Hey Pet Parents & Pet Lovers,
I know I recently covered whether or not cats can eat peanut butter, but I thought I would bring up whether or not cats are able to eat raw peanuts. Who here has spilled a bowl of nuts in the past, or dropped a peanut while trying to grab some from the jar… I know I have! With Beau being the dart-like, food driven cat that he is, I’m always worried whatever I drop he’ll eat it and end up getting sick. So, are peanuts toxic? Are they healthy? Can you start using them as a training treat?
Do Cats Have Allergies to Peanuts?
This is a very valid question, especially for those of you who had peanuts, peanut butter and other foods banned from your schools. Although not common, some cats do have some signs of allergies and you should take proper measures to make sure your cat doesn’t have any. Unfortunately, allergies cannot be seen immediately and may take time for signs to appear, but some include itching, sneezing, and swelling. If your cat has diarrhea or vomits after the first exposure, this is fairly common and doesn’t necessarily mean that they are allergic. They may have an upset stomach because they were fed too many peanuts or they are having a difficult time digesting the peanuts for the first time. This will go away after a few feedings if you choose to give your cats this as a treat.
It’s true that peanuts have the highest amount of protein by weight (in the “nut kingdom” of course) but does that make it any good for cats? Well, when it’s paired up with the amount of fat that it has, it’s not really greatest long-term snack for your furry friend.
Cats are unable to break down large amounts of fat and while they can be found chowing down on some delicious cat grass, cats can’t properly digest plant matter. So peanuts would only be… well… 1/3 good for your cat! Not necessarily the greatest treat.
Any precautions I should have before introducing my cat to peanuts?
- When introducing your cat to any new food, always make sure to give them very small amounts.
- Always make pieces of food smaller to avoid choking on the food
- Always make sure that the food is raw (ie. unseasoned, unsalted, natural, etc.)
- Always deshell peanuts before feeding them to your cat. Just like you, eating the shell is uncomfortable and harder to digest for cats.
- Do not feed peanuts regularly. Make sure they are used as a treat only as they may cause obesity or liver damage after long-term feeding.
Can you use a peanut shell as a toy?
I would recommend against it. Peanut shells are fairly brittle and your cat may have an easy time breaking it and potentially trying to ingest it. Due to this, if you want to turn peanut shell into a natural, rattle-like, cheap cat toy, you will want to make sure you monitor your cat. You’re going to want to make sure to take it away from your cat if the shell breaks or if they continually get it stuck under furniture. Trust me, you don’t want to wake up to your cat choking at night because they found their favourite play toy!
So pet parents, have you ever fed your cats peanuts? What is your favourite natural treat to give your kitty? Let me know in the comments below!