The question is often asked, can cats eat cheese? Cats are similar to dogs in the ways of food, if something looks or smells delicious they’ll try to eat it. Luckily, cats are a little bit smarter, don’t tell the dogs and don’t often have to go to the vet clinic to surgically remove toy soldiers from their stomach. But just because a cat can eat something, and we can eat it and be fine, doesn’t mean they should. Cheese falls under the umbrella of things, they can ‘technically eat’. Which means it’s about the same as Aunt Marge eating dairy during the holidays….something you want to avoid.
But cats love milk!
Cats are meat-eaters, and although cheese comes from animals it doesn’t process the same in their stomachs as it falls under the dairy category. Did you know that most cats are actually lactose-intolerant? So where did this idea that cats love milk come from? Remember how cats have a keen sense of smell? Cats can smell the proteins within the dairy, which attracts them to want to devour the cheese or milk! That’s why cats eat cheese, but we could leave the cheese for the mice instead.
Humans are by nature omnivores, unlike our favorite felines who are carnivores. ‘Most’ humans, drink milk regularly and our bodies can break it down because of a naturally produced lactase enzyme. Cats due to their history and biological structure are missing this enzyme, which means when cats eat cheese or drink a bowl of milk, it could lead to an upset stomach or worse: vomiting and/or diarrhea.
Pet Central shares, “If your cat develops a fondness for cheese, he’ll quickly pack on pounds. “Cheese is very high in fat, it’s usually got lots of salt, it may have spices in it, and like milk, there’s no reason to give it to your cat,” says Dr. LeVora DVM. “Even if your cat is not lactose intolerant, he shouldn’t be eating cheese.””Pet Central
What about not-cheese cheese?
Even lactose-free cheese is not encouraged as it often includes salt and fat. There are many kitty treats that are flavored like human cheese, but will not cause any problems and this way you don’t have to share your food! Both of you can enjoy cheese-y goodness without the worry of a mess you’ll need to clean up outside the litter box later.
But what about medicine?
Some people use cream cheese or spray cheese to hide their cat’s medicine inside, and while we here at Clean Litter Club understand the easy go-to, Prytania Vet Hospital shares another idea: “By far the easiest way to give your cat a pill is to give it with a treat! You can coat it in canned food, in a pill pocket, or even in some cream cheese. Watch out with the human food though — a little bit of cream cheese is like a Big Mac for your cat!”
All in all, we encourage you although your cat may enjoy it now, this is one situation where you shouldn’t give your cat what they want. Love this article? Wondering what else they can eat? This post we cover what they can eat off of your dining room table. Subscribe to our newsletter HERE for more and to stay up to date on cat facts, cat blogs and more!