The question of can cats eat yoghurt? is one that many cat owners have processed at one point or another and one that is actually very close to home for us. So, let’s answer this question once and for all.
Can Cats Eat Yoghurt?
Okay, we are going to hold up our hands on this one. We have a cat that absolutely loves yoghurt. He’s the sweetest, most adorable and friendly cat you’ll ever meet and he always waits patiently for his share whenever he sees someone eating a yoghurt.
We know that dairy and cats don’t mix, but at the same time, he has never had an issue with it and it seems cruel to deprive him of a little lick every now and then if it’s not doing him any harm. You might agree with us on that, you might not. But the key question here is: can eats eat yoghurt? Is there anything to be concerned about or is it okay?
Yes They Can…Kinda
You probably knew that cats were lactose intolerant. What you might not know is that live culture yoghurt and lactose-free yoghurt is okay. Also, not all cats are lactose intolerant, at least not to the degree that others are. This, coupled with the factor that yoghurt is not as rich in lactose as milk and other dairy products, means that it may be okay in small doses.
This does not apply to all cats though and it’s hard to know whether it will or not without trying the cat with milk. Based on personal experience we once helped a stray cat and accidentally gave it milk (before we knew of the issues). It had diarrhea, and it came after we spent 10 minutes listening to its stomach making odd noises.
However, our yoghurt loving cat once lapped-up some leftover cereal and had gulped down a few mouthfuls of milk before anyone noticed and stopped him. His stomach didn’t gurgle, he didn’t have any digestive stress and he seemed fine.
Keep it to a Minimum
Some cats will become violently ill after eating any form of lactose, some seem to be okay. Many cats will make a beeline for milk and dairy, others will stay well away from it. It’s all about preference and individuality, and its hard to give advice based on that.
However, what we can say for certain is that yoghurt, and other dairy, doesn’t really have any of the nutrients that an adult cat needs, certainly not in the small doses that it can safely consume. So, it should not be a part of their diet. If you know for a fact that your cat can lick an occasional yoghurt lid without doing any harm to themselves, then it’s probably okay as a treat. We certainly wouldn’t advise against it when we do it ourselves.
But if it causes any distress whatsoever, it’s not worth it. It doesn’t matter how much your cat loves it, their health is more important than their tastebuds.