Dairy producers worldwide put an image of a cat on the packaging of their products. This is no coincidence – these animals are perceived as dairy lovers by most people. Can cats eat cheese? The answer to this question is essential for the owners because their furry pets often ask and gladly absorb a bite or two of this natural product useful for humans. Cats and cheese: Can I give a cat cheese?
What cheese is safe for a cat?
Many cats perceive cheese as an exquisite treat, a favorite treat. Pets often sit next to the table, asking for it. It can be difficult to refuse a convincing request while the owner doubts – is it safe to give the cat cheese? After all, it contains many valuable substances, including calcium, which is especially necessary for animals, and high-fat content.
Cheese is of different grades and has different fat content. Manufacturers offer customers to choose a product from five categories :
- double fat content;
- triple fat content.
The first of the two product categories is made of skim milk; others use whole milk and natural cream of various concentrations. It is impossible to feed a cat with cheese with high-fat content; it can cause dangerous disorders of its intestines and stomach.
The taste of the product is enhanced by additional ingredients. Manufacturers add natural spices, plant seeds, and nuts. Recently, cheese has become “wrong” – to reduce its cost, plants use cheap vegetable milk replacers, do not use natural starter cultures, and prefer chemical reagents and preservatives. Giving a cat cheese with such a recipe is dangerous because of its high probability of an allergic reaction. Processed, smoked, moldy, salty cheese is on the list of dangerous products for cats.
What cheese can not feed a cat?
A cat will not eat cheese if it is harmful to her. However, she can beg for it, as the smell and taste are sometimes very different. Because of this, it is impossible to learn about the appetite of a product by its aroma. A pet may ask for inedible products but, in most cases, will not eat.
Smoked cheeses should be excluded from the diet, as they may contain dangerous carcinogens. In addition, modern smoking is not so much due to temperature but because of the action of chemicals that are added to the starter to speed up the process. Such foods are harmful to the liver and kidneys.
In addition, some manufacturers are replacing milk fats with vegetable fats. Firstly, it makes the product cheaper, and secondly, it increases the shelf life. However, such fats do not have a high nutritional value and harm the liver. In addition, some cheeses contain preservatives, dyes, and stabilizers that can cause an allergic reaction.
In general, products containing:
- powdered milk;
- flavoring additives;2
- vegetable oil;
How often can you give cheese to a cat?
Even if the pet is a bright “fan” of a delicious dairy product, feeding the cat with cheese daily and in large quantities is impossible. If you offer the animal a choice of your favorite product, such as porridge or dry food, the pet will likely choose cheese slices.
You can give your cat cheese in combination with other foods he loves. Meat or fish (boiled, not raw) mixed with tiny cheese slices will be more helpful; products can favorably complement not only taste but also the nutritional value of each other, and cat food will become balanced. Cats and cheese: Can I give a cat cheese
Classification of cheese
By the method of preparation, many types of cheeses are distinguished:
1. Sour milk. They are obtained from skim milk exposed to a lactic acid starter culture. Often, they add cottage cheese, sour cream, salt, and oil. Spices may include cocoa, onions, coffee, chocolate, and vanilla. Cheeses without additives (with cottage cheese or milk) are allowed to be given to cats; all the rest are forbidden since spices often cause allergies and poisoning.
2. Serum. It is made from whey, formed after cheese-making (i.e., recycled materials). Because of this, they contain a lot of albumins and relatively few fats – 15-25%. The Adyghe cheese will be the best option for a cat because of its quality, lack of spices, dangerous additives, and low price. This product is rich in vitamins and minerals; for most of them, 100 grams contains 15-25% of the total daily requirement of the animal for these substances.
3. Moldy. These are cheeses exposed to various molds, most often from the genus Penicillium. Their fat content is average – 25-35%; they do not add spices and additives since the taste is good due to the action of mold. For these reasons, mold cheeses can be fed to cats, but the first time, it is necessary to give a little since an allergic reaction to fungi is possible.
4. Smoked. Suluguni and sausage cheese are the most common in the Russian Federation. Smoking gives a unique taste due to processing at high temperatures. After that, the cheese is dehydrated and saturated with bacteriostatic, preservatives, and carcinogenic polycyclic hydrocarbons. This product can not be given to cats because of the high content of salts and preservatives.
Many pet owners wonder if giving lard to a cat is okay. And those who think about it are very right. Even though our pets are predators and eat other animals, not every product of animal origin will be helpful for them. Some meat products can even significantly harm their health. Can cats eat lard?
Can cats eat Lard?
Some hobbyists and breeders think that this product is not capable of much harm to a healthy animal’s body. Many owners give it to their pets along with other foods that are considered undesirable in the cat’s diet, for example :
- fresh fish;
- raw meat.
These products cannot be strictly prohibited, but they should be given with great care and should not be introduced into the diet continuously. Of course, both cats and dogs love goodies. A piece of fatty meat or lard is a tasty morsel because it is a natural source of concentrated nutrients, and the animal’s body feels it. But you should be led by something other than such weaknesses. Systematic feeding with harmful foods, including lard, can lead to:
- upset stool;
- Liver diseases.
Some pet owners believe that lard, fatty meat, or even bones should sometimes be given to cats since these products contain helpful unsaturated fatty acids, vitamins, and lecithin. But such a practice should by no means become regular and frequent. And under certain conditions, discussed below, the answer to the question “Is it possible for cats to be fat?” sounds unequivocal. Not! To replenish the body with nutrients and vitamins. Giving your pets fish oil is better if sold in a veterinary pharmacy.
Why fatty foods can harm?
As a rule, a cat living in wildlife hunts only for small game: medium-sized birds, mice, and rats. The meat of these animals practically does not contain fat. Therefore, during its evolution, the cat’s body has yet to adapt to the processing of animal fats, especially in large quantities. Those who decide to feed the cat with fat need to understand that its pancreas cannot produce as many enzymes as is required to break down a large amount of fat, which means that the fat that has entered its body will not be processed entirely and will be harmful.
There are several conditions under which this delicacy is contraindicated for an animal in any, even small quantities. One of these contraindications is feeding with professional feed. As a rule, all necessary substances are already provided for in such food, and the fat content is strictly balanced with other feed components. So, adding extra fat to the diet can seriously “hit” the digestive system and cause acute pancreatitis and kidney failure.
Even if it is sterilized, feeding the animal with this product is not worth it. At the same time, the kidneys and excretory systems are already in a vulnerable state. Therefore, when choosing a menu, you need to be extremely careful.
Some are interested in whether giving a pet fat with skin is possible. There is a lard with cat skin that is contraindicated. The coarse skin stresses the digestive system, making it difficult to break down food. In addition, the skin can be very salty, which creates a direct danger to the excretory system, namely, the kidneys.
Dr. Jenifer Miona is a highly skilled and compassionate veterinarian based in Ireland. With a passion for animal health and wellbeing, she has dedicated her career to providing the highest standard of veterinary care to pets and their families.
After completing her veterinary degree at the University of Dublin, Dr. Miona went on to specialize in small animal medicine. She has since gained extensive experience in all areas of veterinary care, including routine check-ups, surgical procedures, and emergency treatments.
In her clinic, Dr. Miona is known for her gentle and compassionate approach to patient care. She takes the time to listen to the concerns of pet owners and develops personalized treatment plans to meet the unique needs of each animal.
Beyond her clinical work, Dr. Miona is active in the veterinary community and stays up-to-date with the latest advances in veterinary medicine through ongoing education and professional development. She is a member of several professional organizations, including the Irish Veterinary Association and the European College of Small Animal Medicine.
Outside of her work as a veterinarian, Dr. Miona is an avid animal lover and enjoys spending time with her own pets. She also volunteers at local animal shelters and is committed to promoting animal welfare through community outreach and education.