Tasty snacks or tummy troubles—can cats eat peanuts?
Whether eaten right out of the shell, sprinkled over a salad, or crushed into butter, peanuts are delicious in every form. You probably love munching on peanuts while watching your favourite movie, but can you share the treat with your feline companion?
As obligate carnivores, cats should only eat meat, but they might show interest in your food for reasons known only to them. If your cat is curious to try your film-night snack, this guide is for you. Untamed answers the burning question: Can cats eat peanuts?
Peanuts–the basic facts
Before we get into the benefits and risks of feeding peanuts to your cat, let’s go through the nutrition facts about peanuts:
Amount in 100 g
100 g of peanuts has 567 calories, which is way above the recommended dose for cats.
As a fatty, high-calorie food that can lead to weight gain, peanuts are not the best snack for your cat. The feline digestive system cannot break down plant protein, so the nutrients from peanuts are useless for cats. Kitties don't need carbohydrates because their primary energy source is animal protein. Too many carbs in peanuts can only harm your cat and cause weight gain and stomach upsets.
Are peanuts toxic to cats?
No, peanuts are not toxic to cats but are still redundant in their diet. The negative effects of peanuts become apparent in the long run. Overconsumption leads to obesity and various related conditions, such as diabetes and heart disease.
Cat food should be based on animal protein, the best energy source for kitties. You shouldn’t experiment with your kitten’s diet as they are still growing. It’s best to feed your kitten high-quality, whole-meat products as soon as they start eating solid food.
Look! Up in the sky! It's a bird! It's a plane! It's a HOOMAN eating peanuts.
Source: Jari Hytönen
Do cats like peanuts, and should you let them indulge?
Your cat might try to steal a peanut or two due to their curiosity. While peanuts aren’t toxic to felines, there are particular health risks to consider before serving them, namely:
- Gastrointestinal problems
- Salt poisoning
- Peanut allergy
The fat in peanuts can cause diarrhoea. Tummy troubles like diarrhoea are often accompanied by the loss of fluids, so the risk of dehydration is high because cats are not avid water drinkers. You should also keep this in mind when buying regular cat food because kitty biscuits are low in moisture (most products contain only 10% of moisture) and must be complemented with plain broth or soup to keep your furry friend hydrated.
- Increased appetite
- Increased urination
Even though peanuts contain healthy fats, your cat won’t be able to process them efficiently, so overconsumption will make your cat fat in the long run. The risk of feline diabetes goes up with every extra pound.
I ate too many peanuts, and now I'm all about that bass.
Your cat needs sodium to function, but too much salt is harmful and can cause hypernatremia, commonly known as salt poisoning. Excessive salt can cause electrolyte imbalance and mess with regular bodily functions. Typical symptoms of salt poisoning are:
In severe cases, it can also lead to seizures, tremors, kidney damage, coma, or even death. Since cats are tiny creatures, even a small amount of salt can affect their health. If you decide to share some peanuts with your cat, make sure they are not salted.
Peanuts in the shell should be off-limits to your cat because they might easily choke on the treat. It also puts your pet at risk of intestinal obstruction. Deshelled peanuts are safe, but you should monitor your kitty to react promptly if their airways get blocked.
Cats can be allergic to nuts. Before sharing peanuts with your kitty, let them have the tiniest bit and monitor the reaction. Common signs of an allergic reaction are:
- Difficulty breathing
If your cat shows these symptoms, you must take them to the vet immediately.
Is there a way to give peanuts to my cat safely?
If your furry friend likes peanuts, there is a way to serve them safely. Here are some simple rules to follow:
- Use only raw peanuts—If you want to give peanuts as an occasional treat, you should opt for raw products because commercial products often contain seasoning, extra salt, spices, and oil, which are not safe for your kitty
- Deshell them before serving—Removing the shells is essential to eliminate the risk of choking or internal organ damage
- Offer the treat in tiniest amounts, not more than once a week—Snacks should not exceed 10% of your cat’s daily food intake, so keep the peanut treats to a minimum
Can cats eat dry roasted peanuts?
Dry roasted peanuts are non-toxic to cats. You can give a few to your feline friend once a week. Make sure that the product is not salted and crush it into small pieces before serving.
Peanut butter for cats—a delicious treat or one-way ticket to trouble town?
Peanut butter—a delicious treat for you, but what about your cat?
Peanut butter is not recommended for cats because it’s high in calories. It is not toxic but not beneficial either. You can give it in small doses as an occasional treat or to help your cat swallow their medication.
Some peanut butter products contain xylitol, a sugar substitute toxic to cats. If your furry friend eats xylitol, it can lead to a sudden release of insulin which can cause hypoglycemia (a drop in the blood sugar levels).
You should also check the regular sugar and sodium levels in a product. Opt for products without added salt, sugar, or oil. The label should say 100% peanuts and nothing else.
Which nuts are unsafe for cats?
Peanuts are non-toxic, but there are some nuts that you should keep away from your cat’s paws:
- Macadamia nuts—The exact reason why macadamia nuts are toxic to felines is unknown, but keep them safely locked. Most cats experience lethargy, vomiting, hyperthermia, and tremors after ingestion
- Pine nuts—If your cat eats pine nuts, they might experience diarrhoea, vomiting, and other gastrointestinal problems because of the excessive fat content
- Pistachios—Store-bought pistachios are usually heavily salted, which is bad for your furry friend. The shell can cause intestinal blockage, which is even more dangerous
- Walnuts—Mouldy walnuts contain the fungi producing tremorgenic mycotoxins, which are poisonous to cats
Cat stealing food from your plate? Alternative healthy and safe snacks you can serve
Meat is the best food and snack for your cat, and they probably won’t bug you during mealtime if their diet is based on animal protein from lean meat and fish. If your cat keeps asking for your food, they can have a bite of your veggies occasionally. Here are some vegetables you can let them try:
- Celery (your cat will love the crunch!)
- Green bell peppers
Before going overboard with vegan treats, remember that cats are carnivorous animals who need lean meat to thrive. You shouldn’t replace their regular meals (the best option is wet food) with homemade vegetable dishes because they won’t provide enough nutrients and can negatively affect your feline’s health in the long run.
Want the healthiest food for your cat? Give them Untamed!
- Made with premium cuts of whole meat—All our ingredients are of human-grade quality, and your feline companion can choose chicken (breast and liver), tuna, shrimp, salmon, sardines, mackerel, or ham
- High in protein—A single serving of Untamed food has two times more protein than the industry standard
- Vet-formulated—Our recipes have been formulated by vets to meet the nutritional needs of all cats, and we don’t use any common allergens in our meals
- Ethically produced—Untamed packaging is 100% recyclable. We collaborate with sustainable suppliers, and our operations leave a neutral carbon footprint
Your cat will love our tasty and nutritious meals!
Image (c) Untamed
All our dishes are gently steamed to preserve the nutrients and taste. Even cats who typically refuse to eat wet food won’t be able to resist our recipes!
Try our food and see your cat thrive! Here’s how the Untamed diet can affect your feline companion:
Within a week
After two months
After four months
How to get Untamed
To ensure that your cat enjoys a healthy meal every day, become part of the Untamed community. You can order a taster pack in a few simple steps:
- Visit the Try Now page
- Answer a few questions about your cat
- Create a tailor-made meal plan for your kitty
We will deliver the goods to you within a day and make sure you never run out of our food by replenishing your stock every month. Our delivery service for cat food is free. You can cancel, postpone, or change your monthly subscription anytime!
Check out our other guides to what cats can or cannot eat: