When you own a cat, the first thing that should always be at the back of your mind is a list of safe foods to share with your pet and those that are not. That said, it can be a bit confusing to figure out if certain types of foods are good for your pet or can potentially cause complications. One of those foods is yogurt. Can cats really eat yogurt? That is a common question that is oftentimes brought up by cat owners.
There is no denying that yogurt has an overabundance of health benefits thanks to the nutrients it contains. For instance, yogurt contains good bacteria, calcium, and lots of protein. That’s why when you are eating yogurt, and your kitty is eyeing you with great interest, it’s easy to feel guilty about depriving the furry friend. However, some of the foods that are good for humans can be potentially harmful to pets such as cats and even result in long term effects. On that note, we will discuss all the details in regards to whether yogurt is good for your cat.
Can cats safely eat yogurt? How much?
Yogurt is certainly good for us humans, but too much of it can actually have deadly repercussions for the cats. Cats can eat yogurt but only in small amounts. As a matter of fact, plain, unsweetened yogurt can be beneficial to your pet. For starters, the yogurt makes it easier for the cat to absorb certain nutrients such as calcium, sodium, phosphorus, potassium, and vitamin C.
Additionally, yogurt is filled with live bacteria. The yogurt probiotics will work the same way in a cat as they would on a human. This means that they will work with the natural bacteria found in the intestines to ensure everything is relaxed. If your cat has been experiencing digestion issues, it will do good to consult with your vet and inquire if it’s safe to introduce a little bit of yogurt into the pet’s diet.
The live cultures might just be what the pet needs to calm and soothe the digestive system. It might also be an effective way of stimulating appetite in a cat that has been feeding poorly. Yogurt can help with the immune system. Besides that, if the cat is on medication, a spoonful of yogurt might aid in making the medication go down. But always remember the keyword is small amounts of yogurt.
Cats and lactose intolerance
As discussed, there are times when a small amount of yogurt is good for your cat. This is especially when you consider the valuable nutrients found in yogurt. The one thing that has often gotten people confused and doubting whether they should let their cats eat yogurt is lactose. The majority of cats are lactose intolerant as they get older. If that is so, then why do some people recommend yogurt for cats with digestive issues?
The truth is cats are naturally carnivores, and that means their diet should comprise mainly meat. Furthermore, cats do not produce lactase, which is the enzyme that is required to break down lactose. This should explain why dairy products such as milk, cream, and milk are not recommended for cats. However, yogurt is quite different, and there is a good reason why. It may be a dairy product, but it actually contains the good bacteria that makes it easy for the cats to digest and soothes the digestive system.
However, don’t feed your cat lots of yogurts. Always give a small amount and keep an eye on the pet for any signs of lactose intolerance. If you notice conditions, signs and symptoms such as diarrhea, vomiting, increased scratching, and loss of appetite, this might be an indication of lactose intolerance. Take the cat to a veterinarian for diagnosis and treatment. Furthermore, if within 24 hours there are no symptoms, a yogurt treat once in a while might not be that bad. Though a cat that is on a balanced diet has all the nutrients, it needs and does not require yogurt treats. In fact, yogurt is not a treatment that is recommended to give frequently.
Can kittens eat yogurt?
The only time cats are able to comfortably digest lactose is when they are young. Remember, kittens feed on their mother’s milk. They need the milk to survive, and sometimes people give cow’s milk for that purpose. At this point, their bodies can produce the enzymes required to process milk. But as they reach twelve weeks of age, they start producing less of the enzyme until the ability to process milk is lost altogether.
Well, for a kitty that is growing but craves milk, unsweetened yogurt might be a good alternative. It’s a dairy product with good bacteria in live cultures that will quickly break down the lactose into lactic acid through fermentation. For that reason, growing kittens of over 12 weeks can have little amounts of yogurt rarely. You should also watch out for allergies and lactose intolerance.
Is yogurt bad for my cat?
Yogurt given in small amounts is basically safe for your cat. However, before giving your cat any yogurt, check with your vet to rule out any possibilities of an allergic reaction. Cats that are allergic cannot eat yogurt. Furthermore, only give plain unsweetened yogurt. Flavoured yogurt mainly contains sugars and artificial sweeteners that your cat does not need. Cats don’t have the enzyme amylase hence cannot digest sugars.
Ensure your cat does not eat too much yogurt, and closely watch her to ensure she’s okay.
Some cats may like yogurt, while others don’t and will automatically avoid it. As discussed, yogurt in small amounts is not harmful to your cat. But it should also not be a big part of your kitty’s diet. In fact, cats don’t need yogurt when they have other healthy foods on their diet. Another important thing to comprehend is some cats are allergic and might suffer complications after feeding on yogurt. Always consult with a veterinarian before incorporating yogurt into your kitty’s diet.