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 also be interested in Cat Vaccinations: Protecting Your Cat or Why Do Cats Scratch?

cat licking lips

Is Cheese Bad For Cats?

Cheese probably won’t kill your cat. Like everything else, whether or not it harms the cat depends on what cheese it was and how much they ate. It also depends on their unique digestive tract.

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.

» Also read about whether your cat can eat bread.

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.

cat at vet

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.

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Feeding a Cat Cheese

cat getting treat

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.


Your cat isn’t likely to die from eating cheese, so that’s good! Be mindful when feeding your cat cheese, and use it sparingly and only as a treat.


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cat licking lips after cheese

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