You know cats are picky eaters, but cheese is the one salty treat that they love. You can feed cottage cheese to your cat, but only in moderation. Some vets recommend using cheese to sneak pills into the cat after draining the liquid from the cheese.
Cats fall for cheese’s consistency, and you can use it as an enticement and a fabulous appetizer by throwing some of it in cat food. In this post, you’ll learn all there’s about feeding cheese to your cat. Keep reading.
Is Cheese Bad for Cats?
Cheese is lower in lactose than other dairy products like yogurt and is also a good protein source. But as you learn more about your furry friend’s digestive system, it becomes vivid that while most cats can tolerate small slices of cheese, their digestive system’s design does not work well with dairy products.
For this reason, providing even the tiniest bits of cheese to lactose-intolerant kitties can create havoc in their digestive tracts.
Despite the widespread belief that cats love milk, dairy isn’t a natural part of a cat’s diet, and your cat may fail to digest any dairy product. The reason is, cats are obligated carnivores, meaning that their systems work well with meat products.
The reason they might crave dairy is because of the high protein and fat content similar to meat. Sadly, most cats are lactose-sensitive, and cheese can upset their digestive tract.
Felines are sensitive to dairy products because while humans and other animals’ bodies produce lactase enzymes that break down the lactose in dairy products, the cats’ bodies do not. For this reason, a cat’s intestinal tract has a hard time processing dairy, causing it to be intolerant to lactose.
Generally, felines do not have many food allergies, but it would be best to check for your cat food ingredients before feeding your feline friend. However, since cats love the smell and the feel of cheese, they may lack control over the products. If a lactose-intolerant cat eats cheese, it damages its immune system and may exhibit symptoms like:
Similarly, cheese is a NO for cats who need to lower their salt intakes, are obese, or have heart conditions. Food like cheese, bread, fast foods, potato chips isn’t suitable for cats in a low-sodium diet plan.
Cheese has a high-caloric content, and it would be helpful if you offer it as an occasional treat to prevent weight-related issues.
Types of Cheese to Feed Your Cat
If you must sneak cheese into your cat’s food, you’ll be glad to know that certain varieties of cheese may be better than others. There are non-dairy or non-fat varieties like cottage cheese that are designed for lactose-intolerant consumers. These cheeses have their lactose removed and supplemented with the correct enzymes that lactose-sensitive guts can break down quickly.
However, you should still check the amount you provide your cat as the cheese is still salty and fatty and may add further complications to your kitty. Besides cottage cheese, other varieties include:
Cheddar is among the most popular cheese varieties that are suitable for lactose-sensitive individuals. This cheese is semi-hard and does not contain much lactose. While the lactose amounts in the cheese are minor, you shouldn’t overfeed your cat as it can still cause stomach upset.
Most people consider Swiss cheese safe for humans because, just like Cheddar, it has low lactose, low sodium, and fats but high in proteins. You must have met this cheese in sandwiches.
As always, feed your cat swiss cheese in limited amounts.
Types of Cheese to Avoid
Soft cheese, especially Mozzarella, is not suitable for cats, whether raw or cooked. If your cat loves pizza, then it must have tasted Mozzarella. This cheese poses a health hazard because it contains high amounts of lactose.
Brie is also a soft cheese and is made with raw milk. Unfortunately, milk may contain Salmonella and Listeria-pathogens that cause severe illnesses and diarrhea.
People use a type of culture mold known as Penicillium to make blue cheese. This mold is toxic to both humans and cats.
Can Kittens Eat Cottage Cheese?
You might be thinking that cheese is suitable for kittens because they consume their mother’s milk. What makes kittens tolerate their mother’s milk is that they produce a few lactase enzymes that allow them to digest and absorb milk naturally.
However, enzyme production among kittens gradually reduces as soon as it starts weaning. The kitten’s ability to digest dairy products disappears as soon as it starts to adapt to solid cat food. Therefore, it would be best to stop offering dairy products, including cottage cheese.
Plus, kittens have strict nutritional requirements, and they require the proper nutrients to facilitate their growth and development. If you feed cottage or any other cheese variety, it may develop intestinal issues, causing digestion problems like loose poop that could permanently damage its already weak intestines.
Cats are curious creatures and can find their ways to cheese and other products with lactose. While it isn’t wrong to provide cottage cheese to your feline companion, you should consider its dietary needs beforehand.
The bottom line is that cats can enjoy cottage cheese as treats, but if they are lactose-intolerant, regular cheese may predispose them to severe reactions and negatively affect their health.
Featured Image: Enotovyj, Pixabay