Butter is a yummy and delicious food that humans enjoy. It is one of those dairy foods that are low in lactose and rich in fats and protein. A lot of people enjoy a hearty breakfast that almost always consists of a fresh batch of butter, either by spreading it on their toast or other pastries.
Although butter offers some health benefits to humans, it is not your definition of healthy food. Butter contains a high-fat content that can result in health complications in the long run. However, I'm sure you didn't stumble on this post for yourself. You are probably wondering if your cat can also enjoy butter as much as you do. So, can cats eat butter?
In this article, I address that and other related questions you may have about feeding butter to your cat.
Can Cats Eat Butter?
The simple answer is yes. Cats can eat butter. Butter is not harmful to cats but this only holds when it is consumed in a small quantity. Compared to other dairy products, butter contains a low amount of lactose so if you were worried about your cat being lactose intolerant, you can put your mind at rest now. However, if your cat shows any allergic signs, make sure to stop feeding immediately and book an appointment with your vet.
Is Butter Good For My Cat?
Butter is not considered toxic for cats. It offers a few nutritional benefits to your cat which are listed below:
Butter contains butyrate that helps nourishes the bacteria found in your cat's gut. This aids in better digestion and keeps your cat healthy.
Butter contains traces of vitamins like vitamin B12, vitamin D, and vitamin A that offer specific health benefits to your feline.
Butter contains a considerable amount of protein that your cat can benefit from. Cats need protein so feeding them butter occasionally can supplement the amount of protein they need.
If your cat is a bit on the skinny side and you have made it your mission to fatten them up, then you might want to consider introducing butter in small amounts to their meals. Butter contains fat which can be good for your skinny cat. However, it must be introduced slowly into their diet and in small quantities too.
The antioxidants found in butter can be beneficial to your feline. Antioxidants fight free radicals and hence, prevent the development of some diseases.
Will Butter Harm My Cat?
While butter is not considered harmful to cats, it does more harm than good to your cat. Here are some of the likely harms you may be exposing your cat to if you feed them butter:
If your cat is extra sensitive to lactose, even the low lactose content in butter can cause them to experience symptoms like stomach discomfort, vomiting, diarrhea, etc.
Giving your cat butter may eventually lead to obesity in the long run. Cats do not need the fats that are found in butter. Obesity affects the general health of your cat. Hence, you might want to consider how much butter you feed your cat.
Apart from the health risks that come with obesity, one other prominent disease that cats may become exposed to due to their consumption of butter is Pancreatitis. Pancreatitis is the inflammation of the pancreas. The pancreas is an organ in the body that is involved with digestion. It secretes digestive juices that aid digestion. Pancreatitis can lead to vomiting, diarrhea, dehydration, and consequently, death if not checked.
Poor State of Health
Butter offers a good amount of nutritional benefits to humans but the same cannot be said for cats. Cats get their balanced and complete nutrients from cat food. They do not need the protein that comes from butter. Hence, feeding butter to your cat in place of their cat food will prove fatal to their overall well-being because butter does not contain all the nutrients they need.
In addition to the above reasons, some cats may experience allergic reactions when they eat butter. Symptoms may range from gastrointestinal issues to bowel irregularities and skin reactions.
You may choose to feed butter to your cat as an occasional treat but always ensure it is in small amounts. In this case, "less" is good.
Does Butter Remove Hairballs?
It is usually unsettling to listen to your cat trying to cough out a hairball. It might sound intense, as if it was choking but be rest assured that cats were designed to cough out hairballs. So, it's usually nothing to fret about.
However, it has been speculated that allowing your cat to drink up some melted butter can make the process easier. So far, no research has given outright proof that this works. Although, some cat owners claim that it works for their cats.
Whether butter helps with hairballs or not, it is noteworthy that the removal of hairballs is a natural part of a cat's life, no matter how scary the coughing may sound. So, with or without your help, they still will get by just fine by themselves.
A safer way to reduce the number of hairballs that forms in the throat of your cat is to ensure a regular brushing routine for them. That way, old and loose hair hanging on their bodies will be reduced.
Can I Feed Butter To My Kitten?
Kittens cannot process butter or any dairy products the way adult cats do. Kittens are better off sustained by the cat food that is specially formulated for them. Before feeding butter to kitten, make sure to consult with your veterinarian first.
Butter is not poisonous to cats but neither is it beneficial. The risks associated with butter far outweigh its benefits. Cats, unlike humans, are not able to fully harness the nutritional benefits of butter. This is because their digestive tract is not designed to digest fatty foods like butter.
If you choose to feed butter to your cat, make sure it is in small amounts and on rare occasions.