Cheese’s slight fluff might send cats into the kitchen to seek out the salty treat, but can cats eat cheese? The scoop on whether cats and cheese are a compatible mix.
Is cheese harmful to cats?
Cheese is fine for cats, according to many veterinarians. Is it possible that cheese might be harmful to cats? Yes — in moderation. Give your cat a tiny piece of cheese only once in a while, similar to the size of a dice. For example, you may decide to limit your kitty’s cheese intake when you need to hide medicine for them.
However, while many cats can handle little amounts of cheese, if your cat is lactose intolerant or has a milk allergy, even a tiny amount might wreak havoc on their digestive system.
Cats and dairy intolerance: what’s the difference?
Despite the popular belief that cats adore a bowl of milk or cream, most cats are unable to digest dairy. Many cats are lactose intolerant and may develop gastrointestinal issues such as inflammation, diarrhea, constipation, and nausea if they eat dairy at Cornell University’s College of Veterinary Medicine.
Even a little nibble of cheese might cause problems for cats with a dairy allergy. (Cats, like humans, aren’t known to have many food allergies, however dairy, as well as fish and red meat, are the most common.) If your cat has a dairy allergy and eats cheese, it may lead to digestive difficulties or even immune system dysfunction.
Following are some of the symptoms your cat might have a dairy allergy if he or she has been eating lactose-containing foods:
- Itchy and/or red skin patches
- Hair loss
Contact their veterinarian as soon as possible if your cat displays any of these or similar symptoms to schedule an examination.
Why do cats enjoy cheese?
Why would cats develop a preference for this particular food if they aren’t particularly good at digesting cheese?
Of course, we can’t expect a response from our feline companion right away, but cheese’s high fat and protein content is said to entice cats to include it on the menu. As a result, your cat’s real desire is for protein and fat rather than the cheese itself.
Is it possible for cats to eat non-dairy cheese?
What if cheese itself is the issue? What if there are no non-dairy alternatives available? It turns out that this isn’t such a smart idea, either. Another reason why cheese isn’t the greatest cat food has to do with additives.
Cheese is high in salt, fat, and even spices or extra ingredients like onion or garlic, which can be harmful to cats. Before giving your cat with that much-craved cube of cheese, double-check the label. If your cat appears determined on getting their paws on any piece of cheese they find, speak with your veterinarian about alternatives.
The Different Types of Cheese
Cheese is not recommended for cats, but if you do give your cat a cheesy treat, there are certain types that may be preferable:
Cheddar is one of the most well-known cheeses on the market, with a semi-hard texture and little lactose. However, this does not imply that your cat should eat excessive amounts of cheddar because it may cause stomach issues.
Many cat parents have witnessed their feline companions eating the pizza box, but is all that gooey cheese okay for your cat? Not particularly. Lactose, a type of sugar in soft cheeses like mozzarella, whether raw or cooked, is a health hazard for cats since it is high in lactose. Cottage cheese and cream cheese are also hazardous and should be avoided.
Swiss cheese is a popular choice among sandwich consumers since it’s high in protein and low in sodium and fat, making it a healthy cheese for people. It has comparable amounts of lactose to cheddar, but it can still cause digestive problems.
Brie is a popular soft cheese that contains Salmonella and Listeria bacteria, both of which can cause serious illness. Blue cheese and Camembert are other raw soft cheeses to avoid.
What causes cheese to be blue? Mold. Cheese produced with Penicillium mold cultures, such as Stilton, is toxic to dogs. As a result, don’t offer your cat moldy cheeses.
So, can cats eat cheese? The answer is yes – but only in moderation. Stick to giving them a tiny piece of cheese that’s about the size of a dice. If your cat has a milk allergy or lactose intolerance, avoid giving them any cheese at all. And as always, if you have any questions or concerns, consult with your veterinarian.