When it comes to feeding your cat, there are so many options. Different types of food and flavors, everything you could possibly imagine.
Some foods might seem like a no-go for your feline friend due to their natural instincts. Cheese is one of those foods that you may think are off-limits for cats, but the truth is that there are types of cheese that your cat can eat.
The tricky part is knowing precisely what kinds of cheese and how much they can safely eat.
In this article, we go into more detail about whether cats can eat cheese and, if so, what kind and possible risks, dangers, and precautions to keep in mind when feeding them any cheese.
Table of Contents
1. Do cats like cheese?
Cats are generally attracted to dairy products. Their sense of smell could be a substantial contributing factor, as cats may find the smell of dairy, particularly cheese, appealing. Domesticated cats are often exposed to dairy items like milk, butter, and cheese. These are items they don’t usually see in the wild. Their exposure to dairy can trigger their curiosity and interest.
On the other hand, cats in the wild have an innate instinct to hunt mice and other smaller scavenging animals. These mice may have been storing cheese in their bellies. Cats will try to kill them and collect this cheese in their stomachs. The smell of cheese or dairy products is enticing for them.
It’s no surprise that many cats enjoy cheese. Because of the high protein and fat content and the delightful cheese flavor, your cat will most certainly devour it.
However, as we understand more about our feline companion’s digestion, it is evident that cats are not suited to eat dairy, no matter how much they appear to like it.
2. Is cheese harmful to cats?
We do not recommend feeding your cat any cheese. While some types of cheese are possibly acceptable for cats to eat, there is still a risk of allergies, upset stomachs, and other problems.
And even though some types of cheese can be eaten, it’s easy to overfeed your cat and give them too much. Cheese is high-fat, and cats who consume cheese can quickly pack pounds.
Feeding your cat cheese is linked to a greater risk of feline obesity, diabetes, and heart disease. Obesity in pets is a common condition and drastically reduces their life expectancy while causing any number of otherwise preventable diseases.
Cats are strict carnivores, and their bodies are not built to regularly process dairy products. Although some low-fat varieties of cheese can be eaten by cats, technically, cheese is not suitable for them and should be avoided. The high-calorie and high-fat content of cheese make it unhealthy for your cat.
Even if your cat is not significantly overweight, feeding her cheese is still not recommended. When cats are fed a diet high in cheese, it can lead to the development of feline acne and other minor problems. This is not an immediate problem but poses a more significant issue.
3. Can I give my cat a little bit of cheese?
A little bit of cheese may not be safe to give a cat. It depends on the type of cheese you’re offering and if your cat can digest cheese or is lactose tolerant.
If possible, you should always avoid giving any cheese to your cat. Not only are the quantities unhealthy for your cat, but the types of bacteria in cheese are not suitable for cats. The bacteria found in cheese can lead to gastrointestinal problems and cause issues with your cat’s digestion.
It can also cause weight gain and an unhealthy weight, leading to many health problems. It’s also important to note that cats have a different digestive system than humans, so the bacteria found in cheese may be particularly harmful to them.
Cheese is a dairy product and should be avoided because it is high in fat, and many cats are lactose intolerant. The best action is to minimize the cat’s exposure to the product. Some cheese may not be fatal, but once your cat develops an appetite for it, it may prove problematic in the long run.
4. What happens if a cat eats cheese?
As we’ve already discussed, cats are strict carnivores and only thrive on a meat-based diet. When a cat eats dairy, it can cause gastrointestinal issues, such as vomiting, diarrhea, and abdominal pain.
Lactic acidosis is risky, leading to a cat’s organs shutting down. If a cat eats dairy and has a horrible reaction, it’s best to bring them to the vet immediately, especially if it’s something like cheddar cheese, which has a much higher chance of causing an adverse effect.
Even a tiny amount of cheese might cause adverse reactions in felines sensitive to dairy products. Dairy products, seafood, and red meat are the most frequent allergens cats are intolerant to when it comes to food, although cats typically aren’t allergic to too many foods. If your cat has an allergy to dairy products, eating cheese might cause digestive troubles and even affect its immune system. This is similar to how lactose intolerance affects cats.
5. Can cats have non-dairy cheese?
You might wonder, “If cats are lactose intolerant, is it okay to give them cheese made with non-dairy ingredients?”
Although many people think it’s a good idea, cats shouldn’t eat non-dairy cheese since it’s not healthier for them than regular dairy cheese. Even though it does not include dairy, non-dairy cheese is high in fat and salt, neither of which is good for your cat’s health.
It’s possible that some cats, particularly kittens, have lactose intolerance, which makes dairy products intolerable for them to consume. You might consider giving your cat a non-dairy cheese alternative like parmesan if this is the case.
Please remember that the dangers associated with dairy cheese are also there with non-dairy cheese. Always remember that cats have specific dietary requirements and cannot consume the same foods as people.
And don’t even consider the idea of vegan cheese! It could be much more problematic to give them something cats don’t naturally eat in the wild. Giving vegan food to meat-eating animals, such as your cat, is not recommended.
A vegan diet is not only damaging to a cat, but it will also result in the cat’s death and dreadful quality of life for the wretched creature until it dies and is liberated from its misery.
Vegan cheese and the idea of a vegan diet can be very detrimental to a cat’s health and may ultimately lead to death because cats are obligate carnivores. Their physiologies were not developed the same way as ours, enabling them to process protein from plant sources.
6. Why do cats love cheese?
Cats are attracted to dairy products, which is why they’re drawn to cheese. They’re also drawn to the salty taste of cheese. Cheese also contains high amounts of protein, fat, calcium, and other minerals. This is why cats like it so much, and it’s essential to keep them away from it because it’s not a healthy choice.
Cats likely have the same taste for cheese as we have. It’s easy to get your hands on and tastes great! From the view of an obligate carnivore, it is a potential supply of protein. Notably, it’s a source of calcium that tastes excellent. It has an appealingly distinct texture from that of meat or fish. It is unique enough to be considered a delicacy or treat.
Cheese is a common ingredient found in many homes, and it stands to reason that cats could develop a taste for it for one of the many reasons listed above.
Cheese is not a natural food for domesticated and wild cats. Thus it is our responsibility as cat owners to discourage their use of cheese. A cat’s body is not designed for food like cheese or other dairy products simply because it’s not something cats are accustomed to eating, particularly in the wild.
The ability of a cat to detect odors is far more acute than a human’s. Because cheese typically exudes a potent scent, keeping it in a location where a cat won’t be able to readily get it if you want to avoid unpleasant encounters is recommended. Should your cat opt to consume some cheese, you can prevent subsequent difficulties resulting from this action.
7. Treat them right (Cat gain nutrients)
Because a cat’s natural diet is rich in protein and fat, the nutrients most essential for you to offer to your cat can be found in food such as cooked beef, turkey, chicken, and small amounts of lean deli meats, all high in both protein and fat.
Protein, lipids, vitamins, minerals, and water are the five essential components that should be included in a cat’s diet.
Perhaps one of the most recommended ways to feed your cat is to include giving them wet food in their diet. Carnivorous by nature, cats must consume a significant amount of meat to stay alive. This indicates that they require a specific ratio of nutrients in each meal, which can only be obtained in wet food (as opposed to dry food).
It is the most effective method for nourishing a cat; they will enjoy it just as much as dry food.
A small amount of cheese should not necessarily be considered a matter of life and death. However, in the long run, it is recommended to steer clear of feeding cheese to your cat as part of their diet. If you have any questions regarding the consumption of cheese by your cat, you should see your veterinarian.
By the end of the day, you must decide what to feed your cat as a cat owner. Always bear in mind that cats and humans are totally different when it comes to food. It would be best to discern what’s suitable for your feline companion and not base their diet on uninformed reasons.
Do your research and consult with professionals to give your beloved cat the best and proper care.