Although cashew nuts are commonly known as a nut, it is actually a seed found in the pseudo-fruit of a tree called cashew. So is it safe for bunnies to eat?
Bunnies shouldn’t eat cashew nuts, but it is safe in small quantities. Cashew nuts will not add nutrients to their diet and are generally unsafe.
On the contrary, cashew nuts can affect your bunny’s health in large quantities because they are high in calories and contain a lot of fat and little fiber. If your bunny eats a significant amount of cashew nuts, it can have serious health problems.
Can Bunnies Eat Cashew Nuts?
Bunnies cannot eat cashew nuts. Although they are not poisonous to them and, technically, in small quantities, it is safe to offer them, it is best to avoid giving them to them.
While cashew nuts are rich in fats and carbohydrates and have high amounts of lipids, rabbits’ digestive systems are not prepared to process large amounts of fats, carbohydrates, and energy. Bunny diets are based on hay which is high in fiber and low in calories.
The bunnies’ cecal flora is sensitive and cannot digest simple carbohydrates, which can cause digestive problems such as dyspepsia and poopy butt syndrome, characterized by loose stools.
Giving cashews to your bunny can lead to gastrointestinal problems, such as gastrointestinal stasis, as well as diseases, such as fatty liver and enteritis, something that should be avoided.
Cashew nuts contain a large amount of fat (44 grams per 100 grams) and starch (23.49 grams per 100 grams of cashew nuts).
On the other hand, bunnies need to limit their starch intake to between 0 and 138 grams, which means they can be perfectly healthy without starch in their diet.
A diet high in fat and calories can lead to obesity and health problems in bunnies. At the same time, a diet low in fiber can also cause stomach and intestinal problems.
Can Bunnies Eat Salted Cashew Nuts?
Bunnies cannot eat salted cashew nuts. The high salt content of salted cashew nuts can cause health problems such as dehydration, electrolyte imbalances, and urinary tract disease in bunnies.
A one-ounce serving of salted cashew nuts (about a handful) provides 10.5 grams of unsaturated fat and 3.5 grams of saturated fat, 14% of the recommended daily value.
Bunnies do not need additional salt in their diet, as they can obtain sufficient minerals and electrolytes from their food.
Bunnies usually get all their daily salt requirements from their pellets. They also consume small amounts of salt in their foods, such as leafy green vegetables and hay.
Wild rabbits tend to have lots of leafy greens, twigs, bark, and even dirt in their diet, which provides them with many different nutrients.
What Happens If I Feed Cashew Nuts To My Bunny?
If your bunny eats cashew nuts in small quantities, don’t worry, nothing will happen to him.
This 42-day feeding study1 evaluated the performance and cost-benefit ratio of feeding cashew nut residue-based diets (RNC) to weaned rabbits. Three dietary treatments were used, and it was found that there was no significant difference in weight gain, feed intake, and feed conversion ratio between groups.
However, it was observed that bunnies fed a 10% RNC diet had the best results in weight gain and feed intake.
Even so, you should keep an eye on your bunny if he shows some symptoms, such as loose stools and constipation, as nuts contain high levels of sugar and starch, which can cause an overgrowth of yeast in the digestive tract.
But if your bunny eats cashew nuts in excess, it can present other side effects detrimental to his health.
Anarch nuts contain a compound called oxalate, a natural toxin that can damage the bunny’s urinary tract and cause itching all over the skin.
They are also rich in folic acid, which can adversely affect the pet’s nervous system. If given too much calcium, bunnies can develop sludge-like deposits in their body, which increases the risk of urinary tract infections.
Another important consideration is that too much vitamin A in rabbits’ diets can damage their joints.
And there is also the possibility that the bunny could choke on a piece of cashew nut.
Can Baby Bunnies Eat Cashews?
If you have a bunny, you should know that its digestive system cannot yet digest solid foods other than breast milk, alfalfa, and hay, so it is best to avoid giving them cashews or other types of nuts.
In addition, if your bunny is still very young (less than eight months old), it is essential to avoid giving it nuts, as they can be dangerous for its health.
If you want to offer them any treats, make sure they are not normal treats and are specifically designed for their safe consumption after they are 7 months old.
Cashew Nut Alternatives Your Bunny Can Eat
Most nuts, such as cashews and peanuts, are not recommended for bunnies because of their high fat, carbohydrate, and calcium content, and low nutritional intake.
Therefore, if you want to offer your furry friend an additional treat or snack outside their usual diet, many more suitable options provide extra nutrients to their regular diet.
Here are several casual food options that, in the right amounts, are very safe for bunnies.
Kale: is a rich source of nutrients and vitamins, including vitamin C, essential for bunny health.
Watermelon: is a low-calorie fruit and a good source of vitamins and minerals, such as vitamin C and potassium, which are important for bunny health.
Oranges: are a source of vitamin C, which is vital for bunnies’ health, as bunnies cannot produce this vitamin on their own.
Grapes: they are rich in vitamin C and have an appealing flavor that rabbits love.
Bunnies cannot eat cashew nuts. Although some studies show that cashew residues can be incorporated into the diet of bunnies in a certain amount, this does not mean that they can eat cashews directly and in significant quantities.
The digestive system of rabbits is not designed to digest large amounts of starchy and fatty foods, such as cashews. In addition, cashews may contain aflatoxins, which are especially dangerous to bunnies.
And an excess of these nutrients can cause obesity, stomach and intestinal problems, and fatty liver disease.
Finally, cashew nuts bring no benefit to the bunnies’ diet, and the risk is not worth it, so it is best to avoid them and provide them with a balanced diet of hay and fresh vegetables.