You accidentally left the tub of sour cream out on the table and your cat got his nose into it. Now you are left wondering. Can cats eat sour cream? The simple answer to this question is yes. Cats can eat sour cream in moderation. The next time you are dressing your baked potato, feel free to give your cat a few licks.
Sour cream is made up of mostly fat and protein so it does provide some form of nutritional content to your cat. but not much. Sour cream is also dairy based so don’t feed your cat too much if you don’t know their tolerance levels.
Is Sour Cream Safe for Cats?
Let’s dive back into the kitchen where you accidentally left the sour cream tub open on the counter. Your cat managed to find his way to the open sour cream tub and has stuck his face inside to get a nice little taste. Now you are probably worried what can happen since your cat just ingested sour cream. Well the good news is your cat is not going to need medical attention from a little bit of sour cream.
Let’s dive a little deeper into what sour cream actually is. The main ingredient is cream. Bacteria is then added to the cream to create the thick creamy substance we call sour cream. Many brands of sour cream have additional additives and preservatives to help keep it fresh for consumption. The cream is usually made from buttermilk which is, you guessed it, dairy.
Are Cats Allergic to Dairy?
Dairy allergies are pretty common among cats. Just like in humans, cats also experience an allergic reaction to dairy. Don’t get confused with an allergy to dairy and lactose intolerance. These are two completely different issues.
Dairy products are products that are produced from the milk of mammals. Some popular dairy products are milk, yogurt, cheese, butter, and sour cream. Cats that are allergic to dairy are allergic to the protein, casein in the milk. This is typically considered to be a food allergy which means common food allergy symptoms will arise. The most common types of food allergies are upset stomach as well as hives. In worse case scenarios, anaphylactic shock which is potentially life-threatening.
How Do I Know If My Cat Is Lactose Intolerant?
Lactose intolerance in cats is very similar to lactose intolerance in humans. Consumption of milk can cause your cat’s digestive system to go into distress. This is not related to an allergic reaction which I talked about up above. An allergic reaction is when the immune system triggers a response in the body when a certain food is consumed.
There are some tell tale signs if your cat is lactose intolerant. One of the most common symptoms are excessive gas or flatulence. If you notice your cat is starting to stink up the house, and the litter box is clean, then this may be due to lactose intolerance. Other signs and symptoms may include: constipation, excessive thirst, diarrhea, increased heart rate, and dehydration.
Your cat may experience these symptoms even with a small amount of dairy. It is best to incorporate dairy slowly into your cat’s diet so you can assess their tolerance level of lactose.
How to Treat Lactose Intolerance
The simple and most effective way to treat lactose intolerance in your cat is to eliminate all milk and dairy products from their diet. Your cat may need to be treated for symptoms of lactose intolerance depending on the severity. If your cat has become severely dehydrated, then your cat may need I.V. fluids. This is especially if your cat has also been vomiting and expelling diarrhea as a result of lactose intolerance.
Can Cats Eat Sour Cream and Onion Chips?
The main thing to remember about onions is that they are toxic to cats. Onions contain compounds called disulfides and thiosulphates which can be toxic to cats if ingested. If a cat eats an ionion it can cause a condition called hemolytic anemia, or heinz body anemia which basically damage the red blood cells. Red blood cells provide oxygen throughout your cat’s body so it basically cuts their oxygen supply.
Sour cream and onion chips mainly just have an onion flavor and are rarely made with real whole onions as an ingredient so your cat should be fine if they ingested some of these chips. The most that may happen to your cat is an upset stomach, vomiting, or diarrhea.
It isn’t very likely that your cat will have a toxic effect from eating a few chips, but it is still not recommended to give your cat anything that has the word onion on the bag or in the ingredients list.
Use Sour Cream to Administer Medication
Using sour cream as a method to administer medication is pretty popular among cat owners. You can simply use the sour cream to hide or disguise the medication while you give it to your cat. This works perfect for cats that hate to take any form of medication. This can work great with small pills or other medications. To reduce the chances of your cat getting a stomach ache try to use a lower fat version of sour cream. Using a low fat version of sour cream can possible help aid in digestion and produce few side effects of lactose intolerance.
It is possible for your cat to eat sour cream. Is it advisable? Probably not. It doesn’t provide much nutritional content and can possibly do more harm than good.
Sour cream provides a small amount of protein with a moderate amount of fat. Fat and protein sources can easily be obtained elsewhere by your cat so it may be best to keep your cat’s nose out of the sour cream container.