As a cat owner, you may be curious about what human foods are safe to share with your furry friend. Peanut butter is a common snack that many people enjoy, but is it safe for cats to eat?
The short answer is, yes peanuts and plain peanut butter is safe for cats to eat but they can make your cat sick in some cases.
Keep reading to learn what you need to know about feeding your feline fur baby peanut butter.
Is peanut butter safe for cats to eat?
While peanut butter is not toxic to cats it is not recommended as a regular part of their diet. Peanut butter is high in fat and calories, which can lead to obesity and other health problems in cats.
In addition, some cats may have an allergic reaction to peanuts or other ingredients in peanut butter.
What are the potential risks of feeding cats peanut butter?
Feeding cats peanut butter can lead to potential health risks in cats
Peanut butter is high in fat salt, and calories which can cause weight gain and other health problems in cats especially if given in large amounts.
If your cat is allergic to peanuts or other ingredients in peanut butter it can cause an allergic reaction which can cause itching, swelling on the face or body, and in severe cases, difficulty breathing.
If the peanut butter that you feed your cat contains ingredients like xylitol it can cause major illness in cats
Eating too much peanut butter can cause your cat to experience diarrhea, vomiting, stomach pain, and excess gas. This is usually due to the high oil and fat content in peanut butter.
Peanut butter has such a thick consistency that even a small amount of peanut butter can get caught in your cat’s throat.
Are there benefits to giving your cat peanut butter?
While peanut butter may be a tasty treat for humans, there are no significant benefits to giving cats peanut butter. Cats are carnivores and don’t need to eat peanuts or peanut butter.
It is important to stick to a balanced and appropriate diet for your fur baby and consult with your veterinarian before introducing any new foods or treats.
How to feed peanut butter to cats
While it is not recommended to give your cat peanut butter at all as it offers no nutritional benefits and can be potentially harmful some owners desire to give their cats some as a treat.
If you do decide to give your cat a small amount of peanut butter as a treat, keep these things in mind.
Ensure that it does not contain xylitol
Xylitol is an artificial sweetener that is often used in peanut butter and is highly toxic to cats and dogs. It may be listed as birch sugar, birch bark extract, wood sugar, or just xylitol.
Keep the portions small
If you decide to give your cat peanut butter do not give any more than a tiny lick or enough to cover a pill if you are trying to use it to give them medication.
Monitor your cat
It is important to monitor your cat’s reaction to peanut butter and only give it in small amounts as an occasional treat. Monitor them for any signs of an allergic reaction or digestive issues like vomiting, diarrhea, or swelling.
Ensure there is no added salt and sugar
Peanut butter and peanuts are already high in salt but some peanut butter has added salt and sugar so be sure to read the ingredients to ensure there is no added sugar which can lead to excessive weight gain, diabetes, and heart issues.
Feed the right amount
Keep the portion small to 1/8 or 1/4th of a teaspoon and no more.
Consult with your vet
Always consult with your veterinarian before introducing any new foods or treats into their diet
What are some alternatives to peanut treats for cats?
If you are using peanut butter to pill or medicate your cat you can use these as alternatives
- A small amount of plain yogurt that has no xylitol or sugar added
- Mashed chicken or fish
- Cottage cheese: plain
While cats can have peanut butter it is in their best interest to not eat it but if you are giving peanut butter as a treat, it is important to remember that treats should only make up a small portion of your cat’s diet and the main source of nutrition should come from balanced and complete cat food.