Cheez Its are baked crackers with a cheese flavoring dusted over them. As cats tend to love cheese, it’s not surprising that many cats also enjoy Cheez Its.
Has your cat recently been in your Cheez Its stash and now you’re worrying about whether or not you should take them to a veterinarian? Let’s take a look and see whether cats can eat Cheez Its safely or not.
What Is A Cheez It?
Cheez Its are small crackers made from Kellogg Company. They are rectangular with sharp corners and they are made from wheat flour, vegetable oil, cheese, skim milk, salt, and spices.
They have been around for over a century and have built up a loyal customer base thanks to their flavor and more-ability.
There are many types of Cheez Its, often of different flavors. Some examples are Buffalo Wing, Pepper Jack, Hot and Spicy, and Extra Toasty. Most of the flavors include a different cheese to the original.
For example, Mozzarella Cheez Its would be made with mozzarella while original Cheez Its are made with cheddar.
While Cheez Its are tasty little snacks, they are not typically healthy or nutritious. They are considered junk food as they are high in fat, salt, and have a surprisingly high amount of sugar in them too.
A Cat’s Ideal Diet
Cats are often considered omnivores, as they need meat to survive. They will only eat plant matter when absolutely necessary, so meat is best for your cat’s diet.
The reason why cats need to eat primarily meat is because they are natural born hunters, meaning that their muscles need to be strong and fuelled.
While domestic cats are not used for hunting, their bodies are still made for this purpose, so they need meat to thrive in your home.
Meat is a great source of protein, and this is the nutrient that cats need most of. They don’t need much carbohydrate or fats due to the protein giving them enough energy. Cats tend to sleep for 15 hours a day, so they don’t need a surplus of energy.
In fact, giving a cat too much carbohydrate or fatty foods can lead to feline obesity. This can then lead to depression, which is absolutely not what we want.
Where Do Cheez Its Fit Into This?
As Cheez Its has the main ingredient of wheat flour, they are high in carbohydrates. The real cheese used within the formula also makes them high in fat. However, they are not that high in protein.
This makes them less than ideal for cats, as cats need the complete opposite of what Cheez Its is offering.
A cat’s diet should be made up of lots of protein, vitamins, and water, with less emphasis on the carbs and fat. Cheez Its comes with little to no protein and vitamins, while having lots of carbohydrates and fat within – are you seeing the issue here?
Are Cheez Its Toxic To Cats?
The short answer is no, Cheez Its are not toxic to cats. The ingredients are not technically toxic to cats and therefore you do not have to worry about if your cat sneaks one when you’re not looking.
However, there are some issues with feeding your cats Cheez Its on a regular basis.
However, Cheez Its might actually be toxic to your cat if they are lactose intolerant. Many cats are lactose intolerant despite the age-old myth that cats love milk.
While cats might enjoy the flavor of milk, it is not the best treat to give them due to the fact that most cats do not have the enzyme within their digestive tract to break it down.
Of course, a Cheez It has much less lactose in it than a saucer of milk, so your cat should be able to digest the cracker just fine. However, it might upset their stomach and make them ill for a few days.
Can You Feed Your Cat Cheez Its?
Let’s cut to the chase – you can feed your cat Cheez Its if you really want to. Some cats enjoy them as a tasty treat. If you want to feed your cat Cheez Its you should mention it to a veterinarian.
They will be able to advise you on your specific cat and whether it is a wise decision or not.
Once the veterinarian has given you the go ahead, you can feel free to give your cat a Cheez It or two as a treat. It’s best to stick to a couple of Cheez Its for a treat, and only occasionally, so that your cat doesn’t fill up too much on empty calories and carbohydrates.
You could also crush some up and sprinkle it onto their food so that their usual food has even more flavor.
When Should You Leave The Cheez Its For Humans Rather Than Cats?
Cheez Its are high in carbs and therefore shouldn’t be used as a common food for cats. You certainly shouldn’t be swapping out their usual cat food for Cheez Its.
As we have already mentioned, too many carbohydrates can lead to feline obesity.
Another thing that we are wary of when thinking of Cheez Its as cat treats is their sharp corners. Many cats will bite their food into small pieces before swallowing, but these corners might still scratch their throats on the way down.
When cats enjoy a certain food and are given too much of it, they might start to enjoy that treat more than their usual food. This could lead to them going off of their usual food, which is where they get most of their nutrition from.
While Cheez Its are great for humans, they aren’t good for cats. There are plenty of other treats available for cats that don’t contain as many carbohydrates and fats.
Cheez Its are not toxic to cats, so don’t worry if your cat has eaten one. However, we would advise against adding them as a regular in your cat’s diet.