Can Cats Eat Peanut Butter?
The quick answer: Technically yes, but it’s best to avoid.
Though peanut butter isn’t unsafe or toxic for cats, it is not beneficial to their diet and could (in rare cases) prove dangerous.
Benefits of peanut butter
Humans and dogs can benefit from the nut-based proteins and fats from peanut butter. All-natural peanut butter without any added sugar or other ingredients also contains magnesium, fiber, potassium, and vitamin E. Many dog parents know that an additional perk is to use peanut butter to disguise medications that are given orally.
That said, those same benefits do not translate to cats, unfortunately. A cat’s diet is ideally comprised of mostly protein, which should come from animal sources. Cats’ bodies do not process other types of food very well, such as plant-based proteins from peanut butter, because it does not contain all the amino acids that animal proteins do, according to an article by Chewy. In fact, peanut butter does not offer any nutritional value at all to cats.
Hazards of peanut butter for cats
Peanut butter contains many different types of fats, which can affect cats’ small bodies quite a bit and lead to obesity or diabetes. Ingesting too much peanut butter can cause vomiting or diarrhea in some cats. Additionally, because of its sticky consistency, peanut butter could be a choking hazard. (Or, just a huge mess.)
Some peanut butter brands contain added sweeteners, xylitol which is toxic to cats, or other ingredients that could make your cat sick.
In many homes and residential neighborhoods, peanut butter is often used in pest catching devices and traps. Regularly sharing peanut butter with your cat may train him to enjoy it and seek it out. If your cat is trained to enjoy peanut butter, he might end up following the trace of one of these rodent traps and end up far from home and/or getting hurt. For this reason, it’s best to avoid exposing your cat to peanut butter.