Can cats eat Cheese?

Posted by Nov 4, 2016 |

Cheese is one of those dairy products that most people have in their fridge. And if you also have a cat, you most probably thought already about giving her some cheesy snacks. But as a wise cat owner, you also know that there are a great number of human foods that are not only dangerous but can be deadly to cats. Is cheese one of them? Or can cats eat cheese safely? These are the questions you should have in mind before feeding your cat cheese, and these are the ones which will be answered in this article.

can cats eat cheese

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Can cats eat Cheese? – Only in moderation

The answer to the question “Can cats eat cheese?” is yes. Cats can eat cheese, but only in moderation occasionally as a treat. However, avoiding cheese altogether is a safer, healthier option for your cat.

This might sound a bit confusing, so to make it clear, let’s take a look at some facts about cats and cheese:

  1. Cheese is a fatty, dairy product, derived from milk.
  2. Most cats are lactose intolerant which means that they are not able to digest cow’s milk properly.
  3. So if a cat is having milk or a product made of milk, she can easily end up with an upset stomach.
  4. Therefore, it follows that cats should not eat anything that is related to milk.
  5. However, cheese is generally lower in lactose than other dairy products due to the cheese-making process, where active cultures are introduced to milk, converting the lactose into lactic acid, a substance that can be easily digested.
  6. In addition, carrying more health risks and fewer benefits, cheese can cause more harm to cats than good.

To sum it up: yes, cats can eat cheese, and it is more or less safe, however, it is not a very good idea. In fact, it is not poisonous to them, but it is not a healthy treat.

If you wish to give some cheese to your cat, there are a couple of essential precautions to follow to keep your cat away from any risks:

  • The cheese should be pure, and it should not be flavored (especially not with onion or garlic).
  • The cat better not be lactose intolerant.
  • Cheese should be given only in moderation.
  • It is best to offer cheese only as a treat and only in very tiny amount.

In conclusion, if your cat desires to eat some cheese, and she doesn’t seem to have lactose intolerance issue, it can occasionally (very rarely) be given in small portions as a treat. Be very careful about the amount. While a little cheese now and then can be one of your cat’s favorite special bites, too much cheese can upset her stomach and can cause several health problems.

Important note: lactose intolerant cats should never be fed any dairy products, including cheese.

About cats and cheese

Cheese is a very popular dairy product, usually made from the milk of cows, goats, or sheep. It contains a high amount of fat, protein, calcium and phosphorus, along with several other vitamins and minerals.

It is produced in a wide range of types, textures, and flavors all over the world, and can be found in most of the households to make a perfect addition to any pizza, sandwich or pasta dish or just simply to be a delicious snack.

While cheese is a good source of nutrients for humans, it might not be as good for cats, or at least not all types of cheese. There are some cheese products that are safer while others are more dangerous. So what type of cheese is good for cats?

Cheese plate


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Can cats eat cottage cheese, cream cheese, parmesan cheese or Swiss cheese?

Since most cats are lactose intolerant, the best choice of cheese for a cat is the one which has lower lactose level. How can you determine that?

  1. Read the label of the cheese. Since lactose is the sugar found in milk, the less the sugar, the less the lactose. Pick cheese with less sugar.
  2. Notice the hardness of the cheese – hard cheeses are aged cheeses. Since most of the lactose is drained off and the remaining ones are changed into lactic acid during ripening (aging) in the cheese making process, the harder (th