It is well known that peanut butter is a favorite dog treat. It’s mouthwatering and fluffy, so what’s not to love about it? But the real question here is whether peanut butter is safe for cats. Is it healthy or is it dangerous, and should I add it to my pet’s diet? These are the questions that we aim to answer in this post.
After all, all affectionate owners want to show their love for their pets. This is often done by feeding them their favorite goodies; nevertheless, researching before giving our pets any treats is essential. Some foods may be excellent for one species of animal but dangerous for others. Although peanut butter is not regarded as toxic to our furry feline friends, most professionals advise us to avoid feeding it to them.
Why Cats Shouldn’t Eat Peanut Butter
So, we’re going toanswer the question of “Can cats eat peanut butter” with a no. It’s now time to delve deeper into the subject to establish why you should avoid offering peanut butter to your kitty.
No Nutritional Value
Cats are carnivorous animals and therefore must consume an assortment of meat and fish products with their regular cat food. In contrast, if you fed them peanut butter, then you would not be providing them with any nutritional benefit at all given how it lacks essential nutrients and vitamins. It is also possible for peanut butter to have a completely contrasting effect on your cat. You might as well give them cat food that specifically provides nutritional value for cats.
Given how peanut butter is both sticky and creamy, it can become stuck in your cat’s throat. This is irrespective of whether it is a large or small amount. For this reason, you should always top up your cat’s bowl of water, to ensure that they have a fresh supply of water to help them digest the spread (if you go against our pet care advice and give it to them), should they struggle. Should you decide to offer your cat the occasional lick of peanut butter, you must watch them closely in case they choke – never let your cats eat it unsupervised.
Peanut Butter Allergies
Cats are known to have allergies. Therefore, your cat could be allergic to peanut butter, and this could lead to them developing some symptoms which can ultimately create a dangerous scenario for your feline friend. These allergies are either innate or developed. However, peanut butter allergies can be extreme; therefore, you must be able to distinguish the telltale signs that your cat is allergic to save them before their situation deteriorates.
The following is a list of allergy symptoms which are experienced by most cats with allergies:
- Skin Irritations
- Chronic ear infections
- Hair loss
- Lack of appetite
- Weight Loss
Should you conclude that your cat may be experiencing an adverse reaction to peanut butter or anything else, you should immediately contact a vet. Reactions can range from a minor symptom such as irritation but have the potential to rapidly develop to a critical scene in a short space of time.
Given how peanut butter is designed to last a long time before expiring, it is specially produced in a procedure that facilitates trans fatty acids, a poisonous substance for cats. These acids are visible in peanut butter, made via semi hydrogenated vegetable oil. It goes without saying you shouldn’t provide your cat access to such harmful substances.
It is well-known that peanut butter is full of calories. This means that if your cat is on the chubby side, it can give way to some complications such as heart issues and diabetes. Do not encourage your cat to eat peanut butter, especially if you have an already overweight cat as it can further lead to obesity.
We know that peanut butter is tempting and irresistible, but, similar to how it can cause gastrointestinal upset in humans, it can do the same for cats. This may lead to several issues such as diarrhea, vomiting, stomach pains, and gas. Therefore, the disadvantages of feeding your furry friend peanut butter sure do outweigh the benefits. In short, their digestive systems can’t handle it the same way a human or dog can.
Aflatoxins in Peanut Butter
Aflatoxins, which are a form of mycotoxins, thrive in peanuts. This is because the underground mold covering peanuts creates this particular poison. Unsurprisingly, these are extremely dangerous and are among the most cancer-causing substances in the world. As a result, they are harmful to the liver and often cause liver cancer- hence why the USDA, who oversees food production. Check foods to ensure that their aflatoxin count is relatively safe.
Given how animals cannot resist the delicious taste of peanut butter, it is often mixed with insect and rat poisons to lure and eliminate pests. Therefore, should your cat love to stay outside, one day, if they do happen to come across such toxins, given the peanut butter content, they may be inclined to eat it, and ultimately, they may not survive. While regular peanut butter is not toxic generally, you don’t want to indoctrinate your cat to think its safe.
When Can Cats Eat Peanut Butter
Similar to how it is used to attract and kill pests, the irresistible taste of peanut butter can also be utilized to an owners advantage. For instance, should your pet be prescribed with pills yet refuses to eat them. Owners may consider adding a small trace of the sweet substance to the drug to make it more inviting for your furry friend.
However, bearing in mind the choking hazard, you should keep a supply of freshwater on standby in case your cat struggles.
What Peanut Butter to Buy
Although we highly discourage it, should you want to purchase peanut butter for your cat, you must consider the factors listed below to learn about the risks. Pet owners need to know these same rules if they give their dogs peanut butter.
Beware of Xylitol
Given the unhealthy risks of sugar that the public has become increasingly aware of over the years, many food manufacturers (including peanut butter companies) chose to swap sugar for Xylitol. Although Xylitol is harmless to humans, it can cause death in cats and . Cats and dogs have actually died during the widespread transition of sugar to Xylitol. Therefore, to keep your pet safe- do not purchase peanut butter which happens to have this sugar free ingredient.
We have made it clear we don’t think cats and peanut butter are a good fit, but but if a cat owner decides to anyways, they would be best advised to regularly examine the ingredients labels of such products given how ingredients are often altered without warning. Sadly, if peanut butter companies don’t use xylitol, then they must instead pack their products with large amounts of sugar. This can be hugely detrimental to your cat’s health, so please beware.
If you do purchase peanut butter for your feline friend, you should aim to buy salt-free options given how excess sodium levels can result in a variety of health issues. The only problem with this is that you will probably have to search a little harder. Nonetheless, it is certainly worth the extra effort.
Summary and Closing
Even dogs who love peanut butter shouldn’t take it on a regular basis. Too much peanut butter isn’t even good for humans. We find with all the above points made, cat owners should avoid giving their cat peanut butter and stick to meat and normal pet food as laid out in almost all pet care websites.
Can Cats Eat Peanut Butter?
The answer is no, cats should not be fed peanut butter. The reasons are no nutritional value, choking hazzard, allergies, accidental poisoning, gastrointestinal upset and harmful fats. In short it is a bad idea to let cats eat peanut butter.
Cats can eat peanut butter in small quantities if you really wish. It’s not toxic to cats, but it’s not their natural cat’s diet and not necessarily something cats like to begin with.
Peanut Butter Alternatives
It doesn’t have to be peanut butter in which you feed your cat. There are an array of alternatives available nowadays, which are both healthier and more advantageous to your pet’s health. While it’s always going to be up to pet owners on what they give their cats, there is way more good in your cat sticking to cat food and staying away from human foods.
It’s been proven that a cat’s diet should consist of mostly animal based meat and fish with healthy protein and fat. There is no point adding something like peanut butter that has no health benefits. Although not toxic for cats,
Yes cats can eat it but it comes with risks and there are just many other much healthier foods for your kitty. Stick with meats and even cat food designed to provide their daily health need.