Is It Safe For Cats To Eat Cheese?

As a cat lover, I know how hard it is to resist those pleading eyes when your feline friend begs for a nibble of your cheesy snack. But before you give in to their adorable tactics, it’s important to consider whether cheese is safe for cats.

Cats have unique digestive systems that differ from ours, which means certain human foods can wreak havoc on their delicate stomachs. Cheese is no exception. Many cats are lactose intolerant and consuming cheese can lead to tummy troubles like diarrhea or stomach pains. Additionally, some types of cheese can trigger allergies in sensitive cats.

But don’t despair just yet. Cheese can also offer some benefits for our furry friends. For example, small amounts of cheese can provide protein and calcium, especially for cats who struggle with other protein sources. The high-fat content in cheese can even help control hairballs and aid in weight gain for underweight cats.

So, the answer to whether cats should eat cheese isn’t black and white. It depends on various factors such as your cat’s individual tolerance and the type of cheese you’re offering them. In this blog post, we’ll dive deeper into the pros and cons of feeding cheese to your cat and explore which types are safe for them to enjoy without any adverse effects.

Cats as Obligate Carnivores

Cats are fascinating creatures, with unique dietary needs that are essential to their overall health and well-being. As obligate carnivores, they require a diet that consists primarily of animal-based proteins. This means that they need a diet that is rich in meat-based protein, as their digestive systems are designed to digest and absorb nutrients from animal-based proteins.

Their bodies require certain nutrients that can only be found in animal-based proteins, such as taurine, arginine, and arachidonic acid. These nutrients are necessary for maintaining healthy heart function, vision, reproduction, and skin and coat health. Therefore, it is essential to feed cats a balanced diet that meets their nutritional needs to ensure they thrive.

While some cat owners may wonder if it’s safe to feed their feline friends cheese, the truth is that cheese is not a natural part of their diet and should only be given in moderation. Cheese does not provide the necessary nutrients that cats require and can lead to health problems if consumed regularly in large quantities. It is high in fat and calories, which can lead to obesity and other health issues. Additionally, cheese contains lactose, which many cats are intolerant to, leading to digestive upset such as vomiting and diarrhea.

If you want to treat your cat to something special now and then, it’s better to offer them a small piece of cooked meat instead of cheese. Cheese should never replace their regular diet of meat-based protein. It’s important to feed cats a balanced diet that meets their nutritional needs, which can be achieved through high-quality commercial cat food or by feeding a diet that has been specifically formulated for cats by a veterinary nutritionist.

Cheese and Its Nutritional Value

Cheese is a dairy product made from milk that is enjoyed by humans worldwide and often used as a flavorful ingredient in various dishes. However, when it comes to cats, cheese can be a bit of a tricky topic.

Let’s begin by examining the nutritional benefits of cheese. Cheese is an excellent source of protein and calcium. It contains vitamins A and B12, which are essential for maintaining healthy vision and a healthy nervous system, respectively. Additionally, cheese is rich in phosphorus, which helps build strong bones and teeth. While these nutrients are beneficial for cats, it’s important to note that cheese also has some potential downsides.

Cats are obligate carnivores, which means they require a diet that is high in protein and low in carbohydrates. While cheese does contain protein, it’s not considered a complete source of protein for cats. This means that your cat cannot rely on cheese alone to meet their dietary needs. Moreover, many cats are lactose intolerant, which means they have difficulty digesting lactose, the sugar found in milk products like cheese.

In conclusion, while cheese does have some nutritional value for cats, it should not be a regular part of their diet. Cats should primarily consume high-quality cat food that provides all the necessary nutrients to keep them healthy and happy. If you do decide to give your cat cheese as a treat, do so in moderation and monitor their reaction to ensure that they do not experience any digestive issues.

To summarize further, here are some key points to keep in mind when considering giving your cat cheese:

  • Cheese is a good source of protein and calcium but should not be relied upon as a complete source of protein for cats.
  • Many cats are lactose intolerant and may experience digestive issues if they consume too much cheese.
  • Cheese is high in fat and salt, so it should be given to cats as a rare treat in moderation.
  • Cats require a balanced diet of high-quality cat food that provides all the necessary nutrients for their health and well-being.

Moderation is Key

It’s important to remember that cats have specific dietary requirements that need to be met for them to thrive. Cheese is a popular human food that many cat owners wonder about feeding their pets. While it does have some nutritional benefits, moderation is key when it comes to feeding your cat cheese.

Firstly, too much cheese can cause digestive issues such as diarrhea and vomiting. This is because cheese is high in fat and lactose, which can be difficult for cats to digest properly. Overconsumption can also lead to weight gain and obesity, which can cause a host of health problems for your furry companion. Therefore, it’s crucial to limit the amount of cheese you give your cat.

Secondly, some cats may be lactose intolerant, which means they cannot properly digest lactose. This can lead to uncomfortable gastrointestinal symptoms such as bloating, gas, and diarrhea. To avoid these symptoms, it’s important to monitor your cat’s reaction when you give them a small piece of cheese as an occasional treat.

Moreover, cheese should not be a regular part of your cat’s diet. Cats are obligate carnivores and require meat-based diets that are high in protein and low in carbohydrates to stay healthy and happy. While cheese may seem like a tasty addition to their diet, it should only be given as an occasional treat in moderation.

To ensure that your cat stays healthy and happy, consider alternative treats such as cooked chicken or fish. These options provide the necessary protein that your cat needs without the digestive issues that may come with consuming too much cheese.

Lactose Intolerance in Cats

When it comes to feeding them treats, we need to be cautious and informed. One such treat that should be avoided is cheese due to lactose intolerance in cats.

Lactose intolerance is a common condition in which cats are unable to break down lactose, a sugar found in milk and dairy products. This is because they lack the enzyme lactase, which is responsible for breaking down lactose into simpler sugars that can be easily absorbed by the body. As a result, undigested lactose remains in their gut, causing discomfort and various gastrointestinal symptoms such as vomiting, diarrhea, and bloating.

It’s important to note that not all cats are lactose intolerant, but it’s best to avoid feeding them cheese or any dairy product altogether. As responsible pet owners, we must pay close attention to our cat’s reaction after feeding them cheese or any other dairy product. If we notice any symptoms such as vomiting, diarrhea, or bloating, it’s best to avoid feeding them cheese in the future.

But what treats can we give our cats instead of cheese? There are plenty of protein-rich options like cooked chicken or fish that will not only satiate their taste buds but also provide them with essential nutrients they need to thrive. Other options include canned tuna or salmon, small pieces of cooked beef or pork, and cooked egg whites.

Different Types of Cheese and Their Effects on Cats

Cats can be finicky eaters, but some of them love to indulge in human food, including cheese. However, it’s essential to understand that not all types of cheese are safe for cats to eat. Here’s a breakdown of the different types of cheese and their effects on cats.

Cheddar Cheese: Safe in Moderation

Cheddar cheese is low in lactose, making it easier for most cats to digest. It also contains protein and calcium, which are essential for a cat’s diet. However, it’s crucial to remember that cheese should be given to cats as an occasional treat and not as a regular part of their diet.

Blue Cheese: Toxicity Alert.

Blue cheese contains roquefortine C, which can cause vomiting, diarrhea, and seizures in cats. This type of cheese should be avoided at all costs because even a small amount can be harmful to your furry friend.

Processed Cheese: Avoid It

Processed cheese is high in sodium and contains additives that can be harmful to cats. Some processed cheeses also contain onion or garlic powder, which can be toxic to cats. Therefore, it’s best to avoid giving your cat any type of processed cheese.

Soft Cheeses: Be Cautious

Soft cheeses like brie or camembert may contain listeria, which can cause severe illness in cats. These cheeses are also high in fat and calories, which can lead to obesity and other health issues in cats. So, it’s best to avoid giving your cat any type of soft cheese.

Hard Cheeses: Okay in Moderation

Hard cheeses like cheddar or parmesan are safe for cats to consume in moderation. They provide protein and calcium but are also high in fat content. Therefore, it’s essential to offer hard cheeses as an occasional treat only.

Blue Cheese and Roquefortine C

It’s essential to remember that not all human foods are safe for cats. One of these foods is blue cheese, a type of cheese made from penicillium cultures.

Blue cheese’s distinctive blue and green mold give it its unique flavor and texture, making it a favorite among many humans. Unfortunately, it’s not recommended for cats due to its high fat and salt content, which can lead to health problems such as obesity and high blood pressure.

But that’s not the only reason why blue cheese is a danger to our feline friends. It also contains Roquefortine C, a mycotoxin produced by the penicillium culture. This toxin can cause neurological symptoms such as tremors and seizures in cats, and in severe cases, it can even be fatal.

As responsible pet owners, it’s our duty to ensure that our cats are safe and healthy at all times. Keeping blue cheese out of reach from our furry friends is vital. In case of accidental ingestion, monitor your cat closely for any signs of illness or toxicity. If any symptoms occur, such as vomiting or diarrhea, contact a veterinarian immediately.

Hard Cheeses and Constipation

Not all foods are created equal, especially when it comes to cheese.

Hard cheeses like cheddar or parmesan may be delicious for us, but they can be tough for cats to digest due to their high fat and protein content. These types of cheese can cause digestive issues, leading to constipation and discomfort for your feline friend. So before you give your cat a slice of your favorite hard cheese, think twice about the potential consequences.

The lactose found in cheese can also pose a problem for cats who are lactose intolerant, causing further digestive issues and increasing the risk of constipation. It’s important to be mindful of your cat’s dietary needs and limitations, and to avoid feeding them anything that could lead to health problems.

Instead of hard cheeses, consider offering your cat small amounts of soft, low-fat cheeses like mozzarella or cottage cheese as a treat. These types of cheese are easier for cats to digest and less likely to cause digestive issues or constipation.

It’s important to monitor your cat’s behavior and bowel movements closely when introducing new foods into their diet. If you notice any signs of discomfort or constipation, it’s best to consult with your veterinarian for advice on how to proceed.

In summary, while cheese may be a tasty treat for us humans, it’s important to remember that our furry friends have different dietary needs and limitations. By being mindful of what we feed them and monitoring their health closely, we can ensure their overall well-being and happiness. To summarize:


In conclusion, the answer to whether cats can indulge in cheese is a bit more complex than a simple yes or no. While cheese has some nutritional benefits, it should be given with caution and in moderation. For many cats, consuming cheese can lead to digestive problems such as diarrhea and vomiting due to lactose intolerance.

It’s important to keep in mind that cats are obligate carnivores and require a protein-rich diet consisting of animal-based proteins. Cheese should never replace their regular meat-based meals but rather be offered as an occasional treat.

Before giving your feline friend any type of cheese, it’s crucial to know which types are safe for them to consume. Hard cheeses like cheddar or parmesan are generally okay in moderation, while soft cheeses like brie or camembert should be avoided due to potential listeria contamination.

To ensure that your cat receives a healthy and balanced diet, consult with a veterinary nutritionist and provide high-quality commercial cat food that meets all their nutritional needs.