When it comes to feeding your cat human food, there’s always a question of whether it’s healthy for your feline friend or not. So, can cats eat cheese? The answer is more complicated than you think. So, let’s take a closer look at the answer. 

Pet Simplified uses affiliate links within our articles and pages. Purchases from these links earn us a small commission at no extra cost to you. It helps support the website. You can learn more about it on our Privacy Policy Page.

Can Cat Have Cheese?

Technically, yes. Cats can have cheese. However, should they have cheese? In that case, the answer is no.

Of course, it won’t be a huge problem if your cat gets a nibble of cheese here and there. Cheese is not toxic to cats, but it can make them sick.

So, you’ll want to keep your kitty away from cheese to be on the safe side.

Can Cats Eat Cheese? | PetSimplified.com

Cheese Nutritional Facts

When it comes to taking a closer look at cheese nutrition facts, it all depends on which type of cheese you’re eating.

For example, one ounce of Brie contains the following:

  • 95 calories
  • 7.9 grams of fat
  • 6 grams of protein

Meanwhile, one ounce of cheddar contains the following:

  • 114 calories
  • 9.4 grams of fat
  • 6.4 grams of protein

In addition, one ounce of mozzarella contains the following:

  • 85 calories
  • 6.3 grams of fat
  • 6.3 grams of protein

As you can see, the cheeses have similar nutrition, but they can all be high in fat and calories. In addition, they all contain dairy, which can be an issue for those who are lactose intolerant or allergic to dairy.

And yet, according to Healthline, cheese can have some benefits.

For instance, cheese might prevent cavities and may be suitable for your heart.

Also, they contain vitamins such as A and B12. There are also minerals present such as zinc, phosphorous, and riboflavin.

But while there are some benefits for humans to eating cheese, are there any advantages for cats to having cheese?

Can Cats Eat Cheese? | PetSimplified.com

What Are The Benefits Of Feeding Cats Cheese?

Believe it or not, your cat has little to no nutritional benefits if they have some cheese. Since cats are obligate carnivores, they need all their nutrients from animal protein. Therefore, the cheese won’t help them grow and develop.

What Are The Disadvantages Of Feeding Cats Cheese?

So, is cheese safe for cats to consume? Yes, it is, but they don’t need it. Now that we know there’s little nutritional value in cheese for kitties, the disadvantages outweigh the advantages of giving them this snack.

Underlying Health Issues

First, cheese is only okay to give your cat an occasional treat if they’re healthy. Some cats can tolerate certain foods well while others can’t. So, you’ll need to be mindful of whether your kitty has a sensitive stomach.

In addition, cats who are ill shouldn’t have cheese. For example, if a cat has heart disease or kidney disease.

Most Cats Are Lactose Intolerant

Despite what the movies show, most cats are allergic to dairy or intolerant to it. If they overeat cheese, your kitty might have digestive system issues, such as diarrhea, vomiting, or constipation.

Some cheeses, such as Swiss or cheddar, have less lactose. However, that doesn’t mean your cat should eat it. It only means that if you need to give your cat a small piece of cheese (to feed them a pill, for example), these cheeses are okay.

On the other hand, cheeses such as Brie, mozzarella, and cottage cheese have high amounts of lactose. Your cat should stay away from them.

Some Ingredients In Cheese Are Toxic To Cats

Some cheese includes onions, garlic, or chives. All of these ingredients are toxic to cats. If eaten in high quantities, your cat may get seriously sick or die.

In addition, some cheeses are moldy, such as blue cheese. This type of fungus grows on the cheese, which is okay for humans to eat in small amounts, but it’s a no-no for cats.

Can Cats Eat Cheese? | PetSimplified.com

Types Of Cheese Your Cat Can And Can’t Eat

Now that we know the benefits and drawbacks of feeding cheese to your cat, what types of cheese are okay for them to consume?

Look at the chart below to see if any cheeses are safe for your feline friend.

Types of CheeseSafe for Your Cat?
Blue CheeseNo
Colby JackYes
Cottage CheeseNo
Cream CheeseYes
Goat CheeseYes
Pepper JackNo
String CheeseYes

Keep in mind that whatever cheese is safe for your cat to eat, it should only be given to them in small quantities and in moderation. It should not be added to meal times or a regular treat.

How Much Cheese Can Cats Eat?

You should always follow the 90/10 rule. This means that 90% of your cat’s diet should be their cat food, whether commercial or homemade. The other 10% should be cat treats.

These treats can be cat-friendly human foods, including cheese. However, cheese is filled with many calories, so your kitty should only have a small piece at a time, even as a treat. 

How To Feed Your Cat Cheese

The first you should do before giving your cat cheese is to talk about it with your kitty’s veterinarian first. They’ll help you decide if cheese is a good option for them as an occasional treat.

In addition, the vet can help you determine which types of cheese you should share with your cat. Also, they’ll explain how much and how often you should give your cat.

Remember, every kitten has different nutritional needs and will react to certain foods differently. So, talk to your vet about all of your options.

If you get the okay from your vet to share cheese with your feline friend, then be sure to get the right cheese.

Once you have a cheese that’s safe for your cat to consume (such as cheddar), you can give it to them in tiny pieces. This will be easier for them to chew and swallow, and you’ll be able to control how much they get and how often.

After you give them a little bit of cheese, especially for the first time, monitor your cat. Ensure they don’t feel sick or begin to have loose stool shortly after.

Do not give your cat more cheese until you know it agrees with their system. Usually, it’s best to wait a week or so.

However, giving your cat cheese is an excellent snack to have only about once a month.

Can Cats Eat Cheese? | PetSimplified.com

Cheese-Flavored Cat Treats

If you want to provide cheese to your kitty in a cat-friendly way, you can consider getting some of these treats. The cat treats below contain cheese you can still give to your kitty in moderation.

Cat-Friendly Recipes That Include Cheese

On the other hand, if you’re feeling adventurous, you can make homemade cat treats. The recipes listed below all contain cheese as an ingredient. 

Question Corner: FAQs About Cats Eating Cheese

If you feel like you need to know more about whether cats can eat cheese or not, then take a look at the frequently asked questions answered below.

Can Cats Eat Cheesecake?

Unfortunately, no. Cats cannot eat cheesecake. Based on what we know of cheese, and most cats are lactose intolerant, the cheesecake will only make them sick. If your feline friend eats cheesecake, no matter the flavor, they will most likely get diarrhea or vomit it back up. 

Can Cats Eat Cheese Puffs Or Cheese Balls?

While cheese puffs, cheese balls, and other cheese-flavored snacks (such as Cheetos) aren’t toxic to cats, it’s still not safe for your kitty to eat them. These cheese snacks are often high in sodium and fat, making your cat sick.

Can Cats Eat Cheese Popcorn?

Plain popcorn is not toxic for cats to consume. However, cheese popcorn contains added sodium, fat, and other preservatives. So, cheese popcorn is not an excellent option to give your kitty as a treat. 

Can Cats Eat Cheese? | PetSimplified.com

Can Cats Have Cheese Pizza?

No, cats cannot have cheese pizza. The cheese, red sauce, bread, and grease are unhealthy for your cat. Also, if you have other toppings, that could make them sick. In addition, red sauce typically contains garlic and onions, which is toxic to cats.

Can Cats Eat Cheeseburgers?

If the cheese is a type that’s safe for cats (such as cheddar) and the hamburger is thoroughly cooked, then yes. Cheeseburgers can be a yummy treat for cats. However, they should only have one or two small bites of it and only eat it once in a while.

Why Can’t Cats Have Dairy?

Most cats are lactose intolerant, so they can’t digest dairy products naturally. So, if your cat overeats cheese, milk, yogurt, or other dairy products, they could get sick. For example, your cat may get diarrhea, vomiting, gas, constipation, or stomach upset.

Can Kittens Eat Cheese?

Kittens should not have cheese, no matter how little or safe it is for them. Kittens are still growing and developing. Since cheese holds no nutritional value for them, it’s not worth it to feed your kitten.

Can Senior Cats Eat Cheese?

Senior cats probably shouldn’t have cheese. Even if they had it as adults, chances are your cat has health issues that come with age. To be on the safe side, don’t give your senior kitty cheese. 

Should You Give Your Cat Cheese?

The answer is complicated, but you should probably avoid feeding your cats cheese. While they may like the snack once in a while, it might be too high of a risk to share with your feline friend. 

Spread the love
error: This content is copyrighted by Rachel Poli, founder of Pet Simplified. You may not select, copy, or use this content.