Wondering if cats can have cream? When you dote on your adorable feline friend, you may wonder if sharing something yummy like cream is okay sometimes. While an occasional taste likely won’t harm your furry buddy, you should know that cream isn’t a nutritious snack for cats. Let’s explore the details so you can decide if occasional cream is okay for your cat.
Can Cats Eat Cream?
While the cream is not toxic to cats, it is best to avoid feeding your cats cream. Unfortunately lactose, the sugar in dairy products, can be hard on a cat’s tummy. You see, cats typically don’t produce enough of the enzyme to break down lactose, similar to people with lactose intolerance. So while cream may seem yummy, it could leave your feline friend feeling quite unwell. They may end up with an upset tummy, vomiting, or the runs.
Below we’ll talk about the potential risks of feeding cream to your cats in detail.
Risks of Feeding Cream to Cats
Digestive upset: Cats have trouble digesting lactose, a sugar in milk. Too much cream can cause stomach problems like diarrhea, vomiting, and nausea.
Weight gain: Cream is high in fat and calories which can easily lead to obesity in cats if fed regularly. Carrying extra weight can increase their risk of diabetes, joint problems, and heart disease.
Pancreatitis: Cats are prone to pancreatitis which is painful inflammation of the pancreas. A high-fat diet that includes a lot of cream increases their chances of developing pancreatitis.
Nutritional imbalance: Cream lacks the protein and nutrients cats need for a balanced diet. Feeding cream as a main part of their diet leaves them missing out on what they require to stay healthy.
Dental problems: The sugar in cream can lead to tooth decay and gum disease in cats. Their tiny teeth need to be cared for with a proper diet that limits sugars.
While a occasional lick of cream as an uncommon treat is unlikely to cause issues, feeding cream to cats on a daily basis should be avoided. Their small bodies simply can’t handle the high fat and lactose in regular portions of cream.
Is Cream Poisonous to Cats?
Technically speaking, cream alone will probably not harm your kitty. However, since cats cannot properly digest the lactose in dairy, excessive amounts of cream can cause stomach trouble.
When kitty consumes too much cream, they may experience discomfort like an unsettled stomach, the runs, and throw up from excess lactose that their bodies did not break down.
Whipped cream and heavy cream are higher in fat and lower in lactose, so small amounts likely won’t harm your cat. But large amounts could still cause stomach problems or even pancreatitis, a serious inflammation of the pancreas.
However, flavored creams used in desserts and coffee may contain ingredients that are toxic to cats, like chocolate, xylitol and some sweeteners. Even small amounts of these can make your cat very sick.
So to be safe, it’s best to avoid feeding your cat cream of any kind.
Why Do Cats Like Cream?
Why do cats seem to love cream so much? While cats don’t actually need cream or milk in their diets, some felines really enjoy the taste.
One likely reason is the high fat content in cream. When kittens drink their mother’s milk, it’s rich in fat to fuel their growth. So the richness and creaminess of dairy may feel familiar and comforting to cats.
Another possibility is that cats just love the taste and texture of cream. Cats are known for being picky eaters and liking specific textures, flavors and smells. And the rich, smooth flavor of cream may simply appeal to their discerning palates.
In reality, cats’ interest in cream is probably a combination of these factors – the familiar high-fat composition, as well as the appealing sensory experience. Ultimately, cats don’t need cream for nutrition. But for some reason, many felines just can’t resist getting a taste of the sweet, creamy stuff.
Can Cats Have Sugar?
Hold on a second. We’ve been talking about cream, but what about the sugar that often accompanies it? Cats and sugar don’t really mix well. Feeding your furry friend sugary treats or foods can lead to weight gain and obesity. And let’s not forget about the potential dental problems and increased risk of diabetes. No one wants a cat with a toothache and a blood sugar imbalance. So, it’s best to avoid giving your kitty any sugary temptations.
FAQs about Cats and Cream
Q: Should I be worried if my cat licked whipped cream?
Whipped cream isn’t toxic for cats. So no need to worry if your cat accidentally licked a small amount of whipped cream. Just monitor them for any changes in behavior, appetite or bathroom habits.
Q: How much cream can a cat have?
For most cats, around a teaspoon of cream once per week as an occasional treat is safe. Too much cream can upset their stomach or cause other health problems. Cats don’t need cream in their diet. Limiting their exposure reduces their chances of health issues from the lactose or sugar.
Q: Can kittens eat cream?
Since kittens are still developing, feeding them too much cream isn’t recommended. Cream can cause digestive upset, diarrhea, and other issues. Stick to a balanced, age-appropriate kitten diet and limit dairy treats.
Q: What kind of cream can cats have?
If you do give your cat cream, choose high-quality organic unsweetened whipping or heavy cream. Avoid added sugars, flavors, or preservatives. Those types of cream have a higher fat and lower lactose content.
Q: Can I give my cat a little cream cheese?
While an occasional small amount of cream cheese probably won’t harm your cat, it’s best to limit cream cheese intake. Like cream, cream cheese is not part of a balanced cat diet.
We covered a lot today on whether cats can safely eat cream. Though an occasional taste may be OK, excess cream is difficult for kitties to digest due to lactose intolerance. Every cat is different though. What works for one may not suit another. If you have questions for your feline’s specific needs, ask your vet for tailored advice. Your fuzzball’s wellbeing is the most beautiful purr-ize.