Can Cats Eat Parmesan Cheese

Parmesan cheese is a popular ingredient in many dishes, but can cats safely consume it? As a cat owner, it’s important to be aware of what foods are safe for your feline friend. In this article, we will explore whether cats can eat parmesan cheese and discuss any potential risks or benefits associated with it.

can cats eat parmesan cheese

Can Cats Safely Consume Parmesan Cheese?

While cats are obligate carnivores and their diet primarily consists of meat, they may occasionally show interest in other foods, including cheese. Parmesan cheese, in particular, has a strong aroma and flavor that can be enticing to cats. However, it is important to note that cheese should only be given to cats in moderation.

The Risks of Feeding Parmesan Cheese to Cats

Although parmesan cheese is not toxic to cats, it is not an essential part of their diet. Cats lack the necessary enzymes to properly digest lactose, which is found in dairy products like cheese. Feeding your cat large amounts of parmesan cheese can lead to digestive issues such as diarrhea or upset stomach.

Additionally, parmesan cheese is high in fat and sodium, which can be harmful to cats if consumed in excess. Too much fat can lead to obesity and other health problems, while excessive sodium intake can cause dehydration and kidney issues.

Benefits of Parmesan Cheese for Cats

While parmesan cheese should not be a regular part of a cat’s diet, it can be used as an occasional treat or a way to entice a picky eater. The strong aroma and flavor of parmesan cheese can make it a useful tool for encouraging cats to eat their regular meals or take medication.

Moderation is Key

If you decide to give your cat a small amount of parmesan cheese as a treat, it is important to do so in moderation. A tiny sprinkle of grated parmesan cheese on top of their regular food can add some flavor without causing any harm. However, it is crucial to monitor your cat’s reaction and watch for any signs of digestive upset.


In conclusion, while cats can technically eat parmesan cheese, it should only be given to them in moderation. Feeding your cat large amounts of parmesan cheese can lead to digestive issues and other health problems due to their inability to properly digest lactose. It is always best to consult with your veterinarian before introducing any new foods into your cat’s diet.


  1. Is parmesan cheese toxic to cats?
    No, parmesan cheese is not toxic to cats. However, it should be given in moderation due to their inability to digest lactose properly.

  2. Can cats have lactose-free parmesan cheese?
    Lactose-free parmesan cheese can be a safer option for cats, but it should still be given in moderation to avoid any potential digestive issues.

  3. What are the signs of lactose intolerance in cats?
    Signs of lactose intolerance in cats may include diarrhea, vomiting, gas, and stomach discomfort.

  4. Are there any cheeses that are safe for cats to eat?
    Some cats may tolerate small amounts of low-lactose cheeses like cheddar or mozzarella. However, it is important to introduce new foods gradually and monitor your cat’s reaction.

  5. What are some alternative treats for cats?
    There are many cat-friendly treats available in pet stores that are specifically formulated for feline nutrition. It is always best to choose treats that are made with high-quality ingredients and approved by veterinarians.

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