Yogurt makes for a great snack and a healthy breakfast food, but is it okay for your feline friend?
There are a number of things you should consider before giving this food to your kitty. There is more to this question that you might think.
Benefits of Eating Yogurt
There are at least a few solid health benefits associated with eating yogurt. These benefits apply to cats as well, but not always to the same extent.
Most yogurts have over 10 grams of protein per seven ounces. Humans and cats alike need protein to thrive and stay healthy. The protein in this food helps with keeping food cravings in check as well. This means that it could help tide your cat over until meal time so you don’t have to deal with them bothering you.
2. Vitamins and Minerals
Yogurt also tends to contain quite a few vitamins and minerals that are essential for a healthy body. This includes numerous B vitamins, potassium, phosphorus, and magnesium. The riboflavin in this food helps with maintaining strong bones, as well as keeping energy levels high throughout the day.
The live cultures in yogurt are essentially “good bacteria” that promote a healthy digestive system. People and cats with irritable bowel syndrome can especially benefit from these probiotics.
If your cat has problems with diarrhea, giving them a little bit of yogurt from time to time could be helpful. There is a good amount of research data to support this.
Is Yogurt Safe for Cats to Eat?
While yogurt is not inherently toxic or dangerous for cats to eat, it depends on a number of things. Keep in mind that adult cats are generally lactose intolerant, which means they do not process dairy products well. The effects of a cat ingesting lactose can vary from mild nausea to vomiting and diarrhea.
Fortunately, yogurt doesn’t contain a very high amount of lactose. This means that the chances of a severe negative reaction are fairly low with cats. The more yogurt you give your cat, the more likely they are to experience significant discomfort.
If you find that your cat got into some yogurt while you weren’t looking, you don’t have to rush them to the veterinarian. They might end up having an upset stomach, but it’s not life threatening. Cats have fairly sensitive stomachs, so it is not uncommon for them to become nauseous when eating a new food like this.
Tips for Giving Your Cat Yogurt
Before you go ahead and give your cat a heaping helping of yogurt, you’ll need to consider a few things.
1. Unsweetened Yogurt is Best
You should only give your cat unsweetened yogurt, as it is healthier overall. The more sugar that is in the yogurt, the worse it is for your cat. These animals don’t pick up on sweet-tasting things like humans, so they won’t care if you give them the unsweetened variety.
2. Keep it Plain
When you give your cat yogurt, you shouldn’t put anything else in it. Giving it to them plain is the best option for their health. You can, however, put in some berries. Just stay away from sprinkles or any other additions that aren’t good for your cat.
The potential problem with adding fruit to your cat’s yogurt is that they might be allergic to it. Allergic reactions to fruit usually aren’t very serious in cats, but anything is possible. Some people add strawberries to the yogurt, as it is not considered toxic to these animals.
It’s also best to avoid putting any nuts in the yogurt you feed your cat. These foods tend to be packed with fat and carbs, which can contribute to excess weight gain.
3. Don’t go Overboard
It’s a good idea to limit the amount of yogurt you give your cat to a few tablespoons each week. Giving them too much of this food can lead to excess weight gain, which can cause all sorts of health issues.
4. Always Look at the Label
Before you give your cat any yogurt, look at the label on the packaging. You should avoid giving your feline friend any yogurt with artificial flavors, colors, or additives of any kind. You also need to know how much sugar is in each serving.
5. Keep an Eye on Them
After giving your cat yogurt for the first time, you’ll want to see how it responds. Keep a close eye on them for the first three or four hours once they’ve finished it.
If your cat has a negative reaction to the yogurt (vomiting or diarrhea), you shouldn’t give it to them in the future. If these symptoms persist, you’ll want to get them to the vet immediately. The chances of your cat becoming seriously ill from a little yogurt are very slim, but it’s better to be safe than sorry.
Can I Give My Cat Greek Yogurt?
Greek yogurt is a good choice for cats, but only if it is unflavored. While vanilla might not be a very appealing taste to you, your cat probably won’t mind. This type of yogurt is loaded with healthy bacteria that can soothe your pet’s stomach and help regulate their digestion.
- One of the most significant health benefits of yogurt is the high amount of protein it contains.
- Yogurt also has healthy bacteria that can help with regulating digestion and managing IBS.
- The vitamins and minerals in this food can supplement your pet’s diet.
- If you choose to give your cat yogurt, make sure it is unsweetened and served plain.
- While you can put fruit in your cat’s yogurt, they might end up being allergic to it.
- Limit the amount of yogurt you give your cat to a few tablespoons each week.
- Look at the label of the yogurt so you know what the ingredients are before giving any to your pet.
- Keep a close eye on your cat for a few hours after they eat yogurt for the first time.
- Greek yogurt is a good choice for cats, provided it is unflavored.