A group of kittens playing in the grass.

Can Cats Eat Peanut Butter?


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If you’re a pet parent then you may know that dogs absolutely love this salty treat but can cats eat peanut butter? Well, the answer is a bit more complicated when it comes to our feline friends. Read on to find out if peanut butter is good for cats or not.

So, let’s dive into whether cats can eat peanut butter

Although cats love the taste of this salty and sweet spread, it’s not advisable to give into their whims. As with dogs, it has no nutritional value for cats and some ingredients such as xylitol (a sugar substitute) can even be toxic for them.

A cat’s digestive system also cannot break down the high quantity of protein and fat found in peanut butter. Feeding a cat something that doesn’t form part of their daily diet can also lead to feline obesity, which can in turn lead to diabetes.

Read our Can Cats Eat…Raw Chicken, Eggs, Chocolate? And more!’ article to explore the pros and cons of other foods for cats. Our ‘Dry Cat Food vs Wet’ article might also pique your interest.

Problematic ingredients in peanut butter

As mentioned, some ingredients used to make peanut butter can be harmful or even toxic to a cat.

These ingredients include:

  • Xylitol, an artificial sweetener that’s toxic to felines and canines. Signs of xylitol poisoning include vomiting, drooling, lethargy and even seizures. Read about xylitol toxicity in dogs and cats.
  • Oil and fat: You should avoid feeding your feline foods that are high in oil and fat as this can lead to gastrointestinal problems and weight issues.
  • Roasted peanuts, which are used to make the spread, are very high in sodium. Excess sodium can cause vomiting, diarrhea, depression and seizures, and can also lead to heart conditions in felines.
Is peanut butter good for cats? Find out what will happen if your cat eats peanut butter like this black and white cat standing in grass.

What can happen if your cat eats peanut butter?

Ideally, you should avoid feeding your cat peanut butter but sometimes it’s hard to explain this to the kids who may slip your feline some under the table. If this is the case, watch out for signs of an allergic reaction or any gastrointestinal issues.

Symptoms to keep an eye out for include:

  • Gas
  • Stomach pain
  • Diarrhea
  • Vomiting
  • Facial swelling
  • Severe itching
  • Lack of appetite
  • Hair loss
  • Chronic ear infections
  • Weight loss

If you notice any of these symptoms in your cat, speak to your vet immediately.

Then there’s other ingredients plus the texture

Peanut butter’s thick and sticky texture can also pose as a choking hazard for your pet. It can form a lump and cause an obstruction in your pet’s throat. Read about cat choking risks and treatment to be better prepared for such situations.

As mentioned, its calorie and fat count can cause weight gain in cats and associated health issues. Best to steer clear for that reason alone.

Another ingredient that can cause serious health issues is aflatoxin, which is a common type of mycotoxin. Mycotoxins are known to be incredibly toxic for a cat’s liver and for causing cancer in felines.

Time to find another brekkie spread for your favourite furball? You might find our article on what cats like to eat for breakfast interesting.

Consider pet insurance for all kinds of medical emergencies

PD Insurance prides itself in giving you access to cost-effective yet award-winning cat insurance plans that provide a soft landing in those unanticipated medical emergencies. As a pet parent you shouldn’t have to stress about the financial burden of ensuring your fur baby gets the best medical treatment. So why not contact us for a quick quote?

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