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Can Squirrels Eat Cashews? (All You Need to Know)

Squirrels are one of the most active and amazing animals among the small animals that live around humans. They are also known as the sweetest and the cutest animals, therefore, some people keep them as pets. 

Having a reputation for being the cutest, they are also known for their strong fascination with nuts. In fact, they can live their whole lives by just eating nuts. 

However, many people get confused about whether they can give cashews to squirrels or do squirrels eat cashews? Read to the end of this article in order to clear your confusion. 

Can squirrels eat cashews? 

Well, squirrels do eat cashews but in limited numbers. Because cashews contain a large percentage of phosphorus which might affect the squirrel’s health badly. Therefore, feeding your squirrel three or four cashews is completely fine but make sure you don’t feed them in a large quantity. 

For being the most active animal in the wild, the squirrel needs to be fed in a dietary method. However, the balanced diet of pet squirrels is completely different from that of wild squirrels. As most of the time pet squirrels turn out to be lazier than the wilder ones. 

But regardless of the type, you shouldn’t let them eat too many cashews. Eating too many cashews might lead them to different and complex health issues. 

Ground squirrels:

Well yes, ground squirrels can eat cashews. In fact, they love cashews just as much as they love eating nuts. You can understand by their name as they live underground, therefore, they look for dry fruits on the ground. Therefore, cashews are one of the favorite foods of squirrels.

However, cashews need to be consumed in a lower quantity as it can affect the squirrel’s health badly.

Flying squirrels:

Flying squirrels have a high reputation as jumping squirrels. They can jump up to 3-4 meters in a single jump. They also have wings which is basically the soft skin that helps them to take a long jump. As they live on trees which is why they live on by eating nuts and fruits. 

They occasionally eat cashews but their main preference is only nuts.

Grey squirrels:

Grey squirrels usually live their whole life by only eating nuts. They don’t like cashews that much like other squirrels which is why they always look for groundnuts. Although they live their life by eating nuts, they occasionally do eat cashews.  

Red squirrels:

 Red squirrels do eat cashews but they are very fond of eating other types of nuts. Actually, they are not active like their other counterparts, therefore, they eat whatever food is available around them.  Red squirrels usually look for pine nuts, almonds, hickory nuts, hazelnuts, etc.

These types of nuts are their favorite, therefore, they always eat these types of nuts rather than looking for cashew nuts. 

Baby squirrels:

Well, in the case of baby squirrels it is a completely different case. The baby squirrels’ favorite food is mainly cashews. However, cashews are not available in large quantities in the wild, therefore, they live their life by only eating nuts. 

Although pet baby squirrel owners frequently feed them cashews, it is not recommended by animal experts.

Are cashews poisonous or good to squirrels? 

Cashews usually contain a large amount of phosphorus and fat. Therefore, they are actually good for the squirrels. But feeding them in large quantities can affect them very badly. Because consuming high amounts of phosphorus can cause a deficiency of calcium. 

Later, it will create different bone diseases due to the deficiency of calcium. 

In addition, consuming huge amounts of fat will cause obesity in the squirrel. Obesity will lead to different bone diseases as well as it will affect the squirrel’s physique. 

Therefore, cashews are neither poisonous nor bad for the squirrel but feeding them in a large quantity will cause health complications.

What happens if you feed cashews to squirrels? 

Well, cashews have some health benefits that are very necessary not for only humans but also for humans. Also, consuming cashews in a large quantity will affect the health of both animals and humans. Therefore, cashews need to be consumed in a limited quantity and routinely. 

Here are some of the health effects that happen if you feed cashews to squirrels: 

Toxins:

There is a toxin named Urushiol which is present inside the cashew nuts. Consuming this toxin may result in skin rashes as well as high allergic reactions. This toxin can also create different complex health complications to the body of squirrels.

Therefore, it is highly recommended not to feed cashews to the squirrel in a large amount.

Raw cashews:

If you give raw cashews to your squirrel then it will affect the health of the squirrel very badly. Raw cashews contain toxins as well as germs which can create different diseases. 

Therefore, it is suggested by the doctors that you should give those kinds of cashews that are harvested and heated well to your squirrels.

Loss of calcium:

Cashew nuts contain a huge amount of phosphorus. If you feed your squirrel a high quantity of cashews then it will cause loss of calcium. The deficiency of calcium will cause different bone diseases. 

The squirrel will lose all the strength that it gets from its bones. 

The high amount of fat:

Like phosphorus cashews also contain a high quantity of fat. Therefore, feeding a high amount of cashews to your squirrel will cause obesity which will lead to serious health diseases.

Can you feed squirrels cashews? 

Below are some of the types of cashews that are discussed that you may or may not feed your squirrels:

Raw cashews:

No, you cannot feed your squirrels raw cashews. As raw cashews are not heated properly, therefore, they will contain a type of toxin named Urushiol. This toxin can highly affect your squirrel’s health very badly. 

It can create skin rashes as well as allergic complications for your squirrel. 

Unsalted cashews:

Well, there is not much difference between unsalted and salted cashews. The only difference is in the taste. However, the squirrels like salted cashews much more than unsalted cashews because of the taste. 

You can surely offer them the unsalted one but make sure you don’t feed them in large quantities.

Roasted cashews:

Roasted cashews are the favorite ones for the squirrels. As the taste and smell of roasted cashews are different from other types of cashews. 

In addition, roasted cashews contain less amount of toxin as well as it has much more health benefits than other types of cashews. Therefore, you can certainly feed your squirrels’ roasted cashews but make sure you don’t feed them in large quantities.

Expired cashews:

Expired cashews are certainly dangerous for both animals and humans. As rancid nuts will affect the health of squirrels. Also, the digestive system is largely hampered by eating expired cashews. 

Therefore, it is recommended by the experts not to feed your squirrel expired cashews.

Do squirrels like cashew nuts? 

Yes, squirrels do like cashew nuts and in fact, they are very fond of these nuts because of their salty taste. Usually, squirrels live on trees therefore, they eat fruits, nuts, and sometimes veggies. 

They are mainly vegetarian animals, therefore nuts are the only source of their fat, protein, and vitamins. 

Despite the nuts being their favorite to them, the squirrels usually eat hazelnuts, walnuts, pine nuts, hickory nuts, almonds, etc. In the wild, they usually look for this kind of nut.

However, eating too much cashew nuts will cause different health complications. Therefore, the wild ones don’t really eat that much cashew nuts, rather they go for the other types of nuts.

What nuts can squirrels eat?

Let’s walk through this section to know if squirrels can eat the following nuts or not – 

Hickory nuts:

Hickory nuts are very good for squirrels’ health. As hickory nuts contain high amounts of protein, calcium as well as folic acid. If your squirrel is fond of nuts then you can certainly offer them hickory nuts.

Pine nuts:

Just like the hickory nuts, pine nuts are also good for the squirrels’ health. As pine nuts are eaten in order to increase the energy level, therefore, it is a beneficial food for an active animal like the squirrel.

Hazelnuts:

Hazelnuts are only nuts that decrease the fat level in the blood rather than increase it. Therefore, if your squirrel is suffering from obesity then you can surely feed them hazelnuts.

Walnuts:

Walnuts help to overcome different diseases as well as helps to increase the calcium level in the bones. Also, just like hazelnuts, walnuts also help cure obesity. Therefore, you can feed your squirrel walnuts in higher quantities.

Final Thoughts: 

Feeding cashew nuts to your squirrel actually depends on the quantity. If you feed one or two cashew nuts daily then it’s completely fine. However, if you feed them in a large quantity then it can create serious health complications like loss of calcium as well as obesity.