Cat owners commonly wonder about the toxicity of various human foods. The question about the safety of different foods increased after learning that certain foods were toxic which yielded a lot of press coverage. The most important toxic foods to cats are onions, garlic, chocolate, alcohol, and excessive amounts of fish.
Exposure to the dangers of various human foods has encouraged pet owners to ask about the safety of foods such as can cats eat peanut butter. There has also been a lot of press about the toxicity of peanut butter in dogs. Learn more about what cats can and can’t eat in this article: The Ultimate Guide to What Cats Can’t Eat.
Can Cats Eat Peanut Butter?
The answer to the question, “can cats eat peanut butter”… the answer is yes. Cats can eat peanut butter but in moderation. Although most cats don’t care for it some cats do enjoy the soft creamy texture and many enjoy this as a healthy snack.
The Dangers of Peanut Butter to Cats
The traditional peanut butter that we all grew up with and loved contained ground peanuts as the main ingredient and oil to give the peanut butter is creamy smooth texture. Many companies add a bit of sugar, honey or molasses to give the peanut butter some sweetness and salt for flavor.
However, some peanut butter manufacturers are adding xylitol to peanut butter, which is toxic to dogs. Xylitol is a sweeter used in place of sugar primarily because it is lower in calories. Xylitol is also an ingredient in many different gums and even baked goods. It is in many products designed for people with diabetes due to its low glycemic index. Xylitol can be highly toxic to dogs! The peanut kinds of butter that contain xylitol include: Go Nuts, Co.; Hank’s Protein Plus Peanut Butter; Krush Nutrition; Nuts ‘N More; and P28. Learn more — go to Xylitol Toxicity in Dogs. Xylitol can cause low blood sugar and liver failure in dogs.
However, neither peanut butter nor xylitol has been shown to be toxic to cats. However, the best thing to do before feeding your cat peanut butter is to check the ingredients of your peanut butter before sharing with your cat and if you see the ingredient xylitol, avoid giving it to your cat. There is some concern amongst veterinarian that xylitol could be a problem in cats but just has not yet been documented.
Although uncommon in cats, ingestion of large amounts of peanut butter can cause gastrointestinal upset such as diarrhea. Signs of problems include vomiting, diarrhea, lethargy, abdominal pain, straining to defecate, and/or a decreased appetite.
Do Cats Need Peanut Butter?
There is nothing in peanut butter that cats require on a regular basis. What cats do need is a high-quality AAFCO approved cat food. Learn more about Nutrition in Cats.
The Safest Way to Give Peanut Butter to Cats
The safest way to give some peanut butter to your cat is to give a dab of fresh peanut butter. To be safest, cats should never be fed peanut butter containing xylitol.
How Much Peanut Butter Can You Give a Cat?
One-half teaspoon of peanut butter is plenty to give a cat.
Can Cats Be Allergic to Peanut Butter?
While it is possible for a cat to be allergic to anything, cat allergies to peanut butter are uncommon.
Who Can You Call About a Suspected Toxicity in Cats?
- Pet Poison Helpline, 855-764-7661 (http://www.petpoisonhelpline.com). A $49 per incident fee applies.
- ASPCA Pet Poison Hotline, (888) 426-4435 (https://www.aspca.org/pet-care/animal-poison-control). A $65 consultation fee applies.
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