Every so often when I’m eating one of my cat’s ears perks up. It doesn’t matter if I’m opening a jar of peanut butter or opening a bag of nuts, my cats want to know what’s happening the moment I’m doing anything!
I can’t say that my cats are usually interested in the foods that I’m eating after they’ve seen what I have. My mom’s cat, on the otherhand is usually all over the food no matter what it is. That cat won’t stop begging for food from the moment he can smell it.
There are a lot of human foods that cats find interesting such popcorn or ice cream and some of these foods cats can actually eat.
I’ve even recently discussed whether cats can or cannot eat peanut butter, but I thought I would bring up whether or not cats are able to eat raw peanuts.
A lot of times cats can’t or shouldn’t eat rendered or overly processed foods, especially because of the sugar levels. So, does eating the raw ingredient of a product make it any better?
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. It was common growing up and still is in schools for peanuts to be banned based on the number of students who are allergic to the product.
Although not as common, some cats do experience signs of allergies. That being said, if you are interested in feeding your cats peanuts it is important that you take proper measures to ensure that your cat doesn’t have an allergy.
Unfortunately, allergies cannot be seen immediately and may take time for symptoms to appear. In regards to peanut allergies, common symptoms include, but are not limited to itching, sneezing, and swelling.
That being said, it is common for cats to experience diarrhea or vomiting after their first exposure to peanuts. These symptoms don’t necessarily mean that your cat is allergic to peanuts. They can, however, mean that your cat has an upset stomach because they were fed too many peanuts or that your cat is having difficulty digesting the peanuts. While it is still a good idea to keep an eye out on your cat in these instances, especially if the symptoms prologue, these symptoms usually clear up after the first feeding.
As is with most things, if you suspect that your cat is experiencing an allergic reaction or may be allergic to a product consult your vet immediately.
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?
1. When introducing your cat to any new food, always make sure to give them very small amounts.
2. Always make pieces of food smaller to avoid choking on the food
3. Always make sure that the food is raw (ie. unseasoned, unsalted, natural, etc.)
4. Always deshell peanuts before feeding them to your cat. Just like you, eating the shell is uncomfortable and harder to digest for cats.
5. 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!
While feeding your cat a peanut from time to time is not going to harm them, feeding them peanuts longterm may cause some health concerns.
So, would I feed my cat peanuts? Nope.
I don’t see enough of a benefit of giving my cat peanuts instead of giving them a treat that is manufactured and insured as safe.
But I’m curious, have you ever fed your cats peanuts? What is your favourite natural treat to give your kitty? Let me know in the comments below!
Other foods you might be curious if cats can or can’t eat:
Nuts/Legumes: Peanuts | Cashews | Pecans
Fruits/Vegetables: Olives | Watermelon | Bananas
Treats/Liquids: Ice Cream | Almond Milk | Coffee | Soy Milk
Misc. Plants: Roses