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Can Cats Eat Peanut Butter? What You Need to Know!

peanut butter and jam

Peanut butter is a popular lunchtime snack, it’s tasty and packed with protein that can help us get through the day, and since it’s so high in protein, many people wonder if it’s safe to give their cat. The short answer is yes. You can give your can peanut butter, but there are several things you should consider before you make it a regular part of their diet. Keep reading while we look at the health benefits and potential dangers of allowing your cat to eat peanut butter, and we’ll also discuss the best way to feed it to your pet for a healthy snack.

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Is Peanut Butter Bad for My Cat?

Choking Hazard

Peanut butter is thick and dry and can easily create a choking hazard, especially if you use a chunky brand. Even a small amount of peanut butter can create a hazard, so you will need to watch your cat while it eats and make sure to have plenty of fresh water nearby that your cat can drink.

Low Nutritional Value

Besides a plant-based protein which is not ideal for a carnivorous cat, there are no helpful nutrients that will benefit your cat from eating this food.

spoonful of peanut butter
Image Credit: Pixabay

Allergies

Just like people, peanut butter can cause an allergy flare-up in cats and can even be life-threatening if your cat is especially sensitive to peanut allergies. Symptoms of an allergic reaction include scratching, hair loss, ear infections, diarrhea, vomiting, and weight loss. If you notice any of these symptoms and suspect a peanut allergy, we recommend contacting the vet immediately.

Bad Fats

Many companies use trans fats and other bad fats to keep the peanut butter from separating and to give it a longer shelf life. However, these ingredients can be harmful to your cat. We recommend looking at your peanut butter ingredients list to ensure there are no hydrogenated oils on the ingredients to keep these fats out of your cat’s diet.

a jar of peanut butter
Image Credit: Pixabay

High in Calories

Another problem with feeding your cat peanut butter is that it’s high in calories, especially since the nutritional value is so low. Extra calories can easily lead to weight gain, and obesity among cats is a serious issue in America, with many experts sitting that 50% of cats over 5 are overweight. Obesity can lead to diabetes, cardiovascular disease, kidney failure, and more. It can also make it difficult for your cat to maintain its regular activities, and it can even become difficult to groom itself properly.

Artificial Sweeteners

Many low-sugar peanut butters contain an artificial sweetener called xylitol that can be deadly to your cat. It only takes a small amount of this ingredient to cause harm, and it’s in a wide range of products besides peanut butter, so it’s important to read all of your packaging.

peanut butter spread
Image Credit: Pixabay

Is Peanut Butter Good for My Cat?

Good Fats

Cats require omega-6 fats in their diet, which peanut butter provides, but it does not supply your cat with the essential omega-3 fatty acids. Omega-6 can promote inflammation if not supplied along with the omega-3 that reduces it, and it can cause problems in older cats with arthritis or other joint problems that tend to swell. Peanut butter also contains oleic acid, a component in their pheromones, which could explain your cat’s interest in this food.


How Can I Feed Peanut Butter to My Cat?

We recommend you avoid feeding your cat peanut butter unless it’s something the cat demands. There are too many health risks associated with making it a regular part of their diet. If your cat really wants it, you can let them lick the spoon on occasion after you make a sandwich on occasion, but only after you read over the ingredients to make sure there is no xylitol. Organic, all-natural peanut butters will be better and have fewer chemical ingredients, making them less likely to cause an allergic reaction.


Pumpkin

sliced pumpkin
Image Credit: Pixabay

You can try serving pumpkin as a peanut butter alternative that your cat might like. It’s much healthier and will add plenty of fiber to the diet, which will help keep your cat regulated. It’s the perfect food when your cat is constipated, and it’s low in sugar and calories, so it can help with weight management. It also contains plenty of vitamins and minerals as well as healthy omega fats.

Summary

We recommend avoiding peanut butter in your cat’s diet. If your cat ate a small amount or is bugging you to lick the spoon, it will probably be ok as long as there is no xylitol, but there are plenty of other foods that your cat will enjoy that provide more nutrients. We recommend pumpkin because it’s similar to peanut butter in texture, and your cat might be willing to give it a try. It’s packed with nutrients and can help relieve diarrhea and constipation.

We hope you have enjoyed reading over our look into this common lunchtime food and found the answers you needed. If we have helped you provide a healthier treat for your cat, please share this guide feeding cats peanut butter on Facebook and Twitter.

Looking for more guides on what your cat can have? Try:


Featured Image Credit: Pixabay

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