Peanut butter is a human food everyone enjoys, which might be the case with your feline friend. Peanuts, in general, are not toxic to cats and small amounts of peanuts have great nutritional value for your feline friend as they are a good source of protein, but your cat’s diet needs cat food that is high in animal protein. However, on rare occasions, you can give your feline friend a small amount of peanut butter to enjoy.
Can Cats Eat Peanut Butter?
Cats are obligate carnivores who need animal proteins but can still benefit from natural peanut butter. Peanut contains many health benefits as they have fatty acids, amino acids, essential vitamins, and high levels of protein which is suitable for us cat owners but not our feline friends. We should know that cat’s digestive system is not designed to digest extra protein or fat, and that is a good reason not to let your cat have a taste of peanut butter.
You can give your cat peanut butter, but the excess fat will only lead your feline friend towards weight gain, causing a healthy cat to have gastrointestinal upset and other health issues. So, giving your cat peanut butter, especially regularly, is not a good idea when it concerns your cat’s health. Cats and dogs have different tastes, and since cats are picky eaters, your cat might not want to eat organic peanut butter. However, if your feline friend is a peanut butter lover, eating natural peanuts, it is better to keep it limited to your cat’s medication.
Is Peanut Butter Good for Cats?
The short answer is, maybe. However, the long answer is that peanut butter is not toxic for your feline friend but giving your cat a peanut butter jar and letting them enjoy it is not a good thing to do. As cat parents, we know that peanut butter does not have nutritional benefits that can make it a regular treat for our pet cats or is not too healthy to replace the full meals of our feline friend. As pet owners, we know too much of anything is always bad for our pets, and giving new foods without research is not the best way.
Similarly, you should know that even though peanuts are a healthy snack for your feline friend, peanut butter also comes with extra calories and adverse reactions. Peanut butter is not required for your cat’s nutritional needs. They need animal protein through raw meats, other foods, and animal products. Peanut butter is available in the market with too much sugar and sometimes xylitol as a sugar substitute. This artificial sweetener can cause severe xylitol poisoning in your feline friend.
A predatory cat does not need peanut butter as it is only empty calories for your feline friend, but it has all the benefits for human beings as it is made for human consumption. However, the good news is you can give your feline friend a half spoonful of peanut butter if they love it. Make sure to avoid giving them anymore, as little peanut butter can cause irreversible adverse reactions to your cat’s health, and we, as pet owners, do not want that.
What Are the Risks of Feeding Your Cat Peanut Butter?
If you have outdoor cats, you should keep the peanut butter as far away from them as you can because if they get a taste of peanut butter, they will go out and eat wherever they can, which can negatively impact their health. The reason is simple, the peanut butter found outside can be mixed with poisons for mice or other foreign ingredients, resulting in accidental poisoning in your feline friend.
If your cat has peanut allergies, then a tiny amount of peanut butter can result in a choking hazard. Moreover, peanut butter, in general, is bad for your cat’s health as it can cause an upset stomach and other gastrointestinal stress. If your cat has itchy skin, ear infections, weight loss, and low blood sugar levels, then these might be the symptoms of an allergic reaction to peanuts.
You should not give your cat peanut butter cookies even on special occasions or unsalted peanut butter as it can have aflatoxins which can cause cancer or liver failure in your cat, hurting your cat’s health. So, keep your feline friend away from potential dangers, and if you are introducing peanut butter into their diet for the first make sure to do thorough research.
Some Safety Tips for Your Feline Friend
We all now know that peanut is not for your feline friend, but if you want your friend to have a little bit of peanut butter, then follow these rules to control your feline companion’s health conditions. You should first decide what type of peanut butter you will give your feline friend. There are many types of peanut butter. Some are salted, crunchy, smooth, and unsalted peanut butter available in the market.
Then there are unlimited brands of peanut butter that you can select from; however, you should always check the list of the main ingredients to ensure your cat is safe from potential dangers. According to ASPCA’s list, the artificial sweetener xylitol is toxic to cats. It can cause a sudden drop in blood sugar levels because of an instant release of insulin due to this sweetener. Many peanut butter brands have this compound which can cause lethargy, vomiting, seizures, lack of coordination, liver failure, and death.
You should also look for other harmful ingredients and check for sodium content, as it can negatively impact a cat’s health, causing high blood pressure, heart issues, and other problems. If your cat is a peanut butter lover, give them unsalted peanut butter as it has low calories and is a safe option compared to other peanut butter.
Healthier Alternative That You Can Feed
Think about giving your furry friend vegetables instead of nuts for some healthier snack choices. Celery, carrots, zucchini, pumpkin, spinach, peas, and broccoli are the veggies suitable for a feline friend. Remember, feline friends are carnivores, so use these alternative snacks carefully. Never replace entire meals with veggies since your furry friend will be deficient in critical nutrients provided in properly made furry friend food. Before introducing new meals to your furry friend, consult with your veterinarian.
Many peanut butter brands are on the market, and we all know that peanut butter is not the best choice for your cat. However, if they want peanut butter, give them small quantities of unsalted peanut butter, as that is the best option you can select from the store-bought peanut butter. If you feel your feline friend is in potential danger due to peanut butter, take them to clinical nutrition services. Moreover, keep an eye on your cat so you can stop them the next time before they get their hands on a jar of peanut butter.
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