Can Cats Eat Cheese?

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Can cats eat cheese? Your cat will likely eat cheese if you give it to them, but is it a wise thing to be feeding your feline friend? Cats are notoriously sneaky, especially when it comes to stealing food.

If you leave food on a counter top, chances are your feline friend will help themselves to a taste. But what if your cat ate some cheese? Is cheese safe for cats? We’ve got answers for you in this article.

» You might like Can Cats Eat Butter and 10 Absurd Things Every Cat Owner Knows.

can cats eat cheese

Can Cats Eat Cheese?

Like everything else a cat might get into, whether or not it harms your cat depends on what kind of cheese it was and how much they ate. It also depends on their unique digestive tract.

According to Advantage Petcare, “Most cats are naturally lactose intolerant, meaning that cow’s milk and dairy products made from it – like cheese or cream – can upset their stomachs, causing vomiting and diarrhoea.”

Is Cheese Bad For Cats?

Unprocessed natural cheeses are the easiest for cats to digest. Don’t try giving them super processed, bright orange cheese sold at the grocery store.

Take note of how much they are eating. Cats aren’t good at digesting dairy, and therefore they shouldn’t eat very much cheese. Your cat should never eat more cheese than the size of your thumbnail in one sitting.

cat licking lips

Lactose Intolerance in Cats

Cats lack the enzyme lactase which allows animals to digest dairy. Because of this, dairy products such as cheese often upset their stomachs. It’s also possible for your cat to be allergic to dairy products, which could cause a serious reaction.

If you think your cat has eaten cheese, watch for vomiting, diarrhea, and general signs of them not feeling well (fatigue etc.). This may mean they ingested a large amount of cheese, or are lactose intolerant. If your cat is sick for over a day, call your vet and consult with a veterinarian.

Felines are obligate carnivores, which means they don’t need dairy in their diets to survive. Those old clichés about cats drinking milk are not true! While dairy does provide some protein that can be good for their diets, it’s not worth the risk to purposely give them milk or cheese.

» Read about caring for your cat and what and how much to feed it.

cat eating cheese

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Feeding a Cat Cheese

If you’re going to feed your cat cheese, make sure that it is a small piece and that the cheese isn’t a super processed one. Remember that cheese holds very little nutritional value to cats and should only be used as an occasional treat.

Never feed a cat cheese in place of it’s usual food and do not make cheese a staple of your cat’s diet.

What About Other Foods?

If your cat regularly gets ahold of people food, or you occasionally give him a taste from your plate, you might be wondering what other foods a cat can eat without getting sick.

While all dairy falls into the same realm as cheese that cat’s can’t easily digest, you should always be careful when feeding human food to a cat, because they might have a hard time digesting it.

Here are a few of the more common foods you might wonder about:

The best foods to give a cat would be proteins, like meat, fish, and eggs. They can digest these things and it won’t harm them. However, always only give a small amount.


Your cat isn’t likely to die from eating cheese, so that’s good! But if you’re asking can cats eat cheese, you should definitely note that too much cheese is never good for a cat. It’s best to limit your cat to a raw food diet or satisfy his hunger with dried food instead.


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can cats eat cheese

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