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Can Cats Eat Peanut Butter? 6 Things Cat Owners Should Know

While cats are amazingly intuitive and often know what is good for them and what isn’t, it is still our responsibility to ensure that they’re well taken care of. Sometimes, your little furry friend might see you eating a delicious peanut butter sandwich and get drawn to the smell. As curiosity is a cat’s forte, they’ll likely meow at you hoping to get a bite of your sandwich.

Even with all of the best treats available to them, you might want to share this human snacks with the cat. You may wonder if it’s a good idea to give them a little bit of your sandwich. Or better yet, if it’s possible to offer them a dollop of the smooth and creamy spread as a treat.

This raises the following questions – can cats eat peanut butter? Are there any nutritional benefits? How much of it is bad for them? Will your cat be okay if they accidentally help themselves to whatever peanut butter might be lying out on the kitchen counter?

can cats eat peanut butter


Can Cats Eat Peanut Butter? 6 Things Owners Should Know

1. Do Cats Like Peanut Butter?

While most cats aren’t drawn to the creamy nutty aroma, there are oddballs that might really enjoy the smell of peanut butter. Whether it’s good for them or not is another question. It is known though that the effects of peanut butter are not the same as fish or chicken.

For those cats that are intrigued by what you’re making yourself for lunch, the nutty scent of peanut butter can entice them to want to try it. According to what is already known about cats, this shouldn’t be as common as your kitty enjoying catnip.

However, for whatever reason, your cat could end up really enjoying peanut butter because of its taste. Or simply because the action of licking and biting the peanut butter can feel somewhat familiar to them.

Lazy Cat Eating Big Bowl of Food

2. Is Peanut Butter Good For Cats?

The short answer is no. Peanut butter is not a good snack for cats. It isn’t toxic to them but it isn’t beneficial for them either.

Cats are carnivores by nature. Their digestive systems are built to obtain specific nutrients from meaty foods. This doesn’t mean that you have to start feeding your cat a full plate of A-grade steak.

Peanut butter, while tasty and delicious, contains many fats and oils that your feline friend cannot digest.

The treats you give them as well as the cat food you buy them contains enough of the beneficial nutrients needed for your furry friend to be well-nourished.

There’s no need to then supplement their diet in any way with special human foods. But, if your cat does happen to enjoy the taste, there aren’t many extremely serious consequences.

Your cat can enjoy a little bit of peanut butter at a time but too much may leave them feeling terribly sick. So, if your cat doesn’t already eat peanut butter. You don’t have to start them now.

grey cat eating woman's fingers

3. Should I Give My Cat Peanut Butter?

Well, if peanut butter isn’t toxic to your cat and a little bit won’t harm them. Should you then give your cat a little bit of peanut butter when they ask for it?

I’m sure you’ve been in the position where your kitty cat walks over and starts moaning at you for whatever they’re smelling on your hands. It’s usually a difficult feat to say no, especially when they’re curling around your legs, begging for a small taste.

The only time it is suggested to give your cat peanut butter is when they’ve got medication to take. Peanut butter allows whatever tablets to remain intact while your kitty eats it, making it a great way of ensuring that they’re taking their full dose of medication.

Peanut butter, thanks to its smooth texture, is useful in those circumstances only. So, while they may be drawn to the scent, it isn’t a fun toy drizzled in catnip.

two Scottish kittens lap milk from bowl

If you’re handing peanut butter over every time your kitty meows for it, you’re simply reinforcing their behavior. Instead of letting them indulge in peanut butter, you should try to enforce the behavior of eating healthy foods instead.

4. How Do I Stop My Cat From Eating Peanut Butter?

Let’s say that you’re guilty of giving in to your cat that one time. You’ve given them a spoonful of peanut butter and now they like it and want more.

Well, especially since it isn’t toxic, it may be a n indication that your feline friend simply enjoys the fun habit of eating peanut butter and appreciates it.

There might be some undesirable results if your cat is eating too much peanut butter.  As previously mentioned, peanut butter contains a few oils and fats that your cat can’t properly digest.

How do you stop your cat from eating peanut butter?

A good substitution or something to distract them from peanut butter is a good idea. There are toys available that can hold catnip, this wonderful teeth-cleaning toy is a great way to get their minds off of the Skippy.

cat up close about to eat a tin of cat food

Ensure that you don’t have lots of unhealthy foods lying around on the kitchen counter and that your cat is in a safe zone while you’re making lunch.

5. What Should I Do If My Cat Accidentally Eats Peanut Butter?

A little bit of peanut butter once in a while won’t hurt your cat. Unless your feline is allergic to nuts. So, if your cat does manage to steal a bit of peanut butter without you noticing, that’s okay.

Just keep an eye out for any changes in behavior. Since the peanut butter is hard for them to digest, you might start noticing symptoms of an irritable bowel. You may also notice some allergic reactions.

If your cat does eat peanut butter by mistake, there’s no need to panic. Just make sure that they’re drinking fluids and monitor them. If they’re the same lovable creature they’ve always been – your cat is fine.

grey cat about to eat from a small bowl

6. Can My Cat Be Allergic to Nuts?

While allergies might feel like a human issue, cats and dogs alike can also become allergic to certain substances. Similar to human allergies, they can be allergic to anything environmental or food-related.

While there are different methods available for testing allergies, many of these are hard to trust and might not give you a conclusive answer. The best way to test allergies is through trial and elimination.

If you do give your cat crunchy peanut butter with some nuts in it. You might even have a different snack that may contain nuts. Just keep watch for the following allergy symptoms: skin irritation and gastrointestinal irritation, which could result in vomiting or diarrhea.

They may start scratching, rubbing their bodies against things or head shaking in order to ease the skin irritation and itchiness. Your cat could even start sneezing and wheezing if they’re allergic to peanuts.

Cat and dog looking for meat in the refrigerator

There are antihistamines available over the counter which might ease your cat’s allergic reaction but the best treatment is always prevention.

Other Foods Your Cat Should Avoid

So, peanut butter is only the beginning of not-so-good foods for cats. There are a few others that you might have or not have heard of. Here’s a list of some foods that your cat should definitely avoid.

  • Sushi – can break down the existing vitamin B in your cat and cause a Thiamine deficiency
  • Milk and dairy in excessive amounts – many cats are lactose intolerant
  • Chocolate – contains a mineral that cats cannot digest and is toxic to them
  • Caffeinated products like coffee, tea or energy drinks
  • Grapes and raisins – can lead to kidney damage or lethal kidney failure

Some foods are okay in small doses, like milk and dairy. Other things like cheese, plain popcorn and even avocados can be okay for your cat. It’s always best to ensure your furry counterpart enjoys human food in moderation. While they can eat it, too much will make them sick.

ginger cat looking at dairy products

Alternative Healthy Human Snacks for Cats

While snacking cats are happy cats, you may want to add some beneficial snacks to their daily consumption. Healthy snacks can be anything that aids in digestion, provides them with extra minerals and nutrients or simply just keeps them purring in happiness.

  • Fish – contains beneficial fats and omega 3 that promote healthy and shiny coats.
  • Chicken – needs to be cooked and deboned
  • Broccoli
  • Asparagus
  • Fruits – such as bananas, apples, blueberries, strawberries and seedless watermelon
  • Grains like couscous
  • Starch like potatoes
  • Carrots
  • Oats

Since your cat doesn’t necessarily chew their food like humans do, you will have to give them foods that break up easily. Giving them couscous over rice, for example, will allow your cat to digest the grain a lot quicker.

Cat eating piece of meat from the kitchen table

Note: Your cat should never eat any raw meats, chicken or fish. These proteins can include harmful bacteria like Salmonella, E.coli and Listeria. Be sure to always cook their food first and take out all of the bones as well. Some foods served in large sizes can cause choking and discomfort.

Final Say on Peanut Butter Snacks & Cats

Any cat parent would love to ensure that their favorite furry friend is well looked after and sometimes, spoilt in all the right ways.

If you do intend on gifting your cat with peanut butter, keep in mind that they can only have  a small amount at a time and shouldn’t have peanut butter too regularly.

While we love to give them treats to make them feel special and loved, you could also have a look at some gifts for cats, this will get them meowing a lot more than peanut butter.

tabby cat mouth open and tongue out in front of food bowl

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