Enter your search term

Search by title or post keyword

Can Cats Eat Cheese? How Much Can They Digest?

Our website is supported by our users. We sometimes earn affiliate links when you click through the affiliate links on our website

Contact us for Questions

Owning a cat can be an emotional rollercoaster.

Sometimes, they want nothing more than to cuddle and love you.

However, there are other times when they bite at your ankles and drive you insane.

One thing they may also want to do is eat your food.

Many cats love dairy products, but can cats eat cheese?

It is crucial to know the answer to this question before you feed your cat so that you can make sure that they stay healthy.

Can Cats Eat Cheese?

If you have a block of cheese and you own a cat, you may have noticed that it tries to steal it from you.

It is not playing games; it wants to eat your cheese.

Many cats love cheese and other dairy products, but is it safe for them to eat cheese?

Fortunately, it is safe for cats to eat cheese.

They should not experience any health issues eating cheese, but that does not mean you should feed it to them regularly.

Human food, cheese included, should only be given to your cat in moderation.

Give it small pieces, and do not give it to your cat every day.

For example, you could feed cheese to your cat when you need them to eat a pill.

Unfortunately, some cats are lactose intolerant.

Like humans with the same disease, they will experience digestive issues if they eat cheese or other dairy products.

If you notice your cat acting strangely after you feed them cheese, have them checked by your vet.

Can Cats Have Non-Dairy Cheese?

Many people eat non-dairy cheese because they have lactose intolerance or other dietary restrictions.

For example, vegans usually include non-dairy cheese in many of their meals.

Since this type of cheese does not include lactose, you might think it is safe for cats to eat, but that is not the case.

Unfortunately, it is not safe for cats to eat non-dairy cheese because:

  • It includes a lot of salt
  • It had a lot of fat
  • It is highly processed

These three things make it unsafe for cats to eat.

Is Cheese Bad for Cats?

As you should know, cheese is not a natural part of a cat’s diet.

While cats love lactose in cheese and milk, it is not good for them to eat all the time.

Cats are carnivores, and as a result, they should eat things that provide nutrients from meats.

So, cheese is not very healthy for cats.

The reason cheese is not healthy for cats but is fine for humans to eat is that humans produce the lactase enzyme.

This enzyme breaks down lactose and other dairy products.

Since cats do not make this enzyme, they cannot process lactose as well as people.

So, most cats are lactose intolerant and can have severe reactions to it.

However, most cats can tolerate a small amount of lactose.

So, if your cat loves cheese, there is no harm in giving them a little bit every once in a while.

When Cheese Is Bad for Cats

While you can give cheese to your cats in moderation, there are many situations when you should try to avoid giving it to them.

Here are a few of the reasons some cats should not eat cheese.

Need To Lower Sodium Intake

Cats love many things, but salt is near the top of the list.

Their love for salt is the reason they lick you when you finish a workout.

They are not suddenly more affectionate, and they are not trying to clean you.

Instead, they love the taste of salt that comes with sweat.

Unfortunately, cats can have too much sodium, and cheese has plenty of it.

As a result, if your cat needs to lower its sodium intake, you should hold off on the cheese for a little while.

Heart Condition

Unfortunately, it is not uncommon for cats to develop heart conditions as they age.

There are several things you can do to help your cat so that they stay healthy for longer.

For example, you could play with them more often so that their cardiovascular system stays in good condition.

However, it is also essential for them to maintain a good diet.

If your cat is at risk of a heart condition, you should refrain from feeding them cheese or other dairy products.

Since they do not process lactose well, it can be bad for their heart.

As a result, you should only give it to them if they are in perfect health.

Can’t Digest Dairy

As we mentioned above, some cats cannot digest dairy.

If your cat has lactose intolerance, you should not feed them cheese or other dairy products.

Doing so would hurt their health.

Why Do Cats Like Cheese?

Cats love cheese for many of the reasons that humans love it.

Cheese is full of protein and fat, which makes it delicious.

Cats love to eat tasty things the same way we do, and as a result, they will try to eat cheese whenever they can.

They do not know any better, so it is our job to limit their intake.

What Types of Cheese Can Cats Eat?

Some types of cheese are better for cats than others.

Here are the types of cheese that are safe for most cats to eat in small quantities.

  • Hard Cheddars: Cheddar is one of the most popular cheeses, and as a result, it is convenient to give it to your cats. Fortunately, it does not contain much lactose, so it is safe for most cats to eat.
  • Gouda: Gouda is also lower in lactose than many other kinds of cheese. As a result, it is safe for your cat to eat it in moderation.
  • Cream Cheese: Cream cheese is a good option for several reasons. However, the biggest one is that it is soft and easy for cats to eat. Since it has more water, it is good for keeping cats hydrated.
  • Mozzarella: Mozzarella is a popular option among cats, but that does not mean it is the best option. It is high in lactose and should only be given to cats in moderation.
  • Swiss: Swiss is low in lactose, and as a result, is good for cats for many of the same reasons as cheddar.
  • Feta: Feta is one of the cheeses that is processed the least, and as a result, it is a healthy option for cats.
  • Cottage Cheese: Cottage cheese is another more natural cheese, making it a healthy option for cats. It is also low in lactose.
  • Parmesan: Finally, Parmesan is another safe cheese for cats to eat in moderation.

What Happens if Cats Eat Cheese?

Eating cheese is not always great for cats.

Here is what can go wrong.

Risk of Digestive Issues

The biggest issue that can arise from eating cheese is it can lead to digestive issues in cats.

Lactose is the primary cause of problems.

How To Feed Cheese to Your Cat

If you want to feed cheese to your cat, here is how you should do it.

  • Occasionally: Cats should only eat cheese every once in a while. Do not feed it to them every day.
  • In Small Quantities: If you give cheese to your cats, only give them a small portion. Do not give them the whole block of cheese. It should only be a few bites.
  • As a Treat: You can give cheese to your cat as a reward for doing something good.
  • Cut It Up Into Small Pieces: Cutting up cheese into small pieces makes it last longer for your cat, but they will eat the same amount.

Wrapping Up

Cats love cheese, but you should only feed it to them in moderation.

See how they react to cheese when they eat it so that you can know if it is safe in the long term.

Leave a Comment

Explore More within Happy Pets Now

Happy Pets Now
A comprehensive resource for information about your pet.
post explore
Happy Pets Now
  • Types of Fish

Tadpoles: Types, Behaviors, Lifespan, Costs & More

September 21, 2022
7 min read
Happy Pets Now
  • Health & Care

Cherry Shrimp Care: Tank, Water & Food Requirements

September 5, 2022
8 min read
Happy Pets Now
  • Types of Fish

Cherry Shrimp: Behaviors, Lifespan, Tank & Water Requirements, Care & More

September 5, 2022
6 min read

The Best Pet Resource Hub on the Web. Subscribe to our Newsletter!