Cats seem to have an extra sense when it comes to cheese. Whether it’s in the owner’s hand, on the dinner table or the kitchen countertop, they’ll waste no time trying to get their paws on the delicious cube of dairy. But should cats eat cheese?
Have you noticed your cat paying you more attention than usual whenever the cheese is out of the fridge? The unmistakable stare is your feline’s way of pleading for a seat at the table and a slice of that yummy block of dairy you’ve got in your hand. But can cats have cheese as part of their usual diet? Or is cheese actually bad for cats? Keep reading to find out what to do if your furry friend keeps asking you for their fair share of cheesy treats.
Can cats eat cheese?
Given our pop culture’s penchant for images of cats lapping up milk, there’s no wonder one of the most enduring feline myths is a cat’s love of dairy. But it turns out milk is not a good idea for cats as most of them are actually lactose intolerant.
So, can cats have cheese? Not if your cat is lactose intolerant or suffers from milk allergy. And even if this is not the case for your pet, cheese should generally be avoided and only fed to them in moderation.
Why is cheese bad for cats?
Most cats can’t digest dairy products which means eating milk, cream or cheese could quickly lead to digestive issues such as diarrhoea, constipation or vomiting.
The explanation has to do with how the feline digestive system evolved. Cats are known as obligate carnivores, meaning they need a diet based mostly on meat to thrive and remain healthy.
This is why when dairy shows up on the menu, chances are their gastrointestinal system will start acting up. A cat’s body can’t produce enough enzymes to digest milk properly, making cheese a problematic dinner choice for felines.
Can kittens eat cheese?
Since kitten’s meals consist of milk you may be wondering whether cheese is bad for kittens too. While it’s true that a cat’s ability to produce the lactase enzyme is much better during kittenhood, allowing them to enjoy the milky dinners, by the time they’re able to eat solids such as cheese, that ability is already gone. If you’re not sure what to feed a kitten, find out with our handy guide.
Why do cats like cheese?
If cats are not particularly good at digesting cheese, why would they develop such fondness for this particular food?
Of course, we can’t expect an answer directly from our furry friend, but experts believe that it’s the fat and protein content in cheese that makes them interested in adding it to the menu. Therefore, it’s the protein and fat your cat is actually craving, not the cheese itself.
Can cats have non-dairy cheese?
If the dairy content in cheese is the problem, what about the non-dairy versions? It turns out this might not be such a good idea either. Another reason why cheese isn’t the best treat for cats has to do with ingredients. Whether it’s dairy or non-dairy, cheese comes packed with salt, fat and even spices or additional ingredients such as onion or garlic which can be toxic for felines. Make sure you read the food label before offering that much-craved cube of cheese to your cat. And if your feline seems bent on getting their paws on any slice of cheese in sight, discuss with your vet to find safer alternatives.
Can cats eat cheese as a treat?
There are owners who let their cats have an occasional cheesy treat and when it comes to giving your cat a pill, a lump of cheese comes in handy to help medication go down easier for the pet. If you haven’t noticed any reactions and your vet has given you the go-ahead, you can use cheese as a treat every once in a while. Make sure you keep an eye out for any signs of discomfort. Don’t forget that there are plenty of meaty treats cats will enjoy just as much if not even more, so cheese can easily be replaced with feline-friendly alternatives that won’t cause intestinal issues.
The answer to whether cats can have cheese is not a straightforward yes or no. Cheese is not in the risky category of harmful foods for cats, but it’s not the healthiest option either, no matter how happy will make the feline in your life. As always, check with your vet before using cheese as a treat for your cat.
If you want to find out more about cats and milk, we’ve dispelled the most common milk myths in our feeding guide. And if you need inspiration for cat treats alternatives, check out our tips.
The slight crinkle of a cheese wrapper can send cats flying into the kitchen in search of the salty treat, but can cats eat cheese? Here’s the scoop on whether cats and cheese are a good combination.
Cats and Cheese: Is It OK?
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. For example, you might opt to limit your kitty’s cheese intake to times when you need to hide a pill for them.
But, while many cats can tolerate small portions of cheese, if your kitty is lactose intolerant or has a milk allergy, even a small amount of cheese could wreak havoc on 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 can’t 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.
Cats with a dairy allergy may also react poorly to even a small bite of cheese. (Generally, cats don’t have a lot of food allergies, but dairy, as well as fish and red meat, are the more common ones.) Like kitties with lactose intolerance, if your cat has a dairy allergy, eating cheese could lead to digestive issues and might even affect their immune system.
Common signs your cat has a dairy allergy include the following after consuming lactose products:
- Itchy and/or red skin patches
- Hair loss
If your cat shows these or any other unusual signs, contact their veterinarian as soon as possible to schedule a check-up.
When Cheese Is a No-No
According to the Cummings Veterinary Medical Center at Tufts University, you should avoid giving your cat cheese if they need to lower their salt intake and/or if they have a heart condition. In addition to cheese, if your kitty is on a low-sodium meal plan they should absolutely stay away from deli meat, fast food, potato chips and bread.
Focus on Calories
No more than 8 to 10 percent of a pet’s daily calorie allotment should come from treats or food that wasn’t recommended by a veterinarian. Cheese, for example, is a popular human food that can be way too high in calories. In fact, giving a 1-ounce cube of cheddar cheese to a 10-pound cat is equal to a person scarfing two and a half cheeseburgers, all at once.
The best approach for cat parents? Avoid the extra snacks and substitute extra love instead.
Types of Cheese: Good vs. The Bad
If you do sneak your cat a cheesy treat, certain varieties may be better than others:
- Cheddar: One of the most popular cheeses around, cheddar is a semi-hard cheese that doesn’t contain much lactose. This doesn’t mean, however, that your cat should eat large amounts of cheddar, as it can cause tummy troubles.
- Swiss: A favorite among sandwich lovers, Swiss cheese is considered a healthy cheese for humans because it’s high in protein and low in sodium and fat. Like cheddar, it has low amounts of lactose, but it can still lead to digestive issues.
- Mozzarella: Plenty of pet parents have caught their feline friends sneaking into the pizza box, but is all that gooey cheese good for your cat? Not so much. Soft cheeses like mozzarella, whether raw or cooked, are health hazards for cats because they are high in lactose. Cottage cheese and cream cheese pose similar risks and should be avoided.
- Brie: A popular soft cheese, brie is made with raw milk, which may contain Salmonella and Listeria, pathogens that cause serious illness. Other raw soft cheeses to avoid are blue cheese and Camembert.
- Blue cheese: Know what makes cheese blue? Mold. This type of cheese, including Stilton, is made with cultures of the mold Penicillium, which can be toxic to pets. For this reason, don’t feed your cat moldy cheeses.
Feeding your cat a bit of cheese here and there shouldn’t be a problem, but speak to your cat’s vet about whether or not it’s a healthy option for your kitty. If you do feed your cat cheese, only give it to them once in a while and in small amounts. That’ll give them something to smile about!
Last updated: Jan 25 2022
Who doesn’t love a nice slice of cheese slapped across a juicy hamburger? Cheese compliments meat in almost every situation. Since your cat probably salivates over every meat on your plate as much as you do, it’s natural to think they can enjoy cheese the same.
But can cats eat cheese, too? While cheese is entirely non-toxic for cats, you should limit their intake. Some kitties are more sensitive than others and shouldn’t have cheese at all, even in small amounts. Let’s go over why cheese shouldn’t be in your feline’s food bowl every day.
Can Cats Eat Cheese? Here’s the Scoop
Even though there’s no chance of poisoning your cat with cheese, that doesn’t mean it’s really that good for them to snack on. Of course, if your cat has a small taste, you probably won’t even notice a difference. But more sensitive felines may have a harsher reaction.
Cheese is a dairy product that contains lactose. Cats are naturally lactose-intolerant, which means their liver doesn’t have the enzymes to break down cow’s milk. So, even though it won’t directly harm them, it can be hard on their digestive system. Plus, it can cause a few bathroom problems that you’ll have to clean up later.
Cats are carnivores, so they don’t benefit from anything other than animal-based protein in their diet. Their bodies aren’t designed to digest anything but meat. Animal protein and water are the only things your cat needs to survive. Adding extra fillers too frequently can create unwanted side effects, especially in the long-term.
Image Credit: faiza_adamjee, Pixabay
Is Cheese Bad For Cats – Other Factors:
Cheese includes things that may not be so great for your cat, but it is possibly okay to share it with them in moderation. You can decide. To keep things into perspective, you should consider the nutritional content in cheese to make the best decision for your furry pal.
Cheese has a pretty high amount of fat and salt—no matter what kind it is. It’s probably fine for a cat to have a little piece now and again, but regularly eating it can cause obesity, digestive issues, and unwanted side effects.
Salt and fat content will vary from cheese to cheese. Some cheeses like mozzarella and Neufchatel have less fat and sodium. But hard cheeses like sharp cheddar have a much higher level of both. If you’re going to give them either, the softer, lighter cheeses are better.
Salt itself is considered toxic to pets. Ultimately, it dehydrates your cat, causing vomiting, diarrhea, lethargy, and increased thirst—if eaten in excess.
Aside from the unhealthy ingredients, cheese is a good source of protein—which is something your cat needs a lot of in their diet. While this is an upside, they already get an adequate amount of protein from their dry kibble diet.
But Don’t Kittens Drink Milk?
Sure, kittens need their mother’s milk for survival. Because they need to nurse, a kitten’s body produces a higher amount of the enzyme used for lactose digestion. But this is strictly for feline milk and not for any other animals. Plus, they stop producing as much of the enzyme as they outgrow the weaning stage.
Kittens have precise dietary requirements that they can only get through the mother’s specially-tailored formula. Their bodies are made to digest it. Their mothers produce it specifically for their offspring to develop the way they’re meant to.
So, unless you’re making cheese made of cat’s milk, it’s still not going to have any real nutritional benefit to your cats.
Side Effects of Dairy
If your cat eats cheese—or any dairy product for that matter—it can cause a few gastrointestinal issues. Keep in mind that some cats react differently than others. Some may show no sign of a problem but watch their behavior and bathroom habits after eating it.
If you have an extra-sensitive kitty, you may notice things like:
If your cat has a not-so-good reaction, it’s best to steer clear of cheese altogether. In any case, remember to give them cheese on occasion and not as an everyday snack.
Image Credit: Hans, Pixabay
What About Vegan Cheese?
Since vegan cheese is made solely with vegetable-based ingredients, you may assume it would be sufficient for your cat instead. But because cats are carnivores, they don’t benefit from soy or other plant-related additives you’ll find in vegan cheeses.
Vegan cheese won’t do much harm in small portions, but it’s not healthy for them, either. So, the same sentiment extends—a few bites are okay, but they shouldn’t eat a lot in one sitting or every day.
Cheesy Cat Treats: Are They Okay?
If you’re thinking of buying your cat cheesy treats, there are many options on the market. The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA) even gives quick homemade treat ideas to satisfy your cheese-loving feline’s appetite.
Still, these treats should only serve as a delicacy for your cat. You shouldn’t offer any treat too often since most cats will overeat and veg out if you let them.
Can Cats Have Cheese: Final Thoughts
Ultimately, it’s up to you as the owner to determine if your cats can have cheese. Just remember that your cat’s dietary health should always come first. If something isn’t so beneficial for them, it may be best to skip cheesy treat time altogether. But if you do decide to give in, go light.
If you have any questions or concerns, rely on your veterinarian to give you top-notch advice.
Can cats eat cheese? Should this be added into your cat’s diet? Let’s find out.
Even before Lewis Carroll wrote his famous novel about a little girl named Alice who tumbled down the rabbit hole, “grinning like a Cheshire cat” was a common phrase.
Because the county of Cheshire, England was (and still is) so abundant in dairy farms, it was assumed a cat from that area would be very happy because he could have all the milk and cream he wanted.
The famous Cheshire cheese was even molded to look like a happy cat. Perhaps Lewis Carroll got the idea for a disappearing cat from an easily disappearing cheese.
It has since been found that adult cats can’t handle milk and cream, but what about cheese?
Can Your Kitty Drink Almond Milk? Click here for answer
Can Cats Eat Cheese?
The answer would be only in the strictest moderation, if indeed at all. A small cube, like you would see on an hors d’oeuvre tray, might not hurt your cat if she has just one every once in a great while. Some cheeses have more lactose than others.
Lactose is the enzyme made up of natural milk sugars in milk that cats have trouble tolerating as they age. Different cats may have different levels of tolerance.
Kittens have lactase in their bodies, the enzyme that makes it possible to digest lactose. Because the only thing they can eat for the first weeks of life is mother cat’s milk, this enzyme is very necessary.
As the kitten ages and needs less milk and more meat, she may gradually develop lactose intolerance. Grown cats may still crave milk, the way a person might crave the comfort foods they associated with youth, but it is not always good for them.
Is Cheese Bad For Cats?
Once upon a time, people were encouraged to eat more cheese because it was made with protein rich milk, the healthiest of foods. Then it was revealed that most cheeses were little more than salted fat.
Where your cat is concerned, you must be aware of how much dairy she can handle, or you are going to have a very messy litter box to clean up. Cheese is not a natural food for cats and too much can cause obesity.
An average adult cat’s healthy caloric intake is between 200 and 300 calories. A 113 calorie slice of cheese could make up half the calories she needs and cause her to put on weight.
The salt content likewise must be watched. Most cheeses are very high in salt content, which is not at all good for an animal that dehydrates easily.
Can Cats Have Cheese As A Treat?
It might be good for your cat to have cheese as a rare treat. In fact, if your cat seems fond of cheese but won’t take medicine, you could mix some of her medicine in with some cheese and get her to take it like that.
You can wrap pills in a slice of American cheese or grind them up and sprinkle them on a cube of Swiss or cheddar. Liquid medicine can be mixed with just enough cream cheese or cottage cheese to kill the taste.
Not only will keeping cheese a rare treat keep your cat from overindulging in the unhealthy parts of cheese but she will be more eager to eat it when it is presented, whether or not it’s been doctored.
Different types of cheese and cats
Cheeses flavored with onions, garlic and some herbs are not at all good for cats. Read the label. Soft cheeses have more lactose than hard cheeses, so go with a firm variety such as Swiss or hard cheddar if your cat must have cheese.
While vegan cheese made of soy milk is high in protein and low in fat, many cats have a soy allergy. Feed your cat only a small bit and observe her reaction.
Cheese made with goat’s milk may be more easily digestible, but only if the milk is pasteurized. (Cheeses made with unpasteurized milk are typically only available outside the U.S.) Cats also do not need much salt in their diet so go for a low sodium type such as parmesan.
While cream cheese cottage cheese and mozzarella are low in sodium, they’re also high in the lactose that your adult cat may have trouble digesting. American cheese is mostly made of oils. While this is low in lactose, it is high in fat and sodium.
Then there’s non dairy cheese aka vegan cheese, is it safe to give to your cat? After all it doesn’t contain any lactose right? Many may find this as a “safe alternative” but truth be told, vegan cheese is no better than the dairy kind.
Vegan cheese still contains high fat and salt content which is bad for your beloved companion. You better seek the advice of your vet before giving it to your pets.
Can Your Kitty Eat Eggs? Click here for answer
It is not necessary to add cheese to a cat’s diet and an excess of it can do more harm than good. However, a tiny bit every once in a blue moon is not particularly harmful, especially if it is the only way Kitty will take her medicine.
If your cat simply must have cheese, there are cheese flavored cat treats that are better formulated to your cat’s needs. Try them instead.
Incidentally, you shouldn’t feel too bad for the cats in Cheshire. They’re not constantly surrounded by food they want but can’t have. While adult cats have a tendency to lactose intolerance, the cats of Cheshire might still be quite pleased.
Where there are cows, there are barns full of hay. Where there are barns full of hay, there are mice. A cat who likes his food to move could be very happy on a dairy farm.
Can cats eat cheese?
While humans and other omnivores naturally produce a lactase enzyme to help break down lactose and other nutrients from dairy products, cats simply don’t have these enzymes. But, while small amounts of cheese are safe for cats, it will pose an unnecessary risk of digestive issues for your furry friend.
What happens if cats eat cheese?
What could be wrong with offering your cat a saucer of milk or a piece of cheese? Most cats are lactose-intolerant. Their digestive system cannot process dairy foods, and the result can be digestive upset with diarrhea.
Is it OK to feed a cat cheese?
As they age, cats may become lactose intolerant, so make sure to only give small amounts of dairy foods to your cat. Dairy items your cat can try: Hard Cheeses (Cheddar, Gouda, etc.) Low Lactose Cheeses (Cottage Cheese)
Does cheese give cats diarrhea?
Cats have trouble digesting the lactose in milk, which can cause an upset stomach or diarrhea. So, while some cats have no trouble tolerating milk, they are not recommended to drink anything but their mother’s milk while kittens, due to the possibility of digestive issues.
Last updated: Jan 13 2022
Many cats love dairy foods. The stereotypical cat loves milk, though it may upset most actual cat’s stomachs. But, what about cream cheese? While cream cheese isn’t toxic to cats, it isn’t exactly the best option for them either.
Cream cheese is a dairy product, but it is much higher in fat and quite concentrated when compared to other dairy products out there. Some cats crave this high-fat food but may be unable to digest it properly.
Some cats may be particularly drawn to cream cheese, while other cats may not bother it much at all. Whether your cat seems to sneak cream cheese every time you turn around or not, you may want to think twice about letting your feline feast away. In this article, we’ll discuss everything you need to keep in mind when giving your feline cream cheese.
The Potential Downsides of Cream Cheese
Cream cheese contains the sugar lactose, as do most other dairy products. This sugar requires a specific enzyme called lactase to break it down. Otherwise, it won’t be digested properly and can cause stomach upset, though these symptoms are often not severe.
While cats have lactase in their digestive tract as kittens, they do not continue to have this enzyme into adulthood. By the time a kitten is a few months old, the lactase is mainly gone. This leaves their digestive tract similar to humans with lactose intolerance. Some lactase will remain, but it will be insignificant compared to the amount of lactose found in cream cheese.
Image Credit: Vasiliy Khimenko, Shutterstock
Not all cats will develop this type of lactose intolerance. Some do just fine with dairy products as they grow older. Different cats will continue to possess different levels of lactase as they age. However, unlike people, the vast majority of cats will be lactose intolerant. The ability to digest lactose properly will be a rare event in the cat world.
Cream cheese does contain less lactose than other dairy products, like milk. However, it still contains more than most cats can handle, which is why we don’t recommend cats consume it. Cream cheese also contains quite a bit of fat, which can be a problem by itself.
Cats are obligate carnivores, which means they were made to live on a diet that consisted of meat. This also means they thrive on high protein and fat levels, as these are the things meat contains. However, cream cheese contains very high-fat levels – more than most cats can comfortably digest at once. Even if your feline can handle the lactose, they may be unable to handle the excess amount of fat.
Potential Symptoms After Eating Cream Cheese
If your cat consumes cream cheese, it likely won’t experience any severe symptoms. Like people with lactose intolerance, they often experience stomach pain and diarrhea. Their stomach may feel upset and cramp, and they will likely be more prone to accidents outside the litterbox. Usually, the symptoms pass after a few days when the lactose has left their system.
Of course, some cats have a more severe reaction to others. If your cat experiences severe diarrhea, it may be at risk of dehydration, which can be pretty serious. If your feline’s condition worsens, you may need to visit a vet to get your cat fluids through an IV. While diarrhea is rarely deadly, it can be if it leads to severe dehydration.
Vomiting is quite rare with cream cheese. The digestive tract typically doesn’t get irritated until the treat has moved through the system a bit – at which point vomiting doesn’t make much sense. However, some cats may have a faster reaction, which can potentially cause vomiting. This is especially true if they are sensitive to fat.\
Image Credit: Free-Photos, Pixabay
What Are Some Alternatives to Cream Cheese?
The best treats and snacks for felines are those made of mostly meat. Freeze-dried chicken and other meats are great options, as cats evolved to live off meat anyway. You can find these sorts of treats at most pet stores. You can also make your treats by cooking unseasoned meat. Be sure that the treats never take up most of the cat’s diet, as they need to primarily be eating their cat food or a similar, formulated diet.
Home-cooked diets are possible, but these contain more than meat and must be formulated to ensure your feline receives all the nutrients they need.
If you decide to cook up your meat treats, then be sure you do not use any seasonings. Many seasonings are toxic to cats in large amounts.
While cream cheese is not blatantly toxic to cats, lactose can cause many felines digestive problems. It is often best to avoid cream cheese for this reason and opt for other treats instead. Some cats do fine with the lactose, as they retain enough lactase to digest it into adulthood. Still, these cats may be bothered by the excess fat, which can also cause digestive upset.
Many cats are drawn to dairy, but that doesn’t mean it is good for them. If your feline snuck some cream cheese behind your back, then there is likely no reason to worry. They may experience some digestive upset, but the symptoms usually aren’t severe.
Can Cats Eat Mac N Cheese
Mac and cheese should be avoided for cats. Dairy in general and cheese are not good for cats. Although they may enjoy the flavor, their bodies cannot digest dairy. Now you’re aware that it is not a smart idea. Are there health benefits? But what about the health hazards? These are just a few of the many questions that you will find answers to.
Do you cat love mac and cheese? Do not give your cat cheese sauces or other pre-made cheeses. Macaroni and cheese can have a high amount of calories as well as carbohydrates. Your veterinarian will approve a diet that is meat-based to ensure your cat receives all of the nutrition it requires. It’s not surprising that a cat’s obsession with dairy is one of our most beloved feline myths. It turns out that milk isn’t a good choice for cats, as many of them are lactose-intolerant.
Can cats eat cheese? If your cat has a milk allergy or lactose intolerance, you should not allow them to eat cheese. Even if your cat isn’t allergic to cheese, it should be avoided.
Is mac n cheese safe for cats?
Most cats love cheese. Cheese can cause digestive problems in cats, contrary to what you’ve probably seen on TV. This includes cream cheese, cottage cheese, feta, blue cheese, and mac and cheese.
Is cheese poisonous to cats?
What makes cheese so bad for cats? Dairy products are not digestible by cats. This means that eating dairy products such as milk, cream, or cheese can quickly cause digestive problems like diarrhoea and constipation.
The image of a furry feline lapping up a bowl of milk is a common and widely accepted one. Some of us may even have grown up with Garfield going wild over a pan of lasagna. But can cats eat cheese? More specifically, should you be feeding them cheese?
Many cats love cheese, and it’s no surprise. The high protein and fat content as well as the delicious taste of cheese means your kitty will likely gobble it up. But as we learn more about the digestion of our feline friends, it has become clear that they are not designed to eat dairy, no matter how much they may seem to enjoy it.
Keep reading as Blue Valley Animal Hospital explores cats and cheese, and the facts about feline health.
Is Cheese Bad For Cats?
Cheese is not a natural part of a cat’s diet. Cats are obligate carnivores, which means they can only get necessary nutrients from meat. But even though cheese is also high in protein, it can upset a cat’s delicate digestive system.
The reason for this is that cats don’t tolerate dairy very well. Humans and other omnivores naturally produce the lactase enzyme to break down lactose in dairy products, but cats don’t produce this enzyme. This makes it a lot harder for them to digest dairy. In fact, the majority of cats are lactose intolerant, and can even experience severe vomiting and diarrhea if they ingest dairy products.
If your cat stares at you while you make your grilled cheese, or jumps up and tries to take a nibble of the cheese cubes in your salad, you may be tempted to give in. But the digestive problem is not the only reason to hold your kitty off. Cheese has a high fat content, and cats who consume cheese can easily pack on the pounds. Obesity in pets is a common condition, and drastically reduces their life expectancy while causing any number of otherwise preventable diseases.
Non-Dairy Cheese and Cats
You may be begging the question – if cats are lactose intolerant, would it be okay to feed them non-dairy cheese? While many people find this a delicious alternative, in truth non-dairy cheese is no better for cats than the regular dairy kind. Non-dairy cheese is still high in both fat and salt, neither of which is good nutrition for your cat.
Treat Them Right
As natural carnivores, cats gain the majority of their nutrients from meat. But that doesn’t mean they can’t eat anything else. Instead of treating your cat to cheese, try some of these feline friendly snacks:
- Fruits and vegetables
- Small amounts of cooked fish
- Cooked egg
Be aware that some other human foods can be toxic to pets. Whether you’ve got a finicky feline or an all-they-can-eat kitty, make sure their nutritional requirements are met. If you need help with a nutrition program for your cat, please give us a call.
By: Chewy Editorial Published: September 11, 2016
Can Cats Eat Cheese?
When you bite into a ham-and-Swiss sandwich or toss cheese cubes into a salad, your cat may gaze at you with hungry eyes, guilting you to drop a piece his way. But does cheese belong on a cat’s menu?
“Cheese is not a natural food for cats, simply because they are carnivores and have no need for it,” says Dr. Brad LeVora, DVM, who frequently advises clients on their felines’ nutritional requirements.
“As a protein, needed by meat-eaters, cheese is a very poor choice—it’s got milk, cream, and fat in it. Look at jungle cats like lions, cheetahs—they are not looking for a source of milk, they’re hunting for fresh meat.”
Cheese’s milk and cream makeup can upset cats’ gastrointestinal systems. Dr. LeVora says many, if not most cats, are lactose intolerant, meaning when they consume cheese, or milk, they’ll be met with unpleasant consequences, such as throwing up, diarrhea, or both
If your cat develops a fondness for cheese, he’ll quickly pack on pounds. “Cheese is very high in fat, it’s usually got lots of salt, it may have spices in it, and like milk, there’s no reason to give it to your cat,” says LeVora. “Even if your cat is not lactose intolerant, he shouldn’t be eating cheese.”
“Cheese is not a natural food for cats, simply because they are carnivores and have no need for it.”
And that means any cheese, whether basic supermarket slices or pricier Havarti, Monterey Jack or crumbly Bleu. Sorry, Tabby, no cheese for you.
But a smidgen of cheese for a cat can be useful in one particular instance, Dr. LeVora says. “Some cats are very hard to medicate with pills, and if putting a pill into a little cream cheese or wrapped in a slice of American cheese can get him to take it, then that’s a reason to give cheese. If it works to get him to take his medicine, I’m all for it.”
What about cheese as an occasional, very special treat? “When a client says he gives the cat a piece of cheese once or twice a year, I’m not going to say anything,” Dr. LeVora says. “But cats don’t need [cheese]. It’s not good for them, and if you’re feeding your cat cheese, please stop.” There are many cheese-flavored cat treats available that make a much better alternative because they are formulated specifically for your kitty.
Kathy Blumenstock is owned by cats, loved by dogs, writes about both, and still longs for a horse.
Mice are the quintessential cheese lovers. What do you fill the mouse trap with if not a nice tasty chunk of cheddar?
The clever cartoon cat might even use a chunk of Swiss to draw a mouse out of hiding. Most cats love cheese too. So if you set out that mouse trap you may be surprised to find a cat in the trap instead.
Even humans have such a love of all things cheesy that we probably invented cheese before we started writing. Alphabets have progressed a little since their origin, but cheese is light years ahead. We’ve even gone so far as to invent one that we can squirt out of aerosol cans.
Cheese is not poisonous to cats. It can, however, cause them some severe indigestion.
Can I Give My Cat Cheese? Answer: Depends on the Cat and the Cheese
Although cats love the taste of milk and cheese, most of them are lactose intolerant. So while it won’t do them much harm, it will put them in a certain amount of discomfort. Human fondness for cheese has resulted in such a plethora of different types that it is important to take into account that certain spices and condiments are severely hazardous to cats. On top of that, most cheeses contain large quantities of salt. Salt can be extremely dangerous to cats as it disturbs their electrolyte balance.
Check if Your Cat is Lactose Intolerant
A cat that is not lactose intolerant is extremely rare, but they do exist. Your cat may be one of the special ones that can consume dairy products without any difficulty. It is easy to check if this is the case. Feed your furry cheese lover a bit of milk or cheese to see how they react. Most cats will display the symptoms of an irritated stomach and perhaps some diarrhea. If your cat does not seem to be in discomfort and their litter box is not messier than usual, they have the necessary enzyme to process dairy products. In this case the occasional cheesy treat should be no problem.
There is more to most cheeses than just milk. A large majority of cheeses add large amounts of salt that works both as a preservative and as a taste enhancer. Be wary of varieties that have a lot of salt such as aged cheddar and feta cheese. Salt isn’t a staple of the feline diet and can cause problems with their electrolyte balance. A common practice, especially in creamy cheeses, is to add herbs. Garlic and chives are very popular additions to cheese, but are extremely dangerous to cats.
Cats that consume these condiments suffer from a type of anemia as garlic, onions, chives, and related roots attack and destroy their red blood cells. If your cat happens to be one of the lucky ones that can tolerate cheese, make sure the cheese you feed them is pure, as additional ingredients could turn out to be even more harmful.
Occasional Snack Only
A diet composed of cheese alone is not good for anyone. Imagine if you ate your favorite cheese everyday, chances are you would end up malnourished and overweight. For cats it is even worse. Cheese can never be considered a primary source of nutrients for them. They require taurine and fatty acids that are not available in cheese.
A cat that lacks taurine will experience hair loss, tooth decay and cardiovascular problems. Keep the cheese to a minimum, even if your cat’s digestive system can tolerate it. It still is a fatty food that serves no nutritional purpose for them.
Cat Food is Better
Cats will gladly eat cheese, but except for a select few, most of them will eventually regret it when standing in the litter box. Keep it away from your cat if you know that they are lactose intolerant. If they can handle the cheese, it is still important to keep in mind that most cheeses are spiced and salted. Additions to cheese such as garlic and onions are toxic to cats, so make sure it is pure before you share it.
Almost all cheese contains quite a lot of sodium which unhinges a cat’s delicate electrolyte balance. Avoiding cheese altogether is a safer, healthier option. There are plenty of cat treats available that are tasty and meet feline nutritional needs.
Parmesan cheese, in all its varieties and presentations, is one of the most popular foods in international cuisine.
Although there are hundreds of types of cheese, each with its own aroma, texture, flavor and nutritional composition, if you share your home with a feline companion, you know very well that parmesan cheese may be a very attractive food to him/her.
However, can cats eat parmesan cheese?
In this article I will answer everything about this question and show you the precautions you should take if you decide to incorporate this food into the diet of your four-legged friend!
Is Parmesan Cheese OK For Cats?
Parmesan cheese is a source of animal protein, made from the milk of various mammals. Being a lacto milk product, parmesan cheese also contains a significant amount of fat and minerals such as calcium, phosphorus and magnesium. So, if you consider that parmesan cheese is a high protein food that also has some beneficial fats, it might be logical to conclude that cats can eat parmesan cheese.
Since cats are strictly carnivorous animals, proteins must be the basis of the cat’s diet and, consequently, the most abundant macronutrients in their nutrition, being accompanied by beneficial fats, vitamins and minerals.
Although cats can ingest very moderate carbohydrate rations, you must keep in mind that excess of this nutrient can generate digestive disorders, as well as promote the development of obesity in cats .
But the answer to is parmesan cheese good for cats is not that simple, because parmesan cheese is also a direct derivative of milk and most adult cats are lactose intolerant.
Is Parmesan Cheese Good For Kittens?
When kittens are nursing, their mother’s milk is the one ideal food to meet all of their nutritional needs. Their body produces a large amount of an enzyme called lactase, which is responsible for digesting the lactose present in breast milk.
But when cats complete their weaning period and are ready to experiment with new foods, their body progressively decreases the production of this enzyme.
This is the most important food transition cats experience in their lives, because it means their body is ready to survive on its own, without the need to receive food from another individual.
Therefore, I would suggest not to feed your kittens parmesan cheese, as they still need to build important enyzmes that will allow them to properly digest parmesan cheese.
Most adult cats become lactose intolerant, since their bodies do not produce the enzyme needed to digest it or produce it at insufficient levels to digest it properly.
So when felines ingest milk or dairy products, they can develop digestive problems such as gas, vomiting or diarrhea.
For this reason, although parmesan cheese is not one of the prohibited foods for cats, its consumption should be moderate to prevent such digestive disorders.
Furthermore, I must point out that, even if parmesan cheese contains a high amount of proteins and fats, it cannot replace meat.
Will Parmesan Cheese Hurt Cats?
Eating parmesan cheese in small quantities will not hurt your cat, but it depends on the type of cheese – while cow’s cheese is cheaper and easier to find, goat’s and sheep’s cheeses are easier for our cats to digest. Hence, I would recommend giving preference to these types of cheese to prevent digestive problems associated with lactose intolerance in cats.
You can also try adding other low-fat cheeses, such as different types of cottage cheese, to the cat’s home diet, in order to complement it with a delicious treat and satisfy your cat’s demanding appetite.
Although the most consumed cheeses in the world come from cow’s milk, there are also cheeses made with sheep, goat and buffalo milk.
Offering a small piece of parmesan cheese as a reward will reinforce her good behaviors and encourage your cat to continue learning.
However, it is important not to use food alone as positive reinforcement for cats, as it could cause rapid weight gain or create the expectancy that obedience should always be linked to receiving food in return.
The best thing is to alternate snacks with petting, games, compliments and moments of fun, which are also excellent rewards for your feline’s effort and intelligence.
Is It Safe To Feed Cats Parmesan Cheese?
It is safe to feed cats parmesan cheese if your cat eats the right type of parmesan cheese (eg. goat’s and sheep’s cheeses), and in very small quantities, as a possible snack or complement in homemade recipes.
However, there is no exact dose – the appropriate amount of parmesan cheese should be adjusted based on each feline’s size, weight, age and health status.
Therefore, it is essential to consult a veterinarian to choose the most appropriate diet based on nutritional needs.
A professional veterinarian can guide you about the introduction of parmesan cheese in your cat ‘s diet, and recommend the most appropriate and safe doses that will have a positive impact on your cat’s health.
Does your cat like parmesan cheese? Tell me in the comments below if you have consulted your vet about introducing this food into his diet.
In love with cats, their behavior and psychology. I am working hard on this blog to provide you with valuable information on everything cats. When I am not working on my blog, I study research articles and enjoy the time with my beloved cat Astra!
Cheese is generally considered to be a safe food for cats, but there are many potential problems, as well. In fact, there are so many potential problems that it may be easier to avoid cheese altogether. Before sharing a slice of Swiss with your kitty, there are some other questions to consider:
Are There Nutritional Benefits to Feeding Your Cat Cheese?
As obligate carnivores, cats rely on nutrients found only in animal products. “The simplest and most convenient way to meet the nutrient requirements of a cat,” the Clinical Nutrition Service explains, “is to provide them with a complete and balanced commercial diet formulated by a board-certified veterinary nutritionist or an individual with a PhD in animal nutrition.”
If your cat is getting all of his required nutrients from his diet, treats like cheese don’t have nutritional benefits.
Is Cheese Safe for Cats to Eat?
While the University of Missouri Small Animal Clinical Nutrition Service in Columbia, Mo., lists cheese as a safe food for cats, there are caveats.
- Cheese is considered to be safe for healthy cats. “So if your cat has a health condition, such as heart or kidney disease and needs a low-sodium diet, this general rule doesn’t apply,” Theresa Entriken, DVM, a veterinary consultant based in Leawood, Kan., says.
- Cats can vary a lot when it comes to tolerating certain foods. What one cat tolerates well might cause problems for another cat.
- The majority of your cat’s calories should come from foods specially formulated to give him the nutrients he needs. Human foods like cheese should only be given occasionally and in moderation.
- Many cats are lactose intolerant and can develop digestive issues (e.g. diarrhea, constipation, vomiting) after eating dairy products. Hard cheeses like cheddar and Swiss are lower in lactose, so they may be a safer (though not risk-free) pick. Soft cheeses like Brie, mozzarella, and cottage cheese contain higher amounts of lactose.
- Cheese often has added ingredients that are toxic to cats. Avoid cheeses containing onions, garlic, and chives. You should also steer clear of moldy cheeses like blue cheese. It’s name comes from the spots of Penicillium, a type of fungus that grows on aging food and can be toxic to pets.
If you know or suspect that your cat has eaten any of the toxic foods above, call your veterinarian or the ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center (888-426-4435) as soon as possible.
How to Feed Your Cat Cheese Safely
Taking into account the points above, here are some guidelines for safely feeding cheese to your cat:
Ask. Chat with your veterinarian before you give your cat any new human foods—even if they’re generally considered to be safe for pets.
Calculate. Your veterinarian can help you figure out how many calories your cat needs and what his ideal weight is. With those numbers in mind, you can calculate how treats like cheese might fit into your cat’s nutrition plan. Since the Clinical Nutrition Service says treats shouldn’t make up more than 10% of your cat’s total daily calories, you’ll want to know how many calories that piece of cheese has—and whether it exceeds the 10% target.
Check the nutrition label on the package of cheese to calculate the correct portion size and total calories. This is also a good time to double-check the ingredient list to make sure it doesn’t contain any poisonous additions.
Prepare. Cut up the portion of cheese into cat-bite-sized pieces that are easy for your pet to manage. The size of your cat’s kibble can give you a good idea of what to aim for.
Monitor. “Feed only a small amount of a new food or treat, and try only one novel food at a time,” Entriken says. “That way you can more easily and quickly identify trouble if it arises.” If your cat shows signs of gastrointestinal distress such as vomiting or diarrhea, discontinue feeding the culprit treat and call your veterinarian.
Should Cats Eat Cheese?
Because cheese isn’t a part of a complete and balanced diet for felines and because so many cats can’t digest dairy, there’s no need to go out of your way to get your cat to eat it. However, if your cat is curious or you think a bit of cheese might be a good incentive for good behavior, follow the guidelines above for the safest approach.
Can Cats Eat Cheese Sticks
Soft cheeses like mozzarella pose a health risk for cats due to their high lactose levels. There are many cheeses that pose the same dangers to cats, such as cream cheese and cot cot. Cats will prefer harder cheeses because they are lower in lactose. This should reduce the potential side effects of cheese on cats who are lactose-intolerant. A hard cheese can be a great starting point if you want to give cheese a try on your cat.
It’s not surprising that a cat’s obsession with dairy is one of our most beloved feline myths. It turns out that milk isn’t a good choice for cats, as many of them are lactose-intolerant. Can cats eat cheese? If your cat has a milk allergy or lactose intolerance, you should not allow them to eat cheese. Even if your cat isn’t allergic to cheese, it should be avoided. Cheese sticks can be used to train dogs or as treats for them.
You might wonder if this applies to cats. Cheese sticks, which are made with mozzarella cheese, do not contain harmful toxic toxins like penicillium. You should avoid giving your cat cheese sticks. The lactose found in cheese could cause diarrhea. You can give your cat your occasional cheese treat if you have given them a little cheese before and that they are well-behaved.
Keep in mind, however, that cheese is not just dairy-rich, but also very high in fat. This could cause side effects for your cat’s overall health.
Are cheese sticks okay for cats?
Cheese is bad for cats? Cats should not be eating cheese as a part of their daily diet. The cat is an obligate carnivore, meaning that they only eat meat. Even though cheese can also be high in protein it can cause problems for cats’ delicate digestive systems.
Can cats have mozzarella sticks?
But not so. Because they contain high levels of lactose, soft cheeses such as mozzarella can pose a health risk to cats. Similar risks should be taken into consideration when choosing cottage cheese or cream cheese.
What happens if my cat eats a little bit of cheese?
Cats should not eat cheese and dairy. Although they aren’t poisonous to cats, too much cheese could cause stomach upset and vomiting. Consuming cheese for a long time can lead to obesity. The cat is an obligate carnivore and gets all its nutrients from meat.
In this article you’re going to learn “Can cats eat cheese puffs?”
Is it safe for your cat to snack on these?
Should you give your cat cheese puffs?
No, you should not be giving your cat cheese puffs.
You’ll find out why in this article
Carry on reading…
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Is It Okay To Give My Cat Cheese Puffs or Cheese Balls?
No, you should not be giving your cat cheese puffs
It’s not healthy for your cat
It’s a snack for humans and not for your kitty
Cat can eat cheese puffs but it’s better they don’t
They are unhealthy for your cat
What Should I Do If My Cat Has Eaten A Cheese Ball or Cheese Puff?
No need to panic
Your cat won’t be harmed or anything so you don’t need to go to the vets
You should try to make sure your cat does not have access to these snacks
Yes, it may have fallen on the floor and by mistake your cat managed to snack on one
If this happens, quickly pick it up and get rid of it
That way your cat won’t be able to eat it
Why Your Cat Should Not Eat Cheese Puffs / Balls
Cheese puffs are high in salt and calories
Just like us humans, if we consume too much salt then we are more likely to suffer from high blood pressure which can increase the risk of heart attack or stroke
Similarly, this can be the case for your kitty too
Eating cheese puffs in one sitting can cause a risk to your cats life
You see, your cats body is much smaller than ours
So they can only tolerate a fraction of the salt that our bodies can
Now imagine if your cat is snacking on cheese puffs like how we usually would
The amount of salt your cat would consume will be a lot!
That is really dangerous
The ingredients that is found in Cheese puffs contain low quality vegetable fats and salt
The high fat and calorie can cause your cat to gain weight and become obese
Now if your cat is overweight then this can cause other health problems such as
- Heart disease
It basically reduces your cats quality of life
The question is
Is it really worth letting your cat eat cheese puffs?
Alternative Snacks For Your Cat
Cats love to snack and they love themselves a treat
My cat loves treats and will do anything to get one
If you want to give your cat a snack or a treat then it’s best to give your furbaby a cat treat that is meant for them
Your cat will love it
Can Cats Eat Cheese Puff Balls?
Cats should not eat cheese puffs as it is really unhealthy for your cat and potentially can cause a lot of health complications
It’s not worth the risk
We cat parents want the best for our furbabies
That means providing them with the highest quality of food that has plenty of nutrients in them
Giving our cats treats is something we like doing because it makes our cats happy
So if you want to pamper your feline friend then it’s best to give them cat treats that are designed for them and is healthy
|One of my cats loves cheese. It’s so cute watching him beg for it when I eat cheese and crackers! I’m hesitant to feed him any, though, because I don’t want him to get sick. Can cats eat cheese?|
No, the majority of cats are lactose intolerant. Although it may not harm him, it will result in digestive discomfort.
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Yes, but I would be careful what kind of cheese. Also people food isnt really meant for animals so in the best for the cat I would skip it. Heather C
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not to much because you need tell the vet this to
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I would google or ask a vet to know for sure, but I have never had problems giving my cats a little cheese. Just don’t give him too much!
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Like peanut butter, cheese is safe for cats, in moderation. Cheese can be given to a cat to encourage them to take medicine. It’s like cake for humans: cats love it, but they shouldn’t have too much of it. Be warned, though, sometimes cheese can make them gassy and kitty farts tend to be pretty smelly.
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I think cats can eat cheese although dairy is bad for their digestion.
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Different types of cheeses are usually found in cat foods especially wet foods that can be bought at pet stores and many chain stores. Cheese is not good for a cat’s digestive system if they have shown to have some lactose intolerance (or sensitivity) from milk or any other DAIRY product. While giving your cat a small amount of cheese won’t hurt them, it is not recommended for you to feed them cheese regularly.
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Cats are lactose intolerant, however cheese is one of the ingredients commonly found in cat treats. Small amounts won’t hurt him, too much might give him diarrhea. So give him some in moderation.
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yes but not as a steady diet. Only as a treat and it is harder for a cat to digest.
Get snack-tastic! Start making your own creative, healthy treats using these foods for cats.
By: Elizabeth Scott
Smoked salmon isn’t just for bagels; many cats also enjoy the delicacy. One of the fancier people foods for cats, if you can offer your kitty lox on occasion, they’re sure to come back for more! Bonus: salmon is high in omega 3 fatty acids, which have anti-inflammatory properties and promote skin and coat health. Lox does contain sodium nitrate as part of the smoking process so this feline delicacy should be enjoyed in moderation.
Low in calories and containing almost every vitamin and mineral, spinach is a great way to introduce some greens to your cat. Spinach also contains glycoglycerolipids, which research has shown to help protect the lining of the digestive tract from damage due to inflammation. Note: cats with urinary or kidney problems should avoid spinach because it also contains calcium oxalates which can contribute to the formation of crystals in the urinary tract.
One of the more commonly thought of people foods for cats, canned or frozen sardines are great sources of protein and omega 3 fatty acids. If you have a food dehydrator, give dehydrating a batch of sardines a go. You may need to chop or slice them into a smaller, easier to handle size for your cat, but the effort will likely be rewarded by happy cat cuddles.
Beef or Chicken Broth
One of the greatest challenges cat guardians face is getting their cats to consume adequate water. Cats tend to drink very little—most cats do not drink enough water—and can be fussy about how water is offered. Adding low-sodium beef or chicken broth to your cat’s food will increase her water consumption while providing a very low calorie treat. Feeding wet cat food is also a great way to increase your cat’s water intake. Both are good tips to keep in mind if your cat has bladder crystals/stones as increased water consumption is the main treatment for this ailment. Make sure the broth is low sodium so your cat can enjoy the benefits of hydration & flavour without the extra salt.
These sweet-tart little berries are rich in antioxidants and vitamin C. Research with dogs has shown that blueberries, as part of an antioxidant-rich diet, can help to reduce the symptoms of cognitive dysfunction and the same is hoped to be true of cats. This superfood is also high in fiber and low in fat, making blueberries one of the people foods for cats with the highest potential! Many cats love blueberries frozen and their small size makes them perfect for cats. A great treat to share!
There are many types of melon, from cantaloupe to honey dew to watermelon, and all of them are a healthy sweet treat you can share with your cat. Melons are a good source of vitamins A and C and are rich in antioxidant flavonoids, which help protect against free-radicals in the body. Melon can also be frozen before sharing for a cool treat or can be lightly mashed to make it more palatable if your cat doesn’t like the texture.
Many cats love cheese, which is super as cheese is a great source of calcium and protein. Cat approved cheese choices include cottage cheese, Swiss, cheddar or gouda. Soft, un-ripened cheeses like brie and camembert can be a little higher in lactose, which may cause some tummy upset so feed with caution. Cheese is also high in fat and salt so portion control is a must, after all the whole idea is to keep your kitty healthy!
Chicken or Turkey Gizzards
Gizzards—the second stomach of chickens or turkeys—are an excellent source of lean protein. At Thanksgiving, remove the gizzards from the cavity of the bird where they are often stored and boil it up in a bit of water to feed to your cat. In the summer, cook then freeze gizzards for a chilly, hot weather treat. Gizzards can also be dehydrated for a chewy snack that promotes dental health. Some supermarket packages of gizzards contain livers and hearts as well as stomach, collectively called giblets. Both liver and heart are also excellent sources of protein but tend to be a little rich for most cats so feed small pieces at first to make sure you don’t upset your cat’s tummy.
Fresh or frozen peas
Green peas are high in fibre, vitamin C, and vitamin A. In fact, you may have noticed that some cat foods include peas in their ingredient list. Cats can enjoy peas frozen, fresh, or cooked. If your cat is new to peas, try adding a couple of slightly mashed cooked peas to your cat’s food before working up to fresh peas because it can help ease digestion of a new food. The pods are likely too tough for your cat to enjoy so stick to the peas themselves.
This is a type of yeast (usually Saccharomyces cerevisiea) that has been grown under controlled conditions and then heat-treated so that it is no longer active. Nutritional yeast is often used by people who are vegetarians. With its slightly nutty or cheesy taste, people often use it as a flavour enhancer for foods, including as a topping for popcorn. Try sprinkling a small amount (less than a teaspoon) on your cat’s dinner. Some cats may not enjoy the taste, so start with a small amount and gradually add a bit more as they become accustomed to it. Nutritional yeast is one of the people foods for cats that is very rich in B-vitamins and protein, so feeding it to your cat can contribute to a healthy coat. Caution: do not feed live yeast used for baking because baking yeast is toxic to cats.
Scrambled or hard-boiled, eggs are a great source of protein for felines. Egg whites in particular are a great treat choice out of the people foods for cats, helping kitties who are watching their waistlines because the yolk is higher in fat and cholesterol than the white. Avoid feeding your cats raw eggs because they can carry salmonella, so to be safe, always cook eggs before giving them to your kitty.
If you are wondering, “What can cats eat besides cat food?” you likely have a strong desire to add more variety to your cat’s diet. You want your cat to experience a world of flavors and not have to stick to eating the same boring commercial cat foods.
What Is A Good Substitute For Cat Food?
While cat food should be your cat’s primary source of nutrition since cat food is specially formulated to meet a cat’s nutritional needs, there are 11 human foods you can add to your cat’s diet to allow your cat to enjoy all sorts of deliciousness.
Truthfully, all fish is safe to feed to your cat. Oily fish, however, is the best to feed your cat because oily fish supports optimal health of the eyes, joints, and brain. Examples of oily fish that are good for your cat are tuna and mackerel.
Beef, poultry, and any other fresh meat are good for cats to eat. If you think about it, cats eat these kinds of things in the wild, so there is nothing wrong with sharing a variety of fresh meats with your kitty.
Just make sure to avoid highly processed meats, like sausage and hot dogs, and do not feed luncheon meats because such meats contain a whole lot of salt which is toxic to cats.
If you want to share a slice of cheese with your cat, that is fine. Just make sure you do not feed your kitty too much cheese as this can cause stomach upset.
Berries are low in sugar, and they are also rich in antioxidants, making them a good snack for your cat. If you want to feed berries to your cat, make sure you feed them to your cat by themselves.
Do not feed berries to your cat that are covered in sugar, whipped cream, or are part of a pie.
Many cats love to eat melon as a snack from time to time. Additionally, melons are rich in vitamins A and C, making them a nutritional snacking option for your kitty.
Just make sure there are no seeds in the pieces of melon you feed your cat because seeds can possibly be a choking hazard.
While cats do not require vegetables as part of their diet, they can enjoy them as a treat from time to time. One treat cats love is carrots. If you decide to feed your cat carrots, make sure they are cooked because raw carrots can be a potential choking hazard for your cat.
Cats do not need to eat a lot of grain as grains can cause obesity; however, a little bit will not hurt if given as a treat. If you are eating rice, it is okay for you to share a bit with your cat. Furthermore, you can also give your cat a small bit of rice if he or she is contending with digestive problems.
Oats are rich in protein, iron and fiber, all of which are beneficial for your cat’s health. In addition to being a healthy snack option for your cat, oats can also be useful for treating skin irritation. If you want to apply oats to your cat’s skin to treat irritation, finely grind the oats up in a blender and apply them to your cat’s skin as a paste.
If you are having breakfast and want to share some of your eggs with your cat, there is no harm in doing this at all. Eggs are a rich source of protein, and your cat will digest them easily. Just make sure the eggs do not contain much salt or any other ingredients that are harmful to cats.
You may think it is funny for cats to eat spinach, but some cats love nibbling on it. If your cat wants some of your spinach, it is okay to offer it as a treat because spinach is rich in a variety of vitamins. If your cat has urinary or kidney issues, do not share your spinach because spinach is not good for cats with such issues.
8 Ingredients and foods Harmful to Cats
Now that you know what your cat can have other than cat food, you must also know which foods and ingredients are harmful to cats so you can make sure what you share with your cat does not contain any of these. We talked about how too much salt is toxic to your cat; however, there are eight foods you must absolutely never feed your cat.
Never allow your cat to ingest alcohol. As much as one tablespoon of alcohol of any kind can cause damage to your cat’s brain and organs.
Chocolate is not only toxic for dogs. Chocolate is toxic to cats as well as it can cause heart problems, muscle tremors, and seizures. Dark chocolate is especially dangerous for your cat to eat.
Never allow your cat to consume any drinks containing caffeine. Caffeine can cause your cat to suffer muscle spasms, heart palpitations and a rapid respiratory rate. Even a small amount of caffeine can be dangerous.
A slice of cheese here and there is okay; however, you need to be careful feeding your cat dairy as many cats are lactose intolerant. If your cat happens to be lactose intolerant, he or she may have an upset stomach, vomit and have diarrhea. Just monitor your cat closely if you decide to share a little bit of dairy from your plate.
You may be tempted to give your cat the fat trimmings from your meet, but do not do this. If you feed your cat too much fat, he or she can develop pancreatitis, and this can be painful.
Grapes and Raisins
Just as you want to keep grapes and raisins away from your dog, the same is also true for your cat. Grapes and raisins can be poisonous to your cat, so do not ever share grapes and raisins with your cat or foods containing them.
Garlic and Onions
Eating a small portion of onion or garlic as part of a sauce is fine but eating an entire clove of garlic or enough onion can cause severe nausea. Consuming garlic and onions on a regular basis can cause your cat to become anemic.
Artificial sweeteners are bad for your cat. These have been known to cause organ problems in dogs, and the same may be true for cats. It is better to be safe and sorry and keep artificial sweeteners out of the reach of your cat.
So, the next time your little furry family member plops down at your feet begging to have a bit of your food, you can share without the worry of causing any harm. Just make sure the food you decide to share does not contain any ingredients that are harmful to cats, and all will be well.
Can Cats Eat Scrambled Eggs?
It is recommended to only feed your cat that is cooked. The main reason is that raw eggs may contain e. coli or salmonella which can cause serious stomach upset to your cat If you are feeding your cat a raw diet, just avoid raw eggs for them
Can Cats Eat Bananas?
Children are not the only ones who can benefit from the nutritional content of bananas. Cats can benefit from bananas as well. Just make sure to only give bananas to your cat as a treat, as bananas are high in sugar.
Most mammals drink milk directly after birth, so drinking milk is natural for most. But eating cheese or yoghurt is not. Cats have the same principles. Unfortunately to them, cats are lactose intolerant and should not have any dairy products after their breastfeeding period has ended, but why do cats love all dairy products nonetheless? Cats are attracted to yoghurt and milk because of the fats and protein that they can sense and smell within the dairy products.
Mammals and Lactose Intolerance
Cats are mammals. Just like us humans, cats drink (and need) milk after birth from the breasts of the mother. At birth any mammal will have the enzyme to break down lactose into single sugars that are easier to digest.
When that breastfeeding period is done with, they can no longer accept milk. Cats, like any other mammal (so also us humans), are lactose intolerant. After the breastfeeding period, we slowly lose the enzyme to break down lactose, some faster than others.
Lactose, in adequate amounts within milk, is a sugar or carbohydrate that needs to be broken down in smaller single sugars for digestion. Lactose intolerant people and cats will therefore get a bad stomach, resulting in gastrointestinal problems.
Other Diary Products
Okay, so a cat has had some mother milk and so does our cow milk product give some resemblance of that same type of milk. But what about cheese or yoghurt or ice cream? They love it too! Yes, correct, even our cats (or at least some of them, not all) do love to get a lick of any diary product they smell in the air.
Sometimes it is as bad that, as soon as I open the fridge for a package of milk, cheese or yoghurt or open it at the dinner table, I got 2-3 cats around me, wondering if there is something to get. It’s like they are saying “Donations to the happy cat foundation please”.
What Do Cats Love In Diary Products?
So cats love diary products, period. The strange thing is, these cats have never had cheese before, or yoghurt, or ice cream. So I really wondered why it is that cats get attracted by something they never had in their lifetime. And secondary, why should they eat something that they are allergic towards? I found the answer to these questions.
First of all, cats are not allergic to dairy products. They are lactose intolerant. If you are allergic to something, you will get a reaction from being in touch with the allergen. When the allergen is removed, you might still have this reaction. And when you are exposed to it again, you might get a worse reaction to it. The body’s immune system will fight it.
Lactose intolerance means that you have reactions to the lactose in your body that disappear when the lactose has been digested.
Being lactose intolerant, means that you have reactions to the lactose, while the lactose is in your body. As soon as the lactose disappears from your body (through digestion, urine and feces), your body will restore normality. In humans lactose intolerance means that we will have stomach issues, ranging from stinky farts to diarrhea.
Lactose intolerance in cats means that they might vomit or have diarrhea. They will feel lousy and feel sick the rest of the day. Extreme cases of diarrhea can cause dehydration.
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.
Perhaps there isn’t as much fat in milk as we nowadays offer also skimmed versions of all, but cats will still sense or smell the protein and fat that are in there.
Liking something to eat isn’t exactly the same as not supposed to eat the food. We humans can be lactose intolerant too or have a liking for specific types of food, but that doesn’t necessarily mean that they are healthy for us. I’ve seen plenty of people that shouldn’t eat any sugar or milk, taking it anyway from time to time.
Kittens on the other hand do need milk to build up their healthy body. When a kitten doesn’t have a mother anymore, there is the option to feed a kitten with powder based milk that you blend with water. We have been on the milk duty for quite a lot of kittens through the past years, both bottle-fed as well as bowl-fed.
When we feed kittens milk, we use milk from KMR. KMR has a special formula that doesn’t contain the lactose. KMR milk is basically laboratory made mothermilk with all the nutrients for a growing cat. KMR also makes milk that you can give to your adult cats, for the cats that really have a liking for milk. That way you can safely give your cat milk, without them getting dangerous de-hydrating diarrhea and vomitting fits.
Cats do not need the extra fat and protein if they have a well-balanced diet of kibble or wet food, so offering them small bits of cheese, portions of milk, butter or yoghurt are strictly seen treats to cats.
Small amounts shouldn’t effect every cat as badly, so you can use the dairy products sometimes as treats, but take that with moderation. Treats that are added to a well-balanced diet, can lead to obesity if not taken with moderation. There is a big difference between feeding your cat a tiny amount of cheese occasional versus feeding your cat a slice of cheese every day.
I would still advice against treating them with human food, because it will quite fast become a bad habit of cats around the dinner table whenever you are serving food. Not all that bad when it is just you, but when you have visitors, this behaviour can get easily very annoying to your guests.
An alternative to giving human dairy products is using special designed cat treats that usually have the harmful components removed or reduced and often also are enriched with some vital nutrients. But even those treats should be given in moderation. A healthy happy thriving kitty is one that has a well-balanced diet and adequate amounts of water.
As such, the KMR milk is definitely a good alternative. Other great treats for cats are the raw cat treats from RawPawPetFood as cats prefer a high meat-protein diet and raw meat treats just fit in this profile nicely.
Many of the foods we humans eat regularly are also suitable for cats. However, one basic premise that should always be observed is that these foods should not be raw or overly seasoned. Salt, sugar, pepper, vinegar and various other condiments are harmful to your cat’s health. Even if your cat loves a particular seasoning, you shouldn’t share that kind of dish.
Once that warning’s been made, the truth is that sharing a human diet with a cat is actually quite easy. Continue reading this AnimalWised article to learn what human foods can cats eat.
- Can cats eat meat?
- Can cats eat cured meats?
- Can cats eat fish?
- Can cats eat vegetables?
- Can cats eat fruit?
Can cats eat meat?
The healthiest meat for cats is chicken – and it also happens to be a big favorite. Turkey is also good for cats. If you want to make your cat a homemade diet based on meat products, you should know that the best way to give your cat meat is boiled or roasted, without any oil. It is also advisable to completely remove bones, especially small ones. The skin should only be given to cats if they are malnourished.
Boiled chicken broth is strongly discouraged, because it is often cooked with leeks and other food that is harmful to cats. If your cat eats the meat that comes from the broth – which it will happily do – it will cause diarrhea and vomiting.
Rabbit and ground beef are acceptable for cats to eat; liver, if they like it, will provide lots of iron. On the other hand, pork doesn’t sit too well with them, especially the fattier parts.
Can cats eat cured meats?
Cats lovecured meats, but you have to restrict how much and how often they eat them because they contain excessive amounts of salt or pepper. The most suitable cured meats for cats are sliced turkey and ham, both low in salt if possible. Although cats love them, cured meats should only be given on occasion.
Salami, chorizo and salted ham are big favorites, but they shouldn’t be given to cats. As a last resort option, if you have run out of cat food you can give your pet a Frankfurt sausage.
Can cats eat fish?
The healthiest fish for cats are of the white and boneless kind. Salmon and trout are good, while tuna and sardines are also recommended because they contain Omega 3 and Omega 6 which are good for your cat’s fur.
Fish should never be canned, as the oil and salt content are not suitable for cats. Therefore, you should always boil the fish or get rid of the oil on the plate before feeding it to your cat. Smoked fish is not suitable, even though cats like it a lot.
Can cats eat vegetables?
Potatoes and carrots are good for cats, which is why they are also on the list of human foods that cats can eat. The best way to feed them to your cat is to make a pie made of ground beef or poultry mixed with boiled potato and egg. If you add chicken liver, it will be a delicious and fresh dish for your cat. However, you should only give them part of the pie – freeze the rest in daily portions.
Pumpkin, peas and lettuce are good in small quantities, because sugar is not suitable for a cat’s diet.
Cats are carnivores and generally use plants to help ease digestion. Therefore, even plants that are not harmful to cats should be given in moderation.
Can cats eat fruit?
Fruit contains a lot of sugar, so cats should only eat them in small amounts. You can give your cat melon and watermelon cut into small pieces so it can hydrate during the summer. Strawberries are also suitable for cats to eat.
Felines can also eat apples, pears and peaches, but in small quantities.
As always, make sure you’re familiar with the best diet and the nutritional requirements for your cat at every stage of its life.
If you want to read similar articles to What Human Foods Can Cats Eat?, we recommend you visit our Homemade diets category.
Crawfish are crustaceans and crustaceans are generally safe for cats to eat. But mind the shells as they may pose a choking hazard. It’s also important to make sure that they are part of a well-rounded diet as crawfish are missing some of the minerals that cats need to stay healthy (mainly taurine).
What seafood can cats eat?
Boiled, baked, or grilled fish works best for your cat. Oily fish like tuna and sardines offer more significant nutritional benefits to your cat in the form of healthy fats than white fish such as flounder or hake. As always, consult your veterinarian if you have any concerns about your cat’s diet.
Can cats eat boiled shrimp?
Plain-cooked (boiled or steamed) shrimp is safest for cats. Be sure to always wash shrimp before cooking and serving. No frills: Shrimp meat that is safe to feed to your cat should be deveined with the shell, head, and tail removed.
Can I feed my cat crab legs?
Yes, cats can eat crab meat as it does have essential nutrients to give to your cat. It should be kept in mind that the crab your try to serve your cat is in moderation and you are not trying to feed it regularly. You should always take proper vet consultation before making any addition to your cat’s diet.
Can cats have shellfish?
Yes, cats can have shellfish considering it has every essential nutrient that your little feline needs.
What should you not feed a cat?
Foods that are Dangerous or Toxic to Cats Onions and Garlic. Raw Eggs, Raw Meat & Bones. Chocolate and Caffeinated Drinks. Alcohol and Raw Dough. Milk and Dairy Products. Grapes and Raisins. Dog Food. Preventing Cats from Eating Dangerous Foods.
What can I feed my cat when out of food?
12 human foods that are safe for your cat to eat Fish. While you don’t want your kitty eating from the aquarium, feeding him oily fish such as tuna or mackerel can help his eyesight, joints and brain. Meat. Poutry, beef and other meat is a natural option for your little carnivore. Cheese. Bananas. Berries. Melon. Carrots. Rice.
Can cats eat peanut butter?
In short, the answer is no. Since cats are carnivores, they rely on meat for nutrition. Too much of this type of fat is bad for cats. High Sodium: Salt is also added to most brands of peanut butter and too much isn’t healthy for your pet.
Why does my cat sleep facing me?
Your cat really wants to be close to you, and he is so comfortable with you that he really feels he can let his guard down by sleeping on top of you. Your cat’s pretty smart too because he knows your arms and legs are more likely to move, so he will often choose your chest or even your back to sleep on.
Can cats eat squid?
Raw squid should not be eaten by cats. Because raw squid includes bacteria, it can cause food poisoning in cats. It’s also not very great in fried form (calamari). The only type of squid you can feed your cat is plain, boiled squid.
Can cats eat sardines?
“The best canned sardines for dogs (and cats) are those in water with no salt added. Avoid sardines packed in soy, corn, sunflower, safflower, or other omega-6 rich oils. For cats, feed no more than a 1/4 to maximum 1/2 (of a 3.75-oz can) per week.
Can cats have lobster?
Can cats eat lobster? Yes, it is an excellent treat as long as it meets the conditions described above. It provides your cat with nutrients such as amino acids, omega-3 fatty acids, vitamins, and minerals.
Can cats eat canned tuna?
Tuna. Cats can be addicted to tuna, whether it’s packed for cats or for humans. But a steady diet of tuna prepared for humans can lead to malnutrition because it won’t have all the nutrients a cat needs. And, too much tuna can cause mercury poisoning.
How do you make shrimp for cats?
The best and safest ways to cook shrimp for cats is to boil or steam it. Make sure that you don’t add any extra seasonings or salt to the shrimp. Likewise, only serve shrimp on its own; never serve your cat shrimp that has been dressed in a sauce or has been breaded or fried.
Can cats eat scrambled eggs?
Cooked eggs are the only way to feed an egg to your cat. Raw eggs can carry e. coli or salmonella, which can cause serious gastrointestinal problems for your cat. Even cats who are fed raw diets should not be given raw eggs.
Can cats have octopus?
To answer your question, yes, cats can eat octopus. They should, however, only consume a tiny amount of cooked octopus as a rare treat. While cooked octopus is typically safe for cats to eat, raw octopus can cause illness due to germs and parasites.
What are the signs that a cat is dying?
5 Signs Your Cat Is Dying Lack of Interest In Eating and Drinking. Like other animals, it’s common for cats to lose their appetite toward the end of their lives. Extreme Weakness. Lower Body Temperature. Changes in Appearance and Smell. Seeking Solitude.
Is applesauce safe for cats to eat?
Applesauce may seem harmless, but prepackaged applesauce may be filled with chemicals and preservatives that a whole apple wouldn’t have. On the other hand, if you’re fixing homemade applesauce and your cat takes a lick or two, it won’t have any harmful effects, as pureed foods are easier to digest for cats.
Can cats have cheese?
Cheese is not a natural part of a cat’s diet. Cats are obligate carnivores, which means they can only get necessary nutrients from meat. But even though cheese is also high in protein, it can upset a cat’s delicate digestive system. The reason for this is that cats don’t tolerate dairy very well.
Treehugger / Alexandra Cristina Nakamura
- Working Time: 5 minutes
- Total Time: 20 – 25 minutes
- Yield: 2 muffin-sized cakes
- Skill Level: Beginner
- Estimated Cost: $3
The Human Animal Bond Research Institute’s 2021 Benchmark Survey of Pet Owners found that 98% of people consider their pets as family members. And what does one do for family members’ birthdays? Make cake.
Of course, cat cakes are a little different than human cakes (and dog cakes, too, for that matter). They can’t eat the same sugar-based treats as we do, and they wouldn’t want to. Cats are carnivores, and they lack the taste receptors for sweetness. So, this kitty cake will bypass the sugar and focus instead on every feline’s favorite: fish.
What You’ll Need
- 3/4 can tuna or salmon in water
- 3 tablespoons shredded cheese (choose a hard, not overly processed variety like cheddar, Swiss, or gouda)
- 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- 1 egg
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Treehugger / Alexandra Cristina Nakamura
Combine fish, cheese, flour, and egg, and mix thoroughly. If necessary, break up your salmon or tuna into small, easy-to-chew pieces.
Although the recipe calls for all-purpose flour, you can replace it with coconut flour if your cat is on a grain-free diet.
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Treehugger / Alexandra Cristina Nakamura
Scoop your batter into two cups of a greased muffin pan. Bake for 15 to 20 minutes in a preheated, 350-degree oven. Use the classic toothpick trick to check whether the cakes are done inside. Allow them to cool completely.
If you’d like to get a little more festive—it is your furry friend’s birthday, after all!—feel free to top the cake with a gravy “icing” or garnish with a cooked shrimp or a pinch of catnip.
For a quick fishy gravy, mix half a cup of the liquid from your tuna with two cups of vegetable broth and a tablespoon of coconut oil in a small pot. Bring to a boil, then quickly add a tablespoon of plain sugar-free gelatin. Allow to simmer until a thick gravy forms.
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Treehugger / Alexandra Cristina Nakamura
Be sure to let the cakes cool before serving. If your cat has trouble biting into the cake, you can break it up to make it easier for him to bite and chew.
It’s unclear why cats have such a penchant for fish. It could be the strong smell or the high protein content of fish meat, or both. Experts aren’t exactly sure.
Canned tuna certainly should not make up a major part of your cat’s diet—because, of course, mercury poisoning—but a little won’t hurt. Make sure that the canned tuna you feed your cat is preserved in water, not oil.
Cheese isn’t a necessary or even natural part of a feline’s regular diet, and sometimes the dairy can disagree with a cat’s digestive system. Cats should only have cheese in small amounts, infrequently, as a treat. Hard, mild, not overly processed cheeses are better than soft cheeses. Omit the cheese from kitty cake recipes if your cat is sensitive to it.
Food Sensitivities in Cats
Unlike goats, cats can’t just eat indiscriminately without paying for it. There are plenty of foods, some even included in commercial cat foods, that can give your kitty diarrhea. Helping your cat avoid these foods can make his stomach feel better.
Your cat might love milk, but his stomach probably doesn’t. Most cats are lactose intolerant and shouldn’t have milk, cream, cheese or ice cream. One exception is low-fat plain yogurt in small amounts, which can actually help settle kitty’s upset stomach. Resist the temptation to offer your cat a bowl of milk, especially if he’s already not feeling well, since it causes diarrhea in most cats.
Some cats are born with food allergies and some develop them later in life, but either way, foods that his body won’t tolerate can cause bowel problems. For most cats, these foods are ones that wouldn’t normally be part of a feline’s diet, such as corn, wheat, soy and eggs. A food elimination diet can help determine if your cat has a food allergy. Ask your veterinarian for guidelines before eliminating foods to make sure your cat gets all the nutrition he needs.
Changes In Diet
It may not be what your cat is eating that gives him diarrhea, but the fact that it has changed. Some cats can tolerate abrupt diet changes, while others have trouble digesting new foods. The best bet is to make changes to your cat’s diet slowly. When switching brands or types of food, mix a little bit of the new into the old, gradually increasing the amount of new food each day until the switch is complete.
Poor Quality Commercial Food
Some cat foods are so full of fillers that they are better at upsetting your cat’s stomach than nourishing him. Look for foods that have meat, not meat by-products or vegetables, as the main ingredient. Cats must have meat in order to stay healthy, and foods with too little meat and too much corn, wheat or unidentified animal by-products can cause diarrhea.
Cats seem to think the best treats are in the garbage. Unfortunately, overindulging, eating spoiled food or items not intended for cats can cause severe digestive upset. Your cat may seem like he can handle just about any type of food, but his stomach can become very irritated by too much sugar, fat or rotten food.
Always check with your veterinarian before changing your pet’s diet, medication, or physical activity routines. This information is not a substitute for a vet’s opinion.
Pasta isn’t particularly healthy for cats
kicia_papuga / Getty Images
Who doesn’t love a heaping bowl of spaghetti? Quite possibly one of the most popular starchy comfort foods, pasta is a weekly staple for most families. But can your feline also indulge in some penne or linguine with you every now and then?
According to experts—maybe. Pasta is safe for many cats to sample from time to time. However, like most human foods, there are some safety considerations that you should make (and potential dangers to keep in mind) before serving your cat spaghetti.
Can Cats Eat Pasta?
Like many meals that your pet might take an interest in, it isn’t so much the pasta itself that can be hazardous—it’s how it’s prepared. The basic ingredients of pasta—flour, water, and eggs—are typically okay for cats to eat. The shape of the pasta also doesn’t matter due to it’s soft texture, so whether your preference is rotini or linguine, it should be fine for your cat to sample.
That being said, while the ingredients in pasta shouldn’t cause any major health issues in your cat, they also don’t provide much nutritional value. Cats are carnivores, and therefore should really be getting most of their food nutrition from sources of protein, like fish or chicken. In fact, protein deficiency is a serious condition and can lead to dangerous health problems in cats, which is why if you’re going to offer your kitty human foods, you’ll probably want to supplement their diet with healthier, more nutritious options like salmon, fruits and veggies, or even certain types of cheese.
While grains do find their way into many cat (and dog) foods, these agents only serve to add bulk and bind the food, and don’t provide any important nutritional value to our four-legged friends. Pasta is also deficient in the important vitamins and minerals that both felines (and their human counterparts) need on a daily basis.
The Dangers of Pasta for Cats
But while pasta isn’t necessarily “good” for your cat, it certainly won’t harm him or her to have a little bit every once in a while, as long as the pasta is served plain and isn’t coated with either tomato or creamy sauces (which can be either too acidic or creamy and high-fat), butter, or any additional ingredients. Some ingredients that are found in many pasta dishes, such as garlic, onion, or salt can be toxic to both cats and dogs, so you’re definitely not going to want to share a prepared pasta meal from a restaurant. Anything that’s high in salt, sugar, fat, and additives isn’t going to be good for your cat, and that includes pasta and it’s toppings.
Another type of pasta to avoid is anything that’s already processed (think Spaghetti-Os), as well as instant noodles, which can be loaded with sodium. Cats can’t tolerate significant amounts of sodium, and so snacking on salty or processed noodles can have serious consequences for your kitty.
Other dangers associated with your cat eating pasta include increasing their risk for obesity and other weight-related issues. Some cats may also have trouble digesting pasta, and it can therefore lead to GI issues like diarrhea. There is also a chance that your cat may be allergic to wheat, in which case they definitely should lay off pasta and any other starchy staples.
How to Safely Offer Pasta to Your Cat
Always be sure to check in with your veterinarian before offering pasta or any other human food to your cat, as every kitty will have unique health needs and your vet can advise you as to whether or not it’s safe to share your spaghetti. If you get the green light, start with a small bite or two and see how your cat reacts. If they show signs of any digestive issues or other health problems, avoid offering your cat pasta again. If your cat does seem to enjoy the pasta, keep in mind that they should only be offered a very small amount on occasion—it certainly shouldn’t become part of their daily diet.
Another thing to keep in mind is that cats should never be offered raw pasta. Their bodies are not equipped to digest raw noodles, and it will likely cause them digestive discomfort if they happen to get their paws on some dried pasta. If your cat is exploring your countertop while you’re making dinner and does accidentally consume some dry pasta, contact your veterinarian for guidance and be on the lookout for any symptoms of stomach distress.
Is milk bad for cats? Or is it simply not necessary? Does this apply to all dairy products?
All dairy products contain milk and milk-derivatives, and this includes cream, butter, cheese, yogurt and ice cream. In nature, most mammals do not have access to milk after weaning (after the mother stops providing her own milk), so it is therefore logical that provision of milk is not necessary for the normal health of an adult mammal. The most abundant sugar in dairy products is lactose, which requires an enzyme called lactase to be able to digest it and avoid symptoms of lactose intolerance, such as bloating, abdominal cramps and diarrhea. All mammals have high levels of lactase when they are young but the ability to digest lactose generally decreases with age. And as in humans, cats have varying levels of tolerance to lactose.
In addition to lactose, milk contains casein, which accounts for about 75% of protein products in milk. A diet consisting of a very high level of casein has been linked to Retinal Degeneration in cats because it interferes with the normal absorption of other nutrients. However, cat owners feeding a well-balanced diet containing small amounts of dairy should not be concerned with this.
If your cat has been fed small amounts of dairy products and not only seems to enjoy it but suffered from no ill effects, then feeding small amounts of dairy products such as cream several times a week will do no harm. However, if your cat has never tasted dairy and since milk is not necessary if your cat is being fed a balanced diet, it is advisable to simply omit this from their diet.
For humans, strawberries can be a great source of vitamin C, fiber and potassium, but the question remains—can cats have strawberries? The short answer is yes, cats can eat strawberries—but that doesn’t mean they should.
Cats are carnivores; their digestive systems are designed to absorb the nutrients provided by protein, and their gastrointestinal tracts have not evolved to digest carbohydrates. While commercially available cat foods contain some carbohydrates, fruits and vegetables are largely composed of carbohydrates and generally are not recommended as part of a carnivorous feline diet. Like other fruits, strawberries contain a lot of natural sugar, which can adversely affect your cat’s wellness.
Before allowing your cat to try a strawberry, you’ll want to consider a few things. For instance, if your cat has a particular health issue—like diabetes—strawberries are not appropriate for them to try. And remember, the majority of your cat’s calories should come from balanced pet food that provides them with the nutrients they need. Human foods like strawberries should only be given sporadically in very small amounts—if at all.
Because strawberries and other fruits or vegetables are not part of a carnivorous diet, there’s a good chance your kitty might not even want to try strawberries if offered. However, cats are known known for their curiosity, and your cat might want to sample any foods they see you eating. Luckily, if your cat happens to eat a strawberry slice they find on the floor or manage to sneak off your plate, they will typically be fine.
If you have any concerns about cats and strawberries, be sure to consult your veterinarian.
How to Feed Strawberries to Your Cat
Before letting your cats try a strawberry, wash the berry thoroughly, remove the leaves and provide only one small slice for your cat to taste.
Sam-I-Am may not be the biggest fan of green eggs and ham, but our feline friends seem to want to try anything we put on our plate. As cute as this may be, pet parents are left wondering: Can cats eat ham? What about eggs? What’s safe and unsafe for my fur baby?
You love sharing your home, your life, and maybe even your food with your fur babies, but it’s important to know what’s safe for them to eat and what isn’t.
Vets use the term “dietary indiscretion” to refer to when a cat eats foods outside of his normal diet, which can give him tummy troubles. Dietary indiscretion also refers to when your cat eats other substances that he shouldn’t – like your medicine, string, or house plants.
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Find out what in your home – from tuna to Tylenol – is okay for your cat to ingest and what isn’t. Plus, learn how you’ll know if your kitty has eaten something he shouldn’t have.
Can Cats Eat Ham (and other Human Treats)?
Those big kitty eyes begging for a nibble of your tuna salad sandwich are hard to resist. But before you fork it over, you need to know which “people foods” are safe for your fur baby have a taste of.
Unlike you, your kitty doesn’t get much nutritional value from veggies, so no need to start bargaining with her to eat her broccoli like you may have to with your two-legged children. While veggies usually aren’t harmful to your cat, there’s really no need for them in her diet.
Cats are primarily carnivores – meaning they thrive on eating meat, just like T-Rex in Jurassic Park. I’m sure you can see the resemblance.
So, can cats eat ham? What about steak, chicken, or fish?
Your cat can safely eat most meats as long as they’re cooked (sorry, no sushi for Fluffy) and they have’t gone bad. The same is true for eggs, in most cases. However, some kitties are allergic, so start small if you want to give your kitty a bite of hard boiled egg and keep a watchful eye out for any reactions.
Many kitties love cheese, too. While it can be a good source of protein and fat, it’s common for adult cats to become lactose intolerant. If your fur baby develops lactose intolerance, he may have a hard time digesting dairy, which can result in unpleasant indigestion and diarrhea. (aka, no fun for anyone!)
According to Dr. Elizabeth Colleran, “a good rule of thumb is that human food should not make up more than 15 percent of a cat’s diet.” Like with most things in life (except for snuggles and love), your cats should only be given human food in moderation, if at all.
What Foods Can’t My Cat Eat?
Now that we’ve answered the burning question – can cats eat ham and eggs? – let’s take a look at the human foods that are off limits for your feline.
According to Cornell University’s College of Veterinary Medicine, these foods are a big no-no for your little one:
- Anything containing xylitol, an artificial sweetener
- Sugary treats (Our feline friends don’t do well with carbs and sugar)
Other foods that are typically sited as bad for your fur baby are alcohol and caffeinated drinks. No beer or coffee. Sorry, Fluffy.
What Else is Unsafe for My Cat to Ingest?
There’re plenty of things in your house that your cat may try to snack on that aren’t stored in the pantry or refrigerator, but some are worse for your pet than others.
According to the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA), some of the most frequent causes of feline poisoning are:
- Insecticides, used for your lawns and gardens
- Rodenticides, used to get rid of those unwanted rats or mice
- Household cleaning products like bleach, detergents, and disinfectants
- Lead (thankfully, house paints no longer contain lead but it can be found in other items and substances like plumbing materials, gasoline, and ammunition)
Other items to keep away from your kitty include medications meant for humans – like aspirin, acetaminophen (Tylenol), ibuprofen, and vitamins – and flea medicine meant for dogs.
Also, your cat shouldn’t be munching on a salad (or floral arrangement) made from plants like poinsettias, lilies, mistletoe, holly, tulips, amaryllises, baby’s breath, and hydrangeas.
How Will I Know If My Cat Ate Something Bad?
No matter how close you watch your fur baby, she will eventually show her naughty side and get into something off limits.
Here’s a list of signs that may point to food poisoning:
- Blood in the stool/urine
- Loss of appetite
- Irregular heartbeat
- Inability to urinate
- Difficulty breathing
Depending on what your cat got himself into, it may take just a few minutes or up to several days for your fur baby to start showing symptoms. Of course, it’s always better to be safe than sorry with your little one, so if you suspect she’s eaten something she shouldn’t have, call your vet or take her to an emergency vet clinic near you.
Can cats eat ham and other human goodies at your house? How do you feel about sharing human food with your fur baby? Let us know in the comments below.
Sharilyn is a proud cat owner, long time storyteller and researcher. Her work spans beloved podcasts, television shows, media outlets, and independent documentaries. She likes to strike a balance between education and comedy, which you can hopefully tell when you read her articles!
Seizures, or convulsions, are characterized by uncontrolled muscle movements. Cats can have seizures and they are an extremely alarming incident. Seizures in cats can vary in cause and severity. Affected animals will often seem “out of sorts” both immediately prior to and after the seizure event. They will usually seem unaware of their surroundings during the actual seizure, but the convulsions do not last very long (usually a minute or so). But to the cat owner, it is a very long minute because seizures are more painful to watch than they are for the cat to experience.
1. Poisoning and toxic ingestion can lead to staggering and seizures. Toxicity can come from external sources, like toxic plants or chemicals, but even advanced metabolic disease (like kidney failure or diabetes) can seem like a toxicity to the body because of the imbalance of chemicals. The most notorious causes of toxic events that can lead to seizures include antifreeze poisoning and topical insecticides meant for dogs.
2. Encephalitis (inflammation of the brain) can also occur in cats. Like any inflammation, it can be infectious, parasitic or auto-immune. Sometimes if no one is able to figure out the exact etiology, it is called idiopathic. Cats suffering from encephalitis are very ill, often progressing from uncoordinated movements to seizures and unresponsiveness. Common feline infections, Feline Leukemia can be an underlying factor for seizure disorder as can certain parasites.
3. Developmental disorders are defined as conditions that occur during an animal’s formation and growth. These things can be secondary to infectious processes or just a mishap in development. An example of developmental disorder in cats can occur when a mother cat becomes infected with feline panleukopenia (a very contagious virus that we routinely vaccinate for) during her pregnancy. The virus can infect the brains of developing kittens and cause seizure disorders. There are other developmental troubles that can affect the way that the brain is formed and functions. Seizures associated with developmental problems are usually noticed in young animals.
4. Injuries to the head can cause seizures also. Cats that routinely spend time outdoors often get struck by cars and suffer head trauma. Sometimes head injury cats will have a bloody nose or unequal pupils, in addition to the staggering and seizures.
5. Other causes can progress to seizures for cats. Cancerous processes can be a reason, depending upon where the tumor is located. Sometimes the exact source is never determined, but patients can be treated and have a high quality of life.
Your veterinarian will be help you to differentiate between these major causes of seizures and explain the prognosis and treatment options. Sometimes diagnostic tests will be required.
Not all of these causes carry a guarded prognosis and early intervention can be the difference between life and death. Seizures are not an issue that can managed at home without veterinary supervision.
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Reviewed by Cooper Vet Team
Did you know that the story about cats loving fish because of ancient Egyptians luring them into their homes using fish is actually a myth? Cats love fish, and there is no doubt about it. But their love for fish is much simpler than that: cats are opportunistic feeders. The strong smell of fish makes it more appealing to them. So, if cats like fish, they probably like canned tuna. But can cats eat canned tuna? The answer may surprise you.
Cats can indeed eat canned tuna, but don’t be quick to feed it to them yet! Find out more about the risks, benefits, and how to feed tuna to your feline baby!
Canned Tuna Health Risks for Cats
First and foremost, it is worth noting that too much tuna (whether it’s fresh or canned) can be harmful to your cat. Tuna alone is not an adequate meal that can provide a good balance of nutrients for your cat. In addition, tuna is high in mercury, which can lead to mercury poisoning in your cat despite being rare. Symptoms of mercury poisoning in cats include loss of coordination and balance, difficulty walking, and more.
Important! Tuna is exceptionally appealing to cats, and if they’re fed regularly, they might avoid eating their regular cat food to favor canned tuna. Do not overindulge them as they can develop into picky eaters with feeding difficulties.
Canned Tuna Health Benefits for Cats
As a treat, tuna can be healthy for most cats as long as it is consumed in moderation. Tuna is a low-carb, rich source of protein and omega-3 essential fatty acids EPA and DHA which improve and maintain skin and coat. These acids help better conditions such as allergies, arthritis, and skin disease.
Before You Feed Them
The safest way to feed your cat canned tuna is to ask your vet. It’s important to always consult your vet when you make a new addition to their diet. Cats demand stability in their routine, including consistency in their food. So, if canned tuna is something that they might not be able to eat for whatever reason, it’s best to know beforehand.
When You Feed Them
Always feed your cat canned tuna packed in water. Do not give them any type of canned tuna with flavorings such as added salt or tuna in oil. Moreover, remember that all supplemental treats, including tuna, must make up less than 10% of your cat’s daily calorie intake. The other 90% must be proper, high-quality cat food. Avoid feeding them too much tuna. Try and limit tuna treats to 2-3 times a week.