can cats eat cheese

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As a cat owner, you might wonder if sharing cheese with your cat is safe. While cats can eat cheese, remember to do so in moderation. This is because many felines struggle with feline lactose intolerance. Also, cheese has lots of calories. This pet nutrition facts guide will help you understand if it’s a good idea to share cheese with your furry friend.

Key Takeaways

  • Many adult cats experience lactose intolerance, limiting safe cheese options.
  • Cheese should only be given as an occasional treat in small portions.
  • Hard, aged cheeses like cheddar and parmesan are better tolerated than soft cheeses.
  • Monitor for signs of digestive upset after feeding cheese to your cat.
  • Consult your veterinarian before introducing new human foods to your cat’s diet.

Understanding the Risks of Feeding Cheese to Cats

Cheese can be tempting for your cat. But, it’s good to know the risks. Hill’s Pet Nutrition, Inc. shares useful advice on cat digestive health and the right food to give.

Lactose Intolerance in Adult Cats

Did you know many adult cats can’t digest cheese well? They lack the needed enzyme to break down its sugar, lactose. This can lead to a bad stomach, causing symptoms like vomiting and diarrhea.

High Fat and Calorie Content

Cheese is full of fat and calories. Too much cheese may lead to weight gain and health problems. Just one ounce for a cat equals us eating two and a half cheeseburgers.

Potential for Digestive Issues

Even without lactose issues, cheese can upset your cat’s stomach. This is especially true for cats with certain health problems. Be on the lookout for any bad reactions. And if you see them, talk to your vet.

Before you give your cat cheese, think about their age and health. Hill’s Pet Nutrition provides guides for different cat life stages, including advice on kitten nutrition.

Cat Age Group Hill’s Pet Nutrition Products
Kitten Prescription Diet Kitten, Science Diet Kitten
Adult (1-6 years) Prescription Diet Adult, Science Diet Adult
Adult (7+ years) Prescription Diet Senior, Science Diet Senior

Understanding cheese’s risks makes you better at choosing what to feed your cat. This includes knowing about problems like lactose issues and high fat content. Make choices that are safe and good for your cat’s health.

Can Cats Eat Cheese?

Yes, cats can eat cheese sometimes as a special vet-approved cat treat. But, it’s key to know the plus sides and possible downsides. This way, you can make the right choices for your furry friend’s cat cheese diet.

Cheese as a Nutritious Treat

Cheese brings some goodness for cats, especially protein and calcium. These help keep their body strong and work well.

Moderation is Key

But, remember, cheese is only good in small amounts and now and then. It has a lot of fat and calories. Too much can cause weight problems and other bad health effects.

Also, some cats can’t digest dairy well, so they can feel sick after eating cheese. Make sure to watch how your cat reacts. Then, you can adjust their cat cheese diet as needed.

To play it safe, give cheese treats a few times a week at most. And, it’s smart to talk to your vet. They can guide you on what’s best for your cat, considering their diet and health.

Choosing the Right Cheese for Your Cat

Not all cat dairy products are safe due to feline lactose intolerance. Cheese can sometimes be fine for your cat, but you must choose carefully. The right cheese is key for their pet nutrition facts and stomach health.

Hard, Aged Cheeses

When it’s cheese time, go for the firm ones with less lactose. Good picks include cheddar, Swiss, parmesan, provolone, and gouda. These cheeses are aged, lowering their lactose. This makes them gentler on your cat’s belly.

Soft Cheeses to Avoid

But, avoid soft, high-lactose cheeses for your cat. Types such as cottage cheese, cream cheese, mozzarella, brie, and blue cheese can upset their stomach. They have more lactose, which is hard for some cats to digest.

feline lactose intolerance

Skip processed cheeses too, like American cheese. They often have things in them that could be bad for your cat.

Cheese Varieties That Are Safe for Cats

Cheese is best given to cats in moderation because of its high fat and calorie levels. Yet, some types are considered mostly safe for cats. These tend to be firm, aged cheeses with less lactose. This can lower the risk of cat digestive health problems.

Cheddar Cheese

Cheddar is a top pick for cats because it’s hard and aged, meaning it has less lactose. This is good news for cats sensitive to milk for cats.

Swiss Cheese

Swiss cheese is also firm and aged. It contains less lactose, making it a safe cheese option for cats. It’s a better choice than softer cheeses like mozzarella.

Parmesan Cheese

Parmesan is very hard and dry, with a lot of aging. It contains very little lactose. Thus, it’s one of the top choices for cat digestive health.

Remember, only give cats very small amounts of any cheese. A piece around the size of a dice is enough, no more than one or two times a week. Too much cheese can upset their stomachs. It can also add too many calories to their diet, possibly causing weight gain and other issues.

Unsafe Cheese Options for Feline Friends

When asking, can cats eat cheese? Know some types are bad for them. Soft cheeses, like cream cheese, cottage cheese, and mozzarella, aren’t good due to lactose. Vet-approved cat treats with these may still cause problems.

Brie and blue cheeses, known as aged and tasty, should be off-limits. They’re not only hard to digest because of lactose but too rich and salty too.

unsafe cheese options for cats

Avoid processed cheese stuff, like cheesecake and Cheez-Its. These can have too much salt, overfat, and harmful spices. Ingredients like onion and garlic are also bad.

  • Cheddar cheese can be consumed by cats in small amounts, but it’s not recommended due to potential lactose intolerance.
  • Mozzarella cheese can be eaten by cats in small quantities, but it’s advised to opt for treats like cooked chicken or fish instead.
  • Parmesan cheese can be given to cats in small portions as an occasional treat due to its high fat and salt content.
  • Cottage cheese is suitable for cats in moderation as it is low in lactose and high in protein, recommending low-fat varieties.
  • Feta cheese can be offered to cats occasionally, but its high fat and salt levels may cause digestive problems.
  • Goat cheese, being high in fat, should not be a regular treat for cats and should be given in moderation to prevent digestive issues.
  • Cheese, whether dairy or non-dairy, should be avoided for cats due to potential toxicity from ingredients like salt, fat, spices, onion, and garlic.

When you think about kitten feeding guide or new foods, talk to your vet first. This ensures your cat stays safe and healthy.

Monitoring Your Cat After Eating Cheese

If you give your cat cheese now and then, pay close attention. Look for any signs of feline lactose intolerance. Some cats feel sick after eating cat dairy products. Especially those with lots of lactose can cause stomach upset.

Signs of Lactose Intolerance

After giving cheese to your cat, keep an eye out. These are the signs that they might not tolerate lactose well:

  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Reduced appetite
  • Abdominal pain or discomfort
  • Excessive gas

When to Consult a Veterinarian

Seeing any of the above signs in your cat means you should talk to your vet. This is especially true if your cat has health issues like kidney problems or diabetes. Such conditions can make stomach troubles worse in cats.

It’s wise to ask your vet before giving your cat new foods, cheese included. They can offer advice that fits your cat’s health and diet.

Remember, while cheese can be an occasional treat for some cats, it should never replace a balanced, nutritious diet specifically formulated for feline health.

Safely Feeding Cheese to Cats

Portion control and frequency are key when giving cheese to your cat. It’s safe as an occasional treat. Offer a small cube, 1-2 times per week at most. Make sure not to give more, to avoid upset tummies.

Portion Control and Frequency

It’s important to serve cheese to your cat in small amounts. One small cube, about 1/2 inch, is plenty. Giving too much or too often can cause obesity and health problems. Stick to the limits for pet nutrition facts.

cheese safety for cats

Alternatives to Cheese Treats

Looking for a healthier treat? Choose protein-rich options like freeze-dried meat. Or opt for milk for cats formulas. These are better for your cat’s health and digestion.

Brand Age Category Educational Content
Prescription Diet Kitten Cat Articles And Tips
Science Diet Adult (1-6) Nutritional Philosophy
Prescription Diet Adult (7+) Cat Articles And Tips

Following these tips is good for your cat’s diet. It means they can still enjoy treats. But they’ll be healthy and happy.

Non-Dairy Cheese and Cats

Non-dairy cheeses might look good for cat digestive health at first. But, they can have things that are bad for cats. Like fat, salt, and additives. So, always check the ingredients before giving them to your cat, even if they’re vet-approved cat treats.

Ingredient Considerations

Some non-dairy cheeses use onion or garlic. These are toxic to cats. Eating even a little can cause stomach issues, laziness, or hurt their blood. Plus, many of these cheeses have lots of salt. Salt can make cats more thirsty and make their health problems worse.

Here’s a table showing what harm different non-dairy cheeses can get your cat into:

Non-Dairy Cheese Potential Risks
Vegan Cheddar High in salt, saturated fats, and potential additives
Almond Cheese High in fat, potential allergens for some cats
Coconut-Based Cheese High in saturated fats, potential for digestive issues

Safer Treat Options

Stay away from non-dairy cheeses and go for treats made for cats instead. These snacks are good for their diets and usually don’t cause tummy troubles or sickness.

  • Plain, cooked chicken or fish
  • Freeze-dried meat treats
  • Low-calorie, grain-free treats

Always chat with your vet before adding new treats or foods. A vet will guide you based on your cat’s unique needs.


While cats can eat cheese, it’s best to give them only a little, every now and then. This is because most cats have a hard time digesting dairy. If you do share, choose hard cheeses like cheddar or Swiss. Remember, cheese should only be a small part of what they eat.

Always ask your vet before you share human food with your cat. Cats need meat more than anything else. Too much cheese can cause tummy troubles or allergies. Plus, if cats eat too much cheese, they might become overweight. Make sure cheese is a rare snack for your cat.

If you share cheese with your cat, watch how they react. Look out for any signs they don’t feel well. Being too generous with cheese can lead to issues. Remember, cheese should be a rare, small treat for your furry friend.


Can cats eat cheese?

Yes, cats can have cheese sometimes. Cheese offers them protein and calcium, good for their health. Give them only small amounts a few times a week to prevent tummy problems or gaining too much weight.

What cheeses are safe for cats?

Choose cheeses that are firm and old for cats. These kinds have less lactose, making them easier for cats to digest. Good choices include cheddar, Swiss, parmesan, provolone, and gouda.

What cheeses should be avoided for cats?

Stay away from soft, high-lactose cheeses. This includes cottage cheese, cream cheese, mozzarella, brie, and blue cheese. Also, do not give cats American cheese because it’s very processed.

How much cheese can I give my cat?

Just a tiny piece of cheese about the size of a dice is enough, given 1-2 times a week. No need for a second snack.

What should I do if my cat has digestive issues after eating cheese?

Watch for signs like vomiting or diarrhea after cheese. If you see any digestive issues, don’t ignore them. This is even more critical for cats with conditions like kidney disease or obesity. In such cases, contacting your vet is wise.

Are non-dairy cheeses a better option for cats?

Non-dairy cheeses aren’t a great idea for cats as they can be unhealthy. They might be high in fat, salt, or have ingredients that are unsafe for cats like onion or garlic. Stick to tasty and safe treats for your cat, like cooked chicken or fish.

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