Dogs are known to love peanut butter. In fact, a spoonful of peanut butter is a great way to administer medicine to dogs and hide its foul taste from them. But can you do the same with your cat? Is peanut butter good for cats, or should they stay away from it? Read on to find out.
Do Cats Like Peanut Butter?
Contrary to dogs, cats generally aren’t that adventurous when it comes to what they eat. Dogs will dig through your trash and eat anything remotely edible they can find in there, while cats will scrutinize every meal you put before them and possibly decide to pass on it half the time.
Peanut butter is not something that cats eat naturally. Cats are obligate carnivores, which means they eat animal prey and rely on meat and meat alone for their energy and nutrients. Peanuts are legumes, which do not have a natural place in a cat’s diet. Unless they have already grown accustomed to the smell and taste of peanut butter, most likely through filler ingredients and artificial flavors in their food or treats, the chances of a cat eating peanut butter of their own volition are low.
Therefore, if you do find your cat eating peanut butter, it can be cause for concern. When cats go out of their way to eat something they normally wouldn’t or shouldn’t, in most cases it’s because they are instinctively trying to correct some nutritional deficiency or get relief from some gastrointestinal issue. You should take your cat to the vet for a checkup and a blood panel to find out what’s wrong. Then you can change their diet to balance out any vitamin or mineral deficiencies.
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Is Peanut Butter Safe For Cats?
A little bit of peanut butter isn’t directly harmful to your cat. Peanut butter generally does not contain any substances that are poisonous to cats. The biggest safety concern for a cat eating peanut butter isn’t the contents, but the texture. Peanut butter is very thick and sticky. If your cat gets a mouthful of it, there is a risk of them choking on it.
When you see this happening, quickly try to remove as much of the peanut butter from your cat’s mouth as possible using your fingers. Don’t forget to clear the roof of their mouth, as that is where most of the peanut butter will get stuck. Try and get your cat to drink to wash down any leftover peanut butter. If your cat loses consciousness or stops breathing at any point during the ordeal, rush them to emergency care immediately.
Is Peanut Butter Good For Cats?
But just because peanut butter isn’t poisonous to cats, doesn’t mean that it’s good for them either. Nutritionally speaking, peanut butter is actually really bad for cats. The calories in an average peanut butter are 14% protein, 14% carbohydrates and 72% fats from plant-based ingredients.
The ideal meal for a cat, however, has a caloric profile of 48% protein, 47% fats and at most 5% carbohydrates, exclusively from animal ingredients. When you feed your cat a fatty and difficult to digest food like peanut butter, even if it is just as a treat, you are throwing their health off balance and putting them at risk for obesity, digestive disorders, diabetes and heart problems. That is why we strongly advise against a cat eating peanut butter.
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How To Give Medicine To A Cat
If you are considering peanut butter as a way to help your cat take their medicine, we encourage you to try something else that is more in line with your cat’s natural diet. However, we do not advise mixing medicine into your cat’s main daily meal. If your cat tastes it in there and is put off by it, there is a good chance of them starting to refuse the food all together, with or without medicine.
Liquid, or lickable cat treats are great for administering liquid or powdered medications and supplements. Try to find a low calorie variation, so you can give your cat multiple doses throughout the day if necessary. Simply mix the medicine into your cat’s favorite flavor and watch them snack on it happily and healthily.
You can also try probiotic yogurt, which is full of bacteria that are good for your cat’s gut. You can use a plain, low fat, sugar and additive free probiotic yogurt from the supermarket. Or you can make your own probiotic yogurt at home. It is really easy to do and tastes so much better than any store-bought yogurt.
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In the case you need to give your cat pills, and you can’t crush them up into a powder, you can use a pill masker to disguise them as treats. A pill masker is a thick paste that you can fold around the pill. The paste has a smell and flavor that is very enticing to cats, usually bacon and, yes, even peanut butter.