Can Cats Eat Peanuts?
You and I love our cat(s) and are tempted many times to treat them like humans. This includes feeding them foods that we enjoy. Many of the foods that we love are not necessarily good for our cats. One of those favorite food items that humans love is peanuts. But, we need to ask ourselves, “Can cats eat peanuts” before we give Fluffy this snack.
Can Cats Eat Peanuts?
The simple answer is “yes” cats can eat peanuts. But just knowing if they can eat peanuts does not cover all the aspects of the question.
Peanut’s Nutritional Value
Let’s take a look at the nutritional value of the peanut. The peanut is high in protein and contains “good fats”. Peanuts also contain vitamin A, which supports the immune system, vitamin E, resveratrol and other minerals that may help with heart disease.
The peanut is a healthy snack food for humans. But the cat may not benefit from all the nutrients in the peanut. Cats are carnivores so their system is not built to break down plant matter, so it is questionable whether the peanut’s high protein will actually benefit your cat. Additionally, the high fat content, though it is a good fat, is still high in calories. If your cat is overweight, large amount of peanuts are not advisable.
While peanuts non-toxic and non-poisonous, how the peanuts are eaten may change that. Some packaged peanuts may contain ingredients that are harmful to Fluffy. You and I love our cats, so we want to make sure that even foods that seem harmless, are completely safe.
The Vale of Cats website, https://www.valeofcats.com/can-cats-eat-peanuts/ points out that the peanut itself is not harmful to cats. However, many times additives can be hazardous to your cat’s health. Peanuts right out of the shell are fine, but watch for those additional ingredients.
Peanuts should be plain and unsalted. Candy or chocolate coated peanuts should not be given to your cat. According to The Nest website, https://pets.thenest.com/nuts-poisonous-cats-9245.html, chocolate contains theobromine and caffeine which can cause several health problems for your cat.
Many peanuts are coated with different seasonings. Both onion and garlic powders can effect the red blood cells which can lead to anemia.
Peanut shells are a great toy for Fluffy. They are a lot of fun to bat around, but don’t let them do it. If ingested, the peanut shell can cause choking and damage to the digestive tract.
When giving Fluffy a peanut, dicing or chopping into small pieces will be more appealing. Giving her a whole peanut probably will make a better toy than a snack.
Can Cats be Allergic to Peanuts?
According to Catster Magazine’s website, https://www.catster.com/lifestyle/can-cats-eat-peanut-butter-peanuts-cat-health-tips-allergies, there is a possibility cats can be allergic to peanuts. If you see that your cat is vomiting or has diarrhea, there is a good chance she is allergic to peanuts. Additional symptoms of an allergic reaction can include increased scratching, sneezing and swelling of the paws.
The Good, The Bad and The Ugly of Peanut Butter
Can Cats Eat Peanut Butter?
The question of whether or not can cats eat peanut butter can be answered using the same guidelines that would be used with regard if cats can eat peanuts. Yes, cats can eat peanut butter, but only in moderation. Large amount of peanut butter can have more negative factors than positive ones.
Is Peanut Butter Good for Cats?
On The Pet Advice website, https://thepetadvice.com/can-cats-eat-peanut-butter/ there are some benefits of peanut butter to cats. The protein, carbohydrates and vitamin A can improve you cat’s immune system. As with regular peanuts, peanut butter contains resveratrol, vitamin E and other minerals that may prevent heart problems. The oils in the peanut butter can help to give a nice shine to Fluffy’s coat. The article goes on to point out some additional benefits that come from peanut butter.
Is Peanut Butter Bad for Cats?
However, the article further points out that the harmful effects outnumber the positives. As pointed out earlier, peanut butter is not toxic to cats. That does not mean it is necessarily safe to give your cat large amounts of the food.
The cat’s digestive tract cannot process the large amounts of fats that are in peanut butter. Giving your cat large amounts of peanut butter can cause her to suffer from diarrhea or vomiting.
Lastly, cats appear to be quite uncomfortable with the consistency of peanut butter when it is in the mouth. It is sticky and can be difficult to swallow and is a choking hazard.
I have not had to make the choice as to whether to give my cat peanuts or not. She is not at all interested in either peanuts or peanut butter. But if you choose to feed your cat peanuts, limit to small amounts and make sure there are no additional harmful ingredients.
If you have had experience with your cat grabbing for your peanut butter or picking up peanut pieces off the floor, we would love to hear from you. Sharing our cat parenting experiences with others makes us all better cat parents.