Cats are generally represented as dairy lovers that we don’t even ask ourselves, ‘Can cats eat cheese?’ It is interesting to know that most cats are lactose-intolerant. So why exactly is it not good to feed cheese to your cats?
Why is cheese bad for cats?
Do cats like cheese? Some kitties might enjoy eating a piece of cheese. However, that doesn’t mean that it is fine to share it with them.
If your cat eats cheese, she might develop many health problems. Let’s know more about why cheese is bad for cats.
Harmful additional ingredients
Cheese often contains many ingredients other than dairy. Some may contain spices, onion, and garlic, which are dangerous for cats. Spices and seasoning can irritate your pet’s digestive system and cause stomach upset. Meanwhile, onion and garlic possess compounds that are highly toxic to cats.
Lactose intolerance and dairy allergies
People generally think that cats love cheese due to how the media portrayed them. The truth is cats do not go well with dairy products. Yes, a lot of cats can handle eating a bit of cheese. However, many kitties are allergic to dairy and lactose-intolerant.
Cats are obligate carnivores, which means they mainly acquire the nutrients they need, especially proteins, from meat.
Although cheese is a good source of protein, it is bad for cats because they often lack lactase enzymes in their digestive systems, which is needed to digest dairy properly.
Giving them a bowl of milk or even small amounts of cheese can lead to countless digestive issues.
A lactose-intolerant cat may suffer from vomiting, Diarrhoea, and constipation if she ingests dairy. Cats with dairy allergies may experience flatulence, itchiness, hair loss, Diarrhoea, and vomiting.
If your furry friend exhibits any of the symptoms above, stop feeding your cat cheese and get her checked by the vet immediately.
High in calories
Cheese has lots of calories, which are not good for cats. A 10-pound cat eating an ounce of cheddar cheese is equivalent to a human consuming two and a half cheeseburgers to give you a clearer context.
High salt content
Cheese is not only loaded with calories but sodium as well. Kidney problems, cardiovascular diseases, and obesity may arise if you allow your feline pal to overeat cheese.
Experts caution cat owners with these conditions to keep off cheese from their pets’ diet. Sharing a small amount of other high-sodium food such as potato chips, deli meats, and fast-food items should be avoided too.
Are all types of cheese off-limits? What kinds of cheese are okay for cats?
There are other types of cheese that may be safe for cats to consume. Some varieties tend to be unhealthier than others. Let’s find out the kinds of cheese that may be good and bad for your kitty.
Can cats eat cheddar cheese?
Cheddar is a very popular cheese and can be safe for cats. What makes it a good occasional treat is that it contains lesser lactose compared to other types. But feline owners must be reminded that too much of something is bad.
Cats can potentially suffer from digestive upset if they consume large amounts of cheddar cheese. Thus, limit your cat’s cheddar cheese intake to small amounts. A small piece of cheese will do.
Can cats eat Swiss cheese?
Swiss cheese is low in lactose, fat, and sodium. Moreover, it is high in protein. You can give this as one of the optional cats treats to your kitty, provided that you don’t go overboard. Always feed moderately to avoid gastrointestinal problems.
Can cats eat mozzarella cheese?
Mozzarella cheese is high in lactose, whether it is raw or cooked. The same goes for cottage cheese and cream cheese. It is best to avoid sharing these types of cheese with your cat to prevent her from having severe digestive issues.
Can cats eat brie cheese?
Never feed your cat brie. Raw cow’s milk is used to create this cheese, a big health hazard for cats. Brie cheese may contain salmonella and listeria, which can cause health issues to your feline friend.
Can cats eat blue cheese?
A mould called penicillium, which is toxic to cats, is added to blue cheese. Other mouldy cheeses such as Stilton and Camembert also have penicillium and should be kept away from your cats.
Read: Which Human Food Can Cats Eat?
Can kittens eat cheese?
Many cats are lactose-intolerant once they become fully mature. On the other hand, kittens can ingest dairy without difficulty. That is because their bodies produce large amounts of lactase enzyme when they’re young. This allows them to drink and adequately digest their mother’s milk.
Unfortunately, cats lose this ability when they grow up. The production of lactase enzymes starts slowing down once they begin weaning at around four weeks old. By the time they learn how to eat solid cat food, they are already lactose-intolerant.
Kittens need to stick to a strict and balanced diet to keep themselves healthy. Adding new foods can cause nutritional imbalance. It can also lead to indigestion and Diarrhoea, which may permanently damage their digestive systems. For these reasons, kittens should not be given cheese.
Are there other cheese-filled human foods that we should not share with our feline friends?
Can cats eat non-dairy cheese?
Feeding non-dairy cheese to your cat is not recommended. Although non-dairy cheese is devoid of lactose, it still has high fat and salt contents. Some also have additional ingredients like seasoning, onion, and garlic, which are harmful to your cat.
Can cats eat cheesecake?
Do not share cheesecake with your cat. Aside from cheese, it contains milk, sugar, and butter, which can irritate her digestive system. Some store-bought cheesecake may also contain xylitol, a sugar substitute that is very lethal for cats.
Can cats eat cheese puffs?
No, keep your cat away from cheese puffs as they are high in sodium and seasoning. If your cat consumes too much of these, it can result in several health problems.
As mentioned earlier, high-sodium foods are linked to the development of obesity and cardiovascular and renal diseases.