Last Updated: 1 week ago

Cats have been known to be picky eaters, so it’s only natural for owners to wonder if they can have cheese.

Cheese is a popular snack among humans and offers a variety of nutritional benefits.

But what about our feline friends – are these same benefits applicable when we give them cheese as well?

We know that some types of human food should never make its way into your cat’s diet, but the truth is there are certain kinds of cheeses that can provide numerous health advantages if given in moderation.

We’ll help you learn all about the nutritional value of cheese for cats, which types they’re allowed to consume safely and how much you should feed them at once!

Can Cats Eat Cheese without Issues?

Can Cats Eat Cheese? Delicious or Dangerous For Cats?

Cheese is not a recommended food for cats, as it can cause digestive upset. Cheese contains lactose, which cats lack the enzymes to digest properly. Eating cheese may lead to vomiting, diarrhea and other gastrointestinal issues.

Cheese is high in fat and calories which can contribute to weight gain if consumed regularly.

If your cat does eat cheese, monitor them closely for any signs of distress or discomfort and contact your veterinarian if needed.

Cats love cheese because it contains high levels of protein and fat, which cats find appealing. Cheese also has a strong smell that cats are drawn to, as well as a salty taste that is irresistible to them.

The texture of cheese can be quite satisfying for cats when they lick or chew on it. While some cats may not enjoy all types of cheese equally, many do seem to have an affinity for this dairy product.

Nutritional Value of Cheese for Cats

cat as a chef

Cheese is a great source of nutrition for cats.

It contains protein, calcium, and fat that can help keep your cat healthy and strong.

Cheese can be a nutritious snack option for cats when fed in moderation along with other balanced meals that meet their nutritional needs according to their age, breed, lifestyle etc.

It is important to check labels carefully before feeding any type of cheese product so you know exactly what nutrients your cat will be getting from each serving size.

Cheese can provide cats with a great source of protein, calcium and fat. However, it is important to understand the types of cheese that are safe for cats before offering any as a treat.

Protein Content

Cheese is an excellent source of protein for cats. Protein helps build muscle mass and provides energy to fuel their daily activities.

The amount of protein in cheese varies depending on the type, but it generally ranges from 10-20%.

Soft cheeses like cottage cheese are higher in protein than hard cheeses like cheddar or Swiss.

Calcium Content

Cheese also contains high levels of calcium which is important for bone health in cats. Calcium helps strengthen bones and teeth as well as aids in nerve transmission throughout the body.

Hard cheeses tend to have more calcium than soft varieties with some containing up to 30% per serving size.

Fat Content

Fat content varies widely among different types of cheese but most contain between 4-10% fat per serving size which can be beneficial for cats who need extra calories or those who are underweight due to illness or age related issues such as arthritis or kidney disease.

Fat also helps provide essential fatty acids which aid in skin and coat health as well as digestion and absorption of vitamins and minerals from food sources.

Types of Cheese Cats Can Eat

types of cheese for cats

Cheese can be a great treat for cats, but not all types of cheese are safe for them to eat.

Soft cheeses, hard cheeses and processed cheeses are the three main types that cats can consume safely.

While cheese can be a beneficial addition to your cat’s diet, it is important to choose the right type of cheese for your pet.

Soft Cheeses

Soft cheeses like cream cheese, cottage cheese and ricotta are generally considered safe for cats in small amounts.

These soft varieties should always be served plain without any added seasonings or herbs as these could cause an upset stomach or allergic reaction in some cats.

Be sure to check the label on store-bought versions to make sure they don’t contain any artificial sweeteners or other ingredients that may be harmful to your cat.

Hard Cheeses

Harder varieties such as cheddar, Swiss and Parmesan are also okay for cats in moderation.

As with soft cheeses, it’s important to read labels carefully before serving hard cheese products so you know exactly what is included in the recipe.

Some brands may add preservatives or other additives that could potentially harm your pet if ingested in large quantities over time.

Hard cheeses are best avoided due to their high fat content, but soft and processed cheeses can provide essential vitamins and minerals that cats need.

Processed Cheeses

Processed cheeseballs, slices and spreads should never be given to cats due to their high fat content which can lead to obesity if consumed regularly over time.

Many processed cheese products contain artificial colors and flavors which could cause digestive issues when eaten by felines.

It is best to avoid giving these altogether unless specifically recommended by your veterinarian as part of a special diet plan tailored towards your individual cat’s needs.

Benefits of Feeding Cheese to Cats

cat eating cheese

It is important to understand the nutritional value of cheese before feeding it to your cat, as well as the potential risks associated with it.

It is best practice only to feed small amounts at a time until you know how your cat reacts; this way you can avoid any unnecessary health issues further down the line.

Improved Digestion

Cheese contains high levels of protein and calcium which are both beneficial for cats’ digestive systems.

Protein helps break down food in the stomach more easily, while calcium helps maintain healthy muscles and bones throughout their life.

Additionally, cheese contains fatty acids that help lubricate the intestines so food passes through more smoothly.

Stronger Bones and Teeth

Calcium is an important mineral for cats because it strengthens their bones and teeth over time. Eating cheese regularly can help provide your cat with enough calcium to keep its bones strong throughout its lifetime.

This will also reduce any risk of developing dental problems such as tooth decay or gum disease later on in life.

Increased Energy Levels

Cheese is packed full of essential vitamins like B12 which helps boost energy levels in cats naturally without having to rely on artificial stimulants or sugary treats that could potentially harm them over time if consumed too often.

The fat content found in cheese also provides an extra burst of energy when needed most.

Risks of Feeding Cheese to Cats

overweight cat

When it comes to feeding your cat cheese, it’s crucial to keep in mind that while there are numerous benefits, there are also potential risks to consider.

Excessive fat intake can lead to weight gain, and cats with lactose intolerance may experience allergic reactions if they haven’t been exposed to dairy products previously.

Weight Gain and Obesity Risk

Cheese is high in fat, which can lead to weight gain and obesity in cats if they are fed too much of it. Cats should only be given small amounts of cheese as treats, no more than 10% of their daily caloric intake.

If your cat starts to gain weight or become obese, you should reduce the amount of cheese they eat or switch to a lower-fat alternative.

Allergic Reactions and Intolerance Risk

Some cats may have an allergic reaction or intolerance when eating cheese. Symptoms such as vomiting, diarrhea, skin rashes, sneezing and coughing may occur after consuming cheese.

If your cat has any adverse reactions after eating cheese then it’s best to avoid feeding them this food altogether.

Cheese contains lactose which some cats cannot digest properly leading to digestive issues such as diarrhea and vomiting.

To prevent these symptoms from occurring it is important that you feed your cat low-lactose cheeses like cheddar or Swiss instead of higher lactose varieties like mozzarella or cream cheese.

How Much Cheese Should You Give Your Cat?

giving cheese to a cat

When it comes to feeding cheese to your cat, the amount you give is just as important as what type of cheese you choose.

Knowing how much cheese to give your cat can help ensure their safety and health.

Serving Size Guidelines

The serving size for cats varies depending on their age and breed. For kittens, a small piece of soft or processed cheese is enough, while adult cats may be able to handle larger portions.

If you have an older cat, start with smaller amounts until they get used to the taste before increasing the portion size gradually over time.

Similarly, if you have a large breed such as Maine Coon or Ragdoll cats, then larger servings are usually recommended since these breeds tend to eat more than other breeds due to their size.

Frequency Guidelines

When it comes to frequency guidelines for feeding cheese to your cat, moderation is key.

Too much dairy can lead to digestive issues like diarrhea and vomiting in some cats so it’s best not feed them too often – once or twice a week should suffice unless otherwise instructed by your vet.

Make sure that any treats containing dairy products are given after meals rather than between meals so that they don’t fill up on snacks instead of eating proper meals which could lead them becoming overweight or obese over time.

Whatever treat you decide on giving your feline friend should still be fed in moderation alongside regular meals in order for them to stay healthy throughout their life span.

It is important to remember that too much dairy can lead to digestive issues like diarrhea and vomiting, so it is best not feed them too often – once or twice a week should suffice unless otherwise instructed by your vet.

Make sure that any treats containing dairy products are given after meals rather than between meals so that they don’t fill up on snacks instead of eating proper meals which could lead them becoming overweight or obese over time.


In conclusion, cats can eat cheese in moderation as part of a balanced diet. Cheese provides cats with some nutritional benefits and can be used to encourage them to take their medication or eat other foods.

It is important to keep an eye on your cat’s weight when feeding them cheese and avoid giving them too much.

As long as you are mindful of the risks associated with feeding your cat cheese, you can feel confident that they will enjoy this tasty treat!

Remember when it comes to whether or not cats can eat cheese, the answer is yes – but only in moderation!


Dr. Linda Simon MVB MRCVS is a locum veterinary surgeon who has worked in London for the past 8 years. She graduated top of her class in small animal medicine from UCD, Dublin. She is currently a member of the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons. Linda is the resident vet for Woman magazine and a frequent contributor to People’s Friend Magazine, the Dogzone website, Vet Help Direct and Wag! Linda also writes content for the CVS veterinary group, Vetwriter and a number of other establishments.