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Can Squirrels Eat Cashews? (Read This First!)

Squirrels are swift little animals. They love to eat different types of foods. They roam around and munch on whatever they prefer. You may see them eating different sorts of nuts, but are those safe for them? Let’s see which nuts a squirrel can eat and cannot.

Can squirrels eat cashews?

Squirrels cannot eat cashews. As cashews have a high amount of phosphorus in them, it is quite harmful to squirrels. Squirrels can eat other nuts such as Almonds, Acorns, Hazelnuts, etc. They may eat cashews, but it is not wise to feed them cashews while in a captive situation.

Squirrels eat almost all types of fruits, seeds, and nuts. They look for fruits and live nearby the food. But when the squirrels are kept inside, you will treat the squirrel as one of your pets.

Squirrels cannot eat cashews, roasted or raw, because cashews contain a high level of phosphorus and fat. Regular intake of cashews can be harmful, as it will make the squirrels obese, and they will face some consequences of calcium deficiency.

Squirrels love fruits, and they eat broccoli, squash, and mushrooms too. However, salty, junk food, cashews, pine nuts, etc. foods are risky.

Wild squirrels:

There is always a competition within the group of wild squirrels to search and gather for food. Wild squirrels may eat cashews, but still, that is harmful to them.

Flying squirrels:

Flying squirrels love to eat nuts, but like wild squirrels, they may eat cashews if they find them. The same health hazard goes for flying squirrels that they should not eat or feed cashews. 

Ground squirrels:

Similar to other squirrels, ground squirrels love to eat nuts and seeds. Ground squirrels also do not mind eating cashews, but their body will be bothered if they take it.

Rock squirrels:

Rock squirrels love to eat leaves, stems, and seeds. And sometimes, they will not mind taking nuts if they can find some. Health hazards remain if they take cashews.

Can you feed these cashews to a squirrel?

Walkthrough this section to know if a squirrel can be fed these forms of cashews or not –

Salted or unsalted cashews:

Cashews are not good for squirrels. If anyone gives salted cashews to squirrels, then those salted cashews can be deadly to the squirrels.

Though squirrels will eat them without knowing the health hazard, you should not give salted cashews to any squirrels. Moreover, cashews themselves are harmful to the squirrels. Whether it is salted or not, squirrels should not feed cashews.

Raw or roasted cashews:

Cashews are covered inside a toxic fruit. After processing and cleaning them considerably, these nuts are packed and sold to the consumer.

Though the trader trades these cashews after going through a proper cleaning procedure, it is wise to roast them to avoid contact with the toxin.

Expired cashews:

Expired food can be deadly. For both human and squirrel intake, expired cashews should not be an option. As cashews contain oil, they will be stale after 2-4 weeks. And then, on the cashews, mold may grow, and the taste and smell will change.

It is not right to feed moldy foods to animals.

What nutrients do cashews have?

Cashews are sweet, and these nuts are filled with high plant-based protein, fiber, good fats, and low sugar levels. Moreover, it contains a lot of minerals, such as phosphorus, potassium, magnesium.

A tiny amount of sodium, zinc, and calcium too. Moreover, Cashews contain Vitamin K and B6.

An ounce of cashews contains 157 calories, 5grams of protein, 12 grams of fat, 1 gram of fiber. On the other hand, cashews contain minerals such as the daily value of copper 67%, Magnesium 20%, Manganese 20%, Zinc 15%, Phosphorus 13%, Selenium 10%.

Furthermore, Cashews contains Vitamin B1 of 10%, Vitamin K of 8%, and Vitamin B6 of 7%.

From these minerals, phosphorus is terrible as it increasingly reduces the calcium from a body if cashews are eaten in a large amount. Cashews also include a high amount of unsaturated fat. In every 1 ounce, 12 grams of fat is included.

Raw cashews may contain toxic elements. The harmful ingredients can be diminished by roasting them. So, eating raw cashews may cause damage to the body.

However, roasted cashews include more oil in them. Some researchers claim that roasted cashews have more antioxidants than raw cashews.

Why aren’t cashews good for squirrels?

Squirrels love certain nuts. Squirrels do not necessarily hate cashews. Cashews may risk squirrels’ life by creating health issues such as obesity and calcium deficiency.

High Level of Phosphorus:

Almost all the nuts contain phosphorus. But in cashews, the amount of phosphorus is more than the limit the squirrels can take. A high amount of phosphorus leans the squirrels towards calcium deficiency.

Moreover, the wild squirrels that live outside do not have that much problem with a small intake of cashews. But for pet squirrels, it is quite harmful.

High Level of Fat:

Squirrels are small critters. These small critters generally live outside and search for food relentlessly. Certainly, they are not typical pet animals, and rather they are industrious animals who search for food for themselves.

For searching foods, they need energy, and these energies come directly from the fats and carbohydrates they get from their foods.

Unfortunately, pet squirrels do not have to run for food. They get an adequate amount of food every day. As they do not search and work for food, if they intake a high amount of fat, they can harm the squirrels in the long run.

Do squirrels like cashews?

Squirrels do not have specific favorite foods. They love to eat fruits, nuts, seeds. Squirrels are not picky eaters. If anyone offers cashews, the squirrels will eat them without any hesitation. They do not particularly love or hate cashews.

But is it fruitful for squirrels to eat cashews? Then the answer will be No. Cashews contain a lot of fat and phosphorus. Both minerals are not quite good for squirrels to sustain.

If the squirrels are kept as a pet, then cashews are more harmful. Because the pet squirrels do not run like the wild ones, there will be some issues of obesity as well.

What nuts are good for squirrels?

The following nuts are good for squirrels, and you can feed them these as an alternative to cashews –

Acorns:

Acorns are one of the foods that the squirrels save for the winter season. Squirrels do not take all types of acorns. Generally, they eat white oak acorns and red oaks acorns. Acorns are filled with an ample amount of energy.

Almonds:

Almonds are loved by squirrels. Almonds are filled with all sorts of beneficial elements for squirrels. It contains fats, vitamins, and minerals such as magnesium, manganese, etc.

However, for containing a high level of fats and carbs, you should not give almonds regularly to squirrels.

Hazelnuts:

Hazelnuts are another great food for squirrels. Even squirrels love them so much that wild squirrels gather hazelnuts, bury them in the ground, and save them for winter.

Hazelnuts also contain a huge portion of Vitamin E and B. Moreover, hazelnuts contain minerals such as copper, manganese, etc.

Macadamia Nuts:

Macadamia nuts contain a high level of fiber, along with sugar, sodium, and fat. Macadamia nuts are loved by squirrels too. If there is any macadamia nut tree, these little critters may come to have some nuts.

Macadamia nuts are good for squirrels’ health. But point to be noted, you should not feed pet squirrels only macadamia nuts. It may cause some harm to the body of squirrels.

Pistachios:

Pistachios are safe for squirrels. The unsalted pistachios are great for these tiny animals. As Pistachios contain a high level of sodium, so there is no need to include salt in pistachios for these small animals.

What can you feed squirrels?

You can feed the following to squirrels –

Pumpkin Seeds:

Squirrels love to eat pumpkin seeds. Mainly, the red and grey squirrels love pumpkin seeds more than other squirrels. Squirrels love the inner kernels of pumpkin seeds.

Chopped Apple:

Squirrels love to eat fruits. Squirrels are quite fast animals so that they will have the required amount of energy from apples.

Grapes:

Grapes contain many vitamins such as Vitamin C, E, K, and minerals such as Calcium, Potassium, which are quite favorable to the squirrel’s health.

Celery:

Celery is a plant-based food for squirrels. As squirrels are vegetarian. They love to eat celery, which is quite nutritious, has low calories, and has high fiber.

Fresh Water:

Often, it is hard for squirrels to find a new water source when they live in a wild situation. Generally, squirrels gather fresh water from the food they take, which is sometimes quite insufficient.

Final thoughts

Squirrels eat almost every fruit, seed, and vegetable. But cashews are not the best of the foods that you can offer to the squirrels. It will be better to provide other nuts such as walnuts, hazelnuts, Pistachios, etc. than to provide cashews. If in doubt, seek professional help on squirrel’s diet.