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This review guide was updated in December 2018.
It is no secret that cheese tastes amazing and makes everything else taste better.
I for one, love it!
Sometimes we even want to spoil our furry feline friends and treat them with a nice piece of cheese.
Other times they gaze and guilt us into dropping few pieces their way.
But is it actually good for cats to eat cheese? The shortest and simplest answer would be no.
Simply stated, our nutritional needs are vastly different from our cats’ nutritional needs.
Some foods we commonly consume can wreak havoc on our cats’ digestive systems.
The list of foods cats must not eat is relatively short and includes foods like onions, garlic, grapes and raisins, chocolate and alcoholic drinks.
Although cheese is not named on this list, most veterinarians and feline nutritionist agree cheese is not best suited for cats.
Is all cheese bad for a cat?
The good news is that certain types of cheese can be classified as feline-friendly as long as they are used in small amounts.
The group of feline-friendly cheeses includes aged cheese varieties and hard cheeses like Cheddar, Swiss cheese, Parmesan or Gouda. These cheeses have lower lactose levels and high calcium and protein contents and are relatively easy to digest. Usually the harder the cheese the less lactose it contains.
Regarding the salt and fat, soft cheeses like Mozzarella, Cottage cheese, and Cream cheese have lower salt and fat contents. On the flip side, they contain higher lactose levels.
Feline-friendly cheeses can be used either raw or baked into treats. However, it is of imperative importance to remember that their safety is limited by their amount. Even the most appropriate cheese can be harmful if given in larger quantities.
If you insist on feeding your cat dairy, give her extremely small amounts at first and see how her digestive system handles it. If there are no issues, you can gradually increase the amount without exceeding the safe limit.
Should you Feed Your Cat Cheese Substitutes – yes or no
With so many cheese substitutes available on the today’s market, it is not unusual for cat owners to ask themselves whether cats can eat them.
Driven by the idea that reason number 1 why cats should not eat cheese is their lactose intolerance, it is easy to assume that low-lactose cheese varieties would be more cat appropriate. However, it should be noted, that even low-lactose cheese varieties have high caloric and salt contents.
Another option worth discussing would be vegan cheese. Vegan cheese does not contain lactose and its caloric value, salt content and fat content are lower than in regular cheeses. However, vegan cheese is not best suited for cats because vegan cheeses are soy based and most cats are allergic to soy.
When is it ok to give your cat a piece of cheese
Despite the previously stated facts, all cat parents know that cats love cheese. A smidgen of cheese can be more than useful in one particular case – getting a finicky cat to take its medicine.
Grinding up pills and putting the powder on cheese is a good way for sneaking medicines and tricking picky cats. In such cases, the benefits of the medicine exceed the drawbacks of feeding your cat cheese.
The final verdict on Whether cats can Eat Cheese or not
Although many human foods are safe for cats, a good general rule is that human foods should not make up for more than 15% of your cat’s diet. Non-processed foods like most fruits and vegetables are good for cats, but processed foods like cheese are usually not. Despite its palatability, cheese is not part of the cat’s natural diet.
In a nutshell, a tiny piece of feline-friendly cheese, here and there, is not likely to harm your cat.
Concerned your cat has eaten too much peanut butter? Check out our guide.