My parents’ cats love yogurt. My cats Mylas and Zayra do not find yogurt interesting and tasty. When the cats of my parents see the packaging with yogurt, they already start to meow. If there is a bowl of yogurt on the table, the cats would like to eat it, whether this is allowed or not. Maybe your kitten becomes a cat, but it still wants milk, even though it is becoming more and more lactose intolerant. But can cats eat yogurt?
Yes, cats can eat small amounts of normal, natural yogurt. It is healthy for cats due to the number of nutritious elements it contains. But it is better to avoid yogurt that is flavoring with sugar or artificial sweeteners.
There may be different scenarios where you have wondered if it is safe to give your cat yogurt. In this post, you can read more about can cats eat yogurt, the nutrients your cat can get from yogurt, what kind of yogurt is best for a cat and, how much yogurt may a cat eat. I also answer the question, is there special yogurt for cats.
Cats and Lactose
Many cats are lactose intolerant, but they must still be able to consume small amounts of yogurt. You probably recognize it, the standard image of a cat licking at a bowl filled with milk or yogurt. But that gives a wrong representation of reality. Many cats love milk, but milk is usually not healthy for cats. So they can get stomach and intestinal problems such as diarrhea.
Milk of a cow has a different composition than the milk of a mother cat, and the main cause is lactose (milk sugar) in the milk. These milk sugars are digesting relatively quickly by young animals. Still, as the animal gets older, the flora in the intestines (which ensures digestion) changes, so the lactose is less and less digested. The lactose goes instead of digesting, fermenting in the gut with diarrhea as a result.
Lactose can be found in whole, semi-skimmed and skimmed milk. Even if you dilute milk with water, the lactose does not go away. So if your cat has diarrhea, you should stop giving your cat ( lactose products) milk right away.
The only “safe” dairy product is natural yogurt with live fermentation. The lactose in the yogurt has already been converting into other products.
Cats Eat Yogurt
Because cats do not have the amylase enzyme (digestive enzyme), they cannot digest sugar. Their tongues don’t have the right sensors to sense sweetness, so they don’t even crave sugar. Cats should not eat sugar at all. A kitten needs milk to survive, preferably milk of a mother cat. Otherwise, kitten milk is also allowed.
As the kitten grows, the body stops producing the enzyme. For about twelve weeks, the kitten can digest lactose, and they gradually become lactose intolerant.
This can be sad for a cat that gets treats such as milk or whipped cream from the start. The cat can see milk as a kind of comfort food and be attracted to the smell and taste. A cat does not know that it is not healthy.
You can give plain, unsweetened yogurt to a growing cat who wants milk. Yogurt is a dairy product, but due to the natural bacteria in the live yogurt cultures, the lactose in the lactic acid will break down through the fermentation process.
Because your cat eats yogurt, it gets the milky taste it wants, without having stomach problems. To be sure, it is good to give a little amount of yogurt to see if your cat is allergic. Most flavored yogurts have added sugar that your cat doesn’t need. Your cat may not even like flavored yogurt. Also, it is not good for your cat.
Nutrients in Yogurt
Normal unsweetened yogurt is not only safe for your cat, but it can also be helpful and healthy. There is magnesium in yogurt, among other things. Magnesium helps to absorb other nutrients such as vitamin C, calcium, phosphorus, potassium, and sodium. It also helps maintain healthy blood pressure. Calcium strengthens muscles, teeth, and bones. Calcium also aids in blood clotting and nerve function.
Potassium strengthens the muscles, nerves, and enzyme activity. It is an important nutrient, especially for cardiovascular (blood vessel) health. Vitamin B12 can prevent anemia, and Vitamin B2 helps your cat to metabolize the protein, which is important for the diet.
Yogurt has live and active bacteria that can whiten your cat’s teeth and prevent gum disease. The probiotics in yogurt that aid digestion in humans work just as well on cats. It relaxes everything and works with the natural bacteria in the intestines. This is especially good to know when your cat has hairball problems.
Probiotics can also help boost the immune system. It helps sick cats to get better and prevent healthy cats from getting sick. Yogurt has a soft, creamy texture and an attractive aroma and taste. Your cat likes to eating something that’s also really good for them.
How Much Yogurt May a Cat Eat?
Don’t give your cat too much yogurt. You should think of yogurt as an appetizer, a natural dietary supplement, or as a little treat for your cat. I am recommending to give your cat only a maximum of three or four tablespoons of yogurt per week. Does your cat have an appetite because of, for example, an illness? Then you can try to giving daily a teaspoon of yogurt to encourage eating. This will also improve the immune system.
When your cat is treating for an infection, you can try stirring the antibiotics in a tablespoon of yogurt. Your cat will get the medicine and some probiotics to counter the side effects of antibiotics. If your cat is on medication, you can try a spoonful of yogurt to lower the medicine into your cat’s stomach. A teaspoon of yogurt before a meal can help cats who are prone to diarrhea.
If your cat has diarrhea, you can try to give a teaspoon of yogurt before eating. It can help to reduce diarrhea. You must then be sure that your cat is not allergic to milk products and yogurt, or your cat is getting sicker of it.
If you give your cat yogurt, it is wise to keep an eye on your cat. If your cat vomits or has diarrhea, it may be allergic and may no longer have yogurt. Read the label carefully. Your cat should not eat sugar, including anything called sucrose or fructose. Even natural sweeteners in fruit can already be too much.
Your cat doesn’t want sugar, and it doesn’t need sugar. It is also more harmful than it is good for your cat. Any flavored yogurt can contain sugars and sweeteners, which are bad for cats. If you want to give your cat yogurt, make sure it is natural and unsweetened.
What Kind of Yogurt is Best for a Cat?
Unflavored Greek yogurt is perfect as it’s full of live cultures and healthy bacteria. Yogurt with vanilla may seem good, but it is indeed a flavor. Vanilla extract sometimes contains ethanol. Cats are the ultimate lightweights when it comes to holding liquor, so even this minuscule amount can be detrimental for a cat.
The best and safest way is to give your cat plain, unsweetened yogurt.
What Types of Yogurt Should My Cat Not Have?
Anything with sugar is not good for your cat. As the label says it is made with sweetener, dextrose, fructose, glucose, fruit juice concentrate, maltose, sucrose, or anything that ends with the word “syrup,” it is a sugar.
Especially Xylitol is an artificial sweetener that your cat should avoid. Honey is difficult for your cat to digest. Molasses and chocolate are also ingredients to avoid.
Avoid yogurt with nuts, walnuts, and cashews. Walnuts and cashews contain a little too much fat and salt. Almonds can lead to cyanide poisoning.
Also, don’t give yogurt to your cat were raisins and all other things made with grapes. This is poisonous, and cats really should not eat. Macadamia nuts and hazelnuts are also toxic.
If you are unsure about the health of your cat, please contact the vet, the vet can help you.
Are There Special Yogurts for Cats?
If you search on the internet, there are a few stores that sell yogurt for cats. This yogurt comes in small packages. However, I would not recommend buying this. I noticed that some shops still add sugar or other ingredients that your cat can not tolerate.
Would you want to give your cat sometimes a little bit of yogurt, then buy unsweetened and natural yogurt. Then you know for sure that it is good.
Below you will find a video of Cats How, which a short answer is given in 2 minutes to the question: can cats eat yogurt?
A cat is an obligatory carnivore that normally gets all the food it needs by eating meat. If your cat likes milk/yogurt, has stomach problems, or just hasn’t eaten, yogurt may be a good addition to the usual diet. Yogurt and other wet foods can be a good way to help hydrate them. But don’t forget, give your cat only a maximum of three or four tablespoons of yogurt per week. Also, don’t give your cat anything with sugar in it.
If you like this post, then you may like this post about Safe and Healthy Fruit for Cats.
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