Peanut is one of the most popular nuts and the best-selling shelled food in America. Besides for its yummy taste, these nuts (to be more specific legumes) are loaded with loads of beneficial nutritional value. To express the love of this food, we even celebrate “National Peanut Butter Day” every year on September 13, here in the United States. We all love it and we are amused to see our dogs eating peanut butter, especially when they look ridiculous while trying to unstick that Jiffy paste from their mouth. They love it and demand it more and more until they get satisfied. It causes no harm to them. But, what about cats? Can you include them when you celebrate the national peanut butter day? This question is a bit complicated and requires a bit more explanation than a simple yes or no.
Can Cats Eat Peanut Butter?
What Makes Up Peanut Butter?
Nutritionally, benefits of peanut butter are just countless. Apart from the so-called protein and healthy fat, it also has biotin, phosphorus copper, folate and so many other nutrients. These benefits apply only for humans and not for the cats.
To get included in the cat's diet, like any other human food, peanut butter should also be free of unnecessary additives and chemicals. Unfortunately, only a few popular brands exclude this unnecessary stuff. Most of the brands add ingredients like salt, extra oils, sugar substances, etc. Clearly, your cats do not require these chemicals on their plate.
Let's Understand the Cat's Diet Better
Since cats spend most of their day sleeping, every cat food or treat should include protein in their diet so cats can utilize this energy for their waking hours. Peanut has high amounts of protein and unsaturated fat in the entire nut kingdom.
Though this combo seems to be beneficial for humans, a cat’s digestive system is not built to metabolize such high quantities of fat and protein. Above all, they are carnivores. So, they don’t need something like peanut butter to be included in their diet unless you want to introduce it to them intentionally. Moreover, cats are very picky eaters. They won't expect a wide variety of foods to make for an interesting diet as we require.
Studies suggest that feeding a cat with something that is not part of her daily diet leads to feline obesity. From my view, it’s better to avoid feeding such unusual foods to our feline friends than seeing them suffer later.
Is Peanut Butter Safe for Cats?
If you ask can cats eat peanut butter, my answer would be yes. But if you ask, is it safe? It’s a big no. I have 3 reasons justify this answer.
If your cat grows fond of peanut butter or you want to intentionally add it to your feline’s diet, make sure you only offer a little under your direct supervision. Also if you are going to introduce this food for the first time, watch out for allergies.
- First of all, our cat’s digestive system is not built to break down the components of peanut butter. So, she may catch up issues like sneezing, swelling, vomiting, or diarrhea.
- As peanut butter creates a large clump, the chances are, it may cause an obstruction in her throat. She may start choking.
- Nowadays people use peanut butter scents to set up a mouse trap. They mask poison with peanut butter. If your cat gets used to this smell and enjoys it, she may end up eating this poison and the outcome is certainly not what you want them to come across.
Benefits of Peanut Butter for Cats
- Vitamin H and biotin content found in peanut butter are known to boost the shimmering look of your feline’s coat. It also enhances cats skin and nail textures.
- Vitamin A found in peanut butter strengthens the immune system thus protecting your cats from many kinds of diseases.
- Vitamin E & resveratrol components found in this gummy paste protect your cat from heart diseases.
As you might understand, peanut butter does not offer any remarkable nutritional values in the case of cats. In fact, too much of fat and salt content overtakes these little beneficial values.
Tips to Add Peanut Butter in Your Cat's Diet
Though peanut butter is not recommended for your feline diet, but if you want to make an attempt, feed them by adhering to the following rules.
- As peanut butter is not part of a cat’s regular diet, try giving them 1 or 2 diced or chopped pieces so they can chew them easily. Alternatively, you can give them as little as a lick off of a finger.
- Opt for a sodium-free version of peanut butter with as little sugar content as possible. Avoid the peanuts that are bathed in chocolate.
- If you prefer raw shelled peanuts, remember that the outer shell of a peanut can do more harm to your cat's digestive tract when it’s swallowed mistakenly.
How Often Can Cats Eat Peanut Butter?
Peanut butter can be given to cats in pinches at the most, half a spoon twice a week. Not more than that.
The nutritional value of peanut butter for cats is merely zero, hence limiting the servings will not make any difference.
Whenever your pet demands a human food, whether it’s peanut butter or something else, remember that your pet companions are still animals. So, feeding them regularly on a human diet is not suggested. It will upset their stomach and leave them to experience undesirable side effects.
What to Do When a Cat Ends up with Diarrhea from Eating Peanut Butter
If it’s the first time you are giving peanut butter to your cat and it starts exhibiting any health issues like vomiting or diarrhea, understand that it’s because of her inability to digest the food. Remember, food allergies usually take time to develop.
- If your cat experiences food allergy symptoms like diarrhea then stop feeding your cat with peanut butter and don’t do it anymore.
- Never feed any over the counter medication such as Pepto Bismol or Imodium which are identified as toxic to cats.
- Don’t feed your furry friend with anything for the next 8 to 12 hours. You can give him water though.
- Alternatively, some vets recommend serving a bowl of rice and cooked boneless chicken in equal proportions.
- Anyway, if diarrhea does not seem to stop in the next 12 to 24 hours, make an appointment with the vet to receive further treatments.
Tell Us Your Kitties Love / Hate Relationship with Peanut Butter
Every cat is different. In fact, they behave differently from stage to stage. My own cat loved peanut butter when she was a kitten. Now she has grown and started to exhibit her boredom with this yummy stuff. They are total weirdos. What about your cat? Does she love peanut butter or just flee away? As you are interested in knowing can cats eat peanut butter, you must have some stories to share with us. Tell us what you think. We are all ears!