Can Cats Eat Butter? Why Butter Is Bad For Your Cat

You probably came across this post because you have a cat, and one of two things happened: they ate the butter you forgot to put out, or you heard butter helps cats cough up hairballs more easily. If it’s the former, you may be concerned that your pet is lactose intolerant.

Before we get into the details, we’d want to assuage your anxieties. No, butter isn’t dangerous to cats, and if they eat butter that you left on the counter, they won’t get sick or die.

And no, if you don’t feed them butter, they won’t choke on a hairball. Malnutrition, not lactose intolerance or hairballs, is the biggest danger with cats and butter.

What should you do if your cat eats butter?

Can Cats Eat Butter? Why Butter Is Bad For Your Cat

Unlike other delicacies such as chocolate or onions, butter is not harmful to cats.

Small amounts of butter will be safe for a cat, but larger amounts may cause stomach issues, poor digestion, vomiting, and diarrhea, so be aware.

A large lump of butter consumed all at once, or a consistent practice of consuming butter, might cause major health concerns, therefore you should see your veterinarian.

Are there benefits of eating butter for cats?

Butter may act as a lubricant and aid in the removal of hairballs, which is why some cat owners are ready to use it for cat hairballs.

It can be alarming to watch your cat attempt to get rid of hairballs since it appears that they are choking, but we must remember that this is typical cat behavior, and cats have been expelling hairballs without assistance for thousands of years.

There are several items on the market now that are meant to aid in the ejection and removal of hairballs; most of these can simply be blended into your cat’s food to make it more appealing, so there is no need to use butter.

Because butter is a frequent item in the kitchen, it may be tempting to give your cat butter on the spot rather than acquiring a prescription or searching for the correct hairball eradication treatment.

Apart from this benefit, however, butter can cause more harm than good to your cat, and as cats are prone to hairballs, giving them butter on a daily basis may jeopardize their health.

Is butter bad for cats?

Butter isn’t good for people, so we can imagine how bad it is for cats. The difficulty with butter is that it is high in fat. Butter, in fact, is almost entirely made up of fats. 11.5 g of fats are included in a tablespoon of butter (14.2 g).

Butter is such a fatty meal that any other nutrients it may have, such as vitamins, are entirely eclipsed by the fat level and do not make butter worthwhile to consume.

Despite its nutritious value, butter is used in a wide range of dishes, and it’s frequently one of the key elements in our breakfast. We, on the other hand, are omnivores, whereas cats are essentially carnivores.

Cats get all of their nutrition, including lipids, from other animals. The fat content of butter differs significantly from that of meat, and if you had to pick, you should give your cat the latter.

We may be misled by the fact that our cat licks butter and appears to love it, but cats are inquisitive creatures that will try to eat much of what they see humans eat. That does not mean that all of our food is healthy for them.

Butter is comparable to a highly unhealthy human snack. It’s not that cats can’t eat it; it’s just that it’d be preferable if they didn’t. Similarly to what would happen if we ate junk food for a long time, cats might suffer long-term consequences from consuming butter.

Lactose intolerance

Cats and butter don’t mix since cats are lactose intolerant by nature. Or, better yet, they grow up to be lactose intolerant, since butter is a dairy product, which implies it contains lactose (milk sugar).

Kittens are able to digest their mother’s milk and other dairy products because they create lactase, a digestive enzyme. When a kitten is weaned, the body gradually stops manufacturing lactase, and cats can no longer digest dairy.

Getting your kitten habituated to eating butter might be hazardous since if your cat develops a habit, it can be difficult to break.

A little sensitivity to butter might cause your cat to vomit and have diarrhea in response to each bite, but a severe intolerance, a lactose allergy, or regular consumption of lactose can make your pet very unwell and jeopardize their health.


Can Cats Eat Butter? Why Butter Is Bad For Your Cat

Because of their inactivity, indoor cats are more likely to acquire obesity from eating too much fat, but outdoor cats aren’t immune either if they routinely eat butter and other fatty foods that aren’t supposed to be part of their diet.

The usual cat’s diet should consist primarily of animal protein, with a few carbohydrates and fats thrown in for good measure. Not only is butter low in protein, but it also contains the purest form of fat, which means it provides even less health advantages for your cat than other fats.

Overweight cats may appear attractive and amusing, but they become increasingly disabled. Obesity can cause problems with the heart, liver, pancreas, bones, and kidneys. Your cat may get melancholy if they are unable to roam around, run, or play like they once did.

Obesity has a number of side effects, including pancreatitis. Cats are severely disabled by this condition, which can drastically reduce their lifetime or possibly kill them.


The pancreas in cats is a small but important organ that primarily serves two purposes: controlling blood sugar levels and producing enzymes required for fat, protein, and carbohydrate digestion.

Although the actual origins of pancreatitis are unknown, it is commonly assumed that a high-fat diet, ingesting toxins, or physical trauma are among the reasons.

The pancreas begins to devour itself and gets inflamed when digestive enzymes are secreted within the pancreas rather than reaching the intestines.

Pancreatitis commonly leads to feline diabetes when the cells that regulate blood sugar are injured or killed.

Because the symptoms are typically vague, such as lethargy and a lack of appetite, pancreatitis is a dangerous and often fatal ailment, making it difficult to diagnose in time to rescue the animal.

This is why it’s critical to feed your cat a low-fat diet and to get them evaluated on a regular basis, especially as they become older.

Feline diabetes

Feline diabetes is a disorder in which the pancreas generates insufficient amounts of insulin or none at all. This hormone is required for the regulation of blood sugar, which provides energy to the cells.

High levels of sugar in the blood over an extended length of time might harm the animal’s organs and potentially result in death.

There is currently no cure for feline diabetes, although it may be controlled for the remainder of the animal’s life using drugs. Cats with type 1 or type 2 diabetes, if appropriately managed, can survive for many years.

Some cats may not require insulin medication in the future. This is known as’remission,’ and it is more prevalent in those with type 2 diabetes. Even so, the cat should be closely examined and kept on a low-carb diet.

Can cats eat butter?

Butter is safe for cats to consume, although it is not recommended. Butter is not a suitable addition to your cat’s diet because of its high fat content, just as people can consume junk food despite it being bad for them.

Butter is a dairy product, which means it contains lactose, which cats cannot digest. This implies that if cats consume butter, they are likely to become unwell and exhibit symptoms such as vomiting and diarrhea.

Furthermore, regular butter consumption can lead to obesity in your cat, which can lead to a number of crippling ailments such as pancreatitis and diabetes, all of which require costly treatments and can be fatal.

Butter has little nutritional benefit for your cat, and even if it is a wonderful lubricant for hairballs, there are plenty of alternative treatments created for that purpose that won’t harm your cat.

Can cats eat vegan butter?

Can Cats Eat Butter? Why Butter Is Bad For Your Cat

Vegan goods will not help cats in the same way that they will benefit people since cats are designed to get all of their nutrients from a strict meat diet.

Vegan butter may appear to be a healthier option if your cat is accustomed to butter and you are unable to break their habit, the elements in vegan butter may not be as beneficial for them as you believe.

Vegan butter may contain high-fat veggies or oils, making it no healthier than dairy products.

The basic line is that cats should not eat human foods, and they do not require butter. Instead of seeking for butter replacements for cats, feed your cat a balanced diet of beef, poultry, or cat chow high in unsaturated fats.


For your cat, human food should be viewed as a treat. Tuna and butter are similar to cakes and sweets, whereas milk is similar to a sugary beverage. While we all enjoy a soda now and again, drinking nothing but soda instead of water can have serious long-term consequences.

If your cat eats butter, it will not die. They’re not even sure if they’ll puke on the carpet. It’s fine to give them a treat if they haven’t had one in a while. However, it is no alternative for providing cat food and clean water on a regular basis.

If you’re still unsure, it’s much easier to acquire a cat treat that’s made exclusively for cats.

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