Can Cats Eat Peanut Butter?

By Chelsea Hunt-Rivera / November 13, 2018
can cats eat peanut butter

When it comes to treating our felines to all of the goodness that the world has to offer, many cat parents find themselves wondering which special treats are safe and healthy. A commonly asked question is whether or not peanut butter for cats is a good option. We know that dogs can’t get enough of the creamy food, but can cats also safely enjoy peanut butter? In this article, we’ll cover all there is to know about peanut butter for cats. It is imperative for pet owners to be informed about the possible risks before deciding whether the new treat is right for their furbaby.

can cats peanut butter

Can Cats Eat Peanut Butter

Unfortunately, the answer to whether or not cats can eat peanut butter isn’t a simple ‘yes’ or ‘no.’ We’ll explain. Peanut butter isn’t on the list of foods that are considered to be poisonous to cats. With that said, just because something isn’t toxic to cats doesn’t mean its necessarily good.

Veterinarians compare peanut butter for cats to Twinkies for people. Are Twinkies poisonous for people? Not necessarily… but we certainly shouldn’t be eating them on any sort of regular basis! The same goes for peanut butter for cats.

Lack of Nutrients

One of the main reasons why experts advise against peanut butter for cats is due to the fact that it lacks any nutritional benefit. Cats are carnivores (meat eaters). Therefore, a healthy diet for your feline should consist of lean proteins and a variety of meats and fish alone. We likely don’t have to tell you that peanut butter doesn’t fall into any of those categories. Additionally, peanut butter doesn’t contain vitamins or minerals that your cat needs to function at an optimal level. In fact, peanut butter tends to have the exact opposite effect on cats.

Dangers of Chokingcan cats eat peanut butter choking

Peanut butter can also be a choking hazard for cats. Due to the fact that peanut butter is so thick and sticky, it can get launched and stuck in the cat’s throat. Sadly, even a small amount of peanut butter can prove to be highly dangerous. If you do choose to feed your cat peanut butter, it is imperative to keep a close eye on them while they are eating. Also, always make sure to have a fresh, clean water source close by. Cats should never be left alone with a spoonful of peanut butter (for more reasons than one).

Possible Peanut Butter Allergies

It is also entirely possible for your feline to have an unknown peanut allergy. Just like people, cats can have a wide range of food allergies that can quickly lead to a life-threatening allergic reaction if the allergy is severe enough. Unfortunately, the way that you may find out that your cat has a peanut butter allergy is after they’ve been given the treat. For many cat owners, the risk of a serious allergic reaction isn’t worth it.

Be sure to be on the lookout for the following allergy symptoms. Cats are known to have allergies, either allergies they were born with or allergies that developed over time. It is important to be able to recognize the clinical signs in order to alleviate whatever

peanut butter can cause itching in cats

factor is causing their symptoms to occur.

  • Diarrhea
  • Vomiting
  • Itching
  • Skin Irritations
  • Chronic ear infections
  • Hair loss
  • Lack of appetite
  • Weight Loss

If for any reason you feel that your cat may be suffering from an allergic reaction, immediate medical attention is paramount. Do not delay in getting your cat the emergency treatment that they need.

Talk About Calories…

It’s no surprise that peanut butter is not a low-calorie food. Therefore, if your cat is struggling with obesity and weight management, you’ll definitely want to steer clear from peanut butter!

High-Fat Content

Additionally, peanut butter contains harmful fats known as trans- fatty acids. These trans-fatty acids develop in the manufacturing process which allows peanut butter to have a long shelf life. Unfortunately, the fats can be highly dangerous for both your feline and for you.

Peanut Butter = Major Tummy Issues

Comparable to its effects on some people, peanut butter can lead to a slew of stomach issues. Many cats will suffer from diarrhea, nausea, vomiting, and abdominal pain even after having a small amount of peanut butter.

Peanut Butter Contains Aflatoxins

Additionally, peanut butter contains aflatoxins. These toxins can be incredibly detrimental to the liver and kidneys and, in some cases, can even cause cancer.

Possible Poisoning Potential

Finally, many pet owners may not know that peanut butter is often an ingredient in pest poison. This is due to the fact that all animals, even rodent, tend to love the taste of peanut butter. This poses a serious problem if your cat likes to explore outdoors and stumbles upon what they think is a treat but, in reality, is rat poison.

Can Cats Have Peanut Butter: Pills & Medication

In the vast majority of cases, we don’t advocate for giving your cat peanut butter. However, in one specific case, it may be appropriate. Many cat owners have trouble giving their cat pills and medication. We can all atest to the fact that pills and cats usually don’t go hand-in-hand. In these cases, peanut butter can be used as a tool to coat the medicine and ensure your cat swallows it. If you choose to use peanut butter in this way, it is important to use the smallest amount possible. Additionally, if the medication is for a chronic condition, talk to your vet regarding alternative ways to administer the medicine as peanut butter should not be used every day.

Knowing Which Peanut Butter to Buy!

Keeping the aforementioned information in mind, there are a few additional things that pet owners should be aware of if they chose to purchase peanut butter for their cat. Again, we do not recommend peanut butter as a treat for cats. It should solely be used as a means to administer medication.

The Dangers of Xylitol

First and foremost: the dangers of xylitol! Recently, there has been an anti-sugar health trend that sparked a number of companies to completely forgo any amount of sugar in their products. However, sugar makes the product sweet, so these companies had to substitute it for an ingredient that caused the same effect. The ingredient they chose is called xylitol. Unfortunately, many pet owners had no idea that xylitol was extremely toxic to their cats and dogs and continued to feed them products (such as peanut butter) which now contained the toxic ingredient. That’s when the xylitol tragedy occurred. Countless deaths happened because of xylitol.

xylitol dog cat

The following peanut butter brands still contain the deadly ingredient, xylitol. DO NOT buy the following peanut butter brandsfor your cat!

  • Nuts ‘N More
  • Go Nuts, Co.
  • Protein Plus PB
  • Krush Nutrition
  • P28 Foods

Additionally, it is imperative that you double check the labels on the back of any food that you plan on feeding your pet. You never know when a company may alter their ingredients. It’s always better to be safe than sorry when it comes to your beloved four-legged friends.

Beware of the Sugar Content in Peanut Butter

Unfortunately, just because you know to avoid xylitol like the plague doesn’t mean that peanut butter is necessarily safe. No xylitol content equates to a whole lot of sugar. Excessive sugar intake and cats (and people for that matter) are not a good match. We’ll explain why…

Consider health conditions such as yeast infections, cancer, bacterial infections, and parasitic infestations. You may not realize that these varying ailments all have one major thing in common. They all feed off of sugar! Therefore, the more sugar your kitty eats, the more these issues not only grow, but rapidly spread. In fact, sugar intake can cause a rather mild health condition to rapidly worsen in no time at all.

Additionally, consuming excessive amounts of sugar also directly leads to the following issues:

  • Diabetes
  • Premature aging
  • Low-level inflammation
  • Inflammation
  • (Among many others!)
  • Avoid Salt

Monitoring your cat’s sugar intake is an effective way to make sure they are staying as healthy as possible.

Finding Better Peanut Butter Alternatives

For many, peanut butter simply isn’t worth the potential risks involved. It makes sense when you think about it. Even mild side effects such as gas and nausea don’t seem to be worth the possibility of a terrible allergic reaction, in our humble opinion. Luckily, there are several great alternatives to peanut butter. Our personal favorite is pumpkin for cats.

Pumpkin for Cats

Here at SimpleWag, we are big fans of canned pumpkin for cats. After reviewing all of the benefits that it can have for your feline, we feel like you’ll want to stock your cabinets of canned pumpkin all year long!

pumpkin for cats

Alleviating Diarrhea with Canned Pumpkin

One way that canned pumpkin can benefit your feline is by alleviating diarrhea. Unlike peanut butter, canned pumpkin is full of vitamins and minerals that help bulk up your cat’s stool by absorbing excess water.

Easing Constipation with Pumpkin

While pumpkin is known to effectively ease diarrhea, interestingly enough, it can also alleviate cat constipation. This is due to the fact that it is chock full of soluble fiber which helps get things moving in your cat’s digestive tract. Instead of purchasing a laxative which can cause a significant gastrointestinal upset, we recommend trying an all natural alternative, pumpkin.

Pumpkin for Weight Loss

Additionally, unlike peanut butter, pumpkin can aid in weight loss support. Pumpkin is so nutritionally dense that it can keep your cat full and satisfied for longer periods of time without having to overeat.

Pumpkin for Weight Management

Furthermore, once your kitty reaches a healthy weight, pet parents can implement canned pumpkin in order to help maintain their weight. Canned pumpkin is low in calories, yet fills your cat up with nutritional benefits all while satifying their sweet tooth!

A Great Source of Vitamins and Minerals

Finally, canned pumpkin is full of vitamins and minerals including:

  • Vitamin A
  • Beta-carotene
  • Vitamin C
  • Vitamin E
  • Essential fatty acids
  • Iron

As you can see, choosing a peanut butter alternative such as canned pumpkin can benefit your feline in more ways than you may have imagined!

*What Pumpkin to Buy for Cats*

Before we move on, we want to clarify that there is a very specific type of pumpkin that is good for cats and dogs. Pet parents should make sure that they are purchasing canned pumpkin that does not contain any sugar or salt additives. Canned pumpkin should have one sole ingredient: PUMPKIN! Buying a product like canned pumpkin pie filling will prove to have the opposite effect on your kitty.

Can Dogs Eat Peanut Butter

We likely don’t have to tell you that cats and dogs are two very different creatures. Moreso, the reasons as to how they are so different go far beyond their looks and personalities. Cats and dogs have different digestive systems, allowing each to consume and process food in ways in which the other species may not be able to. This is the case with peanut butter. Dogs can tolerate and digest peanut butter much more effectively than cats can.

So, in short, yes! Dogs can eat peanut butter, but there are still a few important things to note.

Is Peanut Butter Good for Dogscan dogs eat peanut butter

There are actually a few benefits of peanut butter for dogs, where with cats, the “benefits” are simply to help administer medication. Many experts agree that a little peanut butter can be good for Fido.

A Good Source of Protein

Protein is an extremely important part of your dog’s diet. It is responsible for keeping the body functioning at an optimal level. Peanut butter is a great source of protein and, in small amounts, can be a tasty additive to your dog’s daily protein intake. With that in mind, it is imperative that your dog’s main protein source is made up of lean meats and fish. Peanut butter should never be the sole source of protein.

Beware of Xylitol

Like cats, xylitol and dogs is a deadly combination. If you do choose to buy peanut butter for your dog, you must ensure that it does not contain any amount of the toxic ingredient.

Peanut Allergy

Also comparable to cats, it is entirely possible for a dog to have a peanut allergy. In these cases, peanut butter can be extremely dangerous to the dog’s health as an allergic reaction will quickly follow. Unfortunately, the only way to really determine if your dog has a peanut allergy is to let them try peanut butter and see if an allergic reaction develops. Obviously, for many dog owners, the possible reward isn’t worth the potential risk.

Not a Meal Replacement

Again, we want to reiterate that even though most dogs can digest peanut butter with no problem at all, peanut butter should never be a meal replacement! It should solely be used as a special treat or a small meal addition from time to time, never the main food source. It is imperative that pet owners make sure that their cats and dogs have a well balanced, species-appropriate diet that suits their pet’s individual needs.

CBD for Cats

cbd oil for catsLet’s get back on track and wrap up with some additional cat knowledge!

If you’re a cat parent who loves staying up to date on the latest health trends, then you’ve likely heard of CBD. Derived from the hemp plant, CBD oil is proving to be an incredibly safe and effective way to treat our pet’s ailments. In fact, over three decades of studies prove that CBD oil may very well be on its way to making many conventional drugs a thing of the past.

We understand that the question of whether or not cats can eat peanut butter comes up because pet parents want to give their felines all the best things that life has to offer. Just because peanut butter isn’t the best choice for your cat, doesn’t mean there aren’t a slew of other ways you can treat them. Our favorite way? Implementing CBD oil!

An All Natural Anti-Inflammatory

Unlike peanut butter which can lead to the development of inflammation, CBD works to alleviate and prevent inflammation. Why is this so important? We’re glad you asked!

When scientists and doctors trace the vast majority of diseases back to their root cause, more times than not they find that the different ailments all have one major thing in common: inflammation. In fact, inflammation is at the root of countless health conditions, from allergies to cancer. Therefore, it is important for pet parents to do all that they can to limit the amount of inflammatory food in their cat’s diet. By adding an all-natural anti-inflammatory supplement like CBD, pet parents can provide an extra amount of support and wellness!

CBD Promotes Gastrointestinal Health!

Also unlike peanut butter, CBD can benefit your cat’s gastrointestinal health. Giving your cat peanut butter will often lead to vomiting, diarrhea, gas, and stomach pain. Conversely, CBD can have the total opposite effect on your cat’s digestive tract.

Heart Health

We discussed that peanut butter and its high volumes of harmful, saturated fats can negatively affect your cat’s heart health. Well, conversely, CBD proves to promote cardiovascular health! Just another example of how choosing the right treats for your cat can make a world of difference.

Anti-Cancer Effect

Last, but certainly not least, let’s discuss CBD’s anti-cancer properties. We covered that peanut butter is full of mycotoxins, one of the most carcinogenic matters on Earth. Conversely, studies are proving that CBD oil has an anti-tumor effect and can help prevent the development and spreading of cancer cells.

CBD Infused Peanut Butter for Administering Medication

In terms of using peanut butter as a means to administer medication, it is imperative that cat owners make sure they are using the best product available. We recommend the CBD Infused Peanut Butter from Honest Paws. The peanut butter is safe for cats (in terms of administering pills) and comes with all of the benefits that CBD has to offer!

Instead! Try CBD Infused Coconut Oil

In terms of adding a tasty treat to your cat’s diet, we recommend choosing a product like CBD Infused Coconut Oil. The coconut oil can be added to your cat’s food or used topically. As always, make sure you are giving your feline the appropriate dosage to avoid any gastrointestinal upset.

Check out all of the ways how CBD infused coconut can benefit your feline! The oil helps to alleviate as well as prevent:

  • Skin AllergiesCoconut oil for cats
  • Respiratory Difficulties
  • Cracked Paws
  • Diabetes
  • Obesity
  • Joint Problems
  • Arthritis
  • Digestive Issues and Parasites

Can Cats Eat Peanut Butter: A Final Thought

When all is said and done, we know that you want nothing but the best for your precious four-legged family member. When it comes to peanut butter for cats, we say don’t do it. The possible rewards are simply not worth the potential risks involved. Plus, there are countless treats available that can actually benefit your feline’s health, rather than hinder it. (Pumpkin for cats and CBD treats being our personal favorites!)

As always, we recommend consulting with your holistic veterinarian regarding whether or not they may benefit from any new supplement or food before deciding to implement into their daily life. All cats are different. Your holistic vet will be able to guide you down a path that best suits your kitty’s individual health needs!


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About the author

Chelsea Hunt-Rivera

Chelsea Rivera is a Dedicated Pet Parent who loves to create amazing content for pet owners and is helping change pet wellness as the Head of Content for