones could transmit an infectious parasite known as fasciolopsiasis.

Therefore we can conclude here that water chestnuts are not poisonous for your cat as long as you cook them or use canned ones as they are processed well. They not only taste great but are very nutritious too. The only thing you need to take care of is the cooking method you use to get the nutrition out.

The article is reviewed by our editorial team based on our editorial policy and approved for the publication. 

Amelia Kteylor

Amelia Kteylor, DVM, attended the University of Georgia. She is a cat expert with 20 years of experiences in field. She has a passion as a writer and editor for pet publishing industry too. Amelia contributes to numerous pet magazines in the areas of pet health and groom. Further, she volunteered in cat rescue centers in her leisure time.

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