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Can Cats Eat Cheese? Don't feed your cat before you read

A little wrinkle on the wrapper of a cheese may attract cats into the kitchen in quest of the salty delight, but do cats eat cheese? Here's the skinny on whether cats and cheese mix well.

Can Cats Consume Cheese

Is It Acceptable to Combine Cats and Cheese?

Is cheese safe for cats to eat? Yes, experts agree — but only in moderation. If you do offer your cat cheese at all, give them a little piece around the size of a dice every now and again. For instance, you may choose to restrict your cat's cheese consumption to times when you need to conceal a medication for them.

While many cats can take tiny amounts of cheese, if your cat is lactose intolerant or allergic to milk, even a little bit of cheese may cause havoc with their digestive system.

Cats with Dairy Intolerance and Allergy

Despite the long-held notion that cats cannot live without a bowl of milk or cream, the majority of cats cannot digest dairy. Cornell University College of Veterinary Medicine warns that many cats are lactose intolerant and may have gastrointestinal disorders such as inflammation, diarrhea, constipation, and vomiting after consuming dairy.

Cats with dairy allergies may also have an adverse reaction to even a modest amount of cheese. (Cats, in general, do not have many food allergies, although dairy, salmon, and red meat are the most prevalent.) As with cats that are lactose intolerant, if your cat is allergic to dairy, eating cheese may cause digestive problems and may even impair their immune system.

The following are common indicators that your cat has a dairy allergy after ingesting lactose products:

  • Vomiting /Diarrhea/Gas
  • Itchy and/or red spots of skin
  • Hair thinning

If your cat exhibits any of these or other strange behaviors, call their veterinarian immediately to arrange a check-up.

When Cheese Is Not Appropriate

According to Tufts University's Cummings Veterinary Medical Center, you should avoid offering your cat cheese if they are on a salt restriction or have a cardiac issue. Apart from cheese, if your cat is on a low-sodium diet, they should avoid deli meat, fast food, potato chips, and bread.

Concentrate on Calories

A veterinarian-recommended treat or meal should account for no more than 8 to 10% of a pet's daily calorie allocation. For example, cheese is a favorite human meal that may be quite heavy in calories. In fact, feeding a 10-pound cat a 1-ounce cube of cheddar cheese is equivalent to a human devouring two and a half cheeseburgers at once.

What is the ideal method for cat owners? Instead of more food, offer extra love.

Cheese Types: The Good vs. The Bad

If you do sneak a cheesy treat to your cat, some types may be preferable to others:

  • Cheddar: One of the most popular cheeses, cheddar is a semi-hard cheese with little lactose. This does not imply that your cat should eat a lot of cheddar, since it might create stomach problems.
  • Swiss: A popular sandwich cheese, Swiss is considered a healthy cheese for humans due to its high protein content and low salt and fat content. Although it contains less lactose than cheddar, it may still cause stomach problems.
  • Mozzarella: Many pet owners have discovered their feline pals getting into the pizza box, but is all that gooey cheese healthy for your cat? Not at all. Because of their high lactose content, soft cheeses such as mozzarella, whether raw or cooked, pose a health risk to cats. Cottage cheese and cream cheese are both high in fat and should be avoided.
  • Brie: Brie is a popular soft cheese produced from raw milk, which may include germs such as Salmonella and Listeria, which may cause severe sickness. Blue cheese and Camembert are two more raw soft cheeses to avoid.
  • Blue cheese: Do you know what causes cheese to become blue? Mold. This cheese, like Stilton, is manufactured with cultures of the mold Penicillium, which is poisonous to pets. As a result, don't give moldy cheese to your cat.

Say cheese!

A little cheese here and there shouldn't be an issue, but check with your cat's doctor to see whether it's a good alternative for your feline. If you do feed your cat cheese, do it only seldom and in modest amounts. That'll give them a reason to grin!

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