Can cats eat Yogurt?

Posted by Apr 23, 2016 | Nutrition

cats and yogurt

Author Amira

Hi there!

I’m Amira, founder and editor at Cattention.

This website is dedicated to share useful but entertaining information and help You understand Your cat’s actions, behavior and needs.

Welcome to my Cat World!

Like many cat owners, including me, I am quite sure you also often wondered and thought about the following question: Can cats eat yogurt?

By now, you most probably know that despite the cute illustrations of cartoons showing cats enjoying their bowl of milk, the truth of the matter is that nutritionally cats do not require milk added to which it can cause digestive problems and make them sick.

You also might be aware of the reason that most of the cats are lactose intolerant, therefore, certain dairy products are not recommended to be given to our lovely pussycats.

But does this mean there is no dairy product which would be fine for them? Does this include yogurt as well? Or can I feed my cat yogurt safely? If yes, what is the safe amount? Or even do cats like yogurt?

These are the main things that many owners asks about yogurt, and these are the questions that will be discussed in this article.

Can cats eat Yogurt? – Only in moderation

Do not be surprised at it, but as it turns out yogurt is one of the few dairy products that cats can consume safely. So answering to the question: yes, cats can eat yogurt although only with some restrictions:

  • The yogurt should be plain, and it is even better if it contains probiotics.
  • It should not be sweetened and/or it should not contain artificial sweeteners.
  • Yogurt should be given only in moderation.
  • It is best to offer yogurt only as a treat and only in very small quantity.

The fact is, yogurt is actually good for cats as it has a lot of beneficial bacteria which provides many nutritional and health benefits to your cat and the probiotics in live yogurt are good for their digestion as well.

So if your little kitty desires to eat some, it can be safely given as a treat without causing any upset stomach. Although you should avoid giving it in large amounts as it can turn to health problems, a few tablespoons once in a while is not harmful, and your pussycat will most probably love it.

About yogurt

Yogurt is food, produced by using a combination of yogurt cultures and milk. The process is called bacterial fermentation. Since cow’s milk is available almost all around the world, it is the most commonly used raw material to make yogurt.

Probiotics, protein, calcium and vitamins like B6 and B12 are common nutritional ingredients found in yogurt which carry a lot of benefits to the digestive tract.

Yogurt is available in many types. According to the percentage of fat in them, you can find no-fat, low-fat, whole milk and Greek-style yogurt. Some yogurts are thick while the others are creamy.

You can also choose yogurt according to their flavor. Plain yogurt is not the most popular type though it can be found in most of the grocery stores. Most people prefer the type which is sweetened, flavored, although it contains a large amount of sugar or sweeteners. Common flavors include vanilla and other fruits like strawberry, cherry or peach.

If yogurt is made of milk, how come cats can consume it?

As you most probably know already, most of the cats (if not all) are lactose intolerant as they lack sufficient amount of the enzyme lactase, which would help them break down milk and digest it. Although kittens’ body produce plenty of the enzyme lactose in their very first weeks, as they grow up less amount of this enzyme is produced.

Since this enzyme is necessary to digest lactose (which is the sugar found in milk), producing less amount of enzyme lactase means less ability to digest lactose, therefore, kittens’ intolerance to lactose increases over time as producing this enzyme decreases. By the time they are twelve weeks old, the nutrients in their mothers’ milk are no longer sufficient for the growing bodies and with this time they are no longer able to produce the sufficient amount of the enzyme lactose, and so they eventually become lactose intolerant.

Since yogurt is a dairy product as well, most people think that the same thing can be applied to it as for milk, and it should not be given to cats. However, to everyone’s surprise, yogurt is one of the few dairy products that cats can safely cons