A squirrel is a swift animal that loves to eat different types of foods. They wander around and eat whatever they please.
You may see squirrels eating different kinds of nuts, but are they safe for them to eat? Let’s find out what nuts squirrels can and cannot eat.
Can Squirrels Eat Cashews? (Read This First!)
Squirrels cannot eat cashews because cashews contain a large amount of phosphorus, which is very harmful to squirrels.
Squirrels may eat other nuts, such as almonds, acorns, hazelnuts, etc. Cashews may be eaten by them, but it is not a good idea to feed them cashews while they are captive.
In the wild, squirrels eat almost all kinds of fruits, seeds, and nuts. They look for fruit and live near the food, but when they’re kept inside, you’ll treat them as pets.
Neither squirrels nor raccoons are allowed to eat cashews, whether roasted or raw, because cashews contain high amounts of phosphorus and fat.
Regular consumption of cashews will make squirrels obese, and they may suffer from calcium deficiency.
In addition to fruits, squirrels eat broccoli, squash, and mushrooms too. However, they shouldn’t eat salty, junk food, cashews, or pine nuts.
The group of wild squirrels is always competing for food. They may eat cashews, but it is harmful for them.
In addition to nuts, flying squirrels may eat cashews if they find them. Cashews are a health hazard, so flying squirrels should not eat them or feed them.
Similarly to other squirrels, ground squirrels enjoy nuts and seeds. They will also eat cashews, but their bodies won’t like it.
In addition to leaves, stems, and seeds, rock squirrels will take nuts if they can find them. However, cashews are hazardous to their health.
Is It Possible To Feed These Cashews To A Squirrel?
Check this section to see if squirrels can eat these forms of cashews –
Cashews, salted or unsalted:
If anyone gives squirrels salted cashews, then those salted cashews can be harmful to them.
Squirrels will eat them regardless of the health hazards, but you should not give them salted cashews. Moreover, cashews themselves are harmful to squirrels.
Raw or roasted cashews:
In addition to being covered in a toxic fruit, cashews need to be processed and cleaned considerably before they are packed and sold.
Even though the trader cleans these cashews prior to trading them, it is wise to roast them to avoid contact with the toxin.
Cashews that have expired:
Expired food poses a health risk to humans and squirrels. Because cashews contain oil, they will be stale after 2-4 weeks. Mold may grow on the cashews, which affects the taste and smell.
The feeding of moldy foods to animals is not acceptable.
What Nutrients Do Cashews Have?
The nuts are sweet, and they contain high amounts of plant-based protein, fiber, good fats, and low levels of sugar. Furthermore, they contain minerals such as phosphorus, potassium, and magnesium.
Furthermore, Cashews contain Vitamin K and Vitamin B6 and a tiny amount of sodium, zinc, and calcium.
Cashews contain 157 calories, 5 grams of protein, 12 grams of fat, and 1 gram of fiber per ounce.
They also contain minerals such as copper 67%, magnesium 20%, manganese 20%, zinc 15%, phosphorus 13%, and selenium 10%.
Cashews also contain 10% Vitamin B1, 8% Vitamin K, and 7% Vitamin B6.
Among these minerals, phosphorus is the worst, as it reduces calcium levels in the body when consumed in large amounts. Additionally, cashews contain a high amount of unsaturated fat, 12 grams per ounce.
The harmful ingredients in raw cashews can be diminished by roasting them. Therefore, raw cashews may cause health problems.
Some researchers claim that roasted cashews contain more antioxidants than raw cashews.
Why Aren’t Cashews Good For Squirrels?
In spite of the fact that squirrels love certain nuts, they may not necessarily hate cashews.
Cashews may pose a risk to squirrels by creating health issues like obesity and calcium deficiencies.
Phosphorus Levels are High:
There are almost no nuts that do not contain phosphorus. However, cashews contain more phosphorus than squirrels can tolerate, leading to calcium deficiencies.
Further, wild squirrels who live outdoors don’t seem to have a problem with a small amount of cashews. But pet squirrels find it quite harmful.
High Level of Fat:
Squirrels are small, industrious animals that live outdoors and hunt for food relentlessly. Certainly, they are not typical pets, but rather industrious animals that live outdoors.
In order to search for food, they need energy, and that energy comes directly from fats and carbohydrates.
Due to the fact that pet squirrels don’t have to run for food, they get an adequate amount every day. If they consume a high amount of fat, they will suffer long-term effects.
Do Squirrels Like Cashews?
There are no specific favorites of squirrels. They love fruits, nuts, seeds. They are not picky eaters. If someone offers them cashews, they will eat them without hesitation.
Fat and phosphorus are abundant in cashews. These minerals aren’t quite good for squirrels. Is it good for squirrels to eat cashews? No.
Since pet squirrels cannot run like wild ones, cashews are more harmful. Also, pet squirrels will become obese since they do not run like wild squirrels.
What Nuts Are Good For Squirrels?
In addition to cashews, you can feed squirrels the following nuts:
The squirrels save acorns for the winter season. They do not eat all types of acorns, but rather white oak acorns and red oak acorns. Acorns are a rich source of energy.
A squirrel’s favorite food are almonds. They contain fats, vitamins, and minerals such as magnesium, manganese, and calcium.
Due to their high fat and carb content, squirrels should not be given almonds regularly.
Also, squirrels love hazelnuts so much that they gather them, bury them in the ground, and save them for winter.
In addition to Vitamin E and B, hazelnuts contain minerals such as copper and manganese.
The macadamia nut contains a high level of fiber, along with sugar, sodium, and fat. Squirrels enjoy eating macadamia nuts if there is a macadamia nut tree nearby.
In spite of the fact that macadamia nuts are good for squirrels’ health, you should not feed them exclusively macadamia nuts. They may cause some harm to their bodies.
Due to pistachios’ high sodium content, no salt is necessary for squirrels to consume pistachios. Pistachios are safe for squirrels. Unsalted pistachios are great for these small animals.
What Can You Feed Squirrels?
Squirrels can be fed the following foods:
Pumpkin seeds are more beloved by red and gray squirrels than by other squirrel species. They prefer the inner kernels of pumpkin seeds.
Apples chopped into pieces:
The squirrels love to eat fruit. Squirrels are very fast animals, so apples will provide them with the energy they need.
Vitamins, such as Vitamin C, E, and K, and minerals, such as Calcium and Potassium, are quite beneficial for squirrels.
Since squirrels are vegetarians, celery is a great plant-based food for them. It is quite nutritious, low in calories, and high in fiber.
Squirrels generally gather fresh water from the food they consume, which can be insufficient when they live in a wild setting.
Most fruits, seeds, and vegetables are eaten by squirrels. But cashews aren’t the best food to offer squirrels.
You should offer other nuts such as walnuts, hazelnuts, pistachios, etc., instead of cashews. For more information on squirrel diet, consult a professional.