What cheese Can cats eat?

Answered by Jarrod Smith

When it comes to cheese, cats have a bit of a complicated relationship. While many cats absolutely love the taste of cheese, it’s important to note that not all types of cheese are safe or suitable for feline consumption. Cats are obligate carnivores, which means their bodies are designed to primarily eat meat. Their digestive systems are not well-equipped to handle certain foods, and dairy products fall into that category.

One of the main issues with cheese and cats is lactose intolerance. Just like some humans, many cats are lactose intolerant, which means they lack the enzyme lactase needed to properly digest lactose, the sugar found in milk and dairy products. When cats consume lactose, it can lead to digestive issues such as diarrhea, constipation, and vomiting.

However, it’s not to say that all types of cheese are off-limits for cats. Some hard cheeses, such as cheddar and Swiss, are lower in lactose compared to other dairy products. These cheeses go through a fermentation process that helps break down lactose to some extent. While they may still contain lactose, the levels are generally lower, making them potentially safer options for cats, especially in small amounts.

That being said, it’s important to remember that even lower lactose cheeses are not risk-free for cats with lactose intolerance. Each cat’s tolerance to lactose can vary, and what may be well-tolerated by one cat may still cause digestive issues in another. It’s always best to introduce new foods slowly and in small quantities to monitor your cat’s reaction.

In addition to lactose intolerance, it’s also worth noting that cheese is a high-fat food. While some fat in a cat’s diet is necessary for their overall health, excessive consumption of fatty foods can lead to weight gain and other health issues. Therefore, it’s wise to offer cheese as an occasional treat rather than a regular part of their diet.

To sum up, cats can potentially eat certain kinds of cheese, such as cheddar and Swiss, in moderation. These hard cheeses are generally lower in lactose compared to other dairy products. However, it’s crucial to be aware of your cat’s individual tolerance and monitor their reaction when introducing any new food. Always consult with your veterinarian before making significant changes to your cat’s diet to ensure their nutritional needs are being met.