In this brief discussion, we’ll answer the question, “Can cats eat feta cheese?” We will also discuss why feta cheese is bad for cats and what to do if your cat eats feta cheese.
Can cats eat feta cheese?
No, cats cannot eat feta cheese. Even though feta cheese has a lower lactose content compared to other cheeses, it is considered unsuitable for cats due to its high fat and sodium content.
Feta cheese is a dairy product which can trigger the symptoms of lactose intolerance in cats. Moreover, the high-fat content can make it difficult for cats to digest leading to an upset stomach. In addition, the high salt content can cause dehydration.
Why is feta cheese bad for cats?
Feta cheese is bad for cats because:
It has a high fat content
Feta cheese is bad for cats due to its high fat and salt content. Cats can experience difficulty digesting large amounts of fats. This can greatly upset their stomach causing abdominal pain, vomiting and diarrhoea. Cats can also develop pancreatitis in extreme cases.
It contains high amounts of salt
The high salt content of feta cheese can put cats at risk of dehydration and sodium toxicity. Cats can experience lethargy, excessive thirst and loss of appetite as a result of sodium toxicity. Moreover, it can also cause electrolyte imbalance which can further create many health issues for cats.
The symptoms of sodium toxicity are lethargy, fatigue, excessive drooling, vomiting, diarrhoea, excessive thirst, excessive urination, increased heart rate and abnormal breathing rate. Muscle tremors, seizures, muscle cramps, coma and death can also occur in extreme cases.
Some varieties of feta cheese contain additives
Some varieties of feta cheese also contain additives such as onion and garlic which are considered toxic for cats. These ingredients can cause oxidative damage to the red blood cells of cats. As a result, cats can develop hemolytic anaemia.
As a result of garlic and onion toxicity, cats can experience weakness, lethargy, nausea, excessive drooling, mouth irritation, diarrhoea, vomiting, abdominal pain, increased heart rate, increased breathing rate, pale gums and breathing difficulty. Cats can even collapse in some cases.
It contains lactose
Even though the lactose content of feta cheese is lower than other varieties of cheese, it can still cause uncomfortable symptoms in cats. Most adult cats are lactose intolerant because they don’t have the enzyme lactase needed for the digestion of lactose sugar in cheese.
Due to this, eating cheese can cause diarrhoea, vomiting, abdominal pain, bloating and flatulence in cats.
Can kittens eat feta cheese?
No, kittens cannot eat feta cheese. You might be wondering if kittens can digest milk, they can also eat cheese. However, this is not the case. Even if kittens produce large amounts of lactase, by the time they reach the age to eat solid foods, their ability to digest lactose is already gone.
Kittens start to lose lactase as soon as they wean off to solid foods. Moreover, the high fat and salt content of feta cheese is extremely unhealthy for kittens. Therefore, you should not give feta cheese to kittens.
What to do if my cat eats feta cheese?
If your cat eats a very small amount of feta cheese, there is nothing to worry about. However, if your cat treats itself with a considerable amount of feta cheese, it can develop certain health issues.
If this is the case, monitor your cat for the next 24 hours and provide plenty of water to prevent dehydration. If you notice any unusual behaviour or signs of an upset stomach including diarrhoea and vomiting, take your cat to the vet for a proper examination.
We answered the question, “Can cats eat feta cheese?” We also talked about why feta cheese is bad for cats and what to do if your cat eats feta cheese.