Dogs go nuts for peanut butter—it makes a healthy treat for them as far as they are being fed in moderation. But what about their feline cousins? Is the same true for cats? Can cats eat peanut butter? Sorry to disappoint you if you were looking for a simple yes or no; the answer to “can cats have peanut butter” is not so straightforward, as there are many caveats attached.
But fret not, we are going to discuss all about cats and peanut butter: Can cats eat peanuts? Can cats eat peanut butter? Is peanut butter good for cats?
Peanut Butter and Cats
The creamy and crunchy texture of peanut butter is to die for. Peanut butter is a versatile ingredient as it goes along with almost everything. We like to have peanut butter sandwiches in breakfast, add some into smoothies, eat it with fruits, or eat it straight from the jar to power ourselves up.
Many times, when we open a peanut butter jar in the kitchen, our feline friends come running asking for a lick of it. While most cats are not really attracted to the aroma of peanut butter, some cats are different than others. They want to taste everything that their owners put in their mouths. If you have such a curious kitty, you need to take a look at What Human Foods Cats Can Eat And Not Eat?
As cat-loving parents, we want to treat our cats with all things best. We want to give them all the joy in the world. So if it’s a lick or spoon of peanut butter that they are asking for, then why not give it to them?
We know how tempted you will be to just give a spoonful of peanut butter to your cat but please don’t. Let alone peanut butter, we should not be giving any human food to our cats unless we have run it by a vet or we know for sure that this particular human food is good for cats. Because cats process food very differently from humans and many human foods are toxic to cats.
Pro Tip!Never share any human food with cats, unless your vet has given you a green light. Even after the vet’s go-ahead, you should keep in mind that “moderation is the key.”
Can Cats Eat Peanut Butter?
While peanut butter is not toxic to cats, they should not eat it. It is high in calories, fats, and sodium, which are not healthy for cats. Many experts advise against treating cats with peanut butter. That said, you could use peanut butter to give medication to your cat; its stickiness makes it harder for cats to spit it out.
Medicating Cats Made Easier!Giving cats pills is challenging but crushing the pill into a fine powder and mixing it with peanut butter makes it easy. Sticky peanut butter sticks to the roof of cats’ mouths, making it harder for cats to spit the medicine out.
Can Kittens Have Peanut Butter?
No, kittens cannot have peanut butter. No doubt, there is nothing in peanut butter that is principally toxic to cats but still, you should not be feeding young kittens with peanut butter. Peanut butter is loaded with proteins and fats while the sensitive digestive systems of our young kittens are not in a position to metabolize the high quantities of protein and fats.
No Human Food for Kittens!Let alone peanut butter, you should not be giving anything other than traditional kitten food to young kittens.
- Young kittens have sensitive internals so eating foods other than traditional kitten food will upset their stomach.
- Nutritional requirements of young kittens are undermined when they are fed food other than kitten food. Which is made considering their nutritional requirements.
- Feeding human foods that are safe for cats to eat, you are spoiling your kitten, she will grow into a stubborn adult cat. You don’t want that.
Do Cats Like Peanut Butter?
When it comes to eating, our cats are the choosiest.
While dogs love having peanut butter, the same cannot be said about most cats—they will probably turn their face if you offer them a spoon of peanut butter. This is good as peanut butter is not the healthiest treat for cats. However, exceptions are always there, sometimes, finicky eaters like to get a taste of peanut butter and some cats develop a penchant for it.
But our cats do not know what is good for them and what is not. So you have to make sure that even if your cat has developed a liking for peanut butter you restrict its usage and maybe give some more healthy and nutritious treats to your cats such as avocados.
Read: Can Cats Eat Avocados?
Can Cats Have Peanuts?
Ok, peanut butter is not toxic to cats but what about peanuts? Can cats have peanuts?
Yes, cats can eat peanuts. Just like peanut butter is not toxic to cats, peanuts can also make a great treat for cats. But as with other human foods, you have to be cautious while giving it to your cat. Keep the following things in your mind while sharing peanuts with your feline friend:
- Make sure that your cat does not have any nut allergies.
- Peanuts should be diced or chopped into small pieces.
- It should be completely unshelled. Peanut shells pose a choking hazard to cats.
- You should only give raw and plain peanuts to cats.
No Seasonings for Cats!Cats’ digestive systems are not designed to deal with most additives, so it is best to make sure that whatever (including peanuts) we are giving to our cats should be non-salted and free of additives and seasonings.
Is Peanut Butter Good for Cats?
Loaded with proteins and healthy monounsaturated fats, peanut butter is considered a great treat for humans offering a litany of nutritional benefits but can the same be said for our feline friends. Can cats enjoy the same nutritional benefits by consuming peanut butter?
No, peanut butter has little to no nutritional benefits to offer to our feline friends. It is loaded with proteins and with cats being obligate carnivores, it is considered a great protein source for them. But it is not the case, peanut butter does not contain all the necessary amino acids.
Given the limited health benefits of peanut butter for cats, it is advised that the use of peanut butter is only restricted to giving cats their medicines.
More is not always merrier!When it comes to cats’ nutrient intake, more is not merrier. Ingesting several nutrients in excess can lead to the development of several health issues. And excessive caloric intake increases cats’ chances of growing obese.
Is Peanut Butter Bad for Cats?
No doubt, peanut butter is not toxic to cats but most experts argue against giving it to our feline friends for various reasons.
Peanut butter is loaded with proteins and healthy fats but our cats cannot metabolize this much proteins and fats and therefore, peanut butter ends up upsetting their stomach.
Cats are obligate carnivores. They do not really need peanut butter in their diet. All their nutritional needs are being met by the traditional cat food that you are feeding your cat. So giving them anything in addition to their routine diet would lead to obesity that is already an epidemic in the feline world.
Peanut butter also has a high-fat content that can lead to the development of pancreatitis in cats, which can affect other cat organs like the liver. Excessive fats are also responsible for increasing the chances of obesity in cats, which will then cause other problems like joint issues, cardiac issues, and type 2 diabetes, according to Catster.
Below we have discussed some other risks involved with feeding cats peanut butter:
- Peanut allergies: Just like many humans are allergic to peanuts, cats can also have peanut allergies. However, the severity of allergy may vary from cat to cat, with the symptoms including minor itch and skin irritation, vomiting and diarrhea, anorexia and weight loss, and chronic ear infection.
- Choking Hazard: Peanut butter is so thick and sticky that even a small amount of it gets caught in cats’ throats.
- Stomach upset: Consumption of peanut butter in excess will cause a stomach upset leading to vomiting, diarrhea, gas, and abdominal pain.
- Xylitol poisoning: Xylitol is highly toxic to cats and this ingredient is being used as a substitute for sugar by many peanut butter brands. So if you are giving peanut butter to your cat, make sure that it is xylitol-free.
Final verdict: Can Cats Eat Peanut Butter?
Cats love the nutty taste of peanut butter but you should not give it to your cats as it has no nutritional value to confer. It is high in calories and fats, increasing the risk of obesity in cats. On top of that, it poses the risk of allergic reaction and xylitol poisoning.
Find out what other foods cats can eat or not eat: