Can Cats Have Peanut Butter?

cat eating food

There is nothing more satisfying than the crunchy and creamy texture of peanut butter. From spreading it on PB&J sandwiches to eating with apples, it is always a treat for humans, and we know that dogs love it too. However, feline pet owners get confused and wonder, can cats have peanut butter? Do cats like peanut butter? Is it safe to feed peanut butter to cats? Does peanut butter have any negative health effects on cats?

As cats have carnivorous digestive systems, they process our human foods differently. Some food items may be nontoxic and even have health benefits for cats, while others can negatively affect the cat’s stomach.

In this article, we will discuss everything about whether cats can eat peanut butter. Trust me; the answer will surprise you.

Can Cats Have Peanut Butter?

The answer to this question is YES, but in small quantities. Peanut butter is not toxic to a cat’s health; however, it is not beneficial either. Unlike humans and dogs, cats have an omnivorous digestive system. They cannot digest more plant-based foods. Although peanut butter is not on the ASPCA list of toxic foods, you should only give it to your cat as a way to feed them medicine.

Can Cats Eat Peanuts?

If peanut butter is not toxic to cats? Can cats eat peanuts? Yes, peanut-like peanut butter is nontoxic to cats; however, you should test your cat sparingly. If you want to feed them peanuts, give them unsalted, raw versions, as their digestive system cannot handle too many additives. Also, remember to unshell the peanut completely, and the tough shell can be a choking hazard for animals.

Another important thing is that, like humans, cats also develop nut allergies. After feeding peanuts to your cat, watch out for any signs of vomiting, skin irritation, diarrhea, and other signs of gastrointestinal issues.

Can Cats Eat Other Nuts?

Although peanuts are non-toxic to cats, there are some nuts that cats should stay away from, and owners should hide from the curious paws. 

  • Macadamia nuts: weakness and vomiting.
  • Heavily salted nuts: wreak havoc to a cat’s digestive system 

Alternative Healthy Snacks for Cats

If you want to experiment with some healthy snacks for cats, then you can try feeding vegetables instead of nuts.

These are some of the healthy, nontoxic veggies options for cats.

  • Zucchini
  • Celery 
  • Carrots
  • Green bell peppers
  • Spinach 
  • Peas 
  • Pumpkin 
  • Broccoli

Before going overboard with these treats, remember that cats are carnivores and would like a routine. Use these veggies sparingly as alternative food and do not replace them with full meals.

Risks of Feeding Peanut Butter to Cats

According to the Clinical Nutrition Service, peanut butter is listed as safe for cats. However, there are some possible side effects which are listed below:

  • Peanut butter is considered safe for cat health. So if your cat has any health condition, then this rule does not apply.
  • Every cat is unique, and so are its ways of tolerating different foods. Some cats may develop gastrointestinal issues like diarrhoea, vomiting etc. 
  • Most of the cat’s calories come from foods formulated to give the much-required nutrients. Human foods like peanut butter should be fed to cats only occasionally and in moderation.
  • Due to peanut butter’s sticky, thick consistency, it can sometimes be a choking hazard for cats.
  • Peanut butter contains xylitol, a type of sweetener which is toxic to cats. It can cause lethargy, vomiting, lack of coordination, and also liver failure. Always check the nutrition label carefully and aim to choose peanut butter containing minimal ingredients like peanut only. 

How Can I Feed My Cat Peanut Butter Safely?

Keeping the nutritional needs of these felines in mind, here are some thumb rules to follow when your cats have peanut butter.

  • Before feeding anything, first always consult with your vet about feeding human foods. This step is necessary even if the food is nontoxic to cats.
  • You must always calculate the quantity you determine to let the cats eat peanut butter. According to Clinical Nutrition Service, treats should not make up for more than 10% of the daily calorie intake of your cats. For instance, if your cat consumes 250 calories daily, then only 25 calories should be coming from the treats. You can check the nutritional label of the peanut butter jar to check the per spoon calorie intake. As you know that peanut butter is dense, you must always limit the portion size to too small. You can ask the cats how many calories their cats should consume and their ideal weight.
  • You must always monitor the Clinical Nutrition Service because even nontoxic foods can sometimes cause reactions. Watch out for any signs of gastrointestinal problems like diarrhoea or vomiting after consuming new food. If you think of any adverse side effects on your cat with peanut butter, then visit your veterinarian fast.


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