As soon as you sit at the breakfast table and put a slice of cheese on the bread, the room tiger comes in and wants you to give him food. Many cats love the smell of cheese. But is it harmful or healthy for cats to eat cheese?
The Essentials In Brief
- Cheese is unhealthy for cats
- The main complaints are gastrointestinal problems and diarrhea
Why does a cat like to eat cheese?
Cheese has a strong smell of its own. That attracts the cat. For many house tigers, it is quite normal to get a treat at the table. Cheese is often included. Her fur nose likes to eat cheese, because especially the aged cheese smells good and she has got used to it. In very small quantities, the cheese does no harm and is not toxic to cats, but it remains an unhealthy snack.
Proteins and fat are in the cheese. Both components are important for cats, but they meet this need through meat. There is enough protein and fat in the meat, an additional diet with cheese can even be harmful. This also applies if she drinks milk.
How harmful is cheese to cats?
Small amounts of cheese are not harmful. But if the cat nibbles frequently and a lot of cheese, this affects the gastrointestinal tract. The reason for this is lactose.
Cats are lactose intolerant
The milk sugar (lactose) contained in the milk affects the digestive system of cats. You are unable to break down this milk sugar. This leads to indigestion, which can also lead to severe diarrhea. Cheese is made from milk. The milk sugar concentration is lower there, but lactose is still present. For this reason, cheese is not suitable for cats.
Young cheese contains a lot of lactose, ripe cheeses lose a lot of it during the ripening period. This means that hard cheeses such as Parmesan are low in lactose. The question of whether cats are allowed to eat cream cheese is answered automatically: cream cheese is rich in lactose and therefore not suitable for cat nutrition. If you absolutely want to give your cat cheese to eat, then please always use lactose-free products.
Salt and phosphate levels in cheese are also of concern
Everyone knows that many cats have to deal with kidney problems in old age. Ingestion of salt exacerbates the symptoms. Many cheeses contain salt, so that the cat’s organism is burdened with it.
Another ingredient in cheese has an adverse effect on cat health: phosphate. Scientific studies have shown that the course of the disease in cats with chronic renal insufficiency can be slowed down by greatly reducing the administration of phosphate. Hard cheese contains little of the harmful lactose, but a lot of unhealthy phosphate. If the cat suffers from kidney problems, feeding hard cheese is particularly critical because the disease then progresses more quickly.
Our tip: don’t feed cats cheese
With a view to the ingredients in cheese that are critical for cats, there is only one tip that you should take to heart: Do not feed your cat with cheese and never with chocolate , but resort to safe treats.