Can Cats Have Peanut Butter?

Swirling of Creamy Peanut Butter

Can Cats Have Peanut Butter? Yes, cats can have peanut butter, but it should be given in small amounts and only as an occasional treat.

While peanut butter is not toxic to cats, it is not particularly beneficial for them and can pose some health risks if fed in large quantities.

Nutritional Content of Peanut Butter

Peanut butter is rich in protein, healthy fats, and vitamins such as B and E. However, it is also high in calories, fat, and sugar, which can be problematic for cats if consumed in excess.

Benefits of Peanut Butter for Cats

  • Protein: Provides a good source of protein, which is essential for muscle development and repair.
  • Healthy Fats: Contains fats that can contribute to a healthy coat and skin.
  • Vitamins: Provides some vitamins that are beneficial to cats in small amounts.

Risks of Feeding Peanut Butter to Cats

Despite its nutritional benefits, peanut butter can pose several risks to cats:

  • High Fat and Calorie Content: Can lead to obesity and related health issues such as diabetes and heart disease if fed regularly.
  • Sugar and Additives: Many commercial peanut butter brands contain added sugar, salt, and other additives that are not suitable for cats.
  • Xylitol: Some peanut butters contain xylitol, a sugar substitute that is highly toxic to cats and dogs.

How to Safely Feed Peanut Butter to Cats

Peanut butter on bread

If you choose to give your cat peanut butter, follow these guidelines to ensure it is done safely:

  • Small Portions: Offer a tiny amount, such as a fingertip-sized dollop, to avoid overfeeding.
  • Check Ingredients: Ensure the peanut butter is free from xylitol, salt, sugar, and other harmful additives.
  • Monitor Reactions: Watch your cat for any adverse reactions such as digestive upset or allergic symptoms.

Signs of Allergic Reactions

If your cat exhibits any of the following symptoms after eating peanut butter, discontinue feeding and consult your veterinarian:

  • Itching or Scratching: Excessive scratching or grooming can indicate an allergic reaction.
  • Swelling: Swelling of the face, paws, or other body parts is a sign of an allergic response.
  • Vomiting: Frequent vomiting can lead to dehydration and other health issues.
  • Diarrhea: Loose stools or diarrhea can indicate gastrointestinal upset.

When to Seek Veterinary Advice

If your cat shows signs of an allergic reaction or digestive upset after eating peanut butter, it’s important to contact your veterinarian for advice and potential treatment.

Allergic reactions can sometimes escalate and require immediate medical attention.

Alternatives to Peanut Butter for Cats

Instead of peanut butter, consider these safer and healthier treat options for your cat:

  • Catnip: Catnip provides stimulation and enjoyment for most cats.
  • Cooked Meat: Small pieces of plain, cooked chicken or turkey.
  • Commercial Cat Treats: Specifically formulated for feline nutrition and safety.
  • Fish: Canned tuna or salmon in water, not oil.


Cats can have peanut butter in small amounts as an occasional treat, but it is not particularly beneficial for them and can pose health risks if fed in large quantities.

Always ensure the peanut butter is free from harmful additives and monitor your cat for any adverse reactions.

For a healthier treat option, consider cat-specific treats or small pieces of cooked meat.