Cats are also referred to as obligate carnivores. This is because all the necessary nutrients needed come from meat. Obligate means, “By necessity.” Cheese is a dairy product. It has protein. It is advisable to not feed any animal cheese and especially cats. Most cats digestive system can’t handle lactose. This means that eating cheese will have adverse effects on your feline. Common effects like diarrhea and vomiting. If you must, you can feed your feline companion cheese but in small portions.
Why do cats produce less lactase?
Lactase is an enzyme. It breaks down lactose. Milk contains a sugar known as lactose that makes it sweet. Lactase must be present for milk to digest. Cheese contains very minimal amounts of lactose. The reason for this. Is in the process. The process of making cheese. When cheese is being made, the curds get separated from the whey. Whey contains lactose in high quantities.
A baby cat can produce lactase to aid the digestion of its mother’s milk. Cheese does not affect young felines. As a cat grows and becomes an adult, it stops producing lactase. This is due to the introduction of solid foods such as meat. It is important to know that once a cat stops producing lactase, it can never start to produce this enzyme again.
It is safe to say that: cats are lactose intolerant. But, if you have been feeding your feline companion. Milk and dairy products. Then, there is a slight chance that your cat can tolerate milk. Pay close attention to your cat before feeding him dairy products. Like humans, cat’s digestive systems vary. Felines known to have sensitive stomachs must never have cheese.
How to know your cat is lactose intolerant
The simplest way to know whether your cat is lactose intolerant or not. Is by: feeding him small portions of dairy products such as cheese. Thereafter, pay close attention to any reactions or side effects your cat may have. They should occur between 8 to 12 hours. Common symptoms include vomiting, diarrhea, painful stomach cramps, and an upset tummy.
Vomiting is a major side effect of cheese consumption. It is very much encouraged as it removes toxins. The main toxin, in this case, is cheese. Your feline companion may likely suffer from loss of appetite, discomfort, and fever. This is common after vomiting. Try not to disturb your cat after it has vomited and diarrhea. Make him/ her more comfortable as well as offer water. This will help to reduce the discomfort and speed up digestion.
If your feline does not have any adverse effect after consuming cheese. Then it is safe to feed him but only as an occasional treat. But do note that this cheese must be lactose-free cheese. Some leading brands of cat food available contain cheese flavoring. Always check the ingredients available in cat food before you buy.
An interesting fact is that most of these cat food brands add a cheese flavor to entice your feline. The actual food rarely contains cheese. It is important to always read labels. Understand the ingredients used in your preferred brand of cat food. Buy cat food that contains very little lactose.
There are specialty stores available that sell lactose-free cheese. These brands of lactose-free cheese are the best option. Swiss, cheddar, and parmesan are such examples of cheese low in lactose. Aged and hard cheese contain the lowest amounts of lactose. Bacteria present in cheese helps to break down the lactose. This in turn lowers its contents. Regardless of your cat’s tolerance to cheese, always feed it in small portions. It wise to visit a vet and get some recommendations.
Is it beneficial to feed your cat cheese?
Dairy products such as cheese are very fattening. A cat can become overweight by consuming dairy products. Cheese is a good source of protein but contains high levels of calories. Cats love the taste of cheese.
Cheese also contains salt and fat at high levels. This can hinder your feline’s growth and development. Feeding your cat cheese may cause poor digestion and loose stools. This is serious. It can cause permanent damage to your cat’s intestines. It is wise to always consult a vet before you embark on feeding your cat with cheese.
A bacterium found in cottage cheese helps in digesting lactose. This is the main reason why many cats can tolerate cottage cheese. Nonetheless: the cottage cheese should be in small portions.
The Final Word on Cats and Cheese
Always pay attention to your cat’s health and any pre-existing condition. By this I mean: observe your cat every time you feed it cheese. Sometimes they may have a pre-existing ailment such as stomach problems. Any feline owner would think it’s because of cheese and dairy products consumption. But in reality, your cat may be suffering from a parasitic infection or a serious condition.
Feeding your cat dairy products such as cheese may only worsen its condition. Take your cat to a vet for checkups. Un noticed pre-existing conditions can be a serious problem for your cat.
As earlier stated, cats love the taste of cheese. Cheese comes from adding acid and bacteria to milk. Thereafter: there is the separation of the cheese curds formed from the whey. Lactose found in milk gets stored in the whey. A lot of lactose diminishes when you make cheese.
Bacteria found in cheese helps to break down lactose. The longer cheese ages, the more lactose gets broken by bacteria. Hard cheeses are low in lactose as well. 100grams of cheddar cheese contains less than 6grams of lactose. Cheddar, parmesan, and Swiss cheese are good examples of cheese with low lactose.
Cats are inquisitive animals. They can also be fussy when it comes to their dietary needs. Thus, you must always choose the right diet for them. No matter how much your feline begs, try and resist feeding him large portions of cheese.