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Dogs go bananas over peanut butter, but what about cats? Can cats have peanut butter? Peanut butter, like other human foods, is acceptable to consume in moderation, but the answer to the question “Can cats have peanut butter?” is more complex than a simple yes or no.

Can cats have peanut butter?

Peanut butter has an abundance of nutritional advantages. Along with a high protein and healthy fat content, this delectable treat contains phosphorus, folate, copper, biotin, among other minerals. These advantages, however, pertain exclusively to people, not to cats.

The feline digestive system is incapable of metabolizing the high protein and fat content of peanut butter. Cats are carnivores, and their diets do not require peanut butter. Indeed, giving your cat anything that is not a regular component of their diet can contribute to feline obesity.

Do cats enjoy peanut butter?

Cats are finicky eaters with distinct feeding habits from dogs. While puppies often enjoy peanut butter just as much as humans, most cats will turn their noses up if you attempt to offer them any sticky peanut butter paste. If your kitty does enjoy peanut butter, it is preferable to use it only for medicine administration.

Are cats allowed to eat peanuts?

Peanuts, like peanut butter, are not hazardous to cats but should be offered in moderation. If you wish to give your cat some peanuts, use unsalted and raw peanuts, as the digestive system of cats may have difficulty processing additives such as oil and seasoning. Furthermore, avoid chocolate-covered peanuts.

Also, only provide peanuts that have been shelled, as the hard outer shell poses a choking threat and may result in intestinal blockage in your pet.

Finally, cats can develop a nut allergy at any time in their lives. Keep an eye out for indications of skin irritation or gastrointestinal problems such as vomiting or diarrhea.

What about other varieties of nuts?

While peanuts are not hazardous to cats, some nuts can be harmful to their health. Keep macadamia nuts out of reach of your cat since they can induce vomiting, overheating, lethargy, and tremors. Other nuts, such as almonds or Brazil nuts, are not necessarily toxic, but they are still heavy in fat, which might be troublesome for cats.

When are cats allowed to eat peanut butter?

Ideally, you should avoid giving peanut butter and other products containing it to your cat, since they represent more health concerns than advantages. While peanut butter is a popular choice for dog parents when it comes to concealing medicine or offering a pleasant snack, it should not be considered a treat for your cat.

If peanut butter is the only method for your cat to consume their medication, give them a very little amount of all-natural peanut butter that is free of xylitol.

Portion size is critical. A modest amount of human food may substitute for a whole meal for a cat. A spoonful of peanut butter, for example, would surpass your cat’s daily calorie need, so “limit yourself to a lick” while giving it to your cat.

Ingredients that can cause problems

If you choose to give your cat peanut butter, check labels carefully and get familiar with any harmful substances.

Xylitol: When natural peanuts are processed to make peanut butter, other components are added that may be harmful to your cat’s health. Xylitol is one such chemical. It is a man-made sweetener that is poisonous to animals. You should not give xylitol-containing foods to your cat.

Vomiting, drooling, drowsiness, balance problems, and even convulsions are all symptoms of xylitol toxicity. Xylitol is also found in various human meals, such as baked products and chewing gum, which is why it is critical to check labels.

Fat and Oil: Peanuts, contrary to their name, are legumes, which are edible seeds growing in pods, similar to green peas, lentils, and other beans. But nutritionally speaking, peanuts are considered a nut and contain a large quantity of oil and fat.

According to The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA), nuts are at the top of the list of human foods that your pet should avoid. While certain chemicals may be healthy to humans, they are not pet-friendly and may cause gastrointestinal problems.

Sodium: While natural peanuts are salt-free, roasted peanuts, which are used in many peanut butter, are rich in sodium (and oil). Avoid giving salty foods to your cat, the ASPCA advises, since they can induce excess thirst, vomiting, excess urination, diarrhea, and even depression, seizures, and other significant health concerns when consumed in big amounts. Similarly, to cats eating cheese, the salt content in human meals can contribute to cardiac problems.

The dangers of feeding peanut butter to cats

Peanut butter can cause gastrointestinal distress in cats, manifesting as stomach aches, gas buildup, diarrhea, and vomiting. 

If you’re feeding peanut butter to your cat for the first time, keep a watch out for allergic reactions.

While cats are known to have varying degrees of food allergies, an allergic response to peanut butter can rapidly deteriorate into a life-threatening situation. Among the symptoms of an allergic response are the following:

  • Diarrhea
  • Vomiting
  • Swelling of the face
  • Itching that is severe
  • Loss of appetite
  • Hair thinning
  • Ear infections that persist
  • Loss of weight

If your cat exhibits symptoms of gastrointestinal upset or evidence of allergies, immediately discontinue feeding them peanut butter and call your veterinarian. Avoid giving over-the-counter drugs designed for human use to cats, since they may be harmful to them. If the symptoms persist, contact your veterinarian for further therapy.

Also, cat parents should be mindful of the risk of choking. Peanut butter, due to its thick and sticky texture, can form a huge clump, which may cause a blockage in your cat’s throat.

Peanut butter’s high calorie and trans fat content can potentially contribute to diabetes and weight gain. Cats who are overweight should avoid peanut butter snacks.

Moreover, it may be infected with aflatoxins, a form of mycotoxin that poses major harm to feline health. Mycotoxins are one of the most cancer-causing compounds known to man, as well as being extremely toxic to the liver.

We should not encourage outdoor cats to develop a taste for peanut butter. This can be problematic if they attempt to consume peanut butter that has been used as bait in a mousetrap or has been put on a tainted food source.

Suggestions for healthy snacks

If you’re interested in experimenting with some other delights, consider substituting veggies for nuts. Vegetables do contain beneficial elements when consumed as part of a balanced diet. Some vegetables that you can feed them are:

Before you go crazy with the treats, keep in mind that your cat is still a carnivore that prefers regularity. Utilize these alternative foods occasionally and never substitute vegetables for whole meals, as they will deplete critical nutrients included in properly made cat food.

Sources: Hills Pet, The Rescue Vets, Daily Paws

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