Can cats eat peanut butter? Yes, cats can eat peanut butter.
However, with cats and peanut butter, moderation is key. Peanut butter is high in proteins, sugars, oils, salt, and fats which cats don’t need in significant amounts.
Also, because it can be so sticky, too much peanut butter at once can choke your cat too.
So if you’re wondering, “can cats have peanut butter,” the answer is yes, in small doses.
Can Cats Have Peanut Butter
Cats are obligate carnivores, which means they get their necessary nutrients from meat. For one, peanut butter is a plant-based product. So even though it contains proteins and amino fatty acids, they are the wrong kind of proteins and fatty acids for cats.
Still, this doesn’t mean the answer to “can cats eat peanut butter” is no!
Peanut butter is not listed as a toxic food item by the ASPCA. Some cat owners even use it to entice cats into taking medication. However, just because your cat can eat peanut butter does not necessarily mean that you should feed it to them regularly.
Humans, for example, eat lots of things (hello, Oreos) in moderation. These do not typically cause any problems, but can be dangerous when consumed in large amounts.
Cats and Peanut Butter
So can cats eat peanut butter safely? Just as too much cake, perhaps for breakfast, lunch and dinner could harm you, peanut butter in excess can hurt your kitty. Too much sugar for example, may cause your cat to become obese.
Another thing that could potentially cause issues for your cat with peanut butter is the use of xylitol. Xylitol is a sweetener which contains slightly fewer calories than sugar. So some food manufacturers use it instead of sugar.
This compound causes an increase in insulin levels of dogs and cats. Insulin, in turn, causes blood sugar to drop. This could cause severe hypoglycemia in cats and dogs and is often fatal in dogs.
Thankfully, cats rarely consume enough xylitol to produce any symptoms of its toxicity. But, it is worth watching your cat’s peanut butter intake at least.
Finally, as always, with new foods, introduce slowly — some cats may actually be allergic to peanut butter. This is rare, but we talk more about what to do if your cat is allergic to peanut butter below.
Do Cats Like Peanut Butter?
Now that you know that the answer to ‘can cats have peanut butter’ is yes, in moderation, it is time to ask the real question: do cats even like peanut butter?
Dogs love it, but cats and peanut butter don’t seem to have the same relationship. Some cats love it, while others couldn’t care less. They would prefer instead to make off with some of your tuna sandwich.
The only way, therefore, to find out if your cat likes peanut butter is to offer him a lick.
If he is, remember that moderation is key, and observe him for signs that the peanut butter did not agree with him. We’ve listed some of these in a section below.
If your cat does not like peanut butter, don’t worry. There are plenty of other treats that cats love.
Is Peanut Butter Safe for Cats?
Can cats eat peanut butter safely? Peanut butter for cats is safe in moderation.
It is especially safe if your peanut butter does not contain any potentially toxic substances, such as xylitol. Still, even peanut butter that contains the sweetener xylitol is safe for cats to eat in moderation.
As we discussed, xylitol is highly toxic to dogs. Cats so far, though, do not seem to suffer any adverse effects from ingesting the sweetener.
Keep in mind, however, that peanut butter is sticky. Feeding your cat a large scoop of peanut butter could lead to choking or difficulty swallowing.
Is Peanut Butter Bad for Cats?
Peanut butter can be bad for cats, especially if you feed your cat peanut butter on a regular basis. Although cats can eat peanut butter, it is full of proteins, sugars, oils, salt, and fats that your cat doesn’t need in her diet.
Too much peanut butter can lead to obesity, for one. And some cats may get an upset stomach from eating too much of the sticky paste.
So it’s okay to do small offerings of peanut butter. But feeding your cats large amounts of peanut butter is a bad idea and can lead to health issues like obesity and diabetes.
There is one other concern about peanut butter that you should keep in mind before feeding: rodent traps.
Sometimes, people use peanut butter to bait rodent traps. So, you may not want to give your cat a taste for peanut butter if you also use peanut butter in mouse traps. Also avoid this if in your home you use peanut butter to disguise rodenticide.
Is Peanut Butter Good for Cats?
The internet is full of interesting facts and pieces of advice, many of which are not true.
One of such falsehoods is the idea that peanut butter is good for cats.
Cats are obligate carnivores, which means they get the nutrients they need from meat. Peanut butter is a plant-based product. So even regardless of its high protein and amino fatty acid content, they are the wrong kinds for cats.
Peanut butter is okay to give your cat as an occasional treat — a little sweetness won’t hurt him. But, rest assured, it will not cure any of your cat’s health problems and it is certainly not good for cats.
Can cats eat peanut butter? Technically, yes. Is peanut butter good for cats? I’m afraid not.
Is Peanut Butter OK for Cats Who Need Medication?
Cats are notoriously difficult to medicate. They usually don’t like swallowing pills, and they have a habit of turning their nose up at medication in general. Even ones that are supposedly flavorful and tasty.
For these cats, peanut butter and other tasty treats can be a good way of concealing a pill.
But don’t rush into this. If you want to try using peanut butter to conceal medication, talk to your veterinarian first. He’ll let you know how much peanut butter is safe and the best way to convince your cat to eat both the peanut butter and the medication.
Can Peanut Butter Give My Cat An Upset Stomach?
These days, almost all of us are aware of the dangers of severe peanut allergies in humans. But what about cats?
Peanut allergies in cats are not common, but you should be observant any time you introduce a new food item to your pet.
If your cat exhibits signs of an allergic reaction after consuming peanut butter, like itching, hives, swelling, or difficulty breathing, stop feeding the peanut butter and contact your veterinarian immediately.
Besides allergies, peanut butter can cause some stomach upset in certain cats. Just like people, every cat is different. But if your cat starts showing troubling symptoms after eating peanut butter, it may be time to get help. Some of those include the following:
- Other signs of discomfort
Can Kittens Eat Peanut Butter?
So we know cats can eat peanut butter, but what about kittens? Kittens are curious by nature, and one of the ways they explore the world is by taste.
Some kittens discover their love of peanut butter by accident, while others are offered a nibble by owners. But can kittens eat peanut butter safely?
Peanut butter is generally safe for kittens, but only after their eighth week. For the first eight weeks after birth, kittens should be fed milk or milk replacers only. Then after this time, you may feed kibble and other treats, but in small quantities.
There are many reasons why you might want to offer a kitten a treat, especially if you are training your kitten. If you want to give your kitten a treat, why not try a cat treat instead?
Regardless, you should always talk to your veterinarian before offering your kitten a new food item.
Alternatives to Peanut Butter for Cats
Although cats can eat peanut butter, your cat might not like peanut butter. Other yummy, safe foods and treats you can feed your cats include:
Can Cats Eat Peanut Butter? — Summary
Questions about what cats and dogs can and can’t eat tend to have answers like “yes, but…” which can be confusing. We understand, but feeding living creatures is hardly ever black and white.
To sum it up, though, cats can eat peanut butter, for sure. But peanut butter should only be fed in small quantities to avoid health problems like stomach upset, obesity, and diabetes.
If you have any more questions about whether or not your cat should eat peanut butter, please talk to your veterinarian.
Have you given peanut butter to your cat? You can let us know about your experiences with cats and peanut butter in the comments below.
References and Further Reading
- Gwaltney-Brant, S. M. DVM, PhD, DABVT, DABT. ‘Xylitol.’ Merck Veterinary Manual.
- White, S. D. DVM, DACVD. ‘Overview of Food Allergy.’ Merck Veterinary Manual.
- Bowman Veterinary Hospital. Xyli-what? Pets and Dangers of Xylitol.
- WebMd, Pets. Newborn Kitten Care.
- Healthline. Is Peanut Butter Good Or Bad for Your Health? Gunnars, K. BSc.
- Nutrition Data. Peanut Butter Nutrition Facts.
Can Cats Have Peanut Butter has been extensively revised for 2019.
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