Many people know that dogs can’t eat peanuts, but few know that cats can’t, either. Most cat owners assume that since their pets are carnivores, they consume peanut butter with no problem. But this common misconception is quite dangerous for the cat’s health. So can cats eat peanut butter, and what happens if they do? 

Cats are often attracted to foods like peanut butter due to its strong smell and taste; however, even a tiny amount could cause harm. That’s why most veterinarians believe it’s best if you avoid feeding your cat any nut products altogether.

In this article, we’ll discuss everything you need to know on the topic:

  • Is It as Healthy as It Is Tasty?
  • The Nutritional Value of Peanut Butter
  • Side Effects of Peanut Butter
  • What About Other Nuts?
  • A Healthy Alternative

Let’s find out everything there is to know about peanut butter and cats.

Is It as Healthy as It Is Tasty?

Peanut butter is popular among humans and animals alike. It’s made from ground-up roasted peanuts, causing its characteristic taste and texture. Also, peanut butter is high in protein and healthy fats, making it a nutritious choice for people looking for a filling snack. Plus, it’s a good source of vitamins and minerals like magnesium, vitamin E, and potassium.

For animals, peanut butter can be a healthy snack, too. Dogs, in particular, love its taste, which is why we often use it as a training tool. That said, peanuts contain toxins that can be harmful to cats and dogs, so they must eat the butter in moderation.

Just because peanut butter is healthy for people doesn’t mean it’s beneficial for cats. Our feline friends can’t digest peanuts the same way dogs can. So feeding your cat peanut butter can be quite dangerous.

Nutritional Value of Peanut Butter

Even though peanut butter isn’t healthy for cats, it does have some nutritional value. For instance, it’s a good source of protein, healthy fats, and vitamins B and E. 

Peanut butter contains minerals like magnesium, potassium, and zinc. Plus, it has antioxidants and other compounds that may help reduce the risk of certain diseases. The nutritional value of peanut butter also depends on the brand, as some contain more sugar than others.

Fat & Calorie Dense

Because of its high calorie and fat content, peanut butter can be a good energy source for people looking to gain weight. But can cats eat peanut butter? They can, but it could lead to obesity and other health problems.

Sugars & Sodium

Peanut butter also contains sugars and sodium, which can be harsh on the feline digestive system. It’s essential to remember that cats require very little sugar (about one gram a day) in their diets; too much could cause diarrhea or similar health problems.


Many commercial peanut butter brands contain preservatives, which can be harmful to cats. These chemicals could potentially cause cancer or other serious health problems.


You’ll find salt in numerous peanut butter brands, which can be especially bad for your cat. Cats can’t process salt the same way humans do; too much sodium in their diet could lead to hypernatremia or water toxicity. So read the label carefully before offering peanut butter cat treats.


Aflatoxins are toxic metabolites produced by certain types of fungi. Peanuts also contain it, and it’s been known to cause liver disease or even cancer in cats.

Can Cats Eat Peanut Butter? — Side Effects

Most side effects of peanut butter on cats are neurological or digestive. Feeding your pet a few tablespoons is unlikely to cause any severe problems, but too much peanut butter could lead to health issues over time. 

The following list includes some common symptoms of feeding peanuts and peanut products to your cat:

Choking Hazard

If your cat isn’t used to eating peanut butter, that could present a choking hazard. Also, cats can develop allergies or other health problems from new foods.

Allergic Reaction

Are cats allergic to peanut butter? Your cat can develop an allergic reaction to peanuts. While it’s not too common, it can be severe. Symptoms of a peanut allergy in cats include:

  • Sneezing
  • Itching
  • Swelling around the face or neck area
  • Hives on the skin
  • Diarrhea

Gastrointestinal Upset

Some cats experience an upset stomach after eating peanut butter. It comes with symptoms like vomiting, diarrhea, and nausea.

Xylitol Poisoning

Xylitol is a sugar alcohol that’s often found in peanut butter and other foods. While it’s safe for humans, it can be deadly to cats. Just a tiny amount of xylitol can cause liver failure and death in felines.

Feed Your Cat This Tasty Treat With Caution

Can cats eat peanuts? They can’t digest peanuts the same way dogs can. Also, peanut butter is high in fat and sugar, making it a bad choice for felines as it could lead to obesity or other health problems over time. 

The yummy treat also contains preservatives that can be harmful to cats. Besides, peanut butter often contains salt, sugar, and other ingredients that could be potentially dangerous for your pet. Instead, you could try cat dental treats. Most cats love them, and they come with so much more health benefits. 

Consult a Professional 

If you’re considering giving your cat peanut butter, it’s essential to consult a vet first. While moderate consumption of peanut products shouldn’t cause any problems, too much of them could lead to health issues like obesity or other severe ailments over time. 

A vet would give you the best advice on what fruits cats can eat as a substitute. Also, they could recommend a low-carb cat food that’s beneficial for your furry friend.

Calculate the Amount

When figuring out how much peanut butter to feed your cat, it’s crucial to remember that this food contains lots of calories. So you should only offer your cat a few tablespoons per day at most; too much could cause weight gain or other health problems.

Monitor Your Cat 

If you see your cats eating peanut butter be sure to monitor their health closely. If your pet shows any of the symptoms listed above, take it to the vet right away. 

While peanuts and peanut products aren’t toxic to cats in small doses, they can still cause problems over time if fed in large quantities.

What About Other Nuts?

You might be wondering if it’s safe to give your cat other nuts. The answer to this question is yes, but you should do it in moderation. Some good choices include:

  • Almonds
  • Walnuts
  • Hazelnuts

You now know that peanut butter isn’t safe for cats, but the nuts above are high in protein and healthy fats, which cats need for energy and overall health. Just like with peanut butter, you should still stick to a few tablespoons per day and monitor your cat’s health closely. Also, avoid feeding your cat any raw or roasted nuts that contain harmful ingredients for your pet, like salt, sugar, or spices.

Pumpkin — A Healthy Alternative 

Pumpkin is a healthy alternative to nuts. This vegetable contains many essential nutrients for cats, including fiber, antioxidants, and Vitamin A. Also, it has very few calories and very little fat, making it way healthier than peanuts.

Most cats love the taste of pumpkin, so it’s an easy way to give them something yummy and healthy. Plus, it doesn’t contain salt or sugar, so you don’t have to worry about that. Instead of your cats eating peanut butter, scoop a small amount of pumpkin onto your pet’s food or offer it as a standalone snack.

Pumpkin is a good source of fiber which can help improve your cat’s digestion. If your pet has constipation problems, this can be an excellent natural remedy. Also, pumpkin is high in antioxidants, which can help protect your cat from diseases and aging. Last but not least, the vegetable is rich in Vitamin A — an essential nutrient for cats that promotes healthy vision and skin.


Is peanut butter good for cats? It’s not, and you should only do it in moderation. The yummy treat contains a lot of fat and sugar, which can be harmful if fed too often over time. Other nuts, like almonds, are also high in calories, but they contain lots of healthy nutrients for cats. 

Pumpkin is another good alternative as it has very few calories and no added salt or sugar that could cause problems.So can cats eat peanut butter? They can but should only eat it in small quantities. Also, if you feed your cat with peanut butter, make sure to monitor its health closely. Watch out for symptoms like hives on the skin, vomiting, and diarrhea. To avoid potential health problems, don’t offer your cat more than a few tablespoons per day. And as always, if you have any questions or concerns, please consult your vet.

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