If you have a cat as a companion, you will have noticed that when you have certain human foods, it gives you penetrating and searching glances …
The dairy products are certainly in the top of the list of those foods desired by cats.
In fact, it is likely that your cat tries to attract your attention with its solicitous and enveloping meows….
If those needy, desperate meows occur frequently when you eat some cheese, you may be tempted to give your sweet kitty what she’s asking for.
So is it safe for you to give your cat a piece of cheese? And can cats eat cheese ?
Next I will solve the doubt for you.
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Can Cats Eat Cheese? The short answer
The answer in a nutshell would be no, cats should not eat cheese . Cheese is a great source of protein and fat, it is made with milk, but it is difficult for most cats to digest. In addition, it has a lot of salt and makes cats fat.
Below I fully explain the reasons for not giving your cat cheese.
Most cats are lactose intolerant
Cheese is a source of protein of animal origin , and it is produced with milk from different mammals. Although the most consumed cheeses are those made from cow’s milk, there are also cheeses made with sheep’s and goat’s milk. Goat’s milk is a little easier for cats to digest, so goat’s cheese is a good option. for your cat.
Being a dairy product, cheese also contains a large amount of fats and minerals such as calcium, phosphorus and magnesium.
The milk from which the cheese is made contains a carbohydrate called lactose , which is a disaccharide sugar made up of galactose and glucose and is found in all types of milk.
Most cats are lactose intolerant so they have trouble digesting cheese and other dairy products .
Kittens , like other baby mammals, have an innate ability to break down lactose because their bodies produce the enzyme lactase , which splits lactose into individual sugars, helping them digest lactose.
During breastfeeding, your bodies make enough lactase to properly digest breast milk. However, with weaning kittens, around 4 to 6 weeks of age, their ability to break down lactose decreases .
The bodies of adult cats do not produce enough of the enzyme lactase, which is necessary for the body to break down lactose (milk sugar).
When a lactose intolerant adult cat ingests dairy products, the undigested lactose draws up a large amount of water in the intestines and the undigested sugars are fermented by bacteria. The results are stomach upset, gas, colic, bloating and diarrhea , usually eight to twelve hours after ingesting the dairy product, in this case the cheese.
Eating cheese is fattening for cats
I will tell you that lactose intolerance in cats is much more common than in people, but still some adult cats can digest lactose . If you think your cat is not lactose intolerant then it may seem like a good idea to give him some cheese, but is it really good?
Well, no, it is not a good idea to feed your cat too much cheese , because it can make him fat and make the cheese bad for cats .
Depending on the size, your cat needs around 200 to 300 calories per day to maintain a balanced body weight.
A single piece of cheese contains 113 calories. That’s about half the daily calorie intake requirement for cats. Added to the rest of your daily foods, it is very likely that your daily calorie intake needs will be greatly exceeded.
This is not a problem if you only give your cat cheese occasionally. In this sense, you can offer a small piece of cheese as a reward and to reinforce the good behaviors of your cat .
But if you give it to him frequently, he will see his weight increased. This can lead to obesity and obesity-related health problems: arthritis, diabetes, liver disease …
Cheese contains a lot of salt for cats
Although cats need salt in their diet, the amount of this should not exceed 21 milligrams per day.
Cheese contains high concentrations of salt , and this is dangerous, even fatal, for cats, in no case is it recommended to feed a cat with more than 42 milligrams of salt a day.
A single piece of cheese contains approximately 174 milligrams of sodium, which is equivalent to about 400 milligrams of salt. That’s almost 10 times the recommended upper limit of salt for cats in a day.
Although that piece of cheese does not contain enough salt to be a concern for your cat’s health, it will cause excessive thirst and urination, increasing stress on the kidneys.
Would vegan cheese be good for my cat?
As the vegan lifestyle becomes more widespread, you might think that since vegan cheese is made from soy , it is lactose-free and cats should have no trouble digesting it.
However, vegan cheese is also problematic for cats.
For one thing, many cats are allergic to soy. For another, vegan cheese still contains a lot of salt and fat, making it an unhealthy option for a feline.
The answer to the question “Can cats eat cheese?” It is definitely not.
Eating a small piece of cheese might not cause any serious harm to your cat’s health, but it will definitely do more harm than good. Just one slice of cheese already contains a dangerous amount of salt and too many calories for our pets.
Some pet owners may find cheese useful for hiding medications. Stubborn cats struggling to take pills can benefit from medications hidden in some cream cheese.
Make sure the cheese you feed your cat is pure and does not mix with other ingredients like salt, garlic, or onions. Cheese alone is already high in sodium, and added ingredients like garlic or onions can be toxic to your cat.
If you still want to give your cat cheese, start with harder and older cheeses, like “Swiss cheeses”, these have lower levels of lactose. If after eating cheese you notice negative side effects in your cat, such as vomiting or diarrhea, contact a veterinarian and eliminate it from its diet.
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