If you are a cat owner, then you may know that most cats are very selective when it comes to the food they eat. However, some cats will try to eat just about anything that piques their curiosity. A curiosity that can land them in a lot of trouble usually. Many people eat greek yogurt as a healthy substitution to many other snacks high in sugar. Greek yogurt has more protein and less sugar than regular yogurt. You might have left your yogurt on the counter and before you knew it, you turn around and your greek yogurt is gone. Your cat is licking the container. Can cats eat greek yogurt? Is it safe for them?
Can Cats Eat Greek Yogurt?
Greek yogurt is a dairy product making it somewhat unsafe for cats. With that being said, it may be much easier for a kitten to digest greek yogurt as opposed to an adult cat. As cats age, they start to slowly lose the ability to break down milk.
It may be odd to think of cats being lactose intolerant because you would usually associate them with drinking milk. Let alone any other dairy products.
Kittens have lactase enzymes that help them to break down lactose.
As cats get older, or age, they start to lose these enzymes making it very difficult to break down the lactose sugars in food and dairy.
As a snack, greek yogurt might be ok for your cat to eat, but be very cautious. The worse that will probably happen, if anything at all, is an upset stomach. If your cat has eaten greek yogurt then you should monitor them, as most side effects will happen within the first 12 hours after exposure.
Cats Can Be Lactose Intolerant?
Lactose Intolerance can happen to any animal or person. It is the inability to break down the natural sugar lactose. Which lactase enzymes are needed for.
The majority of your cat’s diet should consist of meat and low amounts of everything else. Cats are carnivores by nature.
They can acquire every nutrient they need by the consumption of meat. For this reason, cat food is highly meat-based products.
Small kittens can digest lactose as they depend on the mothers’ milk to get the nutrition that they need.
In the wild though, if cats do not have milk available, they will feed on bird nests. They also eat many other small animals such as rabbits, mice, and other rodents.
As cats grow their digestive system starts to get intolerant towards lactose, and they stop producing lactase enzymes.
It is because the consumption of milk is no longer necessary for their growth. Therefore, it becomes harder for them to digest and break down anything that would contain lactose.
Milk isn’t readily available for cats in the wild, so it does not become a necessity for them. This is through genetics.
The vast majority of adult cats are lactose intolerant so it is best to avoid giving them any greek yogurt.
Can Your Cat Ever Eat Greek Yogurt?
If your cat were to ever come across any greek yogurt it should be free of any artificial sweeteners. Artificial sugar can cause many health problems for your cat. Such as obesity, diabetes, and can impact their dental health negatively.
Greek yogurt is creamier and thicker than regular yogurt but doesn’t have as much calcium.
There are some benefits to cats eating greek yogurt. Greek yogurt contains probiotics that promote healthy gut bacteria. As well as a healthy digestive system.
It also contains many vitamins and minerals such as calcium, magnesium, and potassium. These can help keep your cat’s bone strong.
Greek yogurt contains less dairy than many other products on the market such as cheese. It is also made by straining out the extra whey as opposed to regular yogurt. Making it a “safer” substitution or choice of snack for your cat. Although, it may not be the best choice.
Greek yogurt does contain less dairy but there are still better alternatives that are more feline-friendly if you are looking for them.
There are many supplements available that will get the job done if you feel as if your cat is lacking a vital nutrient. You should always consult with your vet.
Symptoms of Lactose Intolerance
As stated before, dairy can have a negative impact on your cat’s digestive system. Adult cats are much more susceptible to lactose intolerance as opposed to kittens. The effects of lactose intolerance in adult cats is much more prevalent. Symptoms of lactose intolerance can include:
- Stomach Pain
- Excessive Gas
Greek yogurt may contain inactive ingredients that your cat is unable to digest naturally. So, they may end up trying to vomit it out of their systems. If you think your cat is having any life-threatening systems it is best to contact a pet health official, right away.
If you are looking to give your cat something to drink it is best to just give them water. Water is necessary for the functionality of their organs. That why it is also important to have the right water bowl to reduce whisker stress. Although, some cats may not “take” to water, so it is best to substitute it with wet food.
Can Cats Eat Greek Yogurt; In Short
Kittens are better suited to digest greek yogurt than adult cats are. Adults cats are impacted more by lactose intolerance. Greek yogurt is a dairy product such as milk, cheese or ice cream and can cause your cat to have symptoms. It may not be the best idea to actively feed your cat greek yogurt, but if they happen to come across it then they should be fine.
These symptoms may not cause any long term harm to your cat but can still cause them discomfort. It is best to check with a veterinarian to see if your cat is lactose intolerant. More than likely, they are.
You should always be mindful and cautious when it comes to giving your feline any type of human food. There may be inactive ingredients that you have no knowledge of what may be harmful. Always read the label.