Can Cats Eat Cheese? Exploring Feline Diets and Cheese Consumption 2023

Curious about whether Can Cats Eat Cheese Safely? Read on to discover the facts, potential risks, and appropriate portions for feline cheese consumption. Get answers to frequently asked questions about cats and cheese.

Many cat owners enjoy treating their feline friends to occasional indulgences, and cheese is a popular choice for a special snack. But is cheese safe for cats? In this article, we will delve into the topic of cats and cheese, exploring whether it is a suitable addition to their diet. We will address common concerns and provide informative answers to frequently asked questions about feline cheese consumption.

Can Cats Eat Cheese?

While cats are obligate carnivores and primarily require a diet rich in animal protein, a small amount of cheese is generally considered safe for most cats. However, it is essential to understand that not all cats can tolerate cheese, and moderation is key.

Is Cheese Nutritious for Cats?

Cheese contains protein, calcium, and certain vitamins, making it a source of nutrition for humans. However, cats have specific dietary requirements that differ from ours. Although cheese can provide some beneficial nutrients, it should not replace a balanced, high-quality cat food diet.

What Are the Risks of Feeding Cheese to Cats?

Despite being generally safe for cats, there are a few risks associated with feeding them cheese. The most common concern is lactose intolerance. Most cats lack the enzyme lactase, which helps break down lactose, the sugar found in milk products. Feeding cheese to lactose-intolerant cats may lead to digestive upset, including diarrhea and bloating.

How Much Cheese Can Cats Safely Consume?

When offering cheese to your cat, it’s crucial to remember that it should be given as an occasional treat, not as a staple food. A small, bite-sized piece of cheese once in a while is generally acceptable. Remember to consider your cat’s size, age, and overall health. Overfeeding cheese can lead to weight gain and potential digestive issues.

What Types of Cheese Are Safe for Cats?

Not all cheese varieties are created equal when it comes to cats. Some types, like cheddar and Swiss, have lower lactose content and are considered safer options. However, it is important to note that individual cats may still react differently to different types of cheese. Always introduce new foods slowly and observe your cat for any adverse reactions.

How to Introduce Cheese to Your Cat

If you decide to offer cheese as a treat to your cat, it’s important to introduce it gradually to prevent any adverse reactions. Follow these steps:

  1. Choose a small piece of cheese: Opt for a cheese variety with lower lactose content, such as cheddar or Swiss. Cut it into a small, bite-sized piece appropriate for your cat’s size.
  2. Offer a small sample: Place the cheese in front of your cat and observe its reaction. Some cats may show immediate interest, while others may not be interested at all.
  3. Monitor for any adverse reactions: After your cat has tasted the cheese, keep a close eye on them for the next 24 hours. Watch for signs of digestive upset, such as diarrhea, vomiting, or excessive gas.
  4. Adjust portion size and frequency: If your cat tolerates the cheese well, you can continue offering small amounts occasionally. However, if any digestive issues occur, it’s best to avoid feeding cheese in the future.

Cheese as a Training Aid for Cats

Cheese can also be used as a training aid for cats, as many felines find it enticing. However, it’s important to remember that training treats should be used sparingly to avoid excessive calorie intake. Instead of using pure cheese, consider using small pieces as part of a reward system while training your cat. This will help maintain their interest and motivation during training sessions.

Can Cats Eat Cheese
Can Cats Eat Cheese

Alternative Treats for Cats

If you’re concerned about the potential risks associated with feeding cheese to your cat or your cat is lactose intolerant, there are plenty of alternative treats you can offer. Here are some cat-friendly options:

  1. Freeze-dried meat treats: These treats are made from real meat, often in a dehydrated form. They are high in protein and typically well-received by cats.
  2. Commercially available cat treats: Look for treats specifically formulated for cats, which are usually designed to meet their nutritional needs. Read the labels to ensure they are made from high-quality ingredients and avoid treats with excessive additives or fillers.
  3. Homemade treats: You can prepare homemade treats using cat-safe ingredients like cooked chicken, turkey, or fish. Just make sure to avoid using seasonings, spices, or any ingredients that could be harmful to cats.

Consulting with Your Veterinarian

When it comes to making dietary decisions for your cat, it’s always wise to consult with your veterinarian. They can provide personalized advice based on your cat’s specific needs, health conditions, and dietary restrictions. They will also be able to guide you on appropriate treat options, including cheese, for your individual cat.

Remember, every cat is unique, and while some may enjoy and tolerate cheese, others may not. Your veterinarian’s expertise is invaluable in ensuring the health and well-being of your feline companion.


Is cheese toxic to cats?

Cheese is not toxic to cats, but it may cause digestive issues, particularly in lactose-intolerant cats. Offer cheese in moderation and monitor your cat’s reaction.

Can kittens eat cheese?

Kittens have more sensitive digestive systems than adult cats. It’s best to avoid feeding cheese to kittens, as it can lead to gastrointestinal upset.

Are there any alternatives to cheese for treating cats?

Yes, there are numerous cat-friendly alternatives to cheese treats. Consider options like freeze-dried meat treats or commercially available cat treats made specifically for feline consumption.


While cats can eat cheese in small amounts, it’s essential to be aware of potential risks, particularly for lactose-intolerant cats. As with any new food, it’s crucial to introduce cheese gradually and monitor your cat’s response. Remember, cheese should never replace a well-balanced cat food diet. When it comes to treating your feline companion, it’s always best to consult with your veterinarian to ensure you’re making the right choices for your cat’s individual needs.

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