Can Cats Eat Cheez-Its?

Cheez Its

Cheez-Its have been around since 1921. As a result, it should come as no surprise to learn that they have been owned by more than one company over the course of their existence. Currently, Cheez-Its are being produced by Sunshine Biscuits, which was an independent company in its own right before it was bought out by the Keebler Company. In turn, the Keebler Company was bought out by the Kellogg Company, with the result that Sunshine Biscuits is now one of the latter’s brands. Cheez-Its continue to be produced using ingredients such as enriched flour, vegetable oil, and skim milk cheese.

Can Cats Eat Cheez-Its?

Some cat owners might be wondering whether their cats can eat Cheez-Its or not. If so, they should know that these cheese crackers shouldn’t be poisonous for our feline companions when eaten in small quantities. Even so, it might not be a good idea to feed Cheez-Its to a cat.

Cats Are Obligate Carnivores

Cats are obligate carnivores. It isn’t clear how that happened. However, there is speculation that cats became obligate carnivores because their ancestors lost the ability to taste sweetness in the distant past. Whatever the case, the important point is that cats need to eat meat for their continuing survival. Cheese crackers just don’t contain significant quantities of the nutrients that they need. Instead, cheese crackers contain large amounts of carbohydrates, which have been blamed for being a notable contributor to feline obesity. Something that increases a cat’s chances of developing serious medical conditions in much the same way that human obesity increases a human’s chances of developing serious medical conditions. That claim is seeing some challenges. Still, there can be no doubt about the fact that Cheez-Its provide either no or next-to-no nutritional benefits for cats.

Cats Might Not Be Able to Digest Lactose

In fact, Cheez-Its contain some ingredients that can cause issues for a cat when eaten in excess. The single best example might be the skim milk cheese that is used to produce these cheese crackers. Generally speaking, mammals can digest the lactose in milk well because of the enzyme called lactase. However, most of them don’t retain the ability into adulthood because they stop producing lactase once they are weaned. Even most humans experience some form of lactose intolerance because of this, though this is something that sees huge differences from region to region. For example, people of northern European ancestry are very unlikely to be lactose intolerant. In contrast, people of either African or East Asian descent are much likelier to be lactose intolerant to some extent. In any case, cats aren’t an exemption to this rule. As a result, those that consume too much lactose can experience gastrointestinal distress because of it. Suffice to say that should be avoided because such scenarios tend to be unpleasant for both the cats and the cat owners.

Other Ingredients Might Cause Issues As Well

There are other ingredients in Cheez-Its that can cause issues when eaten in excess as well. For example, vegetable oil should be fine for cats in small quantities. However, it is also capable of causing gastrointestinal distress when eaten in excess. Similarly, these cheese crackers are produced using a fair amount of salt. Cats need some salt for their continuing survival. Unfortunately, they are also very sensitive to excessive salt intake, particularly since they are so much smaller than we are. When cats eat too many salty foods, it is possible for them to experience salt poisoning. Different flavors of Cheez-Its are made using different ingredients. Due to this, there are other ingredients that can have negative results when cats eat too much.

Consult a Veterinarian

Individual cats are like individual humans. Just because most cats can eat something, it doesn’t necessarily mean that an individual cat can eat that same thing. As a result, if cat owners are thinking about feeding something new to their cats, they might want to consult their veterinarians before doing so. The cat-related expertise and experience of veterinarians mean that said individuals can be a very good source of information about what our feline companions can and can’t eat. However, their veterinarians should also have a good understanding of their cats’ specific condition, which should provide their veterinarians with a better chance of picking up on potential issues from eating certain kinds of food. No veterinarian can predict such things with perfect accuracy. Still, they should be able to come up with the best predictions because they are the veterinary professionals.

Always Feed New Foods to Cats in Moderation

Even if cat owners have gotten a go-ahead from their veterinarians, they should still feed their cats new foods in moderation. As mentioned earlier, the outcome isn’t 100 percent predictable. Due to this, feeding their cats in moderation is a simple measure to minimize complications in case something goes wrong. For that matter, cats shouldn’t be eating a lot of Cheez-Its anyway because that increases the chances of their digestive system experiencing problems.

Consider Breaking Up the Cheez-Its

If cat owners are thinking about feeding Cheez-Its to their cats, they might want to break up those Cheez-Its. Cats don’t chew their food with the same regularity that we do. This can be seen in how their teeth is meant to tear bite-sized chunks from their prey. Thanks to this, anything that is too big can be a choking hazard, meaning that it is important to break it up into swallowable chunks. The only good thing that can be said about Cheez-Its is that they are more digestible than some of the other hard substances that cats can swallow while eating. That is important because it isn’t unknown for shell fragments and the like to cause problems in a cat’s digestive system after they have been swallowed.

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