Enjoying your packet of peanuts and then your cat started begging for some? Well, peanuts are popular in the human as well as the pet world.
But can cats eat peanuts? Are peanuts safe for cats? Are they toxic for cats even?
Especially, peanut butter! It is quite possibly the most popular spread around the world.
Peanuts themselves are hugely sought after too. In fact, more than 65% of nuts consumed in one form or the other are peanuts. This is not a surprise as peanuts come with a lot of nutritional benefits for humans.
We know that some 'hoomans' can be seriously allergic to just so there are a few big questions to be asked here. Such as:
Can Cats Eat Peanuts? (in short)
The short answer is – yes. Cats can certainly have peanuts without any problem.
As long as you are giving them unsalted peanuts, your cat will have no problem eating these types of nuts.
Read this next: How Much Should I Feed my Cat? A Simple Cat Feeding Guide
Can Cats Have Peanuts?
Despite the number of hours time cats spend lazing about and sleeping; they do need a good amount of energy when they zoom around the house during their waking hours.
Protein from their cat food is how they get their energy.
This makes peanuts a good snack for your kitty. They’re high in protein, which can help your cat remain active while it’s awake. In fact, peanuts have the highest amount of protein levels among all the nuts.
But it’s not all good nutrition news, though.
Peanuts also come with a high amount of fat. It is a healthy fat, but the benefits are restricted to humans. Cats do not have the capacity to process high-fat content.
So, if you’re going to give your cats peanuts, you should give them smaller amounts. Maybe a few peanuts a week should do. It would be even better if you can chop the peanuts or dice them.
You should also give your cat raw peanuts.
Don’t add salt or any other additives like sugar. Salt poisoning is a real problem for cats. The peanuts you get in grocery stores are usually salted.
If your cat eats too much salt, it can cause a condition called hypernatremia, also known as salt poisoning. This means there is an imbalance of electrolytes in your cat’s body, which means it can’t function normally.
They also tend to urinate more and also suffer from excessive thirst. In cases of severe salt poisoning, your cat may even suffer kidney damage and have tremors and seizures.
If you do give your cat peanuts, make sure they are completely devoid of any salt. Your cat gets enough salt from the food it regularly eats every day.
Cats should also eat only unshelled eats.
They can’t break down the outer shell. If they do eat the outer husk, the fragments may even end up being very harmful to your cat. It can cause damage to their mouth cavity when they try to chew.
The shells can get caught easily in a cat's throat so are also a choking hazard.
Read this next: Can Cats Eat Spicy Food (And Can They Taste Spice?)
Can Cats Eat Peanut Butter?
Dogs certainly love the taste of peanut butter. There are quite a few funny videos on the internet about dogs eating peanut butter with a lot of zest.
But there are an equal number of videos and photos with cats enjoying a lick of peanut butter as well.
Your cat may not come looking for peanut butter on its own. But if you offer a bit of the spread, it might show interest in eating more. Just like with the raw nuts, you should make sure the peanut butter spread is sodium-free.
The amount of sugar in it should also be minimal.
Are Peanuts Bad for Cats
Peanuts are not toxic for cats, but they can develop a nut allergy. If your cat has diarrhea or vomiting when they eat peanuts, it means your cat's digestive system is not able to digest the nuts.
When that’s the case, it’s best to not give them anymore.
Usually, it takes a good amount of exposure for your cat to develop an allergy to nuts. But if your cat shows other signs such as sneezing or swelling, it’s possible your kitty is allergic.
You would also see other symptoms such as itching and bald spots. You must completely avoid giving nuts to your cat in such a case.
The problem with food allergies in cats is their symptoms are very similar to other common issues.
For instance, cats usually vomit because of hair balls.
It’s hard to differentiate if the vomiting is because of a furball or a food allergy. Similarly, itching can be very common among cats.
But if you see your cat scratching a lot more than usual, it's best to consult a vet and figure out if it’s suffering from a food allergy.
Read this next: Can Cats Eat Chocolate? Is All Chocolate Toxic and Bad?
Do Peanuts Cause Obesity and Diabetes
Peanuts are high in fat, which can cause weight gain.
Eating too much of these nuts can end up raising the risk of cat obesity. If you have an indoor cat, chances are high it gets a lot less exercise than it needs.
While that’s not usually a problem with regular diets, giving them high-fat food like peanuts can cause unwanted weight gain.
Obesity can even lead to diabetes and heart disease in your cat. You may want to look out for symptoms such as increased frequency of urination.
It can be difficult to figure out if your cat has diabetes but try and look for symptoms like frequent changes in weight and increased appetite.
Consult the vet and get a diagnosis to ensure your cat lives a long ad healthy life.
Can Cats Have Peanuts: The Verdict
While peanuts are not toxic to cats, you should still try and regulate the number of nuts they eat. A few peanuts a week would be adequate.
They would work as a treat for your cat and still ensure your feline friend doesn’t develop any health problems.
Apart from the protein, peanuts don’t give any specific nutritional value to your cat.
While the answer to the question if cats can eat peanuts is yes, it does not necessarily mean you should add the nuts to their regular diet.
Read this next: What Can Cats Not Eat? Protect Your Cat From Toxic Foods