Is cheese unhealthy for cats?

Most cats love the smell of cheese and like to eat the milk product when you offer it to you. But is cheese healthy for your four-legged friends? Not really. A velvet paw should therefore only eat a little cheese, but a small bite in between is usually not harmful. A small piece of cheese usually doesn't hurt, but too much does - Shutterstock / Ilya Morozov

Many cat owners will be familiar with the phenomenon: you are sitting at the breakfast table, opening a pack of cheese and your cat is asking for a bite of the intensely smelling food. Before you fulfill your velvet paw wish, you should know that cheese is by no means an essential part of cat nutrition. Because cheese is usually not healthy for cats. Below you will find out why this is so and what is allowed for the four-legged friends when it comes to cheese consumption.

Why do cats like cheese?

Why do cats eat cheese when it's not healthy? Cheese is rich in proteins and fats - both ingredients that cats love and in principle need. Therefore, the fur noses also have an increased appetite for cheese treats. However, domestic tigers already draw these nutrients from meat in their feed and therefore do not generally need cheese or milk products. Too much of it can harm them and lead to serious health problems.

That is why cheese is not healthy for cats

It is a popular picture, but it has nothing to do with reality or should have nothing to do with it: the cow drinking milk. The fur noses cannot tolerate cow's milk because they cannot process lactose (milk sugar). Adult purrs, in particular, can no longer break down lactose from milk, causing gastrointestinal problems such as diarrhea.

While cheese usually contains less lactose than milk, your cat's lower lactose content may also cause problems. Cheese should therefore never be served as a main meal, but should at best be an occasional treat. In addition, the salt content in cheese is much too high for cats.

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If anything, only lactose-free cheese for cats

If you really want to give your cat cheese, you should rarely do so and keep the amounts very small. Ideally, give your cat only lactose-free cheese or at least some with a little milk sugar. Alternatively, you can also offer a little longer matured, harder cheese such as Parmesan, as this contains less lactose than young, soft cheese such as butter or cream cheese. Especially if your cat suffers from kidney problems, cheese is not advisable as cat food, since it also contains a lot of phosphate in addition to too much salt. Neither does sick kidneys any good.

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