Do cats like cheese?

Mice are often viewed as cheese eaters. In the cartoon “Tom and Jerry”, tom the cat would use every trick in the book to capture (and to eat) Jerry, the mouse. Oftentimes, the cat would bait the mouse with a big chunk of cheese. However, it is believed that in real life mice don’t really have a hankering for cheese. It is actually the cat that loves eating this milk-based product.

Not many cat owners are aware that the pet likes cheese thus the gnawed chunk of cheese would be blamed on the mouse when it was really the pet cat that did the munching. This can be due to the fact that cats are known to be obligate carnivores. Cats can only survive by consuming meat in different forms. In the wild, feral and stray cats would eat the prey’s meat and its organs but these homeless animals would eat leaves, fruits and other plant matter too. Unlike domestic cats that are regularly provided with nutrient-enrich manufactured foods, stray cats would need to hunt to survive. If hunting is poor, these cats would be seen eating vegetables and other plant matter. Vegetables and plants can be filling but would not be able to provide the cats’ nutritional needs as these animals do not have the necessary enzyme to digest vegetable matter. Cats’ nutritional requirements are mainly composed of animal derived tissues. Cats though have other nutritional requirements that are not provided by animal tissues. The liver is the cat’s very own chemical factory that manufactures some of the chemical substances necessary to keep the cat alive. Unfortunately, not all nutrients are manufactured by the liver. Cats therefore need to get these chemicals preformed. Cats need vitamin A but since they do not have the enzyme necessary to process carotenoids from plants, they would eat prey like a mouse or a rabbit that has already converted the carotenoids into vitamin A. Another reason for eating prey is to obtain and make use of the prey’s nutrients. Domestic cats may not be provided with the opportunity to hunt but pet food manufacturers were able to produce cat foods that contain the cats’ nutritional requirements in synthetic form.

After domestication, cats have adapted to human ways. Cats that were once solitary animals have become the affectionate companions of man. As such, loving pet parents find it very hard to refuse the meowing of a pet that is asking to have a bite of the owner’s dinner. Cats have grown to love human food. One of these human foods is cheese. Cats are mysterious animals. Pet parents are often amazed at the ability of the pet to know what is wrong with their system. Does the cat know that cheese is a good source of protein? Cheese is one of the human foods that can be safely given to cats. Cat owners have even used cheese as a treat or as a positive reinforcement that makes the cat more receptive to training. Cats can be very difficult to medicate. Cat owners find it easier to administer medication to the pet by hiding the pill on a piece of cheese.

Just like any other human foods, cheese must be given to the pet in moderation given the fact that most cats are lactose intolerant. Cats’ delicate digestive system may not tolerate some human foods. Large amounts of cheese and other dairy products can have unwanted effects on the cat. If the pet really do like eating cheese and the pet owner cannot resist the pleading of the cat, it would be a good idea to get cheese that is of the low lactose variety.

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