Can cats eat peanuts? What do you need to know!

Can cats eat peanuts?
Can cats eat peanuts?

If your cat starts scratching its legs when you’re cooking up snacks, you might wonder if it’s okay to feed your pet some of the food you’re preparing. If peanuts are one of your favourite treats, is feeding your cat some of them okay?

Plain peanuts are safe for cats but there are some exceptions so let’s find out more about whether it’s okay to give them to your cat. As with any food that isn’t specifically designed for cats, it’s important to talk to your vet before giving them to your cat.

 

 

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Facts about peanuts

Technically, peanuts come from the legume family, like lentils and peas. So, despite the name, they’re not a real freak. Peanuts ripen underground and are usually harvested 4-5 months after planting. Peanuts are also called ground peas or peanuts because they grow underground.

 

Peanuts are the most popular nutty snack in the US and make up 66% of all purchased nuts. The US produces around 3 million tons of peanuts each year, with Georgia, Texas, North Carolina, Florida and Alabama producing most of the crop.

Most Americans eat 3 pounds of peanut butter a year. A 12 ounce jar of peanut butter contains about 540 peanuts.

There are four main peanut varieties grown in the US: Spanish, Valencian, Runner and Virginia. Of the four, Runners account for 85% of the production and are mainly used to produce peanut butter.

Good things about peanut

Can cats eat peanuts?
Can cats eat peanuts?

Credit: ksuha scherbakova, Shutterstock

Peanuts are a great source of protein, and as obligate carnivores, cats thrive on a high-protein diet. Per ounce, peanuts contain 7.31 grams of protein .

Peanuts are also rich in vitamin E, niacin, magnesium, copper and biotin.

What cats really need, though, is animal protein. So while peanuts are high in protein, they don’t necessarily contain the most digestible version for cats.

Bad things about peanuts

Can cats eat peanuts?
Can cats eat peanuts?

Peanuts can be high in protein, but they’re also high in fat. This means that if your cat were to eat them regularly, they would be at a higher risk of becoming obese and suffering from a number of conditions developed as a result. Per ounce, peanuts contain 13.9 grams of fat . This fat is monounsaturated, also known as good fat, but your cat’s digestive system is not designed to process nut-based fats.

Many peanuts are also coated in salt or other flavorings, which your cat definitely doesn’t need. These can be difficult for your cat to digest and can cause gastrointestinal problems.

How to safely feed peanuts to your cat

Image credit: claudia125, Pixabay

If you still want to feed your cat peanuts, here’s how to do it safely.

Only offer your cat raw, untreated peanuts. The salts, spices and other aromas that can coat the peanuts you love to eat can cause your cat to have gastrointestinal problems and make them sick. Make sure the hard outer shell has been removed, as even a small part of it can cause a blockage in your cat’s digestive system.

Some cats can be allergic to peanuts, so watch out for the following symptoms:

  • vomit
  • Diarrhea
  • skin irritation
  • gastrointestinal problems

Just feed your cat a small piece of peanut, about ¼ of a nut. Watch them carefully for any signs of discomfort, and if your cat shows any signs that they’re having trouble digesting this, don’t feed them any further.

Can cats eat peanut butter?

Image credit: Joanna Gawlica-Giędłek, Pixabay

If peanuts aren’t toxic to cats, what about peanut butter? It’s okay to give your cat a very occasional treat, but make sure it’s a natural variety with no added salt or sugar.

One thing to note is that peanut butter can be a popular bait for mousetraps or mousetraps. If your outdoor cat develops a fondness for peanut butter, be careful that he doesn’t have access to anywhere rodent traps laced with this tasty treat might have placed.

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