Can Cats Eat Peanut Butter?

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cat looking hungrily for a treat

As tempting as it may be to give your cat food from your plate, you should be aware of the dozens of sorts of foods cats shouldn’t eat, such as chocolate, tea, coffee, raw eggs, garlic, and onions. But can cats eat peanut butter? 

The answer is yes – cats can eat peanut butter, but only in very small amounts.

It is known that many cats enjoy eating peanut butter, and love it, however, is it safe for cats to eat? The ASPCA’s list of human foods that are toxic for cats does not mention peanut butter, so it is technically safe. That said, it’s not the healthiest choice for your cat. 

Peanut Butter Nutrition Stats:

Peanut Butter Jar

Peanut butter is a nutritionally-dense food, but it’s not an ideal source of nutrition for cats.

Peanut butter is made of peanuts that are ground until they turn into a paste. Peanuts are members of the legume family, which also include beans and soy. Peanut butter can be a delicious and convenient source of healthy macronutrients. A 100-gram portion of peanut butter contains:

  • Carbohydrate: 20 grams of carbs (13% of calories)
  • Fiber: 6 grams of fiber
  • Protein: 25 grams of protein (15% of calories)
  • Fat: 50 grams of fat
  • Calories: 550 calories

Peanut Butter Nutritional Facts At A Glance

Peanut butter is fairly rich in vitamins and minerals. Yet, peanut butter does not add any nutritious benefits to your cat. It should not be considered a positive source of nutrition to your cat’s diet. Popular peanut butter brands usually contain ingredients such as artificial preservatives, hydrogenated vegetable oil, and sugar.

These additives are linked to different side effects on the body, such as weight gain and high blood sugar.

Can Cats Eat Peanut Butter?

Cats are carnivores and should be getting all the nutrients they require from eating a diet containing animal-based protein, like meats and fish. It’s known that cats’ digestive system is sensitive, however, generally speaking, giving your cat a little peanut butter is acceptable.

Keep in mind that a cat trying peanut butter for the first time should be carefully observed for any side effects or reactions. Whether it’s peanut butter or roast chicken, treats should be given in moderation. Cats shouldn’t be eating human food every day. 

Risks of Peanut Butter

As we know, peanut butter’s texture is sticky and takes energy to swallow. A tablespoon may be considered too much because it can become a choking hazard when consumed in a large quantity.

It can also contribute to obesity and negative symptoms such as diabetes, vomiting, or diarrhea. Veterinarians recommend feline parents that they should stay clear of peanut butter unless they are using it as a way to give their cats medication.

Is Peanut Butter Good for Cats?

Is Peanut Butter Good for Cats

While small amounts of peanut butter are generally not harmful, peanut butter isn’t a nutritious addition to your cat’s diet. Healthier treats include tuna, chicken, and other animal products.

Now that you know cats can have peanut butter, does it mean they should? Peanut butter is a non-toxic food you can treat your cat to rarely.

Nutritionally speaking, peanut butter does not have any added value to your cat’s diet. If you decide to give your cat peanut butter, it should be given on occasion and in small amounts.

Can A Cat Be Allergic To Peanut Butter?

Peanut butter allergies are not common, but pet owners should be aware of the risk of an allergic reaction after a cat consumes peanut butter or any new food for that matter. If your cat shows signs of an allergic reaction after eating peanut butter, like itching, hives, swelling, or difficulty breathing, contact your veterinarian immediately.

Also Read: Can Cats Eat Eggs?

Aside from allergies, peanut butter can give rise to certain digestive issues. If your cat shows signs of vomiting, diarrhea, or abdominal discomfort after consuming peanut butter, you may want to stop offering peanut butter and contact your veterinarian. 

The Correct Diet Is Important!

Cats need to maintain a quality diet for good overall health. Pet food labeled for cats is usually either complete or complementary. Complete foods provide all the nutrients a cat requires daily so that no other food is needed. Complementary foods, such as treats and snacks, must be combined with other foods to give your cat all the nutrients they need.

What Are Other Healthy Alternatives to Peanut Butter In A Cat’s Diet?

If you’re interested to try some healthy alternatives to treats or nuts, consider fruits or vegetables. The following are non-toxic to cats, according to the ASPCA:

  • Zucchini
  • Celery
  • Carrots
  • Green bell peppers
  • Spinach 
  • Peas
  • Pumpkin
  • Broccoli
  • Banana
  • Apples

Vegetables and fruits are a great addition to an existing carnivore diet, but these alternative foods should be used occasionally and never replace full meals. 

In Conclusion

Although cats are eager to try human treats, most of them provide zero nutritional value and can be unhealthy.

Peanut butter is a non-toxic food for cats. However, because it does not add health benefits to your cat’s diet and presents possible health risks, it should be given in moderation. Since peanut butter is also high in calories and fats, long-term health problems, such as diabetes, are risk factors. 

There are plenty of healthy options pet owners can offer their feline friends as treats. If you do give peanut butter to your cat, and notice any symptoms, make sure to seek veterinary care immediately. 


About Sharon

Sharon Hafuta is an avid pet lover and enthusiast. Her experience in the veterinary medicine world has made writing animal-based content second nature. As a freelancer, Sharon enjoys working on articles that help educate readers on animal healthcare and overall pet wellness.

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