If you are reading this, there is obviously one question that you need to have answered, so we will keep the straightforward answer short and sweet in case you are in a rush. Yes. Yes, they can, cats can have peanuts and peanut butter HOWEVER, there are a couple of things to consider before you blindly start feeding your feline friend a peanut.
For one, always consult your vet before feeding your cat a peanut. As peanuts are known for causing allergic reactions, you must take extra caution. Secondly, make sure that if you feed your cat some peanuts, the peanuts are crushed so they will not get stuck in your cat’s throat. Safety First!
Well? Can Cats Eat Peanuts?
It is a totally valid question to ask because they seem to be able to eat many other ‘human foods’. Seeing as peanuts are not necessarily a staple part of a cats diet, it is perfectly normal to ask questions.
Cat food and treats tend to be high in protein, which is an essential component in a cat’s diet. Cats rely on protein for energy for all the time they spend sleeping during their waking hours. Peanuts contain the highest amount of protein by weight in all of the nut kingdom, so we are doing well so far.
However, peanuts have a correspondingly high amount of fat in them. Despite the fact that peanuts contain a healthy kind of fat, monounsaturated fat, the cat’s digestive system is not built to break down or process large quantities of fat. While they also occasionally eat grass, cats are not adept at digesting plant matter. These are both strikes against cats and peanut consumption, despite the fact that peanuts are not toxic for cate, and are technically safe for them to eat.
Peanuts should only ever be an occasional treat for cats, but as with any food, the risk of your cat having a peanut allergy is certainly present. If your cat has peanuts for the first time and experiences vomiting or diarrhoea, it’s likely because of her inability to digest them.
Now allergies tend not to be obvious right away, and typically only with repeated exposure will it become more obvious that a cat has an allergy, but as a general rule, if you see that your cat is swelling or itching a lot after eating a peanut or two, then that might be a sign that they have an allergy.
In this case, it is always best to bring him/her to your vet, where they can suggest the next/best course of action.
What about Peanut Butter?
You might be hard-pressed to find a funny or cute video of a cat eating peanut butter online like you would find one with a dog, but that doesn’t mean that cats can’t enjoy a little peanut butter treat either.
Typically a cat’s diet is a little more regimented than a dog’s one, and a cat will usually shy away from trying anything new of their own accord. When it comes to feeding your cat peanut butter, it is safe to do so, but you should consider a couple of things first:
- Is it smooth peanut butter? using peanut butter with bits of peanut in it can be dangerous as the bits could be hidden, and a cat may not realize; this could lead to a potential choking hazard.
- Use peanut butter with as little sodium and sugar content as you can. This will make it easier for the cat to digest and will prevent your cat from gaining unwanted weight.
Things to Remember
- If you are to feed your cat any peanut or nut, then make sure that they are raw nuts with the shell removed. The shell could be a choking hazard, and peanuts from packets could have added preservatives, spices or oils that could be dangerous.
- Cats are carnivores, so they must have a stable amount of meat in their diet. Feeding them veggies and nuts on their own will be unhealthy.
- If you are to feed your cat any peanuts or nuts, make sure you do it sparingly, and keep it to 1-2 in one feeding. Too much fat will impede your cat’s digestion.
A Couple of Alternatives
There are many reasons why feeding your cat an alternative to peanut or some peanut butter might be a good idea. Perhaps they have an allergy, or you don’t want to take the risk of them choking or eating too much fat. If this sounds like you, then we have a list of alternate foods you can feed them (in moderation, of course).
The best alternatives when it comes to feeding cats will always be vegetables. The ASPCA has deemed each of these veggies ‘non-toxic’ to cats, so if you are considering any of these, then you are on the right track:
- Spinach for their range of vitamins
- Pumpkin for introducing a little extra fiber
- Peas (these tend to be found in pre-packed dog and cat food anyway)
Is peanut butter toxic to cats?
No, peanut butter is not toxic to cats, but in some scenarios, peanut butter can be unsafe for them. How? Well, peanut butter is sticky and thick after all, so it is likely to get stuck in your cat’s mouth and choke them if they are not careful.
What happens if my cat eats too many peanuts?
If your cat eats so many peanuts, it can have stomach problems, including vomiting or diarrhea. A peanut or two is usually not enough fat to cause concern, but your cat should not eat a lot of peanuts in one sitting or daily to avoid consuming too much fat.
Can I feed my cat honey-roasted peanuts?
Even a spoonful of honey could be way too much for your cat, so it’s best not to take risks and avoid giving her honey-roasted peanuts. Finally, before giving your cat peanuts, it’s a good idea to chop or dice them so that they can be easily chewed.
How can I tell if my cat is allergic to peanuts?
Any proper food allergy takes time and repeated exposure to develop. If your cat has had peanuts before and begins to have associated reactions, such as swelling, itching, or sneezing, then you may have discovered a peanut allergy.
Can I give my cat some peanut butter paste?
While pups usually love peanut butter as much as people, most cats will probably turn their heads away if you try to feed them some sticky peanut butter paste. For the felines that do like peanut butter, it’s best to limit its use to medication administration.