Really, can cats eat yogurt? And if they even can, what about their health? You probably know that many cats are lactose intolerant, but if it’s right then why sometimes vets recommend yogurt for cats with digestive problems? And if many cats have lactose intolerant, then how can yogurt be useful for them? Does yogurt really contain nutrients that are good for cats as well as humans? Let’s find out.
Can cats have yogurt?
Kittens rely on their mother’s milk to survive, and because of this they can digest lactose. But when they growing old and have no needs in their mother’s milk they stop producing the enzyme which enables them to digest. This is the reason why so many cats after growing older become lactose intolerant.
Probably you may have seen a cat lapping up milk or snacking on cream in some kind of commercials. But in reality consuming milk can cause your cat a lot of problems with health. Actually cats didn’t need to drink milk at all. Milk doesn’t have any benefits for them after they grow out of the kitten age. Cats are true carnivores and most of their food has to be from meat.
However, yogurt is different from milk. Yes, it is a dairy product, but yogurt contains useful bacteria which makes it easier for cats to digest. Of course cat shouldn’t eat a lot of yogurt, but a small amount is quite ok.
Are cats lactose intolerant?
When a cat is still a kitten, his body produces enzymes and these enzymes help to digest lactose. This is necessary since cats are mammals and need to drink their mother’s milk from birth in order to survive. But after a cat becomes an adult, he has no need for mother’s milk at all, so his body stops enzyme production and from this moment, milk (with lactose in it) becomes unwilling for the cat, he just can’t digest lactose. This is usually happens when the cat reaches twelve weeks of age.
So, if a cat will drink a lot of milk in older age, he may get an upset stomach, diarrhea and other digestive issues. Actually lactose intolerance in cats is very similar to lactose intolerance in humans, so it may cause the same problems. However some cats (as well as humans) don’t have lactose intolerance and they can drink small amounts of milk without any problems.
Yogurt contains living bacteria cultures called Streptococcus thermophiles and Lactobacillus bulgaricus. These bacteria cultures are able to break down lactose in lactic acid. So lactose, which is the part of the milk, has turned into lactic acid, which all cats are able to digest without any problems.
Do cats like yogurt
But what about the cat’s tastes, do they like yogurt at all? We may answer that many cats really like yogurt, but some of them don’t. And it is easy to know whether like your cat yogurt or not – if your cat doesn’t like yogurt he’ll avoid eating it.
If your car has never eaten yogurt before then try feeding them a small teaspoon of plain yogurt and see if they like it.
Is yogurt good for cats?
Can cats eat yogurt safely? As we mentioned above the majority of cats are lactose intolerant. They should still be able to consume small amounts of plain yogurt. You should avoid any yogurt which has been flavored with sugar or artificial sweeteners.
Some cats can’t eat yogurt because they are allergic to it, so be sure that you have checked this moment with your vet before feeding your pet yogurt.
Of course, yogurt must be up to date and the cat’s bowl must be clean.
Is yogurt bad for cats?
Some cat may be allergic to yogurt and if they eat it, they’ll suffer from upsets stomach or other problems. First, consult with your vet before feeding yogurt to your cat. Second, when you give yogurt to your cat for the first time, start off with very small portions and keep a close eye on him/her to make sure he/she is okay.
As well, you should never feed your cat flavored yogurt or yogurt which contains artificial sweeteners and preservatives. And always remember that too much yogurt can be dangerous for your cat. In general, yogurt should be an occasional treat.
Can cats eat greek yogurt?
Unflavored Greek yogurt may be good for cats in small quantities. Actually the best yogurt for cats should be full of live cultures and healthy bacteria. Be sure to avoid flavored Greek yogurt.
Can cats eat vanilla yogurt?
Vanilla in itself isn’t toxic for cats and they can eat it, in small quantities, of course. Many cats don’t like the taste of vanilla and probably they won’t eat vanilla yogurt as well.
However, vanilla yogurt besides vanilla may contain other ingredients like ethanol that are bad for cats. Ethanol itself is toxic to cats and can cause symptoms like hypothermia, involuntary defecation, drowsiness and even heart attack. So we don’t recommend vanilla yogurt for cats.
Can cats eat strawberry yogurt?
Strawberry is not toxic for cats but from other side strawberry doesn’t have much healthy benefits either. Strawberry contains a lot of natural sugar and consuming a lot of strawberries may cause stomach problems.
So it is unwilling to feed your cat with strawberry yogurt, because there is a lot of sugar in it. It may upset your cat’s stomach and cause other health issues. The ideal yogurt for cats should be plain. Sugary yogurt may easily upset your cat’s stomach.
Can cats eat blueberry yogurt?
Blueberry is very healthy for humans, so it contains many useful vitamins including vitamins A, C, E and K, essential minerals such as potassium, iron, and manganese, also they are antioxidants and can help keep us and our bones healthy. The similar health benefits blueberry gives to cats. That is why some food companies even add blueberry in small quantities in their pet food.
However, blueberry yogurt is not good for cats for the same reason as strawberry yogurt – it contains a lot of sugar, and as we remember sugary yogurt may cause healthy issues for your cat. Much better would be to give your cat a plain yogurt with a few fresh blueberries so they still get the nice taste.
Can kittens eat yogurt?
Kittens still drink mother’s milk and that is why their body produce enzyme so they can digest lactose.
However, you need to be very careful what you feed your kitten. Kittens should be able to eat a small amount of yogurt as long as it is plain and does not contain artificial sweetener
Cat yogurt treats
Plain yogurt can be a good treatment when a cat has upset stomach. However don’t feed your cat with yogurt too often and certainly not every day. Also you can mix plain yogurt with a small amount of fruits, so it will be healthy and tasty for your fur friend.
Can cats eat yogurt – Summary
- Plain yogurts in small quantities are good for the cats; they can even be a good treatment during digestive problems.
- Never feed your cat with flavored and sugary yogurt, they may be dangerous for your pet.
- Yogurt and other treats should make up less than 10% of your cats diet.