Can cats eat whipped cream?
Cats can eat whipped cream on the proviso that it is only given in small amounts and only if the cat hasn’t experienced symptoms associated with lactose intolerance in the past.
Nursing kittens produce an enzyme called lactase in their small intestine. This enzyme breaks down lactose in dairy and converts it into glucose and galactose to produce energy. Once a kitten weans, the body greatly decreases or completely shuts down lactase production.
When a cat is no longer producing the lactase, the lactose in milk and cream passes through the small intestine into the colon where bacteria ferment it, producing acids and gas. It is this fermentation process that leads to the typical symptoms of lactose intolerance which include:
Food intolerances including lactose intolerance are different to food allergies. Food allergies are caused by an abnormal immune response while food intolerances are triggered by the digestive system.
How to give a cat whipped cream
All types of cream including whipped cream are high in calories and should only ever be given occasionally. Treats should make up no more than 10% of the cat’s diet.
Only give plain, unsweetened whipped cream and not flavoured varieties such as vanilla or chocolate. Avoid whipped cream from a can as it contains unnecessary ingredients including sugar, dextrose, emulsifier, carrageenan, vegetable gum, and flavours.
Feed a teaspoon or two at most and watch for signs of lactose intolerance. If they develop, avoid dairy products in future.
Can all cats eat whipped cream?
No, whipped cream should not be fed to the following cats.
- Unweaned kittens
- Cats who have a history of pancreatitis
- Obese cats or cats on a weight loss diet
- Cats on a therapeutic diet to treat or manage a health condition ‘
- Cats with a known lactose intolerance