Can Cats Eat Cheese – Cheese is a popular food item in most households and is sometimes used by pet owners to hide medication for their pets. However, can cats actually eat cheese?
Can Cats Eat Cheese
Is Cheese Safe for Cats?
Cats are obligate carnivores and require animal protein to get all the nutrients they need. Although they primarily eat meat, they also consume other things. Cheese, on the other hand, contains lactose, a milk sugar that most adult cats cannot digest as they lack the necessary enzyme.
When cats consume lactose-containing foods, instead of digestion, the lactose ferments in the gut. This leads to bloating and flatulence and may cause diarrhea. It’s important to note that cats’ reaction to dairy is not the same as to a food allergy, where the response is immune-mediated.
How Often Can Cats Eat Cheese?
Although cats cannot digest cheese in large amounts, it can be consumed in moderation, such as when used to hide medication. Pasteurized and processed American cheese has lesser quantities of lactose than milk, and cats can tolerate it in small amounts. Cheese is also calorie-dense, so pet owners should factor in calorie intake when considering feeding their cat cheese.
Can Cats Eat Cheese
What About Non-Dairy Cheese?
Non-dairy cheese is becoming increasingly popular among humans, but it may not be the best choice for cats. Some non-dairy cheese contains herbs like garlic and onion that are toxic to cats. Moreover, these cheeses may contain more oils and fats than dairy cheese, causing weight gain and gut problems.
What Should You Do If Your Cat Eats Too Much Cheese?
If your cat eats too much cheese, monitor them for signs of decreased appetite and diarrhea. In severe cases, contact a veterinarian or a pet poison control hotline for guidance. High value cheese rewards for medication and training are acceptable, but cheese should not be a staple food item for cats.
Is cheese safe for dogs to eat?
Cheese is generally safe for dogs to eat in small amounts as an occasional treat. However, it’s important to note that some dogs may be lactose intolerant or have difficulty digesting dairy products, which can cause gastrointestinal upset.
Can dogs eat all types of cheese?
Not all types of cheese are safe for dogs to eat. Some cheeses, such as blue cheese or Roquefort, contain a substance called roquefortine C which can be toxic to dogs in large amounts. Additionally, cheeses that are high in fat or sodium should be avoided or given in very small amounts.
How much cheese can I give my dog?
Cheese should be given to dogs in moderation, as a treat or reward. It’s recommended that cheese should make up no more than 10% of a dog’s daily caloric intake. The amount of cheese given to a dog will depend on their size, age, and activity level.
What are the potential side effects of feeding my dog cheese?
Feeding a dog too much cheese can lead to gastrointestinal upset such as vomiting, diarrhea, or constipation. Additionally, cheese is high in fat and calories, so feeding it regularly or in large amounts can contribute to obesity, pancreatitis, or other health issues.
Can cheese be used as a training treat for dogs?
Yes, cheese can be a great training treat for dogs. It’s high in protein and can be a good source of motivation for dogs during training sessions. However, it should still be given in moderation and should not make up a significant portion of a dog’s diet.