Can Cats Eat Peanut Butter? 7 Facts Explained

Peanut butter, ah yes; canine favorites. But can felines also enjoy peanut butter? In a nutshell, no.

Although peanut butter is a popular snack for dog owners and their canine companions, it is not a good idea to give your cat any of this tasty human food.

Why? First of all, vets discourage making peanut butter a staple of your cat’s diet, despite the fact that technically cats can have peanut butter on occasion, including as a way to get them to take their dang medication.

Let us elaborate.

Do Cats Eat Peanut Butter?

The quick response is “no.” Carnivores like cats can only get the protein they need from animal products. Like cookies, peanut butter offers no nutritional value to cats and an excess of certain things.

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Is it Safe for Cats to Eat Peanut Butter?

Can peanut butter make a cat sick? Although regular peanut butter is not toxic, it can be harmful to your cat’s health. Peanut butter is a potential source of the following problems:

  • Because of its thick consistency, even a tiny amount of peanut butter can cause serious injury to your cat if it gets stuck in its throat.
  • Allergies: Just like people, cats can be allergic to peanuts. The severity of these allergies can vary, with symptoms ranging from itchy skin and ear infections to life-threatening anaphylaxis.
  • Peanut butter can upset a cat’s digestive system and lead to symptoms like loose stools, gas, vomiting, and abdominal pain.
  • To meet consumer demand for low-sugar options, some manufacturers have switched to using xylitol in place of sugar. Sadly, it has been determined that this product is highly toxic to animals. Make sure the peanut butter you give your pet does not contain xylitol.
  • To kill rodents and insects, peanut butter is sometimes combined with poison. This can lead to accidental poisoning. It’s possible to accidentally poison your cat if you give it peanut butter as a treat on a regular basis.

Is Peanut Butter Toxic to Cats?

Cats are naturally inquisitive animals, and many of them would appreciate a snack share. Your cat may enjoy peanut butter, and in most cases, a small amount consumed in moderation will not cause any ill effects.

The peanuts in peanut butter are not harmful to cats. However, some varieties of peanut butter may contain questionable ingredients. Cats can suffer harm or even die from consuming large amounts of certain fats, oils, salt, sugar, or artificial sweeteners.

Why is Peanut Butter Bad for Cats?

No nutritional value, for starters.

“It has lots of empty calories,” says Dr. Sarah J. Wooten, DVM, of Sheep Draw Veterinary Hospital in Greeley, Colorado.

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Due to the fact that cats are obligate carnivores (meat eaters that consider rodents al fresco to be fine dining), peanut butter “just is not part of their natural diet,” as stated by Dr. Wooten. “Plus, I don’t like it for overweight cats or cats with any kind of illness. It may make things even more difficult for them.

Can Cats Eat Peanut Butter? Is It Okay to Feed PB as a Snack?

Dr. Wooten advises against feeding peanut butter to cats with health problems. “Those with diabetes, kidney problems, or with any kind of chronic gastrointestinal trouble, such as inflammatory bowel disease, need to stay far, far away.” She warns that diarrhea, an upset stomach, or gas can strike these furry little ones.

Among the potential negative effects of giving cats peanut butter are:

  • Dr. Wooten warns that “[peanut butter] is often high in fat and sugar,” which can wreak havoc on a digestive tract that was not built to process foods like peanuts. Dr. Wooten warns that the high sodium content of many brands “can mess with their digestive system” and that excessive sodium can “exacerbate heart or kidney issues.”
  • Peanut butter can cause weight gain because of the sugars that are often added to it. The high calorie content of the food poses a health risk, especially for indoor pets or already overweight cats.
  • It poses a threat of suffocation: Cats shouldn’t eat peanut butter because of its thick, sometimes chunky texture, which can cause choking. Have you ever tried to eat a spoonful of peanut butter, only to have it cling to your teeth? Even a little bit can get stuck in your cat’s tiny throat and mouth.
  • It’s possible for it to have fillers like xylitol: Sugar-free peanut butter typically has additives like the sugar-substitute xylitol. Although it is unclear whether or not xylitol consumption causes hypoglycemia or liver failure in cats (as it does in dogs), veterinarians Dr. Wooten and Dr. Deborah Bayazit, DVM, co-owner and medical director of Brilliant Veterinary Care in New York City, advise keeping cats away from products containing xylitol.

Ingredients in Peanut Butter to Avoid

Your cat may be begging for some of your peanut butter, but before you give in, you should investigate the specific brand and type of peanut butter you have on hand. It’s important to know what you’re feeding your cat at all times.


Xylitol is the first key component to look for. Peanut butter, cookies, cakes, and even chewing gum all use the artificial sweetener xylitol.

It could be xylitol, wood sugar, birch sugar, or birch bark extract on the label.

The dog’s system cannot handle xylitol. Extreme hypoglycemia and liver failure can occur after consuming even a small amount of this sugar alcohol.

There have been reports of toxicity in cats, but research has not yet reached a conclusive conclusion as to whether or not cats are more resistant to the toxic effects of xylitol.

This is why no amount of xylitol-containing food should ever be given to a cat.

Oils and Fats

Before you go and feed your cat peanut butter, there are some other things to think about. Peanuts themselves have a high fat content, and some brands of peanut butter also use additional oils.

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These ingredients may cause nausea, vomiting, abdominal pain, and defecation.

A cat that is regularly fed peanut butter is more likely to become overweight and eat less of its regular food, which can lead to malnutrition.

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Salt and Sugar

Both the salt and sugar content of peanut butter can be quite high.

When consumed in large quantities, salt can wreak havoc on the digestive system, causing nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, abdominal pain, and dehydration.

Problems with the heart and blood pressure can develop from consuming too much salt over time.

Since cats are obligate carnivores, their bodies struggle to process large amounts of carbohydrates. Peanut butter is a carbohydrate, and eating too much of it can cause health problems like high blood pressure, obesity, and diabetes.

When Can Cats Eat Peanut Butter?

While “yes,” technically, peanut butter is safe for cats, Dr. Bayazit cautions against giving it to them.

She suggests only giving it to them as a treat on rare occasions, and only when you need to give them medication.

How and when to feed peanut butter to cats is outlined below.

  • Take a look at the food label: Check the ingredients list before giving it to your cat. Consider the calorie content and any additional ingredients, such as xylitol, before purchasing. Find out from your vet how many calories your fabulous feline needs each day.
  • A small amount of the spread, considering treats shouldn’t account for more than 10% of your cat’s daily calorie intake. Remember that there are 100 calories in a tablespoon of peanut butter. “Even a teaspoon (about 30 calories) is more than your cat’s total treat allowance,” Dr. Wooten says, assuming your cat consumes around 250 calories per day. I would suggest no more than 1/8 to 1/4 teaspoon per day for pet parents who need to hide a pill.
  • As long as your cat enjoys peanut butter and there are no adverse reactions, you can use it as a cover to administer medication to it. Dr. Wooten says that while wet cat food is preferable, peanut butter can be used as an alternative “if there is no other way to get a pill into them.” She explains that “they could eat it every day, just like we could eat candy every day,” but her recommendation is to “not at all,” unless you need to conceal medication.
  • Keep an eye out: Cats’ tolerance levels may vary because of their individuality. Your cat may have no reaction at all, or you may discover that peanut butter isn’t a good fit. Keep an eye out for signs of gastrointestinal distress, such as vomiting and diarrhea.

In short, it’s best to check with your vet before giving peanut butter to your cat if you’re wondering whether or not it’s safe. The vet can recommend an appropriate dose and discuss any health concerns that may prevent your pet from receiving it.

Healthy Treats for Cats

Treating your cat is a great way to spend quality time together. Cats, like most animals, respond well to positive reinforcement, and treats are an excellent example of this.

Look for treats that are made specifically for cats and contain all the nutrients your cat needs. Commercial cat treats can be found in abundance at pet stores. You can also use products like catnip and cat grass, or make your own treats.

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You shouldn’t give your cat more than 10 percent of its daily caloric intake in the form of treats, no matter what kind they are.

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Final Thoughts

Your cat should not eat peanut butter, even if it is completely safe for humans to consume.

Even though your cat probably won’t get sick from eating a little bit of human food, doing so can lead to undesirable behaviors like begging and snatching. You should probably say no when your cat begs for some of your peanut butter.

It’s not a good idea to get your cat used to eating human food because some people foods are toxic to cats and your cat could accidentally eat something toxic in the future.

It’s also important to give your cat a balanced diet to keep it healthy. Cats have specific nutritional needs that are unlike those of humans or other animals.

If you give your cat a lot of peanut butter and other treats, they may not be hungry when it’s time to eat their regular cat food. Problems with nutrition absorption and health may result.

FAQs About Cats and Peanut Butter 

What happens if my cat licks peanut butter? 

According to Dr. Bayazit, it’s probably nothing. Watch for signs of digestive distress like stomach upset or abdominal pain; “though it can be pretty benign, and there are cats who tolerate it well,” the article warns.

How much peanut butter can a cat have? How often can cats eat peanut butter?

Dr. Bayazit suggests a tiny bit. One-fourth of a teaspoon “or, better yet, 1/8,” as Dr. Wooten puts it. Both veterinarians agree that this is one treat that should be given very accomplishcover up the meds. Since it offers no real health benefits, only use as little as necessary each day to hide a pill or two.

Are peanuts poisonous to cats? 

It’s related to anutterMother, cats can safely eat peanuts, but you should exercise caution. Don’t use too much; just a quarter of the nut is plenty.provide peanuts that are raw, unsalted, and unshelled. The shells present a choking hazard, and cats’ delicate digestive systems may not be able to handle the salt or spices. If you feed your cat plums intended for humans, keep an eye out for stomach upset as a warning sign. And before giving your pet any new food, consult your veterinarian.

What are the side effects of a cat eating peanut butter? 

Many times, absolutely nothing. Depending on how sensitive your cat’s stomach is, there may be no side effects at all, or you may notice an upset stomach. Dr. Wooten says, “They may experience symptoms such as diarrhea, flatulence, or vomiting.” “Weight gain is another issue to keep an eye on.”

Finally, it’s important to remember the words to an old song about peanut butter: “Well, there’s a food goin’ round that’s a sticky, sticky goo….” Oh, but it’s so tough to chew, but the flavor is amazing! Peanut butter, peanuts. Yes, sorry to say that feisty felines may choke on this tasty morsel.

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