Skip to Content

Can Cats Eat Peanut Butter?

Can Cats Eat Peanut Butter?

The simple answer to this question is a yes, but if you ask a vet the same question, the answer will be long and complicated. Like other human foods, too much peanut butter isn’t good for a cat’s health.

Cat parents should know that there is no nutritional value in all-natural peanut butter for their feline friends. The thick and sticky texture can create a lump that could stick to the cat’s throat, resulting in a choking hazard.

Properly formulated cat food can take care of the cat’s daily caloric intake and give you a healthy cat. When cats eat peanuts, they fall at risk of choking hazards, allergies, and GI issues.

Peanut butter should not be a daily food item for healthy cats. Store-bought peanut butter is a serious health and life risk to kitties, as it is full of preservatives and other additives which aren’t good for cats.

Peanut butter doesn’t offer any nutritional value to cats. For canines, this food is filled with nutritional benefits and health support.

But cats do not have the digestive system of omnivores, which means they do not receive the same benefits as dogs when they eat peanut butter. You shouldn’t give more than a teaspoon to cats twice a week.

Read on to learn more about the facts, benefits, and hazards of this food for your kitty.

Is peanut butter a good food for cats?

Peanut butter is good food for canines but not for your feline friends. This is because cats and dogs have different digestive systems. Cats cannot harvest any nutritional benefit from peanut butter.

Cats need protein and fat from small game such as mice and small birds. While you cannot provide these two at home, vet-recommended cat food will do the trick.

Dogs are omnivores, and they need grains, veggies or fruits, and meat. They can harvest great nutritional benefits from peanut butter. Dogs are attracted to this treat and love to have it as a seasoning on every food.

Many pet parents use peanut butter to fulfill the nutritional needs of canines. But when it comes to cats, things are very different. Vets and food experts recommend that cats shouldn’t eat peanut butter more than twice a week.

For cats, eating peanut butter is the same as humans eating candy. While we can have candy, we cannot survive on this food. You should consider other healthy alternatives to provide nutritional blends to cats.

You can go for homemade 100% peanut butter free from hazardous ingredients. Store-bought peanut butter is a big threat to the felines, which we will discuss in the next section.

Is peanut butter safe or toxic for cats to eat?

100% pure or homemade peanut butter is safe for felines if you make sure not to feed it to them more than twice a week. However, store-bought peanut butter often contains Xylitol, an artificial sugar in most products.

This type of sugar is more hazardous for cats than real sugar. When you give your cat natural sugar, the high blood sugar level will affect the pancreas and insulin level in the bloodstream.

But giving Xylitol loaded treats to your cat will affect their lives, kidneys, and heart. This artificial food is not safe for cats, and regular consumption will compromise the health of vital organs. Make sure to read the packaging carefully for this ingredient before sharing a peanut butter treat with your feline friend.

The next toxic ingredient often found in peanut butter is salt. Cats do not need sodium in their food as humans do. Sodium is notorious for causing brain damage which can cripple your cat. Fits are also a side effect of excessive sodium consumption.

Most peanut butter products are loaded with sodium which is highly toxic for your kitty. Avoid feeding your cat products which are high in salt, for their health.

Are there any side effects of feeding your cat peanut butter?

Peanut butter is a non-nutritious treat for cats. When you want to share it with your furball, you should consider the side-effects it can cause. The biggest issue with peanut butter for cats is that it can cause diarrhoea and vomiting.

Peanut butter is made from legumes – contrary to common belief, peanuts are not nuts. They are legumes which grow in pods on plants, just like peas and green beans.

These legumes are not part of the natural feline diet. When you feed your kitty peanut butter, you could be causing a gut flora imbalance. Cats do not need saturated fat, oil and sodium, which are often in the product.

The result of ingesting these can often be prolonged diarrhoea and vomiting. Peanut butter can also cause your kitty to be very thirsty, and affect their kidneys.

Cats often have the following side effects after eating peanut butter:

  • Diarrhoea
  • Vomiting
  • Stomach ache
  • Depression
  • Anxiety
  • Withdrawal from food
  • Bloating
  • Constipation
  • Involuntary urination

How much peanut butter can a cat eat?

A cat doesn’t need peanut butter to meet their daily nutritional needs. Peanut butter is loaded with fat and carbs, which makes it a big no-no for felines.

But when you want to add this treat to their food menu, you must consider their daily caloric need. If you give 250 grams of food to the cat, the peanut butter shouldn’t be more than 25 grams once or twice a week.

The small amount of peanut butter is loaded with fat that can make your cat obese. Expert opinion says that cats should have no more than a single teaspoon of peanut butter, no more than twice per week. This product has no nutritious benefits for cats, and you must avoid giving it as regular cat food.

What are the risks of feeding cats peanut butter?

Technically, there are no health benefits of peanut butter for felines. According to vets and experts, there are some risks that come with excessive peanut butter consumption. The most common risks of peanut butter are:

  1. Choking hazard
    The gooey texture of peanut butter is not easy to swallow for cats. When you give peanut butter to a kitty, it can becomes a lump which can obstruct the oesophagus. This condition is not that risky, but it is painful for cats.

  2. But when the lump gets stuck in the trachea, it can be fatal. It is best to give the kitty a small amount of peanut butter or use it as a seasoning on kibble or wet food.

  3. Allergies
    Just like humans, cats also suffer from nut allergies. Many humans suffer from a peanut allergy, and they bear very severe symptoms of face swelling, throat swelling and infection.If you give a small amount of peanut butter to a cat which has a peanut allergy, they may suffer symptoms like hives on the skin, allergy and bald patches.

  4. Obesity
    Peanut butter is pure fat and carbs. Giving this food regularly will increase the calorie intake of the feline and can cause your kitty to become lethargic.Extra calories and fewer activities will make your cat gain fat, and within months you will have an obese kitty prone to more diseases.

  5. Poisoning
    Sodium and artificial sugar both have the same hazardous impact on your kitties. Store-bought peanut butter can cause poisoning, and some cats even lose their lives if owners don’t take them to the vet in time.

Can kittens eat peanut butter?

Peanut butter doesn’t have lactose or any other nutritional benefit for kittens. This food’s gooey texture and hard structure threaten their sensitive digestive system.

When you give peanut butter to kittens before weaning, it could cause acute diarrhoea and vomiting, which can be fatal.

If the kitten has not yet weaned, peanut butter should not be consumed. This food is hard to digest and can cause your cat to suffer from GI issues and gut flora imbalance. You should always consult your vet before adding peanut butter to your kitten’s occasional treats.

Peanut butter nutrition benefits for cats

Peanut butter is nutritious food for humans and their canine counterparts. But same cannot be said for the feline as they cannot harvest these benefits from the peanut butter.

Humans get the following benefits from peanut butter:

  • Fat
  • Protein
  • Copper
  • Phosphorus
  • Biotin
  • Folate  

But there is nothing in the peanut butter for the feline, and when they eat it, they get sodium, sugar, and high calories. All of these things are hazardous for your furball.

How should peanut butter be served to your cat?

You should offer peanut butter to your cat in small amounts: for example, if you want to give a full teaspoon of peanut butter, divide it into 3 to 4 portions.

Give the first portion and wait for the cat to swallow it to a prevent choking hazard. You can also use it as a seasoning on kibbles.

What about peanut butter and jam? 

Peanut butter and jam are two foods that are pure sugar and carbs. Combined, these two things can make your kitty obese within a couple of months.

If you give peanut butter and jam to the kitty, the results will be elevated blood sugar levels. This high level is hazardous for vital organs. Cat’s heart, liver and kidney can be affected with regular peanut butter and jam eating.

Can cats eat peanut butter cookies?

Definitely not: peanut butter cookies are made with starch. This can cause your kitty to suffer from digestive issues like diarrhoea or vomiting. These cookies are also not safe for dogs because of the fine starch.

Alternative Healthy Snacks

Peanut butter is not a healthy treat for cats, and there are no healthy alternatives for this product. But when you want to give a healthy treat to the kitty other than their regular food, you have various options like fruits and veggies.

According to vets and experts, you should keep this feeding in moderation as well, because giving fruits and veggies daily can also cause serious GI problems and vital organ damage.

According to vets, the following are safe to eat for felines:

Final Thoughts

  • Peanut butter doesn’t provide any nutritional value to the cat.
  • You must not exceed the prescribed limit of one teaspoon twice a week.
  • Peanut butter is a choking hazard even for adult cats.
  • Kittens should never be fed peanut butter.
  • Salt and sugar in this product can lead to poisoning and serious medical conditions
  • The common side effects of peanut butter are prolonged diarrhoea and vomiting.
  • Peanut butter can make your cat obese without providing any nutritional benefits.

FAQs for cats eating peanut butter

Can peanut butter kill cats?

There are no toxins and poisonous elements in peanut butter, and it won’t kill your cat. But when you give peanut butter to the kitty, there are no health benefits of this food.

Does peanut butter cause obesity in cats?

Peanut butter is comprised of fat, sugar and calories. These elements can increase the weight of your cat dramatically. Within a couple of months, your kitty can become obese, and there will be no easy way back.

Does peanut butter cause digestive issues in cats?

When you give more than one teaspoon of peanut butter to your cat, the results are diarrhoea, vomiting and gut flora imbalance.

Can dogs eat peanut butter?

Dogs can eat peanut butter, and they get various health benefits from this product. Peanut butter is often a favourite food for canines for various reasons, but the most common ones are taste and nutritional profile.