Is eggnog safe for cats? Can cats drink eggnog? Will they get sick if they do have some?
You’re right to ask these questions before going ahead and letting your cat lap up some of this festive drink.
I love Christmas, but with the festive season comes a lot of changes around the home.
There are actually quite a lot of potential hazards to be aware of as pet owners over the holidays. Such as festive foods, drinks, decorations, lit candles, holiday plants, and of course the Christmas tree.
This brings me on to eggnog, which is one of those love it or hate it kind of drinks.
Personally, I love it by the way, how about you?
The problem is, so do most cats.
The smell of eggnog is simply too much for most cats to resist. Being made from eggs, milk, and cream it’s almost the ideal mix of everything cats love – but also everything that’s bad for them.
So, if you’re going to be enjoying eggnog this holiday season and are wondering if you can share it with your kitty, please read this article first!
What’s in Eggnog?
Eggnog comes with various flavorings, spices, and can be alcoholic or non-alcoholic. Traditional eggnog is made from:
- Milk or cream
- Raw eggs
- Nutmeg, cinnamon or other spices
If you’ve never had eggnog, it’s often described as being similar to ice cream or custard. It has a thick and creamy texture, is heavy and indulgent and served chilled.
I’m not sure if I’m doing a good job of selling it here or putting people off! If you’ve never had it you should try it, at least once. Especially as Christmas to get into the spirit.
Can Cats Drink Eggnog?
If you look at the list of ingredients above, they’re almost all bad for cats. So, it shouldn’t come as a surprise that cats should not drink eggnog, no.
Here’s a rundown of the potential problems with cats lapping on eggnog:
Milk/Cream – Adult cats should not drink milk or cream. As cats age, they become lactose intolerant. Consuming any products including lactose will cause stomach issues such as mild discomfort, diarrhea, vomiting, or worse.
Sugar – Although not toxic, cats should not be consuming sugary foods. It’s bad for their dental health, can cause stomach issues, and will lead to obesity, diabetes, and other serious health issues in the long-term.
Raw Eggs – Raw eggs are on the banned list for cats. There is a rare protein in raw egg whites called avidin, which is known to disrupt the absorption of the B vitamin biotin. This can result in skin irritation and patchy coat problems.
Nutmeg/Cinnamon – Like most spices, nutmeg and cinnamon will likely cause a stomach upset or worse if ingested by your cat. Nutmeg, in particular, contains a toxin called myristicin, which is known to be toxic to pets.
Alcohol – If you enjoy adding a little alcohol to your eggnog, you’re making the cocktail even more dangerous to your kitty. As little as a couple of teaspoons of whiskey can put a cat into a coma, so never let them near any form of alcohol.
As you can see, the ingredients used to make egg nog is a long list of what not to let your cat eat.
Please don’t leave your glass or cup unattended if you have a curious cat that’s likely to take a sip. Otherwise, at best you are probably going to have to clean up after a bout of diarrhea or vomiting.
At worst, you’re going to have a very sick cat in need of veterinary treatment. Not what anyone wants over the holiday period!
Is Eggnog Safe for Cats?
No! Eggnog is not safe for cats.
I explained in more detail above how all of the ingredients are bad for cats to eat, sip, lick, drink, and ingest in any way. Eggnog might be on the Xmas list for you and other people in your family, but it’s firmly on the banned list for cats.
What About Silk Nog or Soynog That Doesn’t Have Lactose?
If you’re lactose intolerant or have a dairy allergy and can’t drink traditional eggnog, you may have tried a lactose-free alternative that works for you.
There are alternatives made with soy, rice, almond, and coconut milk instead of cow’s milk. If you’re interested, they go under various names such as Tofu Nog, Grain Nog, and Soynog to mention a few.
The bad news is that all of these are not suitable for cats either. There are still various ingredients in these drinks that are difficult for cats to digest, and they’re just as likely to cause gastrointestinal issues.
Don’t miss – Can cats eat tofu? If you’re interested in lactose-free foods for your cat.
In Summary – Can Cats Have Eggnog?
The short answer is – No, absolutely not.
Eggnog is very bad for cats, as well as for most other household animals like dogs. If your cat has taken a cheeky sip before and didn’t show any signs of feeling ill, count yourself lucky.
This festive drink is essentially a cocktail of ingredients that will almost certainly give a cat an upset stomach or worse.
If you catch your cat drinking some, stop them immediately and keep a close eye on them for the next 24 hours or so. If they show any signs that they are experiencing gastrointestinal problems, seek the advice of a vet and follow their advice.
I hope you found this information helpful. If you have any other safety advice for the community to be aware of over the Christmas period, feel free to drop a note below. Thanks.