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The Surprising Truth: Can Cats Eat Cheese? 

can cats eat cheese

We often wonder about the foods that are safe for our feline friends to eat and their dietary preferences. In the middle of the quest for information, the issue of cheese and cats regularly comes up, sparking a discussion about whether cats can eat cheese.

Exploring this intriguing topic opens a surprising truth about our feline friends’ attraction to this dairy treat. Cats are known for being picky eaters. The answer however isn’t as simple as one might think when it comes to cheese.

Uncover what motivates your cat’s desire for cheese and if it is smart to indulge them if you’ve ever noticed them peeking curiously at your cheese plate.

Can Cats Eat Cheese?

In general, cats may consume cheese in moderation. Cats may safely eat cheese on occasion as a treat because it is not toxic to them, unlike chocolate which is toxic to cats.

Another query is if your cat truly needs cheese. As obligate carnivores, cats must eat animal meat in order to get the nutrition they need. However, cheese does not provide any dietary benefits to cats. Cheese is not and shouldn’t be a natural component of a cat’s diet.

Commercial-grade food should make up the majority of a healthy cat’s diet. In addition to that treats should account for no more than 10% of their daily caloric intake.

When Is Cheese Harmful to Cats?

Cats may consume cheese in moderation. However, excessive consumption might result in gastrointestinal (GI) issues such as flatulence, bloating, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, and vomiting. Given these factors, pet owners should take extra precautions in some situations. 

Lactose Intolerance

One of the most persistent myths regarding cats is that they enjoy dairy, which is commonly believed. In actuality, the majority of cats are lactose intolerant and struggle to properly digest dairy-based foods like cheese. After kittens finish the weaning process cats do not manufacture lactase an enzyme required for digesting lactose, the naturally occurring sugar found in milk.

Dairy Allergies

Lactose intolerance can cause stomach discomfort, which is never nice. However, it’s less likely to have serious effects. On the other hand, a dairy allergy, which makes it difficult for cats to digest the proteins in dairy can be dangerous. Even a very tiny amount of cheese can trigger allergic responses that lead to skin-related and digestive issues. An allergic response, which has the potential to be fatal, can happen on rare occasions. After feeding your pet new food, always keep a close eye on them and look out for unusual reactions.

High Sodium Content

Your veterinarian might suggest that you keep an eye on your pet’s salt intake if they suffer from medical conditions like renal or heart problems. Some cats can’t eat cheese since dairy has a high sodium amount that puts their general health at risk. If you have any questions concerning the food of your pet, speak with your veterinarian.

Harmful Additive Ingredients

Depending on the components, some types of cheese might be unhealthy for cats, so choose wisely. Garlic, onions, and chives are a few ingredients that are frequently used with cheese spreads yet are extremely toxic to pets. Avoid these allium family members at all costs since they can cause anemia in animals by destroying their red blood cells.

cat looking up

What Types Of Cheese Are Safe For Cats?

Because hard cheeses contain less lactose than soft cheeses, they are generally safer for your cat. As a result, your cat could enjoy a tiny slice of cheddar or Swiss cheese now and then. Soft cheeses, such as brie or cottage cheese, have significant amounts of lactose, which might cause mild GI issues in your cat.

Also, if your cat has a medical condition, such as obesity or diabetes, any cheese may be harmful to them because it is heavy in calories and will just add to their weight. Despite the fact that cheese contains protein, unlike cats eating eggs which has some benefits –  there is little nutritional advantage to your cat eating cheese, so they should not eat it every day. Giving them a little slice of cheese you’re eating should be fine.

Can Cats Have Non-dairy Cheese?

If you’re wondering if lactose-intolerant cats can eat nondairy cheese, because vegan cheeses are lactose-free, the answer is no. Vegan choices may be appealing to humans, but nondairy cheese is heavy in salt and fat, making it unsuitable for cats to consume.

Can Cats Eat Cheese Chips?

Cats should only be fed cheese chips as a treat, not as an everyday part of their diet. When it comes to feeding cheese chips to cats, balance is important. Even though cats can consume cheese chips, it is recommended to minimize their intake.

Can Cats Eat Cheese Puffs?

Cats often love the mild flavor of cheese puffs. Cheese puffs should be consumed in moderation by cats since they contain high amounts of fat and calories, which can contribute to weight gain. 

Because cheese puffs include salt, they can dehydrate cats. For these reasons, cheese puffs should be given as a special treat for cats rather than a regular treat.

can cat eat cheese

How Much Cheese Can I Feed My Cat?

Because cheese can upset cats’ stomachs, it should only be fed to them in moderation and on rare occasions. Before introducing anything new to your cat’s diet, even a little amount of cheese, consult with your veterinarian to confirm it’s healthy for them, depending on their current health.

Cheeses are considered a treat, thus they should not constitute a significant portion of your cat’s diet. You may give your cat cheese by cutting it into little pieces that are simple for them to chew. If it’s your cat’s first time eating cheese, start with a little slice and keep an eye on them to make sure they’re not experiencing distress.

Like when you give your cat any other human food that is not toxic, for example when cats eat olives, make sure you give it in moderation.

Can Cats Eat Other Dairy Products?

As previously stated, most adult cats are lactose intolerant, so it’s better to avoid other dairy products, particularly those high in lactose. Cats consume their mother’s milk when they are young. However, as kittens get older, they lose their need for milk and their digestive tract no longer processes dairy.

When it comes to dairy products, it’s best to keep your cat away from them altogether, even if they appear to be interested in your glass of milk. To be healthy, they merely need to drink water and consume their own cat food.

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