Can Cats Eat Yogurt? Benefits, Plain or Flavored Yogurt for Cats

Can cats eat yogurt? What are the benefits of giving yogurt to your cats? Here is more;

Most cat owners are usually in a dilemma when it comes to what diet is appropriate for cats, and in what quantities.  Yogurt is one the healthiest snacks recommend for humans with multiple health experts recommending it for its natural nutrients such as calcium and magnesium. As a result, we are always of the mind to feed a little bit of what we are eating to our beloved pets.

As a cat health enthusiast, we all have read and done extensive research of how dairy products and milk has adverse effects on the overall feline health. Which often leads to cat parents asking the inevitable query. Can cats really eat yogurt?

Essential Properties Contained In Yogurt and the Body Composition of Cats

Striking a healthy balance of the appropriate cat formula that contains all the essential nutrients is often a mountain of a task for the first time and experienced cat owners. Most hands-on cat’s owners do extensive research on the appropriate diet for cats; this helps to stumble upon news on dairy products that is often shocking or discouraging. Dairy products are a threat to cats mainly because:

For starters, cats do not have the amalyses enzyme which makes it impossible for the cats to digest sugar.

Secondly, adult cats are incapable of digesting cow’s milk as they lack the appropriate digestive properties to tolerate lactose.

Even though yogurt is a dairy product that is made of cow’s milk, it contains unique products and features that are rich in natural bacteria and active samples of yogurt cultures. The active samples of cultures are useful in breaking the lactose down through fermentation process to lactic acid. The plain yogurt is safe for the cat’s health as it has fermented the lactose which is digestible for the cat as it does not strain the digestive system.

Can Cats Eat Flavored Yogurt?

Flavored yogurt is harmful to the cat as it contains sugar. The cat’s body does not contain amylase enzymes that can digest and break down the sugar. The cat’s digestive system is overloaded as it works twice as hard so as to digest the sugar.

Therefore, understanding what is contained in the different yogurt flavors and the cat’s body composition is useful in answering the inevitable question, can cats eat yogurt? Yes, cats can be feed yogurt provided it is plain and unsweetened.

It is important to understand that some cats may be allergic to the yogurt , specially for the first time. Therefore, it is important that you feed them in small amounts to test the reaction. Flavored yogurt contains multiple sources of sugar and additives which can cause the cats to diarrhea and vomiting ultimately leading to dehydration.

Essential Nutrients Contained In Yogurts

Magnesium

This aid in enabling the cat’s body to absorb nutrients such as potassium, phosphorous, vitamin c sodium and calcium,

Calcium

Yogurt has rich calcium nutrients that are useful in strengthening the bones and muscles.

Potassium

Plain yogurt contains potassium which is a strong electrolyte that is essential for maintaining and controlling the body fluids. Potassium is also helpful in controlling enzyme activity and strengthening the nerves and muscles of the body.

The Benefits of Feeding Yogurt to Cats

Under extensive research, most veterinaries conclude that feeding cats plain and unsweetened yogurt is appropriate for the cat’s health as it contains all the essential and natural nutrients. The yogurt is packed with active and live bacteria that has valuable nutrients composition, and the benefits include:

Source of Calcium

Plain and unsweetened yogurt is a rich source of calcium which is powerful in strengthening the cat’s bones and building strong muscles.

Oral Health

The live cultures contained in yogurt are helpful in keeping the kitten’s teeth whiter, healthier and also help prevent gum diseases as it maintains a balanced flora within the cat’s mouth.

For Overweight Cats

Yogurt is renowned for containing nutrients that make the stomach full which when feed to cats is helpful in giving bigger and satisfying appetite.

Yogurt for Cat Allergies

In its manufactured form, plain yogurt contains a rich source of natural probiotic which is helpful for cats in fighting allergies.

Probiotics

Plain yogurt is a rich and powerful source of probiotics which is useful in binding the cat’s stomach especially when the cat is suffering from diarrhea.  It is advisable that you give the cat roughly 5ml of the yogurt approximately 10-15 minutes before the main meal as this helps to relax the stomach.

Naturally, antibiotics are known as an agent of killing both bad and good bacteria within the body. The active bacteria contained in yogurts is helpful in, boosting, restoring, and preservation of good bacteria back into the body’s intestinal tract.

The rich probiotic and live cultures contained in yogurt are helpful in the cat’s overall health. The bacteria aids in flora development.  Natural bacteria contained in cat’s intestines is essential as it strengthens the immune system preventing the cats from falling sick.

Helps with Digestive Problems

The probiotic nature of yogurt is helpful for cats as it allows healthier bowel movements and relieving digestive problems.

Cats are known to be playful and active. They swallow too many hairballs whenever they feel tired and bored. This often results in stomach upsets. Feeding cats with yogurt which contains active live bacteria help in relieving stomach upset.

This active cultures can also aid in relaxing any kind of inflammation in the cat’s stomach or throat.

Yogurt contains active nutrients that help prevent vomiting

Steps to Follow on How to Serve Yogurt in the Cat’s Diet

Properly understanding the cat body composition is essential for a healthy meal snack. It is important to serve minimum amounts of the plain yogurt to the cats with lots of caution. For starters may be a minimum of three or four tablespoons once a week is a healthy meal plan. While introducing the new meal to the cat be observant for any side effects.

Cats are widely regarded as obligated carnivores this simply means that they require and get all the essential nutrients from meat. Therefore, do not need dairy product for survival but as a supplement to their diet.

Already the cat has a diet plan which is dependent on the age and type of food and serving the yogurt should only be surplus either before a heavy meal time for appetite or in between meals depending on the diet routine.

The amount of yogurt served depends on;

Cats that do not have an appetite, you can feed them with a teaspoon of yogurt daily. This is a great booster to their appetite for foods and enhancing their immune system.

According to most veterinary cats that are being treated for any infection and are on an antibiotic treatment ought to be served with a tablespoon of yogurt, the medicine is believed to kill bad and good bacteria, and yogurt will restore the good essential bacteria to the cat’s intestines.

So as to deal with certain conditions such as stomach upset or diarrhea, the cat parent can serve the cat with at least teaspoon moments before the main meal. The yogurt will bind the cats running stomach and ease nauseous and stomach upset.

Take caution while serving the cats with the yogurt and if the cat shows any sign of vomiting and diarrhea do not continue feeding the cat with the yogurt as it may be allergic to it.

References

Guilford, W., Jones, B., Markwell, P., Arthur, D., Collett, M. and Harte, J. (2001). Food Sensitivity in Cats with Chronic Idiopathic Gastrointestinal Problems. Journal of Veterinary Internal Medicine, 15(1), p.7.

WILLS, J. and HARVEY, R. (1994). Diagnosis and management of food allergy and intolerance in dogs and cats. Australian Veterinary Journal, 71(10), pp.322-326.

David Strickland, (2015). Can Cats Eat Yogurt? Furry Tips. (2015). Can Cats Eat Yogurt: Plain or Flavored? [online] Available at http://www.furrytips.com/can-cats-eat-yogurt/ [Accessed 14 Jul. 2017].

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