Can cats eat peanut butter?
You know the feeling when you get home and are too tired to cook and too broke to order out. So you just go into the kitchen and make yourself a nice PB and J sandwich. And just as you’re about to enjoy your food your cat gives you the sad face for not sharing.
It might be kind of mean to just eat it in front of the poor animal while it has nothing. But it’s a hell of a lot worse if you gave your cat some and it got sick. Or worse.
To be certain it’s best to ask your vet and keep informed. Some chemicals can be dangerous for pets like the artificial sweetener xylitol which can be found in one brand of peanut butter.
Can cats eat peanut butter or not?
We all know you shouldn’t feed dogs chocolate. So, is peanut butter for cats like chocolate is for dogs? Short answer: no. Cats can eat peanut butter but giving it to them might not be the best idea.
While peanuts, or peanut butter, itself doesn’t have anything that can harm the cat it doesn’t have anything the cat might need either. Some cats actually like the taste and will go crazy over it. Others, on the other hand, will outright refuse to eat it.
It should go on the record that while cats don’t have anything against peanuts their digestive systems probably will. Cats are carnivores and are used to eating meat. Giving them a plant, in this case, a peanut, might and probably will upset their stomach. This will result in diarrhea, constipation or vomiting so prepare for that.
So…don’t feed them peanut butter?
Woooooooah. Not so fast. While it’s not necessary for them to eat it, it doesn’t mean you can’t give them a treat every once in a while.
As we’ve stated before, it won’t kill them. The question isn’t can cats eat peanut butter, it’s if they want to eat peanut butter. A lot of lactose intolerant people still eat ice cream. It’s technically bad for them but it’s so gosh darn delicious.
You can give it to them on special occasions like birthdays if you’re into that sort of thing. Or as a treat for doing something nice, or just not horrible since it’s cats we’re talking about.
One of the most common uses for peanut butter on pets is for making them take their pills. Just slide it into the peanut butter and they won’t even notice that they gobbled it up. It saves you both the trouble of wrestling the pill down their throat.
Peanut butter isn’t healthy
Even if it were that simple you need to realize that a cats’ digestive system is vastly different from ours. But just like for us peanut butter isn’t the healthiest food. Believe it or not, cats CAN get fat. It might make them look fluffier, depending on the breed, but it definitely won’t make them healthier.
Peanut butter is also commonly used to disguise rat poison. Meaning if your cat gets a liking to it there is no guarantee it won’t poison itself while wandering about the neighborhood. This is a more common problem than you might think. Unfortunately. Maybe now you get why people ask the question can cats eat peanut butter.
Peanut butter is very high in salts, fats and proteins. It’s almost impossible to get too much protein from regular food but overdoing it with saturated fats and salt can be very dangerous. Besides the obvious obesity, your cat can develop heart problems and literally everything that goes with being very fat. Not to mention all of that diarrhea.
The dilemma of diarrhea
Don’t get ahead of yourself. It’s a lot more than a little extra work to clean up. It’s right after the diarrhea starts that most owners first ask themselves, “can cats eat peanut butter?” Diarrhea has its own consequences and can be more serious than most people realize. Fun fact: people still die from it.
While it’s not a big problem in the more developed countries, the same all-available cures for humans won’t necessarily work for your cat. A good example of this is Pepto Bismol. It might be a quick cure for you but it’s a quick death sentence for your cat as it’s quite toxic to them.
If you plan on feeding your cat a lot of peanut butter. Please don’t. At least take the precaution of buying some kitty pro-biotics (for example fortiflora) to help settle their stomachs. If they aren’t available to you for any reason you might want to reconsider your cats’ menu.
If your cat gets a serious case of the trots stop feeding your her for 8-12 hours. Immediately change her diet to rice and boiled boneless chicken or ground beef until things get back to normal. Of course, always have water available to your cat. On the off chance all this didn’t fix it take your cat to a qualified veterinary professional.
The verdict on peanut butter
Peanut butter has its good sides too. Peanut butter contains vitamin H aka biotin which makes their hair shine, moisturizes the skin and hardens the claws. Vitamins A and E will improve the immune system and protect from heart disease respectively. Resveratrol and other minerals also help keep the heart healthy.
This is what you can expect if you eat it. So, would your cat if it could digest it. Cats aren’t designed to eat peanuts. So whatever little part of them they do manage to digest they will only receive the diminishing effects. Some people do believe that the oils from the peanut butter will make the coat shinier. But this is just plain wrong.
Now we’ve answered the age-old question of can cats eat peanut butter. All in all, just do it in moderation and you shouldn’t have any problems. And as any rational human being if you have any serious questions ask your vet.