Yogurt is a dairy product manufactured from the milk of cows. It is made by bacterial fermentation in the presence of yogurt cultures. The milk is heated and cooled before combining the bacterial culture. Yogurt’s distinct texture and flavor result from the lactose fermentation process. Yogurt may be prepared from the milk of many animals, including cows, sheep, goats, yaks, camels, and buffalo, and it can be produced in a wide range of textures and flavors. Depending on the type of milk used, different tastes can be produced. The milk used to prepare yogurt can be homogenized, pasteurized, or raw.
Yogurt is a wonderfully healthy snack for most people and is an excellent source of dairy. Can cats, on the other hand, eat yogurt?
Yes! Cats enjoy plain yogurt as a snack, and it is inexpensive. When given in tiny amounts, yogurt (especially Greek yoghurt) can be helpful to cats. It should be simple and free of sugar or artificial sweeteners.
Remember that cats are carnivores, and yogurt may be a healthy addition to their high-quality cat food. Yogurt should account for no more than 10% of your cat’s total caloric intake, and it should not be taken regularly.
Most adult cats are lactose intolerant. Kittens contain an enzyme called lactase, which helps to break down lactose, which is the sugar found in milk. As kittens get older and become weaned, they generate less and less lactase, and as a result, they are unable to digest the majority of dairy foods.
When lactose is absorbed and not broken down by the lactase enzyme, the lactose passes through the digestive tract without being digested. Water is taken into the intestine, where bacteria ferment the milk sugars that have not been digested. This leads to symptoms such as gas, pain, and diarrhea within 8 to 12 hours.
Yogurt Provides a Variety of Nutrients for Your Cat
Greek yogurt contains the following vitamins and minerals, which are beneficial to both humans and cats:
- Vitamin C (ascorbic acid)
- Vitamin B12 (cobalamin)
- Vitamin B2 (pyridoxine)
It contains a lot of minerals and protein in a single serving (one cup, which is too much for a cat). A single serving contains 12 to 17 grams of protein. Protein is a building block, as we all know because the body requires it to construct bones, muscles, cartilage, skin, hair, and even blood.
Yogurt’s Health Benefits
Plain, unsweetened yogurt is not only safe for your cat, but it can also be beneficial to him. Here are some health advantages that Greek yogurt may provide to your cat:
The magnesium in Greek yogurt improves your cat’s absorption of other vitamins and proteins:
Magnesium has many advantages, including boosting heart health, bone health, and anxiety reduction.
The calcium in Greek yogurt helps to build bones, muscles, and teeth by doing the following:
Cats require calcium in the same way that it is by humans. Calcium is well-known for its ability to help cats maintain and develop their bones, muscles, and teeth.
Yogurt can help to increase nerve function by doing the following:
The potassium in yogurt helps to strengthen your cat’s nerves and muscles by preventing them from becoming weak. This is a vital vitamin that we all require to maintain good heart health.
Yogurt can be beneficial to your cat’s digestive tract in the following ways:
Yogurt, which includes living bacteria and probiotics, can be helpful to your cat’s digestive system and intestinal health since it contains probiotics. Tiny doses of yogurt have been used to treat certain types of diarrhea in cats.
In addition, yogurt can aid in the digestion of hairballs by easing any irritation in the throat or stomach that your cat may be experiencing.
Yogurt contains beneficial bacteria that can aid in the restoration of a healthy bacterial balance in your cat’s intestines.
In addition to keeping your cat’s teeth healthy and white, yogurt can help prevent gum disease in your cat:
Yogurt’s living cultures are beneficial in keeping your cat’s teeth whiter and healthier, as well as preventing gum disease by maintaining healthy flora in your cat’s mouth.
Yogurt can assist in strengthening your cat’s immune system in the following ways:
Probiotics will aid in the strengthening of your cat’s immune system by encouraging the production of natural antibodies in the body. They also prevent and reduce the formation of dangerous gut bacteria, ensuring that only healthy, beneficial bacteria flourish within their digestive tracts.
However, probiotics aren’t the only beneficial components in yogurt. It is believed that this is due to the unique fermentation process used in yogurt preparation, which increases the size of the calcium and protein in the milk base, making yogurt an excellent source of these nutrients. Yogurt also has a high concentration of B vitamins, riboflavin, magnesium, and potassium, all of which are essential for developing strong bones, the production of red blood cells, and the maintenance of your cat’s energy.
The Risks of Yogurt to Cats
Cats are genetically prone to having difficulty digesting lactose. This might have a greater impact on particular cats than others. Some cats might get severe symptoms after ingesting any form of yogurt or dairy product, regardless of the brand.
What Can Happen If Your Cat Consumes Yogurt?
Allowing your cat to lick the spoon or your yogurt-dipped finger will not be deadly to your pet, regardless of the breed. Even organic yogurt, on the other hand, can have unpleasant side effects, the most prevalent of which are as follows:
- Discomfort in the stomach
Cats are born with delicate stomachs. A single episode of vomiting may not indicate a severe health problem.
Furthermore, all of the inactive components, artificial emulsifiers, and other chemicals found in store-bought yogurt can cause a variety of secondary health problems that can negatively impact your kitten’s general health.
Just as you should not eat cat food, you should not feed your cat food that has been made for human consumption.
If your cat unintentionally swallows some yogurt, there is no need to contact your veterinarian. However, now and then, adding yogurt to the cat’s diet or giving it as a supplement or snack is not a healthy practice. Stick to high-quality cat food, authorized vitamins that are made exclusively for felines, and delicious cat treats to keep your cat happy.
Gourmet yogurts, such as those flavored with garlic, onion, or a combination of the two, can cause serious health issues in cats. Cats have no enzyme needed to properly digest onions, which might result in flatulence (gas), vomiting, diarrhea, or severe gastrointestinal upset in some cases. Regular use of onion or garlic products may result in life-threatening red blood cell destruction.
Do Cats Love Yogurt?
Some cats love yogurt, while others are strongly opposed to it. This varies greatly from cat to cat. Some cats are particularly fond of the flavor of yogurt and its smooth, creamy texture, and they eat it as a healthful snack. Greek yogurt is a high-protein food that is also high in calcium and Vitamin B12.
Do Cats Dislike Yogurt?
Some cats may be hesitant about the flavor or texture of yogurt, and this is understandable. Don’t be discouraged if your cat does not enjoy it. They don’t require it to maintain a healthy diet. Unless your cat is a big fan of yogurt, he or she will just reject your offering.
Can Kittens Eat Yogurt?
Keep in mind that kittens are still synthesizing the enzyme lactose throughout their first few months of life since they can digest milk during this time. They don’t necessarily require yogurt because they get all the vitamins and minerals they need from other sources. For kittens, it is not suggested to feed them yogurt.
When Is Yogurt Not Good For Cats?
If your cat appears to be lactose intolerant, you should avoid giving him yogurt – and most adult cats are lactose intolerant. It should also not be used as a regular dietary supplement, nor should it be used as a substitute for actual meals.
All of those lovely, fruit-flavored, nut-filled yogurts from your local grocery are strictly forbidden.
In contrast to the human body, a cat’s body is incapable of processing sweet (whether from natural sugars or artificial sweeteners) in the same way. In other words, no matter how nutritious that bowl of sweetened, flavored yogurt is for you, even little amounts of it might be harmful to your cat.
As noted, a cat might potentially be allergic to milk products and experience an allergic response as a result.
Can Yogurt Harm Cats?
If your cat is not severely allergic to yogurt, it is unlikely that it will be harmed as a result of eating it.
Plain, unsweetened yogurt is the best type of yogurt to offer to your cat if you want to make him happy. Yogurt that has been sweetened is frequently loaded with sugar or artificial sweeteners, neither of which are beneficial to cats.
In this situation, overeating yogurt can result in obesity, diabetes, and other health problems, which, over time, can lead to death. And while some cats, particularly those who are allergic, may not be killed by it, they will be significantly more uncomfortable if they eat it.
How Much Yogurt Can You Feed Your Cat?
Cats don’t actually require yogurt as part of their diet, and it might be rich in calories depending on what you feed them. Please remember to limit treats to 10% of total calories, and yogurt comes within the category of ‘treat.’ Cats may eat around one teaspoon of yogurt each day. It is better to feed it to them first thing in the morning so that they have the entire day to digest it.
This can also aid kittens who have an upset stomach by making them more willing to eat their normal breakfast. As long as they consume around a teaspoon each day, they can reap the advantages without experiencing any adverse side effects. The consumption of yogurt by kittens should be reduced significantly and done less often. They receive all of their nutritional requirements from their mother’s milk).
Some people like to offer their cats yogurt that has fruit in it. If you do, choose the yogurt with blueberries, strawberries, or strawberries mixed in it. However, they should only be consumed in tiny quantities (due to the sugar content). Pet owners should avoid giving their cats fruits such as peaches, raisins, grapes, and pineapple since they might induce diarrhea and other harmful effects.
What Kind of Yogurt Is Best for Cats?
Unflavored Greek yogurt is the best choice since it is packed with living cultures and beneficial bacteria. Vanilla may appear uninteresting to you, yet it is a flavor. Furthermore, the vanilla extract may include a small amount of ethanol.
As stated, anything containing sugar is harmful to your cat’s health. If the label on your yogurt states it’s manufactured with corn sweetener, dextrose, fructose, glucose, fruit juice concentrate, maltose, sucrose, or anything else that ends in the word “syrup,” it’s made with a sweetener, such as corn syrup.
Xylitol, in particular, is a synthetic sweetener that should be avoided. Honey is difficult to digest and would work against the primary nutritional benefit of yogurt. Molasses, on the other hand, is not recommended. Chocolate is strictly prohibited.
Yogurt containing nuts is not healthy for your cat. Walnuts and cashews are heavy in fat and salt, while almonds can cause cyanide poisoning if consumed in large quantities. Pecans are likewise quite heavy in fat and salt, but they are also highly abundant in protein. If your cat isn’t sensitive to them, a few crushed ones will not harm.
On the other hand, raisings, grape juice, and any other product manufactured with grapes are harmful to cats and cannot be given to them in any form. Additionally, macadamia nuts and hazelnuts are poisonous.
Granola is mainly composed of carbohydrates, which, while non-toxic, will do nothing to benefit your cat. If your cat likes crunchy foods, an occasional pretzel that is unsalted will be OK for him.
However, if you just feed them plain, unflavored, unsweetened yogurt, your cat will be able to enjoy a delicious daily treat.
Can Cats Be Allergic to Yogurt?
Cats can be allergic to yogurt and other dairy products, despite being rare. Chicken and beef are two more foods that are frequently associated with food allergies. Allergies to certain foods in cats can result in skin infections or gastrointestinal issues.