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Can Cats Have Cream Cheese? (Facts, & FAQ)

Renee Whitmore
Last Updated on
by Renee Whitmore

In this article, we will answer all your questions about cats and cream cheese.

Can cats have cream cheese? Cream cheese isn’t toxic to cats. So, they won’t get ill if they have a lick of cream cheese now and then. However, felines have particular dietary needs—different from those of humans, and Cream cheese isn’t an ideal dietary choice for your furry pal.

Can Cats Eat Cream Cheese
Cat About to Eat Cream Cheese

Can Cats Eat Cream Cheese?

Cats can eat cream cheese in small amounts, however, cream cheese isn’t great for your kitty’s digestive system because of the absence of of lactase. This is the enzyme used to break down lactose contained in dairy products like milk.

So, cats can’t withstand significant amounts of cream cheese comfortably. If they eat more than a bit, they may experience gastrointestinal problems, such as vomiting and diarrhea. It’s sort of like how lactose-intolerant humans might react when they imbibe in dairy.

It’s worth noting that kittens have more of the enzyme needed to break down lactase than older cats. This is why little ones can comfortably drink more milk without getting an upset stomach. Older felines may be more susceptible to the adverse effects of lactose ingestion.

Cream cheese is also high in fat. This is one of the reasons your kitty may be drawn to it. However, too much high-fat food can be challenging for felines to digest. Further, it’s important to note that cats are naturally carnivorous creatures.

Just like a wild cat, a house cat’s primary diet should consist of meat-based products. A mix of dry and wet cat food is usually the appropriate option. However, you can consult a veterinarian for guidance regarding your cat.

Can Cats Eat Philadelphia Cream Cheese?

Cats should not eat cream cheese of any kind, including the Philadelphia brand. Cats are essentially lactose intolerant when they get older, lacking the necessary enzymes to digest milk. Feeding your cat cream cheese will cause problems like diarrhea.

What to Do If Your Cat Ate Too Cream Cheese?

Just in case your kitty gets into cream cheese (or something more dangerous), it’s good to acquaint yourself with typical symptoms of poisoning. Common indications include tremors, racing heart, vomiting, indigestion, and lack of appetite.

In some cases, cats may also experience skin irritation as a result of dairy exposure. This can result in itching, scooting, and over-grooming. You may notice your cat losing fur around their paws, belly, and ears—and licking themselves more frequently.

What should you do if you notice these signs? Just in case, call your veterinarian. Your pet may need emergency care. Can’t reach your vet? Try calling an animal poison control hotline, like the Pet Poison Helpline: (855) 764-7661.

Avoid taking any action until you’ve spoken to an animal health specialist. Home remedies that might work for humans, like inducing vomiting, aren’t necessarily recommended for cats and might make your pet even sicker.

Preventative Measures to Keep Your Cat Safe:

Although it’s not super dangerous for cats, cream cheese still isn’t a great snack. To protect their health, it’s best to keep cream cheese from them. Make sure not to leave it out where they can access it. At most, a small cube of cheese is good dairy for a cat.

You might think that non-dairy products, like cream cheese without lactose, are safer for cats. Don’t fall into this trap. According to the ASPCA, dairy substitutes aren’t very healthy for pets. Some contain harmful products like emulsifiers and sweeteners.

As a general rule of thumb, you should only feed your cat foods specifically made for cats. Human food is for humans—that’s the bottom line. Cat treats can be an excellent way to give your pet something special beyond their everyday food.

Common Questions

If you still have concerns about this topic, these frequently asked questions may be able to help:

What Happens If a Cat Eats Cream Cheese?

Cream cheese in small doses may not impact cats. However, if they eat more than a lick, they may experience digestive issues like diarrhea, vomiting, and constipation. In general, cats should only have cat food—not human food.

How Much Cream Cheese Can a Cat Have?

Cream cheese isn’t recommended for cats. Felines lack sufficient enzymes to digest milk products efficiently. If a cat has too much cream cheese, it will have gastrointestinal problems. This is especially true for older cats, who have less of these enzymes than kittens.

Will Cream Cheese Hurt a Cat?

Cream cheese isn’t toxic to cats the way other foods like avocados are. However, cream cheese is a dairy product, which can cause gastrointestinal issues for cats. It’s best to avoid cream cheese altogether and feed your pet cat food.

Food Questions
About Renee Whitmore
Renee Whitmore
Renee Whitmore is an American college professor and freelance writer from North Carolina. She holds a Bachelor’s Degree in English and a Master’s Degree in English Education. When she is not driving her teenage son to wrestling practice or learning the ins and outs of Fortnite from her younger son, she is working on her first book to be published soon.
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