The domestic cat belongs to the cat species that, among others, include the cheetah, tiger, lion, leopard, and jaguar. Consequently, your feline friend is as carnivorous animals mentioned above. Like any other species, cats have a specific dietary requirement. And being obligate predatory animals, they cannot live without meat. So, here comes the question, can cats eat cheese? To answer this question, let me put forward another question.
Have you ever seen a lion or cheetah eating cheese? Definitely not, because aside from the fact that many of us wouldn’t come too close to offer it to them, cheese is also not their natural food and one that they can certainly live without.
Having said that, if cheese increases the curiosity of your feline friend, there is no harm in offering a small piece of it.
Is Cheese The Right Food Item For Cats?
Indeed, cheese is a rich source of protein and we humans love to have it in our sandwiches. But being different from us, cats have different nutritional requirements and cheese doesn’t contain the right amount of protein for them. As a carnivorous mammal, they need a lot more protein. Therefore, cheese is definitely a poor dietary choice for them.
Like bananas, there is no harm in offering small portions of cheese to your kitty. A small piece of cheese will not make your feline friend deathly ill. But, it is also true that cheese doesn’t offer any nutritional value to your cat and thus is better avoided.
Is Cheese Bad For Cats?
In supermarkets, you can find different kinds of cheese that comprise different ingredients. According to the experts, there is no harm in offering plain cheese to your cat. But avoid those types of cheese that contain garlic or onions. Basically, garlic and onions come from the allium family and therefore, are not suitable for your cat’s health. If you serve cheese to your cats containing high amounts of these substances on a regular basis, it may make your cat severely anemic. For the wellbeing of your kitty, it is essential to have a look at the ingredients first before offering the cheese to her.
Mostly, cats are lactose intolerant. Our small intestines contain an enzyme called lactase which helps in digesting lactose present in dairy products. As already inferred, cats usually lack this enzyme, and therefore they cannot absorb dairy products easily. Milk and other dairy products like cheese can cause diarrhea, bloating and gas in cats.
So, if it is your cat’s first time with cheese, then offer only a small piece of it just to see how your kitty’s body reacts to the new diet. After providing the cheese to your kittie, do not give any other food item to your cat for some time. This is because it is essential to provide enough time for your kitty to digest the cheese properly. If your cat suffers from indigestion afterward, then she is most probably lactose intolerant. And thus, cheese should only be in her menu sporadically.
Do Cats Like Cheese?
Cats definitely do not crave for cheese as we do. They can live happily and healthy all their life without having cheese. But being copycats, these feline companions will do everything their owners do. So basically, it’s not the cheese that your cat likes but rather she loves to copy you. If your cat happens to stare at you while you have a cheese sandwich, then there is no harm in offering a small piece of the cheese to her to satisfy her curiosity. It’s quite possible that after having a bite, she’ll never bother you ever again.
Cats require protein and fats, and cheese contains protein and fats. But even if your cat likes to eat dairy products, it is good not to offer such products regularly to her. Cheese contains fat, and your cat can gain lots of pounds if she eats cheese regularly.
What Is Kind Of Cheese Best For Your Cat?
Cottage cheese, mozzarella, and cream cheese are not suitable for cats as they have high lactose content which is hard for them to break down. Therefore, you should always opt for low lactose cheese. Some of these are cheddar cheese and Swiss cheese.
Always make sure that the cheese is pasteurized, as unpasteurized cheese contains parasites that can make your cat seriously ill.
For cat’s, goat cheese is better than cheese made up of cow milk. If your cat is highly lactose-intolerant, then you can try lactose-free options like soy, coconut, almond, rice, etc. Soy, for example, is a high source of protein and has low-fat content.
Also, hard cheese is more preferable than soft cheese because of its low lactose content. Moreover, the older the cheese, the better it is for your kitty.
Things To Consider Before Offering Cheese To Your Cat
- Offer cheese only if your cat is not lactose intolerant.
- Opt for alternate dairy-free options available in the market for your lactose intolerant kitty.
- Only offer a small portion of cheese. Do not treat your kitty with cheese regularly. This is because regular consumption of cheese will make her fat and unhealthy.
- After giving cheese to her, do not offer any other food or fruit. She needs time to break down the lactose present in the cheese.
- Only give pasteurized and hard cheese
- Always look out for the ingredients at the back of the packet before giving it to your kitty. Avoid cheese which contains onion and garlic.
- Mix cheese with the meat and then offer it to your cat.
It’s All In The Instincts
Domestic cats have lived with humans and as a result, have developed different eating habits from wild cats. You’ll never see a feral cat going crazy for banana or cheese. These food items are unknown to them, and that is why they do not crave for cheese.
Your kitty is also not naturally inclined towards the dairy products like cheese, but she just likes to taste it because she sees you having it. Since cheese doesn’t pack the right nutrition for cats, it is wise to treat your cat with cheese occasionally.
My cat is fond of cheese, and I use this weakness whenever I have to medicate her. I wrap cheese around medicine and offer it to her. This way, we both are happy. Otherwise, it can be so hard giving medication to her.
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