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Home > Cats > Can Cats Eat Whipped Cream? Vet Approved Nutrition Facts & FAQ

Can Cats Eat Whipped Cream? Vet Approved Nutrition Facts & FAQ

Can Cats Eat Whipped Cream

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Reviewed & Fact-Checked By

Dr. Alice Athow-Frost

Veterinarian, BVM BVS MRCVS

The information is current and up-to-date in accordance with the latest veterinarian research.

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It’s normal to want to share your favorite foods with your cat. The problem is that cats are obligate carnivores, meaning that they cannot obtain all the nutrients they need from plant matter alone.  This means that many human foods are indigestible to cats. Even worse is that some food you love might be bad for your cat. So what about delicious whipped cream that we just love to eat? Can cats eat it, and if so, how much?

The short answer is, yes, whipped cream is not toxic to cats and can be eaten but this doesn’t mean however that it should be. Whipped cream is not something you want to feed your cat at all, and definitely not regularly. To find out why and learn why cats enjoy whipped cream even though they can’t taste it, keep reading!

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Is Whipped Cream Healthy for Cats?

Many owners believe that milk is something cats need to be healthy.  A reasonable follow-on is that whipped cream, made from milk, is also acceptable.The truth, however, is that milk and whipped cream aren’t healthy for cats and are extremely fattening.  They also offer little to no nutritional benefit.

Milk and therefore whipped cream are dairy products that contain the sugar lactose.  Most cats lack the enzyme lactase that is needed to break down lactose sugars, and so are effectively lactose intolerant (like some people). Cats have a genuinely difficult time processing the  milk sugar, and it can cause them to have vomiting, diarrhea and stomach pains. In addition, most whipped cream contains white sugar or an artificial sweetener, and artificial vanilla flavoring.  Sugar and sweeteners are not toxic to cats but they are certainly not beneficial to them. However, natural and artificial vanilla flavoring contains alcohol which is toxic to cats, even in small amounts. .

Whipped cream is high in fat (4.1g per 12.5g serving), which in large amounts can lead to obesity problems in your favorite feline. Interestingly, 100g of whipped cream contains 306 kcal compared to only 73 kcal in a 100g pouch of Felix wet food!

whipped cream on whisk
Image Credit: Sorin Gheorghita, Unsplash

How Much Whipped Cream Can You Give Your Cat?

None – we really wouldn’t advise it.  Cat’s don’t need the sugar, the lactose, the high fat content or the risk of alcohol toxicity from the vanilla flavoring.

What Type of Whipped Cream Is Best for a Cat?

If you feel you really want to give your cat an occasional lick or two of whipped cream, the only safe kind is homemade whipped cream with no added ingredients and even this can cause gastro-intestinal upset due to the lactose in the dairy.

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What Happens if Your Cat Eats Xylitol?

Most of us are aware of the significant dangers of xylitol in dogs, but is xylitol toxic to cats?  It doesn’t appear to be so.  A small study on 6 cats showed that even at 1000 mg/kg xylitol administered orally, the cat’s glucose level remained within normal limits.  Liver enzymes and all other blood parameters were also unchanged.

Is Non-Dairy Whipped Cream OK for Cats?

There are many “alternative” whipped creams on the market that don’t use dairy but use coconut, soy, or almonds. While some of these are safe for cats, Renee Rucinsky, DVM, DABVP(F), and the owner of Mid Atlantic Cat Hospital and Feline Thyroid Center in Queenstown, Md, recommends avoiding them. Most alternative, dairy-free whipped cream products are highly processed, and processed food is difficult for your cat to digest.

whipped cream in a bowl
Image Credit: marcelkessler, Shutterstock

Why Do Cats Seem to Like Whipped Cream?

As obligate carnivores, there is no place for sugar in a cat’s diet.  When it comes to their sense of taste, cats can’t distinguish sweet flavors and don’t have the sweet receptor on their tongues. That’s interesting when you consider that most humans love whipped cream because it’s sweet, but most cats seem to like whipped cream almost as much.

The reason isn’t due to the sweetness but the protein and fat in whipped cream. Since cats are carnivores, their sense of taste and smell for fats and proteins is very keen, and they can sense both in whipped cream. That is why, if you give whipped cream to your kitty, there’s no need to add sugar or other ingredients since they can’t taste them anyway.

Safe Human Foods to Give Your Cat as an Occasional Snack

If you like sharing your favorite foods with your feline friends, the list below has many “human” foods you can safely give to your cat as an occasional snack. Around 90% of your cat’s food should be high-quality cat food. That leaves 10% for snacks on any given day, which is a relatively small amount.

fresh cucumbers sliced on dark background
Image Credit: 271 EAK MOTO, Shutterstock
  • Plain, hard-boiled egg
  • Fresh cucumber
  • Steamed (and cooled) broccoli
  • Cooked, plain fish
  • Cooked (and cooled) corn
  • Plain cooked meat
  • Bananas
  • Carrots

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Final Thoughts

Since cats are obligate carnivores, they can’t digest cow milk which makes whipped cream an unhealthy and poorly nutritious snack.

Commercial whipped cream can contain large amounts of sugar, fats and other ingredients harmful to your cat’s health and therefore it is best avoided.


Featured Image Credit: HikoPhotography, Shutterstock

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