Can Cats Eat Peanut Butter?
Many cats (if not all) love the taste of peanut butter. Actually, most vets recommend its usage to help cats in taking their medication. But here is the burning question. Can cats eat peanut butter and does it below in their daily menu? Is it toxic to cats like raw potatoes are?
The short version of the answer is yes they can. But this is the wrong question to ask. The right question is, should cats eat peanut butter? The answer is, no, cats should not eat peanut butter.
- 1 Cats are Carnivorous
- 1.1 How do Cats Differ from Humans?
- 1.2 Peanut Butter Benefits
- 1.3 How Does One Ensure The Cats Fur Remains Shiny?
- 1.4 Should Peanut Butter Be Used To Give Cats Medication?
- 1.5 Why Would One Feed Their Cat Peanut butter?
- 1.6 Peanut Butter Effects on Cats?
Cats are Carnivorous
From your high school biology, you know that cats are carnivorous mammals. This is to mean that they survive on meat. Now aside from being classified under the category carnivores, they also fall under a sub category known as obligate carnivores.
Animals in the obligate carnivorous category have to feed on meat in order to survive. Their digestive system is not designed to break down plant matter. In the event a cat does not consume sufficient proteins, its body will turn to its muscles. It will breakdown the muscles to generate the energy it needs to perform different tasks.
Contrary to popular belief, digesting plant matter is not a simple process. Herbivores have to reply on good bacteria to help in completing the digestion of plant parts consumed. And given the fact that plants tend to contain very low calories and nutritional value, they have to feed on a lot of plant matter to meet their nutritional targets.
How do Cats Differ from Humans?
Humans are omnivores. This means that they feed on all types of edible, non-poisonous foods. Their digestive systems can digest plant and animal matter.
But despite being omnivorous, humans that try a hand in surviving on animal matter do not thrive. Why? Well, because the glucose needed for the normal functioning of the cells us derived from the digestion of carbohydrates gotten from plants.
Cats synthesize their glucose through a process known as gluconeogenesis. This is where the animal protein is broken down to produce glucose necessary for synthesizing energy.
Peanut Butter Benefits
Various persons online have tried to answer whether or not cats can eat peanut butter. While you will notice that there is some slight variation in their explanations, there is one thing that they seem to agree on – the wonderful benefits of peanut butter.
Peanut butter contains biotin which moisturizes the skin and strengthens nails. It also contains vitamin A which works to give the immune system a major boost thereby providing great protection against diseases. Also contained in peanut butter is vitamin e which contributes to a healthy functioning heart.
All the above benefits are true about the individual vitamins and by extension about peanut butter. However, all these benefits are of no use to your kitten. Why? Well, for the above benefits to be derived, peanut butter has to be first digested into the absorbable constituents named above.
And since your cat does not have the ability to digest plant matter, all the healthy vitamins contained in the peanut butter will only pass through the system and not aid the cat’s body in any way.
You should note that peanut butter also contains mono-saturated fats. These facts are quite healthy to humans but in large amounts can prove to be poisonous and deadly to cats.
How Does One Ensure The Cats Fur Remains Shiny?
Do cats need nutrients contained in peanut butter? Yes. Cats require vitamin A, E and H to lead normal healthy lives. But now, since their digestive systems cannot digest peanut butter and absorb the said nutrients, how then will the cat get the nutrients?
These nutrients, remember, are useful in providing protection to the heart from contracting diseases and conditions, keep the immune system functional and at its best and generally keep the fur shiny. Shiny fur in animals denotes great health.
Well, the diet of fresh meat s more than a cat needs to lead a healthy life. While the fur is made shiny by great nutrition, excess washing, ageing and being overweight contributes to it turning dull.
Should Peanut Butter Be Used To Give Cats Medication?
Cats can prove to be very difficult to medicate. They generally do not like swallowing pills and have a habit of turning their noses up on medication that is tasty and flavourful.
If your cat is under medication and loves peanut butter, it is a great idea to serve it to them mixed with their meds. This is the only one time vets recommend feeding your cat peanut butter. In such situations, the good generously outweigh the bad.
The benefits of taking the medication tramp the side effects of taking peanut butter.
Why Would One Feed Their Cat Peanut butter?
We all know that cats can be very picky with the foods that they eat. They will without apology refuse to eat peanut butter unless it is something that the cat has eaten before and is used to.
No doubt all cat parents love their cats and want them to have the best and be happy. And since eating certain sweet things gives them the joy and happiness they automatically assume that the same is true for their cats.
But this could not be further from the truth. Cats do not feed for enjoyment. Only humans do. They eat to get the energy they need to get through the day. That said, feeding your cat foods that are outside of its normal diet will do more harm than it will good.
Peanut Butter Effects on Cats?
We have already determined the answer to ‘can cats eat peanut butter?’ is a no. now let us have a look at some of the side effects of feeding peanut butter to your cat. The side effects include vomiting, indigestion, obesity, diarrhoea and sticking in the throat.
It is not common to see cats vomit or even diarrhoea. Since cats cannot digest plant matter the peanut butter will cause the cat stomach upsets.
Additionally, the high fat content can lead to diabetes and numerous health issues.
Can Cats Develop Allergies Against Peanut Butter?
Note that food allergies are different from food intolerance. Food intolerance refers to when a food ingested causes a stomach upset, diarrhoea or vomiting.
Allergies on the other hand are way more serious and could be life threatening. Allergic reactions include the symptoms mentioned above for food intolerance and also include skin rashes, swelling, difficulties in breathing as well as sneezing.
In the event you notice that your cat has an allergic reaction, whether your cat can eat peanut butter or not, you should seek professional vet advice.
What Should Cats be Fed on?
With all the restrictions in foods that cats can feed on, it can be a rather stressful affair choosing what to feed the cat.
However, it gets easier when you decide to feed you cat on commercial cat foods whether dry or wet. Most of these cat foods are designed with the help of vet nutritionists. As such, you can rest easy knowing that the foods meet all the nutritional requirements.
Be careful when buying cat food. Do not pick up dog food instead of cat food. They may bear some resemblance but feature different nutritional properties.
Can cats eat peanut butter? Well yes they can. But should they eat it? No they should not. For cats, unless in medical emergencies, eating peanut butter has more cons than pros.