Can Cats Eat Peanut Butter?

Last Updated:

Most people associate peanut butter with dogs and often see them enjoying it. However, is it the same with cats? Do they enjoy peanut butter just as much as dogs?

Experts state peanut butter is a unique food when it comes to cats because it’s not poisonous. Keeping this in mind, it’s still regarded as something cat owners should avoid feeding to their cat [1].

From a human perspective, it can be compared to something as simple as a large chocolate bar filled with sugar. Yes, it is okay to consume once in a while but it’s not good for the body and can do damage over time.

Here’s more on why peanut butter isn’t a good idea for cats.

Top 8 Reasons to Avoid Giving Peanut Butter to Your Cat(s)

a cute kitten with its head upside down

1. Empty Calories for Cats

In general, peanut butter doesn’t possess meaningful nutrients when it comes to a cat’s digestive system. Since cats are genetically disposed to eat meat, they need a balanced diet to stay healthy. Peanut butter doesn’t add value to their diet and doesn’t provide health-related advantages [2]. Instead, peanut butter acts as “empty calories” for their bodies.

2. Potential Health Hazard?

Not only is it important to note the long-term issues associated with peanut butter but also short-term concerns. For example, a cat consuming peanut butter may end up choking on it.

This has to do with how peanut butter is textured, which makes it difficult to digest for cats. If the cat ends up eating more than it can handle, this can become a major hazard.

This is why it’s important to keep tabs on the feline when and if it’s being fed peanut butter. Make sure it is being fed in smaller amounts to ensure the cat is safe. You should also make sure to have a bowl of water ready in case something goes wrong.

3. Allergies

While this is rare, it’s important to realize cats can be allergic to peanuts [3]. This means if their body doesn’t respond well to the peanut butter, it’s going to become a significant health issue needing immediate attention.

Most cats don’t consume peanut butter, which means they’re never tested for a peanut allergy. However, when you introduce it into their diet, the reaction will vary based on their genetic predisposition. This is why it’s important to learn more about how a cat reacts when it’s allergic to peanuts. You should know what the symptoms are like beforehand.

A cat may start to display signs of itchiness, diarrhea, hair loss, ear infection, skin irritation, weight loss, vomiting, and a lack of appetite.

If you believe the cat is having an allergic reaction to the peanut butter, it’s time to visit a qualified vet as soon as possible. You want to take action right away to ensure the symptoms don’t worsen.

4. High in Calories

As mentioned before, peanut butter acts as an “empty calorie” food for cats. However, it’s also noted for being high in calories, which is bad for cats too. If they end up eating too much, they will start gaining fat.

This is why it’s best to tamper how much peanut butter a cat eats. If you let things go and give the cat as much as it wants, they will overeat and gain weight quickly.

5. Damaging Fats

Peanut butter isn’t healthy for cats, which means the fats aren’t healthy either.

They can have a damaging impact on a cat’s body over time. It’s best to keep these harmful fats away from the cat at all times since you control their diet.

6. Bad Toxins

Yes, peanut butter is filled with bad toxins (aflatoxins), which aren’t good for the cat and could potentially damage their organs. It’s important to ensure you are on top of what is going into the cat’s digestive system at all times because aflatoxins are known for their cancer-causing properties.

This is why you should always control the amount of peanut butter a cat eats.

It should be no more than a spoonful.

7. Upset Stomach

Peanut butter is known for causing an upset stomach in cats, which leads to additional symptoms such as gas, stomach pains, vomiting, and diarrhea. These symptoms can take a toll on the cat and it’s not worth the few seconds of joy.

As a result, most cat owners steer clear of feeding peanut butter to their favorite feline.

8. Poisoning

This is an underrated detail to keep in mind as a cat owner. Imagine your cat strolls around outside, notices peanut butter in the neighbor’s yard, and takes a lick. In the cat’s mind, this is just another treat that’s available outdoors.

However, most people set up peanut butter as a poison-filled trap to lure in mice and other pests. Since the cat has a taste for peanut butter, it will lick away at the poisonous trap and assume everything is going to be okay.

This is something that can lead to tremendous health-related consequences.

Summary

a white cat starring out the window

While there doesn’t seem to be an immediate risk you need to worry about if your cat eats a small amount of peanut butter, it sounds like it’s best to avoid giving this yummy human treat to your feline friend.

There are plenty of healthier snack alternatives out there for cats, many of which can be found here.

Resources

  1. Can Cats Eat Peanut Butter? Pet Central. Retrieved at https://petcentral.chewy.com/nutrition-pet-diet-tips-can-cats-eat-peanut-butter/
  2. Jennifer Dempsey, Can Cats Eat Peanutbutter? Simple Wag. Retrieved at https://simplewag.com/can-cats-eat-peanut-butter/
  3. Nut Allergy in Cats. Wag! Retrieved at https://wagwalking.com/cat/condition/nut-allergy

Leave a Comment!

Stay Connected

SUPERPETS VIP

Join our VIP list, and you'll be the first to know, plus gain access to exclusive discounts.

Get the latest reviews, tips, and trending products in your inbox.