Almond butter is rising in popularity due to its health benefits for humans. Peanut butter is essentially being swapped out for it. So, it isn’t surprising if you have it in your house instead of the classic peanut kind. So, as you spread some on your toast you might be thinking about giving it to the cat at your feet, but can cats eat almond butter? Well, yes and no.
It’s practically human to wonder what we can and cannot feed our pets. Especially when they are at our feet begging or yowling for it. It’s hard not to submit to those precious eyes, right? Well, fortunately, you decided to do a little research. That is the best and most responsible thing you can do as a pet owner. So, here is the run down.
The Hard Almond Truth
Almond butter is made from, as we know, almonds. So, let us start with the basics. Can cats eat almonds? Technically, yes.
The ASPCA says they aren’t toxic to cats, but that doesn’t mean they should necessarily be fed them. Almonds are high in protein and healthy fats, which are beneficial to humans. Unfortunately, these can lead to obesity and other conditions such as pancreatitis in cats. Pancreatitis is when the pancreas inflames within the body.
Not only are they not beneficially nutritional for cats, but they also can be choking hazards. Due to how dense and hard they are, a cat may choke while trying to eat one. If your cat swallows one whole this may create a bowel obstruction which can lead to surgery and even be fatal. If it doesn’t cause a blockage it can still cause diarrhea and vomiting.
Here’s the Spread: Cats Eating Almond Butter Answered
Now, we know the hard truth, but how about the spread? Cats, just like almonds, can eat almond butter. Essentially though it causes a lot of the same problems as regular almonds do.
Almond butter is also high in protein and fats, but also, due to some companies’ flavoring, it can have higher amounts of sugar. Cats shouldn’t eat food containing large quantities of sugar, as this can also cause obesity and diabetes.
Due to its smooth state, a smaller amount can also pack far more fat, sugar, and protein than just one almond. This makes it easier to overfeed your feline. Along with this, almond butter is oily, this may upset your cat’s stomach and cause diarrhea.
The Bitter Truth: Bitter Almonds
There is a version of almonds that are called “bitter almonds.” These almonds hold small trace amounts of cyanide, which is a cyanogenic glycoside. Like for most any species, cyanide is toxic to cats. If your cat were to ingest a large quantity of these it may prove fatal.
Fortunately, bitter almonds are not common within the US.
Cat & Vet Approved: Almond Milk
It might come as a surprise, but almond milk gets the green light. Cats love the taste of almond milk, funny enough. It is a good alternative to regular milk since most cats seem allergic to the lactose in it. Almond milk also doesn’t have a lot of additives and those it does have are non-toxic to cats.
Just remember like all things, give it to your cat in moderation.
It’s a Nutritional Waste
Almonds are full of beneficial nutrients for humans such as protein, healthy fats, minerals, and vitamins. These are completely wasted and useless on your cat. They don’t need these nutrients. Cats evolved to be strict carnivores and get all their nutrients from meat.
Felines get all the nutritional value that they need from their food and don’t technically need anything added to their diet. If you are wanting to treat your feline, a meaty treat is best. This doesn’t mean break out the ham and chicken, there are plenty of freeze-dried treats to choose from at your local pet store.
If Not Almond Butter, What About Peanut Butter for Cats?
Peanut butter, like almond butter, isn’t toxic to cats either. It does contain a high concentration of fat and protein like almond butter as well. It also contains added sugar as well, which isn’t good for your feline.
Just like almond butter, it should not be overfed to cats. This is due to the same health issues listed for almond butter. Peanut butter and almond butter should only ever be given to your feline in small quantities or for medication.
Peanut butter can also choke your cat due to its consistency. This can also be a worry with almond butter as well. You may see your cat licking the inside of their mouth consistently after having some peanut butter due to it being stuck on the roof of their mouth.
Fortunately, cats aren’t crazy about peanut butter like dogs are so you probably don’t have to worry about them snatching a taste.
Cats & Spreading the Almond Butter Truth
Technically almonds and almond butter aren’t toxic to your feline. So, yes cats can eat almond butter. All and all though, there are much better options out there for a tasty feline snack. Don’t worry though, if you catch your cat taking a lick off of your almond butter covered spoon, at the most they might have an upset stomach.
As usual, always contact your vet before feeding your pets anything unusual or if they’ve gotten into something they shouldn’t have. Remember, not all human food is pet food.
Another thing to think about is the environmental impact of almonds. If you are interested and concerned about sustainability here is an article discussing it by The Guardian.