We have grown up watching animated cat movies where cats are treated with a bowl of milk and cream. And they seem to love it! But the reality is a bit different. Even though we love whipped cream topping on ice creams, lattes, hot chocolates, etc., can our cats have whipped cream?
Can Cats Have Whipped Cream?
Yes, cats can have whipped cream. Since it contains lactose, you shouldn’t give your cat more than a few tablespoons a week. But this is not the right question. You should ask, is whipped cream safe for my cat?
Whipped cream isn’t safe for cats. At the same time, an occasional treat won’t hurt but making it a regular part of your feline’s diet will invite many problems. Since cats are obligate carnivores, their diet should mainly be meat.
Letting your cat eat whipped cream even as an occasional treat is not a healthy choice. This is because –
- Whipped cream is a product of milk and therefore has lactose as the main carbohydrate in it. A specific enzyme called “lactase” is needed to break down lactose. Most adult cats do not produce this enzyme; they are lactose intolerant. Since they can’t digest dairy, the lactose accumulated in their stomach will start fermenting and cause bloating, an upset stomach, and diarrhea.
- Whipped cream is very sweet, but cats don’t have the taste receptors needed to detect sugar! It is because their body does not need it. Whipped cream contains sugar, corn syrup, and artificial sweeteners that can alter the blood sugar level of your cat. If your feline has diabetes, definitely avoid giving her whipped cream.
- Whipped cream has high calories as it has maple syrup and fat in it. Your cat can develop diabetes and obesity if fed an excessive amount.
- Whipped cream contains carrageenan, which is a carcinogen, which means it can cause cancer. Research shows that this compound can cause liver and colon damage and inflammation.
- Nitrous oxide present in whipped cream causes dizziness in humans. Its effect on cats is unknown, but we assume your feline will have a similar reaction.
Can Kittens Drink Milk?
Yes, kittens can drink milk as they are not lactose intolerant. So, their bodies produce lactase which is needed to digest the milk.
As they grow older, kittens wean off from the milk. As there is no need for lactase, their body stops its production. So, kittens become lactose intolerant.
What Other Dairy Products that cats can’t consume?
- Cow’s Milk – It is the closest to whipped cream and is cheaper. It makes cow’s milk a more convenient treat. But the compounds present in whipped cream are also in this milk. This makes it unhealthy for felines.
- Cheese – Cheese contains a certain amount of lactose. It is albeit less than whipped cream or cow’s milk. Eating large quantities will cause stomach discomfort and indigestion in cats.
- Yogurt: Yoghurt also contains lactose, which causes gastrointestinal issues and stomach upset. If you want to feed your furry friend some yogurt, give her the lactose-free version.
- Butter – Even though it is made from milk, butter has very little lactose in it. So, from a lactose intolerance perspective, it is safe for cats to eat. Butter is entirely made of fat; if cats consume too much fat, they’ll develop obesity. They will become susceptible to many other diseases.
So, to sum it up, can cats have whipped cream? Yes, they can. But it is not a healthy choice for them. Neither are any other dairy products. You can feed your cat small amounts of whipped cream, but it shouldn’t take over her whole diet.
Frequently Asked Questions
What Are the Alternatives to Whipped Cream?
There are a lot of healthier, safer foods that you can treat your cat instead of whipped cream. For example, you can give her small amounts of good fish or poultry. Some cats even enjoy fruits (like berries – strawberries) and vegetables.
Whatever you decide, make sure to give a low-calorie snack. The snack shouldn’t contain any sugar, dairy, or emulsifiers as they lead to stomach problems.
What Can I Feed My Cat as A Substitute for Cow’s Milk?
There are a lot of substitutes available in the market for cow’s milk – soy, almond, coconut, and oat milk. These are safe for your cat in the sense that they are lactose-free. But they shouldn’t be consumed in abundance. These substitutes contain additives and sweeteners which are toxic to cats.
What Foods Should I Avoid Feeding My Cat?
The following should not be given to cats – chocolate, caffeine, garlic and onions, potatoes, tuna, grapes, and raisins.