When your cat hears that crinkle, it knows cheese is near. Their animal instincts never go wrong. We don’t have to tell you that cats love to eat cheese (unless it’s not spreadable), but we do have to tell you that cats eat cheese. This article will tell you everything you need to know about whether your cat likes cheese.
Can cats eat cheese?
Can cats eat cheese? Yes, but only in moderation. Cheese is not toxic to cats, but it is not a natural part of a cat’s diet. Although cheese is not necessarily harmful to your cat, there are a few reasons why you should limit or eliminate dairy from your pet’s diet:
1) Dairy products may cause gas and diarrhea. Excess gas and frequent, liquid stools can cause painful bloating and discomfort for your pet.
2) Cats lack the necessary enzymes to digest dairy products properly. Cows produce the enzyme needed to digest dairy products in their first stomach as a survival mechanism from long ago when they grazed in grass fields (grass has low nutritional value). Amazing science fun fact there, right? Felines lack this enzyme, and even if consumed, the food will pass through their digestive tract without being digested properly or absorbed by the body.
3) Cheese is high in fat and protein. While fats are important to a healthy diet, too much can lead to obesity if consumed in excess quantities. It is also more difficult for your cat to digest animal protein than plant protein like beans or grains
When Is Cheese Bad For Cats?
Few other foods are so universally loved and hated as cheese. Humans enjoy its creamy texture and rich flavor, but cats can be especially sensitive to such qualities. Here’s when it’s dangerous to give cheese to your cat.
Cats have a reputation for loving dairy, but few cats tolerate it. The truth is that many felines are lactose-intolerant, perhaps because they lack sufficient amounts of the enzyme responsible for digesting lactose (which has to do with a feline’s relatively short life span). As a result, most lactose-intolerant cats can’t readily digest cheese and shouldn’t have milk.
High sodium content
Cats can be sensitive to high-salt diets. If you have a pet, it’s important to watch the sodium content in their food. Cheese is rich in salt and can cause problems. Consult your veterinarian before altering your pet’s diet.
When it comes to giving your cat snacks, there are a few ingredients that you should avoid. Garlic, onion, and chives can break down your pet’s red blood cells and cause anemia, so skip those at all costs.
Dairy products are found in some pet foods and treats, and their protein is a common source of allergies in some cats. While the problem is not as widespread as some believe, dairy allergies can cause moderate to severe reactions in some cases, potentially leading to anaphylactic shock. It is advisable to feed your cat a non-dairy diet for life if your pet has reacted adversely to dairy items.
The Best and Worst Types of Cheese for Your Cat in 2023
Certain cheese is better for cats than others. Let’s look at what kind of cheese is good and which is bad.
Cheddar cheese is one of the most popular cheeses around – and it’s no surprise why! This mild, semi-hard cheese doesn’t have much lactose, so it’s safe for most cats. However, don’t let that fool you into thinking they can eat as much as they like!
Some cats can’t get enough pizza, but their human parents have to draw the line somewhere. Cheese is high in lactose, which can cause problems for cats. Raw or cooked, soft cheeses such as mozzarella are no-nos for kitties. Cottage cheese and cream cheese pose similar risks.
Goat cheese is considered the safest cheese for cats to eat; it has the least lactose and contains less salt than hard types of cheese.
Blue cheese is a no-go. It contains a toxic mold that can be deadly to kitties. Even if your kitty doesn’t have any problems digesting the lactose, they still shouldn’t consume it. Blue cheese is brimming with fat.
If you’re thinking of serving your kitty non-dairy cheese, it’s sadly not a good idea. Non-dairy cheese is high in salt (which isn’t good for feline health) and fat (which may cause weight gain and can aggravate joint problems), neither of which will make your feline friend happy. In fact, these may trigger sadness in cats.
The bottom line
Cheese is safe for cats, but only in small amounts. How often is “once in a while”? That depends on the cat, its age, and its health condition. A healthy older adult kitty can have cheese every few days, whereas an overweight younger kitty should have cheese no more than once or twice a month.