Can Cats Eat Cottage Cheese? Feline Guide 2020

Some of our furry friends, like cats and dogs, eat foods that are, generally, for human consumption. There are pets that can even get into a hurry once they smell the enticing aromas of human foods. One of these is a favorite salty treat – the cottage cheese. Cheese, for human consumption, can be a perfect pair with other meals or drinks. However, can cats eat cottage cheese?

As we go along, we will end your doubts about cat’s consumption of cottage cheese. Moreover, we also have here the effects of cottage cheese once being fed to cats. So, if you are still in doubt if you could give cottage cheese to your cat or not, just stay with us here until the end.

What are Cottage Cheese and Its Effect on Humans?

Before we dig in on the principles behind can cats eat cottage cheese, let us first define what is a cottage cheese, how it is processed, and its effect on human consumption. The cottage cheese is basically formed when there is a base from the cheese curd. This is produced by the draining process the moment there is some whey left.

can cats eat cottage cheese

Moreover, an important key point here is that washing the curd prior to use is really essential as curb can contain acid. Generally, various recipes contain curd. And going back to the origin of cottage cheese, it was given such name because this nutritious dairy product was made in cottages. Usually, in most cases, butter also comes from milk and in order not to waste the milk leftover, people may make cottage cheese out of it.

Health Benefits of Cottage Cheese

Individuals who consume cottage cheese may benefit from it due to their low-fat content. Aside from that, cottage cheese has high amounts of protein. The best way to eat cottage cheese is in its fresh state. But, you can also incorporate some fruits and vegetables in it if you want to have some exotic taste.

Moreover, the nutritional values that come from cottage cheese may include the following:

One serving of cottage cheese contains:

  • Milk fat – 4%
  • Protein – 14 grams
  • Calories – 80 to 120
  • Calcium – 70 mg

These nutritional values of cottage cheese may be very beneficial to human health. Now that we know that, let us move on to the effects of this dairy food if can cats eat cottage cheese.  

Cottage Cheese and the Cats

Just like humans, cats also need to eat the appropriate diet. Aside from the right nutrition that they need, their diet must also be based on their life-stage. Perhaps, there are human foods that cats can also eat. The question is what are those foods and can cats eat cottage cheese?

can cats eat cottage cheese
Image courtesy of Kitty Clysm

Actually, milk is an essential requirement for kittens because it can provide a sufficient amount of protein and other nutritional components from milk. Perhaps, most pet owners find it confusing when it comes to felines, cheese, and other dairy products. But, giving cats cheese products including cottage cheese may generally upset their stomach.

Dairy Products including Cheese

Can cats eat cottage cheese? Actually, yes, but their digestive system does not have the ability to digest it. We often see pet owners offering a bowl of milk or a small bite of cheese to their cats. Yet, once they reach the adulthood stage, the cats cannot able to tolerate lactose coming from this human food.

Below is the approximate amount of lactose from milk, cheese and other dairy products:

Dairy Food Products (about 2 ounces)Lactose Content (Approximate Amount)
Brie0.08 oz
Cheese, American0.06 oz
Cheese, Cheddar0.04 oz
Cheese, Cottage0.07 oz
Cheese, Cream0.06 oz
Cheese, Mozzarella0.08 oz
Cheese, Swiss0.08 oz
Cream0.16 oz
Feta0.08 oz
Milk0.2 fl. Oz
Yogurt0.2 fl. Oz

Basically, can cats eat cottage cheese? Yes, they can and it may not do any harm for them if only a small amount of it can be given. Keep in mind that cats can acquire any illness related to eating cottage cheese or any dairy products on a considerable amount. To prevent this from happening, it is actually better not to get your cat to start feeding on cheese.

Moreover, even if cats can eat cottage cheese and they seem to like it a lot, this human food does not have any nutritional value for them. Additionally, cottage cheese should not also be a part of their daily diet.

The Caloric Amount of Cottage Cheese in Cats

Generally, pets such as the felines should not consume more than 8 to 10 percent of calories per day. Moreover, this caloric requirement should only come from the food and treats that are only recommended by the vet. All types of cheese generally contain too much amount of calories. So, if you are still questioning if can cats eat cottage cheese, it may be better to give your cat a little amount of it.   

Low-lactose Cheese Products

In the market today, there are already wide ranges of food products containing low-lactose and non-dairy items like the cheese. Moreover, some of the available dairy cheeses have incorporated enzymes that are responsible for breaking down the lactose easily after digestion. While, few products contain milk component altered by yeast, seeds, and nuts. However, this variety tends to have greater salt content which is also not applicable for feline’s consumption.

In order to ensure the safety of those alternative milk components for cats’ consumption is to analyze the complete ingredient list. Make a thorough research about these ingredients and look for any advice or reviews from other users.   

The Effects of Cottage on Cats

One of the undying questions of most pet owners is can cats eat cottage cheese? Basically, some experts say that cats can eat cottage cheese but on a moderate amount. Give them just a piece of it for once in a while. However, some cats can eat cottage cheese and tolerate a little portion of it.

But, this is one of the important considerations when you are looking for the answers on can cats eat cottage cheese? Keep in mind that lactose intolerance or milk allergy is also a common health concern for felines. Basically, if your cat suffers from this condition, even a small bit of cottage cheese or any kind of cheese can cause havoc on their digestive health.

Feline’s Lactose Intolerance

Regular consumption of cottage cheese by cats may generally lead to chronic health problems. Can cats eat cottage cheese? Actually, giving cottage cheese on cats regularly may let them experience weight problems, nutrients imbalances, and other unnecessary conditions aside from the digestive issues. Moreover, giving the felines a small amount of cottage cheese does not call for concern.

But, if cats can eat cottage cheese, do not make it a habit. Besides, dairy products are not generally intended for feline consumption. In fact, cats and all older mammals almost have lactose intolerance. Thus, if we based our analysis back on the evolutionary principles, the lactose intolerance of all adult mammals is actually reasonable.

Evolutionary Concept of Lactose Intolerance on Adult Mammals

Actually, one of the answers behind the query can cats eat cottage cheese involves the idea of mother’s milk consumption starting on their infancy days up to the age that they are old enough to consume solid foods. From that point on, they never go back on consuming milk again. After weaning, the bodies of the felines did not have the chance on encountering milk. Through that, the cats’ ancestors already stopped producing enzymes that are responsible for milk sugars production.

Generally, this concept involves a general rule of “to use it or to lose it”. This basically means that old mammals already lost their ability in digesting milk after weaning. Additionally, the wild cats’ ancestors did not have the chance to drink milk from their mother on their adulthood stage. In connection to this, they also do not also eat any food products from milk of other species.

Petting cats inside your home is one way of letting this animal develop their tolerance on dairy products. But, there are still cats that find it a challenge to comfortably digest this food. That’s why looking after on the concept of can cats eat cottage cheese can give you the idea of giving the cats with small amount of it may lead to enhancement of symptoms of lactose intolerance and dairy allergy.

Symptoms of Feline’s Lactose Intolerance and Dairy Allergy

According to Cornell University College of Veterinary Medicine, the answer behind can cats eat cottage cheese may lead to feline’s lactose intolerance. Aside from that, other gastrointestinal problems like inflammation, diarrhea, and constipation may also arise. Because of this, the cats that suffer from dairy allergy may also have a poor reaction even on a little portion of cheese. Can cats eat cottage cheese? Well, this could lead to digestive issues and even has an effect on the immune system.

Generally, these digestive conditions may actually involve common symptoms including the following:

  • Diarrhea
  • Indigestion
  • Itchy or red patches on the skin
  • Hair loss
  • Gas
  • Vomiting

Things to Consider If Can Cats Eat Cottage Cheese

can cats eat cottage cheese
Image courtesy of Animal Planet

Can cats eat cottage cheese? The answer is yes and in case they show high tolerance for dairy products, they may also have the ability to tolerate eating cottage cheese. However, it is not yet a good option to include this human dairy food in their diet.

Cottage cheese may generally contain protein but the appropriate amount of amino acids in the right ratio may not be completely acquired. And, generally, the protein that felines need must highly source from meat and not from dairy. Moreover, relying on cottage cheese as part of their daily diet and protein requirement will potentially develop deficiencies.

Also, avoid giving cottage cheese to your cats in case their salt intake is needed to be reduced. Aside from that, do not also give cottage cheese to cats suffering from any heart condition. In addition to that, weight gain and obesity are the major health problems that cats may experience if they have to eat cottage cheese regularly. Besides, feline’s obesity may also be a risk factor for the development of a variety of diseases such as diabetes, heart disease, arthritis, and cancer.

What to Do if Cats Really Likes Cottage Cheese?

Aside from cottage cheese, milk and other dairy products may basically havoc your cat’s health if this kind of food would be consumed regularly. Since cats may suffer from vomiting and dehydration if cats can eat cottage cheese, they may also experience dehydration eventually. Here are some of the important things that you must have to do if the cats really like to eat cottage cheese.

1. Give your cat sufficient amount of fresh water

Basically, lactose-containing products are not essential to the cat’s diet. And the moment you consider not giving this kind of treat to cats, you are generally preventing any threat on their health. Luckily, there are helpful ways that can avoid damaging the health of your feline.

One of these is the inclusion of water in their diet. Generally, water is very beneficial for cats as it can aid in losing their weight. Moreover, food digestion will also be an easy task, as well as keeping their normal body temperature. That’s why it is usually a good idea to give water to your cat.

2. Don’t give cheese to your cat if not needed

When your cat doesn’t need cottage cheese then don’t give it to him. But, in case you want to give him treats made of dairy, consider giving him yogurt instead. Yogurt is actually a good source of calcium and compared to another dairy, yogurt is generally tolerable by cats.

Final Thoughts

Can cats eat cottage cheese? Well, giving the felines a small portion of cheese may not impose a problem. Generally, cottage cheese may not kill your beloved feline, but the best thing to do about this is to avoid feeding them this dairy food regularly. But, it is actually better to ask for the veterinarian’s advice if cottage cheese may be a good part of your cat’s diet.

A significant number of cats may have lactose intolerance and eating a high amount of dairy products like cottage cheese may let them suffer from unnecessary digestive issues. Moreover, cottage cheese typically offers about a little to no nutritional value to cats. So, just a small bite of cottage cheese may be good enough to give to your cat in order for them to draw a good smile on their face.