The hardest thing to resist for any pet owner is giving your four-legged friend a tiny bite of your lunch. However, some types of food can cause them more harm than good. Is whipped cream bad for cats, or can you give it to them safely?
Cats can beg for food just as much as dogs, and they are hard to say ‘no’ to. Most kitties love taking a bite of anything sweet, such as whipped cream. Still, many owners wonder is whipped cream bad for cats. Here’s what you need to know.
Is Whipped Cream Bad for Cats?
While all of us love giving our felines a lick of dairy products, can cats eat whipped cream? Will this damage their health?
A short answer would be: No, cats shouldn’t eat whipped cream.
Whipped cream isn’t particularly harmful for cats. It isn’t toxic, and it won’t damage their health. Still, due to its ingredients, you shouldn’t make this a practice. Whipped cream isn’t made for cat consumption. It contains many harmful ingredients, such as:
- Hydrogenated oils
To fully understand why is whipped cream bad for cats, we need to look at the ingredients a bit deeper.
Whipped Cream Ingredients
While whipped cream is a go-to sweet for many people as it’s mostly gluten-free, it still isn’t healthy. The same goes for our felines.
Whipped cream contains many not so good ingredients that cats shouldn’t eat. In fact, it is mostly made of chemicals, which are never a good choice for humans and for felines alike. Whipped cream is mostly made from:
- Corn syrup
- Hydrogenated vegetable oils
While sugar, corn syrup, and oils are never good for cats, milk is the biggest issue. Why is that so?
Is Dairy Bad for Cats?
As cats grow older, they slowly lose the enzyme in their guts called lactase. Lactase enzymes are what enable felines to break down lactose. As you probably know, milk contains lactose. This means whipped cream is full of it!
Sure, kittens feed on their mother’s milk while they are very young. However, as they grow older, they no longer depend on their mother’s milk. Because of this, their body slowly loses lactase. This is because, unlike dogs, cats are obligatory carnivores. They need to eat meat to survive. In fact, meat contains all nutrients cats need to stay healthy.
Since adult cats no longer produce lactase, they lose the ability to break down milk. In other words, they have issues digesting dairy products. This includes whipped cream, as well.
Signs of Lactose Intolerance
So, the main reason why is whipped cream bad for cats is that most felines are lactose intolerant. If they eat dairy, they might show some of these symptoms:
- Stomach ache
Lactase helps sugars disintegrate into smaller molecules, so they can safely pass through cats’ stomach. Without it, these sugars won’t break. This can cause unpleasant stomach issues for your kitty. In other words, it would be best to avoid giving your cat any dairy. And yes, this includes whipped cream, as well.
Of course, you shouldn’t panic if your cat eats a small amount of this sweet. She will likely be perfectly fine, unless she eats too much of it or eats it regularly. However, even the smallest amount of lactose can trigger stomach issues, which isn’t something you want. Just because your kitty was entirely fine the last time she had some whipped cream, doesn’t mean she won’t have issues next time. Every time you give her a taste of dairy, you’re risking her health a little bit. It’s better not to take any chances, especially since severe diarrhea can lead to dehydration.
If you notice your kitty having stomach issues more than she should have, take her to a vet. In case there isn’t any underlying health issue, you may want to feed her some probiotic supplements, such as Purina FortiFlora. These probiotic supplements can be beneficial to a cat’s stomach flora. Just make sure to consult a veterinarian before changing your pet’s diet.
Can Cats Eat Lactose-Free Whipped Cream?
Since lactose is the biggest issue with dairy, can cats eat Starbucks whipped cream?
Considering that Starbucks allows pets as long as they’re not indoors, many owners visit their cats. Starbucks even offers the so-called ‘puppaccino’, although you can’t get it in every location.
In places where puppaccino isn’t the option, some owners love to order extra whipped cream for their kitties. This, however, isn’t smart. Despite Starbucks ’ cream not being as sweet as some others’, it still contains lactose. Sure, they have the dairy-free one, but even this one isn’t recommended.
Why is that?
Dairy isn’t the only bad thing inside a whipped cream. Even if we forget about all the artificial ingredients, it still contains a lot of sugar. Sugar is very bad for your four-legged friends. Whipped cream has plenty of bad calories, and it can impact your cat’s weight.
But What If My Cat Isn’t Lactose Intolerant?
Not all cats are lactose intolerant. Your cat may never experience any issues after eating dairy and whipped cream. In fact, most cats will love to take a bite of anything with cream and milk. If your Fido doesn’t show any signs of illness, you may give them a tad bit of whipped cream every now and then.
However, there are plenty of healthier things you could give to your cat. For example, your kitty might love to take a bite of hard cheese or even a sip of plain milk. While you shouldn’t go overboard with them, none of these contain a high amount of sugar. This makes them less harmful compared to whipped cream.
Just keep in mind that treats shouldn’t make more than 10% of your cat’s diet. There is a reason why specialized cat food exists. Your pet needs to have a well-balanced diet, no matter if she’s eating wet or dry food. You can spoil your cat by giving her too many treats, and you don’t want that.
What Treats Can You Give to Your Cat?
If you can’t resist giving treats to your cat, don’t worry. You could feed plenty of healthy snacks to your kitty that won’t cause her stomach issues. Here are some of them.
- Meat. Since cats are carnivores, meat is always a good idea. Anything from cook chicken, turkey, and beef, to lean deli meats will do. Just remember, you should never give your cat any raw or spoiled meat, as it can make them sick.
- Whole grains. Oats are easy to make, and they contain plenty of protein. Many cats love treats such as polenta and brown rice. While you may have to mash them first for better texture, they make great treats for many felines.
- Fish. It’s rich in omega-3 fatty acids, which is excellent for a cat’s fur, eyes, kidney, heart, and bones. Be careful not to give them any bones, though, as these can get stuck in your cat’s throat. Also, don’t share your sushi with them. Raw fish isn’t good for kitties.
- Eggs. They are an excellent protein source. However, just like with meat, eggs need to be cooked before giving them to your feline.
- Hard cheese. As long as you don’t go overboard, cheese is a good treat for your cat. However, it doesn’t contain the same protein as meat, and it does contain dairy. Still, if your kitty can handle it, cheese is a much better idea than whipped cream.
- Vegetables. While not many cats like veggies, some will adore them. Fresh cucumber, spinach, steamed broccoli, and asparagus are an excellent source of vitamins. Sadly, most cats won’t even grab a bite of it. Instead, you may try giving them a veggie burger.
Now you know why is whipped cream bad for cats. While it isn’t toxic and it isn’t likely to cause any severe harm, whipped cream isn’t a good cat treat. It contains a lot of milk that cats can’t digest, and it can cause them stomach problems. Even if your kitty can handle dairy, whipped cream is full of sugar, which can make her overweight.
If you really want to give your feline a tasty treat, you can try giving her eggs, oatmeal, cheese, or even vegetables! And even if she takes a small amount of cream, don’t panic. While there isn’t anything particularly beneficial in whipped cream, chances are she’ll be fine after a small amount. Just don’t make this a habit.