Source: USA Today (Extract)
Posted: September 13, 2023

If you have a pet, you know they love to beg for treats. Especially when it comes to human food, your furry friend may try to cry and whine their way into sneaking a snack from you.

Some human foods are OK for animal consumption, such as eggs,  bananas or watermelon, but others are not, like grapes.

Peanut butter is a fan-favorite for dogs, but what about for our feline friends? Can cats eat peanut butter? Be sure to read before you feed your cat the nut spread.

Can cats eat peanut butter?

Technically, cats can eat peanut butter. It is, however, recommended to not give your cat the food.

Cats are “obligate carnivores,” meaning in order to stay healthy a cat’s diet is primarily meat, according to the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals. Peanut butter provides no nutritional value for cats since it is not part of their natural diets. Your pet will get most key nutrients from their cat food.

Is peanut butter safe for cats?

Even though you can feed peanut butter to your cat, the negatives associated with it outweigh potential positives. Some of peanut butter’s ingredients can pose risks to your pet’s health.

Xylitol, an artificial sweetener, is toxic to animals, according to Hill’s Pet Nutrition. Symptoms for xylitol poisoning include vomiting, lethargy and seizures. The sweetener is often in other human foods, so it is important to read nutrition labels before feeding anything to your pet.

Peanut butter is high in fats and sugars, which can impact your cat’s digestive system and lead to gastrointestinal issues, according to Chewy.

If peanut butter is made with roasted peanuts, it often contains high sodium. This is not good for cats. Salt is one of the top foods to avoid feeding to pets, according to the ASPCA. Consuming large amounts of sodium can cause excessive thirst, urination, vomiting and diarrhea.

How to feed your cat peanut butter

While it’s best to avoid feeding peanut butter to your cat, it is OK if done correctly.

Be sure to read the nutrition label and check what ingredients are in the peanut butter. Note the calories and if any additives have been included, according to Chewy. You may also choose to consult your vet to ensure what and how much your pet can eat.

If you need to hide your cat’s pills, you can put them in a small amount of all-natural peanut butter that does not contain xylitol, according to Hill’s Pet Nutrition.

It is important to note that serving sizes for cats are vastly different than for humans. Hill’s Pet recommends to “stick to a lick” when feeding peanut butter to your cat.