Sometimes, we can’t help but give in to the demands of our adorable feline pets. As a cat owner, we make sure that our kitties are getting all the best things in life.
When it comes to food, pet owners tend to become very cautious of the food they give to their pets.
Felines, most especially, are sensitive creatures and there are lots of foods that their body cannot digest properly.
That is why it’s important for pet owners to know which foods are safe for their kitties to eat and which ones are not.
Typically, cats are carnivores, and they rely solely on their all-meat diet. It may sound rather unhealthy to go for a diet that only consists of meat.
However, remember, a feline body is entirely different from us. Their body is designed to get all the nutrients they need from the meat they eat.
Even without the supplement of plant-based food sources, cats can survive with meat diet alone.
However, sometimes, our furry friends would want to try something else for a change.
You’ve probably seen them with begging eyes while you’re munching on some fruits or chips.
Moreover, yes, that flushed face they make when you open a jar of peanut butter. However, can cats eat peanut butter?
As we all know it, peanut butter has been a favorite treat of dogs. A spoonful of peanut butter provides a great deal of nutritional value for canines.
This is why some dog owners always have a jar of Skippy or Jif close at hand to provide their pets with a boost of energy.
However, is peanut butter good for cats too? If dogs can benefit from it, can cats eat peanut butter and also gain the same health benefits?
Peanut butter is filled with protein and healthy fats, as well as carbohydrates, sugar, and salt. It is also rich in niacin, magnesium, vitamin B6, vitamin E, fiber and potassium.
You'll get 100 calories in just one tablespoon of peanut butter, making it a great on-the-go snack every time you need more energy.
Most dogs seem to adore the distinctive, nutty aroma of peanut butter. Another reason why canines love peanut butter so much is due to its fat and sugar content.
Compared to felines, dogs have more fat-related taste buds which explain why they crave fatty foods such as peanut butter.
Also, unlike cats, dogs respond positively to sugar. While dogs are crazy about sweet treats, kitties don’t seem to be interested with anything sweet and sugary.
Do Cats Like Peanut Butter?
However, not all cats are the same. Some kitties may dislike peanut butter, but your feline pet may like it otherwise.
Although felines are creatures of habit, they also get sick and tired of eating the same food every single time. Which is why getting the right food for your cat is crucial.
For example getting the right best dry cat food is not as easy as people think.
It’s only reasonable that they would try to taste and eat other foods aside from meat and commercial cat foods.
So if you see them ardently watching you lick a spoonful of peanut butter, that’s a sign. It only means they are curious about what you're eating and they want to taste it too.
Most of the time, our pets are attracted to human food because they're curious about it, not because they crave it.
If they see their humans enjoying a bag of potato chips or scooping a peanut butter, they tend to want some of it too.
While some pet owners won't hesitate to share their foods with their feline friends, some are uncertain about the safety of their pets.
Unlike dogs, cats lack natural enzymes to digest foods other than meat. If the body fails to digest and metabolize several substances in the menu, undigested materials will build up in the system.
When the concentration of undigested substances reaches a very high toxic level, this condition can lead to organ failure and other health issues.
It’s nice to share your favorite snack with your kitty but make sure that the food is safe for your pet to eat. How about peanut butter? Can cats eat peanut butter?
Is Peanut Butter Good for Cats?
So, can cats eat peanut butter? You’ll be glad to know the answer to that question. Yes, cats can eat it.
Cats can eat peanut butter but only in small quantity and moderation.
However, some animal nutritionists are not buying the idea of feeding peanut butter to cats.
Even though peanut butter is loaded with protein, experts imply that peanut butter shouldn't be deemed as a cat's primary source of nutrition.
Cats, in particular, have higher daily requirements of protein because their metabolism is faster than any other mammals.
So you may think that giving them a spoonful of peanut butter can supplement them with sufficient protein. However, that's not exactly the case.
Peanut butter lacks the amino acids that felines usually obtain from animal-based protein sources such as mice and birds.
Commercial cat foods are safely processed to provide all the necessary nutrients that they need, protein included.
The protein present in peanut butter may be beneficial for humans and dogs, but not essential for felines.
Aside from protein, peanut butter also contains magnesium and potassium. Can cats eat peanut butter to get their daily requirements of these elements?
It’s true that potassium and magnesium are vital minerals for felines as these are necessary for the proper functioning of nerves and muscles.
However, their usual diet of meat and fish is enough to supply them with sufficient potassium and magnesium.
They don't need peanut butter to supplement them with more of these elements.
It’s also important to point out that excessive level of potassium and magnesium can lead to severe renal problems.
Giving potassium and magnesium supplements to your pet is not advisable unless your vet prescribes them.
So is it better to keep peanut butter away from our kitties to avoid these health issues from happening?
Let us be clear on one thing. The nutritional value of peanut butter can be achieved if you meet the recommended serving size of it.
For humans, they need to consume 45 grams (2 tablespoons) of peanut butter to get its nutritional value.
Giving half a teaspoon of peanut butter to your kitty won’t do any harm. Problems may arise if you feed your pet more than that.
Take note; the recommended serving size is based on a human's daily nutritional requirement. If you let your pet eat the same amount of peanut butter as you eat, potential health risks may arise.
Is Peanut Butter Bad for Cats?
According to the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA), peanut butter is non-toxic to cats. This means that peanut butter is safe for your kitty to ingest.
However, there are precautions that you need to observe when feeding peanut butter to your feline pets.
Some brands of peanut butter are using a natural sweetener called xylitol.
According to ASPCA, xylitol is highly toxic to animals. In cats, xylitol can prompt a sudden release of insulin that can lead to a condition known as hypoglycemia.
If a cat ingests xylitol, it could manifest adverse symptoms such as lethargy, vomiting, lack of coordination and seizure.
Take your pet to the vet if you suspect xylitol ingestion. If left untreated, a toxic level of xylitol can cause liver failure, coma, and even death.
Before you scoop a peanut butter from its jar, take time to read the list of ingredients carefully. If you happen to see ‘xylitol’ as an ingredient, do not even think of giving it to your cat.
Choose peanut butter brands that do not contain xylitol. Be careful though, some brands with the label “no artificial sweeteners” are using xylitol are a sugar substitute.
Make it a rule of the thumb to stay away from peanut butter containing xylitol. As long as you keep this in mind, your pet should be safe.
Another thing to watch out is how you feed your pet with it. Peanut butter is sticky, and there's a tendency that it will lodge into the cat's mouth or throat.
Do not shove the entire thing into its mouth to prevent your feline friend from choking. Instead, place the teaspoon with peanut butter near its mouth and let your kitty lick it.
If your pet likes the taste, it will touch more. However, if your kitty walks away, then peanut butter is indeed not its cup of tea.
More importantly (as we always say), do not overfeed your cat with peanut butter.
Even in our cases, we usually suffer from an upset stomach and other gastrointestinal distress if we overeat peanut butter.
The same is true for our furry companions. What’s more, the effect becomes worse for them because they have more sensitive digestive system compared to us.
On top of that, peanut butter contains a high concentration of fats. The more fats they intake, the higher is their risk of diabetes, obesity and other health-related problems.
Can Cats Be Allergic to Peanut Butter?
Aside from xylitol toxicity and the choking hazard, you should also look out for any possible sign of an allergic reaction to peanut butter.
Peanut allergy is one of the most common food allergies in humans. So animals are also not exempted from food allergies.
Allergic reactions may include itching, swelling, sneezing, and appearance of rashes. Much like humans, cats also have a different degree of sensitivity to a specific allergen.
Severe allergic reactions may include diarrhea, nausea, vomiting, difficulty in breathing and fainting.
Observe your pet during the first time. If it manifests one of the above-mentioned signs, then you better stop giving peanut butter.
As long as it doesn't demonstrate any weird reaction to the food, it's okay to let your kitty indulge in it.
However, you must always be vigilant especially when you're feeding your kitty.
Sometimes, allergic reactions may arise later in the course of time and symptoms may not necessarily appear during the first time. If symptoms persist, consult your vet immediately.
How Often Should You Feed A Cat with Peanut Butter?
So your cat turns out to be a fan of peanut butter, and it looks fine after eating it, should you give more?
It’s best to follow the recommended serving size of peanut butter for cats, which is half a teaspoon.
Moreover, only give it as an occasional treat, once a week should be fine.
The main idea of giving peanut butter to your feline pet is to satisfy its craving, nothing more and nothing less.
It should not be regarded as a significant source of nutrients because it's not, at least not for felines.
You might see some dogs eating more than the recommended serving size but remember that dogs can tolerate this food better than cats.
Peanut Butter for Cats
Peanut butter is generally not toxic for felines. So can cats eat peanut butter? They definitely can.
Half a teaspoon of it won’t poison or kill your precious pet. However, it doesn’t have any nutritional value for cats.
To put it just, your kitty has nothing to gain from peanut butter. This is because it can get all the necessary nutrients it needs from an all-meat diet.
If your kitties happen to like the taste of peanut butter, then let them have it. Just make sure that it doesn’t contain xylitol.
For the sake of your cat’s safety, stay away from brands that include xylitol such as:
To be sure, read the label carefully and look at the list of ingredients. If it contains xylitol, then it’s no good for your cat.
However, if you're skeptical about commercial brands, you can make your homemade peanut butter for you and your kitty.
Conclusion: Can Cats Eat Peanut Butter
Peanut butter is commonly associated as a favorite treat for dogs. So if dogs love the taste of peanut butter, can cats eat peanut butter too?
One of the most pressing concerns about peanut butter is the presence of xylitol. This sweetener is even lethal for dogs.
That’s why veterinarians always remind both dog owners and cat owners alike to observe precautions in feeding peanut butter to their pets.
It's true that dogs can benefit from the nutrients of peanut butter. However, cats do not.
In other words, peanut butter can be beneficial to canines but not for felines. Therefore, you should not seriously regard it as a part of their diet.
Moreover, avoid using peanut butter as a pest control agent if you have cats in the house. Some people often mix peanut butter and pesticides to lure and poison rodents.
Even if your cat shows no interest in it, there’s still the possibility of it licking the peanut butter out of the blue.
Always remember, do not overfeed your pet with peanut butter and never use it as a pesticide agent.
Half a teaspoon of peanut butter once a week, and keep that in mind.