Peanut butter is a treat is beloved by animals and humans alike for its creamy texture and delicious taste. While the smell and taste of peanut butter might be enticing for your cat, it is not the best treat you can give them. So, can cats eat peanut butter?
Cats can eat peanut butter, but it should be avoided due to the ingredients and choking hazard concerns due to its density. While peanut butter is not poisonous for a cat to eat, it is not an item they should have in their diet frequently.
Next, we’ll talk about more specifically about why peanut butter should be avoided. As it adds little nutritional value and can cause a choking hazard, it’s something you’ll want to avoid feeding your cat. Read on to learn more.
What Is In Peanut Butter
The main ingredient in peanut butter is dry-roasted peanuts. Still, many peanut butters also contain salt and sugar to stabilize the oil from separating in the peanut butter jar.
In addition to that, there may be hydrogenated oils on the ingredient list, as these oils ensure the peanut butter has a longer shelf life. This is the worst ingredient typically found in any peanut butter and is not particularly healthy for cats or people to consume in large amounts.
Overall, peanut butter is considered a nutrient-dense food with a high amount of protein per tablespoon and contains other nutrients such as magnesium, phosphorus, and zinc.
Is Peanut Butter Safe For Cats To Eat
While peanut butter is not toxic for cats to eat, it is also not the best food for cats. There are other hazards involved with peanut butter that make it potentially dangerous for cats.
For example, peanut butter is a very rich substance, and it can be too much for a cat’s stomach to digest. This can cause them to suffer from major gastrointestinal problems after consuming.
If peanut butter upsets your cat’s stomach, this may result in vomiting, diarrhea, or intense stomach pain for your cat. In minimal quantities, peanut butter usually will not cause this reaction in cats, but make sure to limit how much your cat consumes.
Are Cats Attracted To Peanut Butter
Overall, cats seem to be less attracted to peanut butter compared to dogs. While most dogs will go wild when they catch the scent of peanut butter, cats have more individualized preferences for the nutty spread. Some cats love it, and others may sniff it and ultimately walk away with no interest in licking it up.
One reason cats may be less attracted to peanut butter compared to dogs comes down to the size of their tongues. Peanut butter is a very sticky, thick substance, making it harder for a cat to lick up than a dog with a much bigger tongue and mouth.
If you are looking for a special treat to use to entice your cat and are struggling to find something they like, try using something with a strong fish smell. As a rule of thumb, the stronger the meaty or fishy smell, the more likely it is to make your cat come running!
Small pieces of tuna, salmon, or mackerel are all great options. In general, you will have better luck attracting your cat with a protein treat compared to peanut butter.
Is Peanut Butter Poisonous To Cats
Normal creamy peanut butter is not poisonous to cats if they consume it in small quantities. However, there are other hazards involved with peanut butter that can be dangerous for your cat.
Some people will use peanut butter as a binder with rodent poison to attract mice and other animals to come over and lick the poison.
If your cat licks up peanut butter they found outside, or on someone else’s property, it could be dangerous for them if someone laced the peanut butter with any chemicals. Any sort of insect or rodent poisoning is highly toxic to cats if consumed.
Additionally, your cat could also accidentally give themselves xylitol poisoning from peanut butter. Xylitol is a sugar substitute often found in “sugar-free” products.
Sometimes xylitol is a hidden ingredient in peanut butter, and it is very dangerous for cats if they eat it. Ensure to double-check the ingredient list of any human food you feed your pet to make sure xylitol is not one of the ingredients listed.
Can Cats Eat Peanut Butter and Banana
Cats should not consume peanut butter and banana as a snack. While humans love spreading peanut butter on top of bananas as a delicious and well-balanced snack, this is not something you should be sharing with your cat as well.
A snack such as peanut butter and banana does not provide a cat with any nutrition they need daily. Bananas with peanut butter are a snack that is high in fat and carbohydrates.
Cats do not need either of these nutritional elements supplemented in their diets daily, as they get all the protein they need from meat. The combination of peanut butter and banana is not going to hurt your cat if they accidentally eat a little bit off of your plate. Still, it certainly is not a snack combination you need to feed your cat regularly.
Can Cats Eat Creamy Peanut Butter
Cats should not have any form of peanut butter regularly, but a small amount of creamy peanut butter is ok for your cat. Out of the varieties of nut butter, creamy peanut butter is one of the better options out there.
In contrast, crunchy peanut butter is something your cat should never consume. While peanut butter overall is ok in small quantities, crunchy peanut butter usually has an additional amount of peanuts mixed into the spread.
The size of the peanuts presents a choking hazard for your cat, and it is also very hard for them to digest.
Can Cats Eat Peanut Butter With Medicine
If you have a cat that struggles to take its pills, it is ok on very rare occasions to stick the pill in peanut butter to help trick your cat into swallowing it. If you do this, make sure to minimize how much peanut butter you use to wrap the pill.
Your cats should have a little peanut butter as possible, as two tablespoons are considered a full serving for a grown human. Peanut butter is a high-calorie food as well, so too much peanut butter over time can lead to your cat gaining unnecessary weight.
If you are looking for a way to disguise a pill for your cat, there are a few better options than peanut butter. Making a small bread sandwich and wrapping the pill inside is usually an enticing way to get your cat to take their pill.
Another option is to bury the medicine or pill inside a can of tuna or wet cat food. Usually, a cat will be excited enough to eat the tuna or canned food that they may not even notice the medicine inside.
You should never crush up a pill or try to dissolve it in water without first consulting your cat’s veterinarian. They will advise you if it is safe to do so depending on what kind of medication you are giving your cat.
Additionally, your veterinarian should be able to advise you on the best strategies to get your cat to take a pill if they are struggling to do so on an ongoing basis.
Can Cats Eat Peanut Butter As A Treat
While there are better options for treats to give your cat, a cat can eat peanut butter as a treat if needed. Peanut butter is not toxic for cats, so it is ok to give them a little bit at a time.
The bigger question is evaluating whether your cat even enjoys peanut butter enough to use it as a treat. Some cats are very interested in it, while others have no interest at all.
There are other cat treats out there like catnip that is universally exciting to cats. You will likely get a better reaction from your cat using catnip, which is essential if you try to use the treat as a training tool.
Peanut butter for a cat is the treat equivalent of a human eating ice cream. It is decadent and not nutritiously beneficial, but usually is ok to consume in small quantities.
Can Cats Have A Nut Allergy
Cats can have a nut allergy. It is not uncommon for cats to have a nut allergy, which can be hard to diagnose.
Often the only way you will find out that your cat has a nut allergy is when they have a strong reaction to something they ate. This is something to be cautious about, as it can be very dangerous and potentially life-threatening if your cat does consume nuts with a nut allergy.
While some cats are born with a nut allergy, they can also develop additional allergies throughout their life.
Watching your cat have an allergic reaction is a very frightening experience, so you should always know what signs to look out for when introducing any new ingredients to your cat.
If your cat is having a mild allergic reaction, look out for them to be itching or have irritated patches of skin. If a cat has a more severe allergic reaction, it may react more strongly and start throwing up or having diarrhea after ingesting the item.
If your cat continues to have an ongoing reaction to something they are eating, it is best to bring them in for allergy testing. Long-term allergic reaction symptoms might lead to your cat rapidly losing weight and having no interest in eating.
While the severity of nut allergies and the symptoms involved can vary, if you suspect your cat has an allergy, immediately consult your veterinarian for further advice on how to proceed.
It is best to introduce new foods such as peanut butter in very small doses until you can tell how your cat will react to it, as this will reduce the chances of them having a life-threatening allergic reaction.
Things To Consider
If you want to feed your cat food from your dinner table, you must be very careful about what you choose.
Cats really should be getting all of their needed daily nutrients from their pet food, and the majority of human food is not what cats need in their diet. Even if something is healthy for a human, that does not necessarily mean the same is true for a cat.
Overall it is ok to treat them from time to time and give them small pieces of chicken or turkey meat. The best way to introduce any human food to your cat is to do so slowly over time and in very small quantities.
Most cats show interest in any protein, but outside of that, you can also safely feed your cat berries, eggs, or small amounts of fish.
Cheese is a food that some cats are also very interested in, and it has very similar side effects compared to peanut butter.
While cheese inherently is not dangerous for your cat to eat in small quantities, there are often other hidden ingredients in it that may be unsafe for your cat to eat. Additionally, the dairy in cheese may upset your cat’s digestive system.
The preferences of cats vary, and it will become apparent over time which human foods your cat enjoys as a snack. You can always tell if a cat is interested in a food because they will catch the scent and run over to investigate further.
Some cats will even try to jump up onto the counter or table to get closer to the meal. The best thing to remember is that you should never force your cat to eat anything they do not want to eat. If they are interested in something, they will make that known!