No matter how tempting it may be to give your cat peanut butter, it's dangerous.

Is it Okay for Cats to Eat Peanut Butter?


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You may know that dogs love this salty treat, but can cats eat peanut butter? The answer to this question is a bit more complicated for our feline friends. Discover if peanut butter is safe for cats and whether the sticky treat belongs on a list of foods your cat should avoid.

Need-to-knows about peanut butter and cats

Although cats love the taste of this nutty sweet spread, it’s not a good idea to indulge them. It has no nutritional value for cats and some ingredients, such as xylitol (a sugar substitute), can even be toxic. Peanut butter should be on your list of foods your cat should avoid.

It also has a high amount of protein and fat, which is difficult for cats to digest. Providing a cat with something that doesn’t form part of its daily diet can also lead to obesity, and that can lead to pet diabetes.

Read our ‘Can Cats Eat…Raw Chicken, Eggs, Chocolate?’ article to explore the pros and cons of other foods for cats. Our ‘Dry Cat Food or Wet? How to Choose article might also pique your interest.

A curious cat licks at a peanut butter flavoured treat however peanut butter should be on a list of foods cats should avoid.

What is peanut butter made of, and how can it be harmful?

There are a number of ingredients harmful or toxic to cats that are used in the making of peanut butter. Among these are:

  • The artificial sweetener xylitol is toxic to cats and dogs. Vomiting, drooling, lethargy, and seizures are among the symptoms of xylitol poisoning.
  • Felines shouldn’t be fed foods high in oil and fat since this can lead to gastrointestinal problems and weight gain.
  • This nutty spread is also made from roasted peanuts, which are very high in sodium. In cats, excessive sodium can lead to vomiting, diarrhea, depression, seizures, and heart conditions.

Some big reasons why peanut butter isn’t OK for cats

Here’s more info on some of the most important reasons to avoid peanut butter with cats…

Not only can it have the harmful ingredients outlined above, it can also contain the ingredient aflatoxin – something that can cause serious health problems. Why? Cats’ livers are exceptionally vulnerable to mycotoxins like this, which are known to cause cancer.

Further, peanut butter can be a choking hazard for your cat due to its thick and sticky texture. This can lead to an obstruction in your pet’s throat if it forms a lump. Be prepared for such situations by reading about pet choking risks and treatment.

As already mentioned, peanut butter is known to cause weight gain in cats and other related health problems. It’s best to stay away from any food that’s high in fat and caloric content. Just like humans, cat diets should lean very much towards the healthy side of things. Find out about the average cat weight for healthy cats.

So, plenty of reasons why it’s not OK for cats to eat peanut butter…

This peanut butter in a jar is a choking hazard to cats due to its thick and sticky texture.

What’s the worst to happen if your cat eats peanut butter?

While it’s ideally not a good idea to feed your floof peanut butter, sometimes your kids might slip some under the table. Check for signs of an allergic reaction or gastrointestinal problems if this is the case.

You should keep an eye out for the following symptoms:

  • Facial swelling
  • Severe itching
  • Lack of appetite
  • Hair loss
  • Chronic ear infections
  • Weight loss
  • Gas
  • Stomach pain
  • Diarrhea
  • Vomiting

Consult your veterinarian immediately if you notice any of these symptoms in your cat.

Cat food FAQ: answers to your common questions

We took a look at common internet searches and have supplied the answers below. You’re welcome!

Can cats eat avocado?

The answer isn’t that straightforward. Avocado flesh (also called “meat”) is safe for cats to eat, but other parts of the fruit can be toxic. In addition to being low in cholesterol and sodium, avocado meat contains essential vitamins and minerals for cats.

However, watch out for Persin, an organic compound found naturally in avocado pits, leaves, peels, and stems. Despite the fact that Persin is not life-threatening to cats, its toxicity can cause diarrhea, vomiting and obstruction of stool, as well as pancreatitis.

Also, the avocado discards (skin, pit, leaves, and stem) may present a choking hazard to cats. Cats tend to gulp their food down whole, so avoid giving avocado scraps to your furbaby.

If you think your pet has eaten something potentially toxic, call the Animal Poisons Helpline on 1300 869 738.

Can cats eat strawberries?

Yes, cats can eat strawberries. There’s no problem with cats eating strawberries because they’re loaded with nutrients. These juicy fruits, which are packed with water, will also help your floof stay hydrated.

However, you should remember that strawberries are high in fibre and too much fibre may upset your cat’s digestive system. If you do choose to feed strawberries to your Exotic Shorthair cat, only feed your furball very small quantities (even if you get a bit of cattitude for it).

Can cats eat rice?

Yes, cats can eat rice. An unseasoned nibble here and there won’t harm your rice-loving cat.

However, cats are obligate carnivores, so rice won’t supply them with helpful nutrients. As rice is neither healthy nor unhealthy for cats, it’s best to give them small portions as special treats.

Sidenote: You may also be advised by your veterinarian to give your cat some rice if they have diarrhea or an upset stomach.

We can safely assume that if you’re reading this article, you love cats as much as we do. We have a number of articles that explore the world of cats in greater detail:

  1. What to Do When Your Cat’s Been Bitten by Another Cat
  2. Do Cats See in Colour?
  3. Why Do Cats Rub Against You and Other Things?
  4. 10 of the Cutest Cats on the Planet
  5. Is Giving a Kitten for Christmas a Good Idea?
  6. Bengal Cat is One of a Kind, Here’s Why

For all medical emergencies, consider pet insurance

PD Insurance prides itself in giving you access to cost-effective, award-winning pet insurance plans that provide a soft landing in those unanticipated medical emergencies. Ensure your furry family member gets the best medical care without worrying about the financial burden.

We can provide you with a quick cat insurance quote, so why not get in touch with us below?

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