Can Cats Eat Yogurt? Is Yogurt Safe for Cats?

Last Updated on: September 21, 2020

Can cats eat yogurt? That’s the question we’re looking into today. The fact is, people very often think that dairy products such as milk, cream, and yogurts are a healthy cat food.

(Where did well-known sayings such as ‘the cat that’s got the cream’ come from if this wasn’t the case?)

However, the truth of the matter is, adult cats are actually lactose intolerant, meaning they really should not have these foods at all. Only kittens can get away with drinking milk or eating cream, (as long as they are no longer feeding off their mothers teat).

Having said all of that, as far as dairy produce and felines go – yogurt is one of the safer cat foods.

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Why Cats Can Eat Yogurt

Cats do like the taste of yogurt and there are health benefits for felines to eat a little from time to time.

Yogurt has long been recommended as part of a healthy cat’s diet because of the live and active bacteria cultures that exist inside your average tub of plain yogurt.

The bacteria help boost your cat’s immune system, as well as promoting healthier and more efficient digestion. This is due to the intestinal flora that the bacteria cultures help cultivate.

Yogurt contains probiotics that also helps the digestive tract, allowing for a healthier bowel movement.

Other Benefits of Feeding Yogurt to Cats

Unflavored yogurt can help your cat if they are suffering from diarrhea. A recommended amount would be 5ml dosage of yogurt before your cat’s main meal.

The bacteria cultures found in yogurt can also help cats with other digestive issues, such as the problems that arise if they have swallowed a hairball. An upset stomach that might cause vomiting can also be eased with a little yogurt.

As you can see, a small amount of yogurt here and there really can lead to a healthier and somewhat happier cat.

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Image Credit: Mari Moreshead, Wikimedia Commons

Are Cats Lactose Intolerant?

We touched on this above. Most cats are lactose intolerant, so how come they can eat yogurt?

Well, the fact is, yogurt is unique in diary food in that the natural bacteria that it contains is able to break down the lactate once it is consumed by your cat. Their body and digestive system don’t have to struggle through this process on their own.

Having said that, if your cat has shown completely adverse reactions to dairy products in the past, you may want to stay on the side of caution when it comes to feeding them yogurt. Certainly, if it is the first time your cat has eaten any, make it a tiny amount to test the possible outcome.

If diarrhea quickly follows then a lactose intolerance may have been the cause.

Additional Precautions

Cats should only eat plain yogurt and never flavored varieties. The flavored yogurts are very sugary and contain additives that are simply bad for your cat to eat.

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Plain yogurt happens to be the best of the dairy products you can feed an adult cat. Full of bacteria that can help digestion and other stomach ailments, yogurt can be a real health benefit to your pet.

However, stay away from any flavored yogurts and give your cat only a small amount that very first time. That way any potential adverse effects will be kept to a minimum.