Cartoon logic dictates that cats love cream. Real-life logic on the other hand tells us that cats are lactose intolerant, and that they shouldn’t be drinking milk. Since whipped cream is a dairy product, can cats eat it, at least occasionally, or should we keep their curious noses away from it?
Can Cats Have Whipped Cream?
Theoretically, cats can have whipped cream. However, most cats are lactose intolerant, so they won’t be able to digest it properly. If you do decide to give your cat whipped cream, do so no more than once a week, in very small amounts.
Whipped cream is not necessarily either good or bad for cats. Since it contains lactose, is high in sugar and fat and contains ingredients like xylitol and vanilla, a case can be made for not giving any of it to cats. However, most cats will be able to have a bit of whipped cream and experience no side effects whatsoever.
The decision will be down to you as a responsible cat owner. You can test your cat’s reaction and appreciation of whipped cream, and make a decision based on them.
Why Shouldn’t Cats Eat Whipped Cream?
While moderate amounts of whipped cream should cause no adverse effects, there are several reasons why it’s not the best choice. It contains sugar, lactose, vanilla, nitrous oxide and xylitol, all of which can potentially be harmful, especially in larger quantities.
Whipped cream contains lactose, which requires an enzyme called lactase to be broken down by the digestive system. Neither most humans, nor most cats produce enough of it in their bodies to easily digest dairy.
Cats stop producing lactase as they get older, as dairy is not a part of their regular diet, and they don’t actually need it for anything else. This makes cats lactose intolerant. When they have dairy, they can suffer from digestive issues, including bloating, diarrhea and vomiting.
Note that kittens are not lactose intolerant, as they depend on their mother’s milk for nourishment.
Given its lactose content, whipped cream is not the best choice for your cat, although a lot of them will be able to eat small amounts of it and suffer no consequences.
High Sugar Content
Whipped cream also contains a lot of sugar to make it tastier. And while it isn’t toxic to cats, it’s also not a part of their natural diet, so they don’t actually need it.
Cats are carnivores, and as such they require protein to thrive. Carbs play a minor role in their diet, and they can’t even taste sugar! Whipped cream will thus not provide the rush that it gives us, who are able to metabolize sugar quickly, and turn it into energy. Cats do the same with fats and proteins.
Large quantities of whipped cream will cause blood sugar spikes in your cat, which is particularly dangerous for diabetic cats. They can also lead to obesity and other health conditions caused by being overweight.
High Caloric Content
Whipped cream is a calorie-dense food. Whether it is sweetened with sugar or artificial sweeteners makes no difference. This large amount of calories can lead to obesity, if you feed your cat whipped cream on an everyday basis.
Remember: there is nothing nutritious for a cat in whipped cream. They simply don’t need to be eating it. So any whipped cream they get will only be adding to the total amount of calories they are eating on a given day. Over time, this will make them put on weight.
Overweight cats are more prone to heart and joint disease as well as some types of cancer. They tend to lead shorter and more uncomfortable lives.
Instead of giving your cat whipped cream and expecting them to love it, give them a high-protein snack their bodies will be able to utilize better.
Carrageenan is found in most commercial whipped creams. It is an emulsifier that keeps the product smooth and gives it that texture we like.
However, carrageenan is cancerogenic in high amounts, and it can also cause liver and colon inflammation. Don’t expose your cat to it, and try to cut down on the amounts of whipped cream you are eating yourself.
Nitrous Oxide Content
Canned whipped cream also contains nitrous oxide. You may also have heard of it under the name laughing gas. It’s used as an anesthetic by dentists, and as a propellant in whipped cream.
Too much of it can cause dizziness and impaired coordination, both in cats and in humans. Since cats are smaller, it will take less of it to achieve the same effect.
The chances of your cat overdosing on nitrous oxide are probably infinitesimal, however, in order to keep them healthy for a long time, try not to expose them to any chemicals you can spare them from.
Vanilla Extract Content
Vanilla extract contains over 30% ethyl alcohol, so it can lead to alcohol poisoning in cats. Alcohol is toxic to cats, as it negatively affects their livers and can make them very sick.
While not all whipped creams contain vanilla extract, make sure not to give your cat the kind that does, if you are going down the occasional whipped cream route.
Xylitol is an artificial sweetener. While it cuts down on the sugar and calorie content in whipped cream, it is toxic to dogs. The same toxicity has not yet been determined in cats, but if consumed in excess, it can lead to vomiting and seizures, even liver damage.
Is Whipped Cream Safe for Cats?
While whipped cream is not toxic to cats, its sugar, fat and caloric content are not good for them. Whipped cream can also contain ingredients that are harmful to cats if consumed in excess.
Eating the occasional small amount of whipped cream is unlikely to cause any harm to your cat. However, eating too much of it or eating it too often can lead to toxicity, obesity and digestive issues.
What Happens If Cats Eat Whipped Cream?
In most cases, nothing will happen if a cat eats whipped cream. They may get an upset stomach, be bloated, have diarrhea or vomit, but the occasional lick of whipped cream won’t do them much harm.
Problems arise when cats eat too much whipped cream and eat it often. Since they are lactose intolerant, they may develop regular digestive issues, or they may start to gain weight. Depending on the content of the whipped cream you are giving them, they also may start to develop liver, kidney or blood sugar issues.
How Much Whipped Cream Can Cats Eat?
Don’t give your cat more than a quarter of a teaspoon of whipped cream on rare occasions. This amount shouldn’t cause any tummy upsets.
Whipped cream is not the most enjoyable snack you can give your cat. If you find they really like it, you can give them a lick or two on occasion, but that’s as far as you should go. Too much whipped cream will be bad for them, and you’re the one who needs to control their diet, no matter how much they may enjoy the unhealthy stuff.
Is Whipped Cream Okay as an Occasional Treat?
Whipped cream is not the best occasional treat. While you can give it to your cat every once in a while, the better choice would be to find a different, healthier snack.
Ideally, the only way your cat gets to experience whipped cream is if they manage to lick some while you aren’t looking. They really don’t need to be having any sugary snacks, as they don’t metabolize sugar nearly as well as they do protein.
Is Canned Whipped Cream Bad For Cats?
Yes, canned whipped cream is essentially bad for cats. It contains a lot of sugar and fat, as well as nitrous oxide and potentially vanilla or xylitol that are harmful.
The occasional lick of whipped cream won’t make your cat sick, but routinely feeding them canned whipped cream will start to take a toll on their health. They will start to get overweight, and they may suffer the negative effects of alcohol and artificial sweeteners as well.
Can Cats Have Non-Dairy Whipped Cream?
Cats shouldn’t have non-dairy whipped cream, as it is still high in sugar and may contain vanilla extract, even though it is lactose-free.
Its dairy content is not the only reason cats should not have whipped cream. There are other potentially harmful ingredients you need to bear in mind, so choosing non-dairy whipped cream will not make much of a difference.
Can Cats Eat Cool Whip?
Cats shouldn’t eat Cool Whip, as there are no healthy ingredients in it. It’s full of chemicals and sugar, none of which are good for your cat.
In fact, you shouldn’t be eating that much Cool Whip either, as it is literally just a concoction of additives and flavorings. There is also the dairy to consider, so you are better off skipping it altogether.
Can Cats Have a Puppuccino?
Cats can in theory have a Puppuciino, as it’s just whipped cream, and it’s not made exclusively for dogs. However, you need to make sure they don’t eat the whole thing in one go, as it’s too much sugar and fat for them.
The Starbucks Puppuccino may be more popular among canines, but there is no rule against giving it to your cat. Other than the fact that it’s full of sugar, dairy and fat that your cat does not need.
If you want to treat them to a lick of Puppuccino, don’t make it a weekly thing. A small amount on very rare occasions will be fine.
Wrapping It Up
While whipped cream won’t hurt your cat, unless consumed in very high amounts very frequently, it’s not the best choice of snack. Cats really don’t need sweets, so rather give them something high in protein than something full of carbs.