Can Cats Eat Peanuts? Are Peanuts Toxic For Cats?

Russell Cargill

Can cats eat peanuts the same way humans can? It’s a fair question that often gets asked.

In a nutshell, cats can eat peanuts without any problems. Though there are exceptions. Because cats are obligate carnivores there is really no need to feed them peanuts.

Keep reading below to find out exactly what I mean.

Can Cats Eat Peanuts?

can cats eat peanuts

Peanuts are not toxic for cats and the same goes for peanut butter. If you’re going to allow your cat to eat either of these make sure you do so very sparingly. 

Peanuts must be raw and unsalted to avoid any health issues. A cat’s digestive system is very different from ors and they lack the necessary tools to digest things like sugar and salt. 

To summarise, yes, cats can eat unsalted, raw, and dry roasted peanuts without their shells in moderation. However, cats should not consume too many peanuts due to the following reasons.

1. Cats need their meat

Peanuts are rich in protein content and a great snack for humans. One ounce of raw peanuts contains about 7.3 g of proteins and contains many beneficial amino acids. 

However, you must not rely on these human foods alone to provide your cat with the protein and amino acids they need. After all, cats are obligate carnivores which means that they need animal protein.

Animal source proteins are crucial for your cat’s health and without them, your feline friend won’t get adequate balanced nutrition. That could lead to many health problems in the long run.

2. Peanuts are highly calorific

Just one ounce of raw peanuts contains a whopping 161 calories! If you feed your cat peanuts regularly, it could lead to unhealthy weight gain and that can be detrimental to its health.

The high-fat content of peanuts is also difficult on your cat’s digestive system. Eating too many peanuts could lead to tummy troubles like vomiting, diarrhea, or abdominal pain.

3. Peanuts aren’t necessary for felines

In the wild, cats typically eat raw meat and bones. We certainly don’t see them eating peanuts. This means that peanuts aren’t a necessary part of a cat’s natural diet. 

In short, there is no reason for a domestic cat to eat peanuts. Sure, you could share a couple of your raw unsalted peanuts with your buddy but please don’t go overboard.

Can Cats Eat Peanut Shells?

If you choose to allow your cat to eat peanuts, make sure to remove the shell as they can be a choking hazard. 

Shells don’t provide any health benefits to cats and most won’t enjoy their texture or taste. 

Don’t worry if your cat ingests a few pieces of peanut shells. In small quantities, they should not cause any digestive tract symptoms.

However, for young kittens, peanut shells could act like shards and might even splinter inside their tiny mouths. In the worst-case scenario, peanut shells could cut your cat’s delicate tissues in its mouth, throat, or digestive tract.

Therefore, it is best to de-shell the occasional peanut before feeding it to your cat.

Can Cats Eat Peanut Butter?

Now that I’ve answered can cats eat peanuts what about peanut butter?

Cats certainly won’t die from eating peanut butter but we ignore they’re a major choking hazard. Its thick and sticky texture could cause Peanut Butter to stick to your cat’s throat or the back of its mouth resulting in choking.

Peanut butter contains a healthy mono-saturated fat called oleic acid which is beneficial to humans. However, for cats, this could result in weight gain.

One tablespoon of peanut butter contains nearly 8g of fat. Peanut butter’s high-calorie content could also be tough on your indoor cat’s digestion.

Furthermore, some brands of peanut butter contain xylitol – a sugar substitute – which is toxic to cats. In large quantities, xylitol-based peanut butter could lead to hypoglycemia and even liver failure in cats.

Many brands of peanut butter also contain salt which, in large quantities, can be toxic to felines. Some sweet varieties of peanut butter contain a ton of sugar and we all know how harmful sugar content is for cats.

If your cat has a peanut allergy or other food allergies, they could suffer from an allergic reaction when eating nuts. 

Are Cats Allergic to Peanuts?

Not all cats are allergic to peanuts but for cats with food sensitivities or food intolerances, vets recommend avoiding nuts as well.

Most cats can safely eat a few peanuts now and then. However, if your cat is sensitive and already has food intolerances, then it is best to refrain from feeding it peanuts and other nuts to avoid symptoms.

As a cat parent, you must know the signs of an allergic reaction. Typically they include nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, flatulence, and other digestive issues as well as skin irritation, hot spots, itching, and so on. In extreme cases, it could cause an anaphylactic shock which can be fatal.

Can Cats Eat Nut Butter?

Cats can eat almond butter in moderation as most cats can digest almonds, almond meals, etc. However, as with any nut butter, moderation is key.

Cashew butter isn’t a great choice for cat treats since cashews are extremely fattening and calorific. Cat owners – please note that cats do best on low-fat diets.

Never feed macadamia nuts and their butter as both are downright toxic to cats’ digestive systems and could cause a debilitating allergic reaction in cats.

Can Cats Eat Dry-Roasted Peanuts?

As an occasional treat, dry roasted peanuts in moderation are okay to feed your kitty. Avoid feeding salted roasted peanuts since that extra salt could cause salt poisoning or salt toxicity and upset stomach in cats.

Always remove the shells and practice moderation when feeding plain roasted peanuts as an occasional treat to your kitty.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I give my cat some peanut butter with their medicines and pills?

The ASPCA does not list peanut butter as a cat toxin. Therefore, the answer is yes – pet owners could give a small quantity of peanut butter to their cat or mix it with its medicines and pills.

Peanut butter’s smooth texture can help bitter pills go down with ease. Avoid feeding peanut butter in large quantities as it is fattening, especially for indoor cats. 

And if your cat has nut allergies, use a pill giver instead of peanut butter to administer the medicine. Remember its sticky texture could pose a choking hazard for cats.

Can cats eat cashews?

Cats should not eat cashews because they are not a necessary part of cat food or its balanced diet. Cashews are also quite calorific and fattening so pet parents should avoid giving too many cashews at a time to their cat.

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