Let’s face it, we all love snuggling in the winter with hot chocolate and all the whipped cream and marshmallows.
This is a super small pleasure in life – and of course, these are the kinds of moments that we want to share with our pets. This feels as if it is a totally normal habit to adopt.
However, we are going to discuss whether or not you should be feeding your cat whipped cream.
The Simple Answer
So, to answer this question in a super speedy way… The answer to this question is NO. It is not recommended for cats to be eating whipped cream. This is because of the content of whipped cream.
Here’s the thing, whipped cream is not just made with dairy; it is made with sugar along with vanilla extract. These extra ingredients provide their own additional challenges to the digestive system of your cat.
However, none of these ingredients are actually toxic for your cat to consume.
Let’s Talk About Cats And How They React To Dairy
It is true that there are a lot of misconceptions about cats and dairy, and these myths stem from what we absorbed during our childhood.
For instance, a lot of cartoons will depict cats drinking milk or cream, and this would be a beloved treat.
That’s right – we have been fooled when it comes to learning about cats and their consumption of dairy products. Don’t get us wrong, your cat might enjoy cream or milk – but the cream or milk will not enjoy your cat so much…
Sugar, Vanilla Extract, And Cats
In case it wasn’t obvious, dairy is not the only product in whipped cream which can be dangerous to your cat. You really need to be careful when your cat consumes sugar and also vanilla extract.
So, sugar is not actually toxic for a cat. However, it is not so great for their system. If your cat eats too much sugar or if they eat sugar too often, then this can cause issues with their pancreas.
In addition to this, eating sugar too much or too often can increase the risk for diabetes and also obesity in your cat.
This is because cats’ bodies will work to quickly store the sugars as fats, and your cat will not expel sugar as they should. When we talk about vanilla extract, it is important to note that this is not a toxin for cats.
However, vanilla extract does contain ethyl alcohol, and too much of this can become a toxin for cats.
However, cats have an interesting relationship with vanilla extract because it can actually have a calming effect on cats when they smell it – so the consumption of vanilla extract is not recommended, but the smell of it can help cats that are more aggressive calm down.
The Science Behind Dairy And Cats
So, when they are younger – kittens will have a specialized enzyme within their system and this is called lactase. It is true that these enzymes will enable them to disintegrate the proteins that are in dairy produce. This will mainly be lactose.
Lactose can be located in the majority of dairy products – the most common examples are milk, ice cream, and yogurt – and of course, this can be found in whipped cream too.
What is the requirement for these enzymes? So, the necessity of these is because of the way in which kittens feed when they are super young.
Up until they reach the age of eight weeks old, kittens will actually feed on their mother’s milk more than anything else.
However, there will be nothing stopping them from transitioning much sooner than this – and this will be when the creation of lactase enzymes in their bodies comes to an end.
What Happens When Cats Mature?
So, when cats mature, there is no reason for them to need to take in any milk products – or any other food source that has lactose proteins. This is due to the fact that they are carnivores by their nature, and for this reason, they do not require those enzymes.
Adult cats will be missing a whole lot of these enzymes, and so they will find it really hard to disintegrate lactose in a successful way.
So, cats will essentially be lactose intolerant. What does this mean when cats consume whipped cream? Well, they will not digest it, and as a result of this, their systems will rebel against this.
Are Cats Lactose Intolerant?
It is true that a few cat owners will be especially clued-up on what lactose intolerance can look like in their cat, but if you are a newer cat owner, then you might find it difficult to pinpoint the symptoms of lactose intolerance in your cat.
However, there are some key symptoms that you can look out for in your cat that are signs of a flare-up. Your cat might experience pretty severe flatulence or stomach aches, and in the absolute worst cases, you might notice that your cat is suffering from diarrhea or vomiting.
This would be a clear indicator that your cat has consumed a dairy-heavy product.
What Should You Do If Your Cat Shows Symptoms?
If you notice that your cat is showing any of these symptoms, then you really need to take them to a calm place so that they can take their time to be sick.
You should not crowd your cat during this process, but when their own system has actually worked the dairy out of it, then they will be back to normal.
In the incident where vomiting or where diarrhea carries on for hours on end, then you should contact a vet.
Overall, cats should not be consuming whipped cream because it can increase the risk of obesity and diabetes, and other health problems.
It is kind of sad that your cat can’t get in on the whipped cream action, but it is literally for the benefit of their own health.
If your cat does jump up on the counter for a dive at your whipped cream, this is not something to panic about – just don’t make giving your cat whipped cream a habit!