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Cheese, in all its varieties and presentations, is one of the most appreciated foods in international gastronomy. Although there are hundreds of types of cheeses, each with its own aroma, texture, flavor and nutritional composition, we can define cheese, without exhausting all the history and work involved in its elaboration, as a source of protein and fat very tasty and sophisticated.
In addition to pleasing our palate, cheese offers many benefits to human health, provided it is consumed in moderate doses. And if you share your home with a feline companion, you know very well that this food is usually very attractive to kitties. However, you may wonder if cats can eat cheese or if this food can harm them. Therefore, in AnimalWised we answer you and explain if cheese can be a beneficial food for cats, and we show the precautions that we must take if we decide to incorporate this food into the diet of our kittens..You may also be interested: Can cats eat pasta? Index
- Is cheese good for cats?
- What kind of cheese can I give my cat?
- Is there a safe dose of cheese that I can give my cat?
Is cheese good for cats?
Cheese is a source of animal protein, since it is produced from the milk of different mammals. Although the most consumed cheeses worldwide come from cow's milk, there are also very exquisite cheeses made with sheep's, goat's and buffalo's milk. Being a dairy product, cheese also contains considerable contribution dand fats (although there are many cheeses reduced in calories and total fat), and minerals such as calcium, phosphorus and magnesium.
As cats are strictly carnivorous animals, proteins must be the mainstay and, consequently, the most abundant macronutrient in their nutrition, being accompanied by beneficial fats, vitamins and minerals. Although felines can consume very moderate carbohydrate rations, we must bear in mind that the excess of this nutrient can cause digestive disorders, in addition to favoring the development of obesity in cats.
Considering that cheese is a highly protein food that also has some beneficial fats, it might be logical to conclude that cats can eat cheese. But the question is not so simple, because cheese is also a direct derivative of milk, and most adult cats are lactose intolerant. We explain you better below…
While baby cats are lactating, mother's milk is the only ideal food to meet all their nutritional needs. Because of this, your body makes a large amount of an enzyme called lactase, which is responsible for digesting the lactose present in breast milk. But when the felines complete their weaning period and you're ready to try new foods., your body progressively decreases the production of this enzyme. This is the most important food transition that cats experience in their life, as it means that their body prepares to survive on its own, without the need to receive food from another individual..
Most adult cats become lactose intolerant, since their body does not produce the enzyme necessary to digest it or produces it at insufficient levels to digest it properly. So, when consuming milk or dairy products, felines can develop digestive problems, such as gas, vomiting, or diarrhea.
For this reason, although cheese is not one of the forbidden foods for cats its consumption should be moderate to prevent such digestive disorders. In addition, we must emphasize that no matter how much cheese offers a good contribution of proteins and fats, should not substitute meat, either beef, chicken, turkey or fish.
What kind of cheese can I give my cat?
Although cow cheese is cheaper and easier to find, goat and sheep cheeses they are easier for our kittens to digest. So, it would be interesting to give preference to these types of cheese to prevent digestive problems associated with lactose intolerance in felines..
In this sense, we can offer a small piece of hard cheese as a prize during the education of our kittens, using this food that our feline likes so much to reinforce good behaviors and stimulate them to continue learning. However, it is important not to use only food as positive reinforcement for cats, as this could end up causing rapid weight gain, or the assimilation that obedience must always be connected to receiving food in return. It is best to alternate the snacks with caresses, toys, praise and good times of fun, which are also excellent rewards for the effort and intelligence of your feline.
On the other hand, we can also add lean cheeses, such as lean ricotta or cottage cheese in the homemade recipes that we prepare to complement the diet of our kittens and satisfy their demanding appetite. .
Is there a safe dose of cheese that I can give my cat?
As we have seen, cats can always eat cheese in very small amounts, as an eventual snack or a complement in homemade recipes. However, there is no predetermined dose for all cats, but the safe and beneficial amount of cheese must be appropriate according to the size, weight, age and health of each kitten..
Therefore, it is essential that you consult a veterinarian to choose the most appropriate diet according to the nutritional needs of your feline. The professional will be able to guide you regarding the introduction of cheese in your cat's diet, advising you on the most appropriate and safest doses to obtain a positive impact on its health..