Can Cats Eat Peanut Butter Or Is Peanut Butter Toxic For Cats?

Russell Cargill

We love it, our dogs love it, but what about our cats? Can cats eat peanut butter, or is it toxic for them?

If you didn’t already know, cats can’t always eat the same foods as dogs. A cats genetic makeup requires a very specific diet, one that mainly consists of meat. 

Are you looking for the best kitten food for your kitty?

The Short & Sweet Answer

Peanut butter is not on the official list of foods that are toxic for cats. So, while they can enjoy some peanut butter, it’s not as simple as saying yes. The type of peanut butter and how much they have play a factor. Food allergies can also be a factor.

Nutritionally, peanut butter provides virtually no value to your cat, experts advise to avoid feeding your cat any peanut butter. It’s not something they need nor seek out.

A consistent diet of dry food, wet food and raw food is all your cat needs.

Is Peanut Butter Safe For Cats?

The ASPCA hasn’t listed peanut butter on the list of toxic foods for cats. However, experts advise to avoid feeding your cat peanut butter. 

While it’s technically okay for them to eat a small amount, there are a few potential hazards. One of the concerns is that peanut butter could become a choking hazard for cats, its thick consistency could get stuck in their throats.

It may come as a surprise but, some cats can suffer from food allergies just like we can. Although it’s like they suffer from environmental allergies like pollen more so than food allergies. 

Still the risk is there, your cat might suffer from an unknown nut allergy therefore feeding them peanut butter could cause an allergic reaction. 

Some symptoms of an allergic reaction to nuts could be as follows:

  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Skin Irritations
  • Ear Infection
  • Weight Loss

If you notice any of the following symptoms, it’s important to seek advice from your local vet asap. 

High Calories

Peanut butter is very high in calories, this attribute alone makes it popular among bodybuilders. Last time I checked there is no bodybuilding competition for cats, aside from chubby cats being an internet sensation, serious health risks can arise. 

If your cat is a senior, or already a little pudgy, keep a lid on the jar and save it for yourself. Perhaps you could consider getting an exercise cat wheel for kitty, they are similar to a humans treadmill. 

Trans Fats

The nastiest of fats! Peanut butter contains a high amount of trans fats, resulting in a long shelf life. Trans fats are not only horrible for human consumption, the effects it can have on your pets is just as bad. 

Can Cats Eat Peanut Butter?

Although peanut butter is not listed as toxic for your cat it is advised not to feed them this tasty treat. 

A cat thrives on a protein rich diet, and requires very little carbs. Cat’s can get all their nutritional needs from a good quality dry food or wet food. You can also supplement their diet with raw meat every now and then, although it’s not needed. 

There are many variants of peanut butter, for example ‘natural peanut butter’ which will contain 90% nuts, salt and other ingredients not needed for cats. Peanut spread, commonly found in your local supermarket will contain palm oil and sugar amongst other things that could be toxic for your cat. 

Cats are a finely tuned animal, any human food introduced into their diet could upset the balance of their digestion and cause stomach issues. It really is best to steer clear of feeding them anything they don’t need.

If I were to sum it up I’d say, yes generally speaking it should be okay to give your cat a little bit of peanut butter, but, is it really necessary? 

While it may not cause any harm, there is the off chance your cat could have a bad reaction and you may just find yourself having to take them to the vet. 

If you do decide to give them a little treat, watch them closely as they eat it. Finally, the only time I would recommend peanut butter is if you are using a very small amount to medicate your cat. 

Because cats can eat bread, what you can do is cut a small cube of bread up, apply the natural peanut butter and conceal the medication inside. It’s a sneaky but effective trick.

What Happens If They Eat Peanut Butter? – How Much Is Too Much?

Well, technically not a lot will happen to your cat if they do eat peanut butter. Unless they suffer an allergy peanut butter is not toxic to cats. A small link of the spoon now and then won’t cause any real harm. 

The fats and carbohydrates in peanut butter, if eaten in large amounts can be attributed to obesity or diabetes in cats. If it becomes a regular habit, and large amounts are consumed, then it will become a danger. 

Too much peanut butter in one sitting can cause your cat to suffer from vomiting or diarrhea, it could also put your cat at risk of choking because of its thick consistency. 

Ultimately we are in control of our cats diets, if you do decide to give them a treat a few licks is more than enough.

Do Cats Even Like Peanut Butter? 

Who knows really? It is apparent that some cats will be interested in the smell of peanut butter, but this doesn’t mean they’ll enjoy it. It’s the same for ice cream or yogurt, your cat may be interested in the smell, but not necessarily interested in eating it. 

Whenever I’m cooking in the kitchen, my cat wants to smell everything that I’m putting into the pan. Usually they are just curious and want to feel involved.

On the other hand, some cats may actually enjoy the taste of peanut butter. Consider an alternative instead, a traditional cat treat such as Temptations Classic Treats is a much better option.

The Conclusion

While peanut butter is not toxic for cats, it shouldn’t be used as a regular treat for them. There are much healthier options available to feed your cat. 

If you decide to let them have a lick, never let it become a habit for them. Keep it to a very small amount.

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