Can cats have peanut butter? Ideally, you should avoid giving your cat peanut butter except you made it yourself. Most brands use sweeteners that contain xylitol—which could be dangerous for cats even in little amounts.
My cat loves eating peanut butter, an effective treat I use in grooming him(cause he hates to be handled). But the peanut butter I use is 100% naturally made by me—I go the extra length to add taurine from turkey dark meat and omega-3 fatty acid from salmon, even at that; I still give him this treat once in two weeks
In this article, you’ll learn everything about cats and peanut butter, its dangers, what to watch out for, its benefits, and how you could make your lip-smacking peanut butter at home for your cat.
Table of Contents
- Can Cats Have Peanut Butter?
- Do Cats Like Peanut Butter
- Is Peanut Butter Good For Cats
- Is Peanut Butter Bad For Cats
- What’s in Cat’s Peanut Butter?
- How to know if your cat has a peanut allergy
- Does Peanut Butter Kill Cats?
- How can I Feed My Cat Peanut Butter
- Healthy Alternatives To Peanut Butter For Cats
Can Cats Have Peanut Butter?
Yes, cats can have peanut butter, this sweet and salty spread can be an irresistible treat for cats, but it provides no value nutritionally and it contains ingredients that do not pet safe such as artificial sweeteners.
It is best to make cats peanut butter at home, in that way, you’ll be in control of what goes into your cat. To enhance the color, and flavor (which is not necessary), most cat peanut butter brands will use compounds that are not safe for cats—leading to crisis and unnecessary expenses.
Do Cats Like Peanut Butter
Yes, cats like peanut butter, as soon as you set out some, the nutty scent of the peanut butter will entice the cat to come around, but you should know that cats don’t taste sugar, so it’s not the sweet taste your cat is attracted to, rather its the scent.
Your feline friend has 40 – 45 million scent receptors which they rely on to make decisions and get by according to Vcahospitals. Hence, if your cat loves treats of peanut butter, it doesn’t necessarily mean you should always make them available, giving your cat peanut butter treats should occur occasionally, except the peanut butter is made by you.
Is Peanut Butter Good For Cats
Peanut butter has no nutritional value for cats, which makes it not good for cats. You can give your cat peanut butter, but in small quantities twice a week. Unlike catnip which could help get your cat exercise, peanut butter could cause stomach upsets for your cat.
Felines get their entire nutrients from animal-based proteins which are included in their dry and wet foods. Peanut butter contains plant-based protein which doesn’t contain enough amino acids required by the cat. If your cat is being fed its normal foods, there is no need to supplement with anything else, except as advised by the vet.
Is Peanut Butter Bad For Cats
Peanut butter could be lovely on bread, cucumbers, garden eggs, and bread for humans, but this salty-sweet spread should not be given to cats if possible. As we have explained in the previous sub-headings— peanut butter has little to no importance in a cat’s nutritional needs. You may only end up affecting your cat’s health with the additives and sweetness present in commercial cat peanut butter.
What’s in Cat’s Peanut Butter?
If you’re so busy and can’t make peanut butter for your cat by yourself, it’s fine if you decide to opt for store-bought alternatives, but you need to be aware of the following problematic ingredients that could cost your cat’s health.
- Oil and Fat – Unlike the name suggests, peanuts are legumes(edible seeds grown in pods like lentils and green peas), and not nuts. Peanuts contain a huge amount of fats and oil and are nutritionally considered nuts. Nuts although beneficial to humans, are among the foods to avoid giving your cat according to ASPCA.
- Sodium – Peanuts in their natural form are void of sodium, but store-bought peanut butter has a high sodium and oil content. If your cat eats salty foods in large quantities diarrhea, vomiting, dehydration, and depression could occur according to ASPCA. Study shows that heart issues in cats sometimes occur as a result of sodium in human foods they consumed.
- High-calorie content – every cat has a designated daily calorie intake, exceeding this measurement could lead to weight gain problems. Cats should eat 40 – 45 calories per kg of their body weight. Depending on the cat peanut butter brand and the food you’ve given your pet, you may unknowingly exceed its daily calorie requirements.
- Xylitol – Commercially processed peanut butter and cats are not a good match; they contain ingredients that could pose a risk to your cat’s health. The artificial sweetener(xylitol) which is used in most peanut butter brands —is toxic to cats and other pets’ health. Products that contain xylitol shouldn’t be fed to your cat; take up the responsibility of studying the labels of anything you want to give your feline friend. If xylitol poisoning occurs, you’ll notice the following signs: seizures, lethargy, lack of coordination, drooling, and vomiting
Is Peanut Butter Safe For Cats?
Yes, peanut butter can be safe if given to your cat in small quantities and occasionally, but that doesn’t mean it’s recommended. Felines are carnivorous and will do better and develop efficiently with nutrients gotten from an animal such as omega-3 fatty acids from salmon, taurine from dark meats of turkey and general protein, and fiber from meats and cat-friendly foods.
Outside cats should never be allowed to develop taste for peanut butter. This will prove to be dangerous as they may try to eat peanut butter that is used as bait on mouse traps.
Commercial cat peanut butter can be contaminated with aflatoxin which is a common type of Mycotoxin that poses a huge threat to felines’ health. Mycotoxins are known cancer-causing substances.
I will compare giving a cat commercial peanut butter to giving human candy bars. Well, you can eat the candy bars, but they are of no benefit to you, and will only destroy your tooth in the long run. The only time peanut butter is safe for cats is when it’s 100% natural(which only you can make), as we have, stated above: “commercial peanut butter contains ingredients that are harmful to cats”.
How can you tell if a peanut butter has xylitol in it?
Always read labels to know what’s inside the peanut butter, many companies may not be 100% truthful about the contents of their products. But watch out for products that are labeled “sugar-free” or ” Natural sweeter” this could be a pointer that xylitol is used in that product. Also, in the nutritional facts, you’ll see xylitol labeled as “sugar alcohol”.
How to know if your cat has a peanut allergy
If your cat has an allergy to peanuts, it will experience symptoms very quickly after eating peanut products. An allergic reaction can cause itching, hives, vomiting, diarrhea, wheezing, and even death. If your cat experiences these symptoms after eating peanut butter, it may have a peanut allergy. It’s important to take your cat to the vet with the ingredients listed on the peanut butter.
It’s helpful to have the brand name, too. Your vet can run a blood test to confirm your cat’s allergy. Once you know your cat has a peanut allergy, you should avoid peanut butter and other products with peanuts. It’s best to keep these items out of your house and off your counters to avoid accidentally feeding them to your cat.
Does Peanut Butter Kill Cats?
How can I Feed My Cat Peanut Butter
- The first step is to speak with your vet if your cat should be allowed to have peanut butter. Your veterinarian has your cat’s health records and will be able to tell if anything inherent in the peanut butter will cause health issues for your feline friend.
- Calculate your cat’s calorie intake so you don’t exceed its daily requirements. Treats should never be more than 10% of your cat’s daily food intake. A cat that requires 200 calories daily should only get 20 calories from treats. Your peanut butter cap should contain nutritional labels that state how many calories per tablespoon.
- Observe your cat: peanut butter can be safe for cats, but The Clinical Nutritional Service decries how cat-safe foods could still have terrible reactions on cats. Observe your cat for signs of stomach upset such as vomiting and diarrhea.
How To Make Peanut Butter At Home For Cats
- 2 cups of roasted peanuts (you can do this with your oven or non-stick pan).
- Half a spoon of honey ( as cats don’t produce glucokinase, which helps with the breakdown of glucose and fructose).
- Turkey heart(dark meat, contains taurine).
- Salmon oil
- Cut the turkey heart into small bits, then place the bits and peanuts in a fold processor, turn on the food processor and let it run for at least 5 minutes.
- The peanut should go from crumbs to dry balls to smooth creamy peanut butter. At this stage, you could mix in the little honey, and salmon oil.
- Store in the fridge.