Updated: August 11, 2022 by Kristen Chapple
Butter is really delicious and we use it as a breakfast ingredient, to cook some of our food as a replacement for oil and into many desserts as well so it is quite a varied product. Of course, it does contain a lot of fat and the discussions about how healthy it is don’t tend to put it on the doctor’s recommended treats but how about for cats? Can cats eat butter? Let us find out here.
One of the reasons why people offer this to cats is for the popular notion that it helps with their fur balls and thus it will make the process of eliminating them less painful. You have to think though that cats have been passing fur balls all their lives without the need for butter so this is quite unnecessary and might not even do that much to help.
As obligate carnivores the fat coming from meat is actually much better for cats than the one from butter. To add to that, most adult cats are intolerant to lactose and too much butter can lead to diarrhea, vomiting or stomach pains in general. There is much less lactose in butter compared to fresh milk but they can still have problems if they eat a large enough quantity.
With kittens, even if they digest lactose with more ease, their bodies aren’t adapted for dairy products and since they have so much fat they can lead to problems. Small kittens should get all the nutritional elements they require from their mother’s milk and that should be everything they eat.
The high quantity of fat in butter also has little fibers and micro-nutrients required for cats and that can lead to health problems on the long run with obesity as the main concern. From there the cat is more prone to diabetes, heart disease and even some forms of cancer so if you want a cat that is healthy and has a long life then pay more attention to their diet.
When it comes to giving this as an occasional treat then there aren’t any huge side effects that you have to worry about and the cat will probably enjoy a small bite. They seem to go really well with some boiled carrots but don’t make it a daily habit. It isn’t a food that you should go overboard with to offer to a cat and there are much better choices for a reward or treat.
Small quantities should be fine for cats but they don’t provide any nutritional benefits and can lead to some problems in larger quantities.