is cheese ok for cats

Although cheese isn’t toxic for cats, many cats are actually lactose intolerant, meaning they cannot properly digest the type of sugar found in dairy products, and so eating milk and cheese can cause digestive issues.

Cats and Cheese: Is It OK?

Experts say that cats can eat cheese, but only in small amounts. If you do give your cat cheese at all, give it to them in tiny doses, about the size of a dice, once in a while. For instance, you may decide to only give your cat cheese when it’s necessary to conceal a medication for them.

However, even though many cats can handle small amounts of cheese, if your cat has a milk allergy or is lactose intolerant, even a small amount of cheese could seriously harm their digestive system.

Dairy Intolerance and Dairy Allergy in Cats

Despite the long-standing myth that cats love nothing better than a bowl of milk or cream, most cats cant digest dairy. The Cornell University College of Veterinary Medicine emphasizes that many cats are lactose intolerant and can experience gastrointestinal problems, including inflammation, diarrhea, constipation and vomiting, if they consume dairy.

Even a tiny bit of cheese may cause severe reactions in cats who are allergic to dairy products. (In general, cats don’t have many dietary allergies, but dairy, fish, and red meat are the more prevalent ones.) Similar to cats who are lactose intolerant, consuming cheese if your cat is allergic to dairy products may cause digestive problems or even compromise their immune system.

After ingesting lactose products, your cat may exhibit the following symptoms, which are indicative of a dairy allergy:

  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Gas
  • Itchy and/or red skin patches
  • Hair loss

Make an appointment for a check-up with your cat’s veterinarian as soon as possible if they exhibit these or any other strange symptoms.

What Cheeses Can Cats Eat?

Certain cheeses are better for cats than others if you would like to give your cat a small amount and you are certain that she is not lactose intolerant or allergic to dairy. Look for firm cheeses that are plain with no additives. Some to consider include:

  • Cheddar
  • Swiss
  • Parmesan
  • Provolone
  • Gouda
  • Goat cheese, albeit with a lower vitamin D content and a higher fat content than some other cheeses.

Softer cheeses should be avoided since they frequently contain significantly more lactose. Stay away from:

  • Cottage cheese
  • Cream cheese
  • Mozzarella
  • Brie
  • Blue cheese
  • Camembert
  • American cheese, a processed food item with a high carbohydrate content

One of the cheeses that should never be eaten is cream cheese. Cream cheese is softer than many other types and contains more lactose, which can cause vomiting and diarrhoea.

Cottage cheese, like cream cheese, has a relatively high lactose content and can upset a cat’s stomach. Cats should avoid cottage cheese as much as possible, even though it may be tempting to share the carton once it is empty.

Most string cheeses are composed of the soft cheese mozzarella, which is occasionally combined with the firmer provolone. Mozzarella contains a lot of lactose and can be both raw (like in string cheese) and cooked (like in pizza), which can upset a cat’s sensitive stomach. Provolone is better tolerated by many cats. If your cat must eat, only give them tiny portions. Generally speaking, though, it’s best to decline to share your string cheese.

Cheesecake is not safe to share with cats. It contains soft cheese, usually ricotta or cream cheese, along with other ingredients that could poison your cat or make them sick.

Other cheese crackers, such as Cheez-Its, are not recommended. There are many extra ingredients in these baked treats that might not be good for cats’ health. Additionally, this treat is essentially “empty calories” for your cat because it is high in calories, fats, and carbohydrates and should be avoided.

FAQ

What happens if my cat eats cheese?

They aren’t toxic to cats, but eating too much cheese can upset their stomach and lead to diarrhoea or vomiting. Eating cheese over a prolonged period can also lead to obesity. Some cheeses are also very high in salt, which can cause problems in excess just as it does in humans.

What cheese is safe for cats?

Swiss and cheddar cheese are lower in lactose than other cheese, which makes them the safest options for cats. Skip the soft cheeses, such as mozzarella, cottage cheese, and cream cheese, which contain higher levels of lactose.

Is it okay to give a cat a little bit of cheese?

Can cats eat cheese? According to experts, yes — but only in moderation. If you give your cat cheese at all, just give them a small piece once in a while, about the size of a dice.

Why are cats obsessed with cheese?

Dairy Product Component Attraction The parts of the diary product that your cat has interest for are fat and protein. They can smell the fat and protein in dairy products and will be attracted by it. There can be a lot of both fat and protein in milk, cheese and yoghurt.