Can Cats Have Whipped Cream?

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If you’ve ever taken your dog through a coffee shop drive-through, you may have gotten them a Starbucks Puppuccino, a small cup of whipped cream. Since dogs enjoy these delicious treats, you might wonder, “Can cats have whipped cream?” 

Whipped cream is non-toxic to cats, but it should only be eaten in moderation because it provides no nutritional value and contains calories, which can contribute to weight gain and obesity. Of course, whipped cream is also a dairy product, so it can cause GI issues in some cats because many are lactose intolerant.1 But is whipped cream bad for cats? It can be. While whipped cream is generally safe for cats in small amounts, there are healthier alternatives for when you want to share a snack with your feline friend. Let’s discuss your question, “Can cats eat whipped cream” by discussing what it’s made of and its potential dangers. 

What Is Whipped Cream Made Of?

Whipped cream is made from heavy cream whipped into a lighter, fluffier cream. It may also contain added sugar or artificial sweeteners to add to the taste. For example, Reddi Wip whipped cream contains heavy cream, water, sugar, corn syrup, non-fat milk, and other flavorings and ingredients.

Risks of feeding your cat whipped cream

While you might have seen cats lapping up milk on the television, most cats are lactose intolerant.1 So do cats eat cream? They shouldn’t because it can cause GI issues like constipation, diarrhea, and vomiting. Cats that eat too much dairy, including whipped cream, can experience pain and discomfort. While not all cats are lactose intolerant, most are, so it’s always best to avoid feeding your cat dairy to prevent unnecessary distress. Even if your cat isn’t lactose intolerant, other ingredients in whipped cream can be dangerous to them, such as:

  • Fat content: The fat content of whipped cream is much higher than regular milk. Too much fat content can contribute to weight gain and other health problems in cats because it’s difficult for them to digest. 
  • Sugar: In addition to the high-fat content, whipped cream has a high sugar content. Sugar can cause weight gain, diabetes, and even oral health problems since bad bacteria feed on sugar. In addition, corn syrup, a type of sugar, can cause fluctuations in blood sugar, leading to dangerous hypoglycemia in cats with diabetes. 
  • Calories: The weight of your cat is dependent on how many calories they consume. Whipped cream is considered empty calories for your cat. Since there’s no nutritional benefit to giving your cat whipped cream, you may increase their caloric intake by feeding it to them, resulting in weight gain. However, even a small spoonful of whipped cream contains too many additional calories for most cats since they only need a few hundred calories daily. 
  • Vanilla extract: Some whipped cream products contain vanilla extract as an additional flavoring. Vanilla is non-toxic to cats, but vanilla extract contains alcohol, which can be toxic to cats in large quantities. 

Is whipped cream bad for cats? It can be. Knowing how to feed a cat requires understanding their diets. Ultimately, cats don’t need whipped cream in their diet because they’re obligate carnivores and don’t have the same taste palette for sweet flavors. Unlike dogs, cats won’t even be able to taste the sugary content of whipped cream to enjoy it. Instead, they need animal protein because they enjoy fresh prey and meat with high moisture content. 

Since cats have a specific dietary requirement, feeding them too many foods that aren’t protein-based can cause digestive issues and health problems over time. Your cat’s regular canned food or kibble should satisfy their dietary requirements and give them all the nutrients they need to be healthy. In general, since there are no benefits of whipped cream for cats, it’s not something you should feed them regularly if at all. 

Always consult a vet before feeding your cat something new, especially if they have an underlying health condition. Cat diet and nutrition don’t require sugary foods, especially those that contain lactose, so if you’re unsure whether or not your cat should eat whipped cream, it’s usually best to avoid it altogether. 

Most cats are lactose intolerant

A Note On Sugar & Xylitol 

While you should always consider your cat’s calorie intake to prevent them from gaining weight, you should also monitor sugar. Sugar can lead to health issues like weight gain, obesity, and diabetes in cats. Meanwhile, sugar substitutes are also dangerous. Xylitol is a common toxin in many human foods that can affect cats and dogs. It’s an artificial sweetener in baked goods, candy, and other food products. Xylitol poisoning is reported more in dogs than cats, but it’s best to stay away from this ingredient altogether. 

As you may already know, even in small quantities, xylitol is toxic to dogs. However, there are fewer reports of poisoning in cats, which might be because they’re less prone to eat sugary sweets you leave out since they have a taste for them. Nevertheless, xylitol might be dangerous for cats in the same way it is for dogs. It can cause an increase in insulin and lead to a drop in blood sugar levels, causing liver failure and even death. Therefore, there’s no reason to take the chance by feeding your cat anything with xylitol. 

If you believe your cat has consumed any food products containing xylitol, take them to the nearest emergency vet as soon as possible for treatment. Since the effects of xylitol on cats are less known than those on dogs, you should get them treated immediately. 

FAQs 

Can cats have Puppuccinos?

Puppuccinos are essentially whip cream in cups for dogs you can get at many chain coffee shops. However, cats can also enjoy them in moderation. Remember, since they’re high in lactose, there’s no reason to share them with your cat, but a small taste of whipped cream every once in a while should be safe for most healthy cats.

What happens if a cat licks whipped cream?

Even though most cats are lactose intolerant, licking whipped cream shouldn’t cause long-lasting symptoms. The lactose content might cause GI issues like gas, vomiting, diarrhea, and constipation, but symptoms should subside within a few days. In addition, since whipped cream is non-toxic to cats, most cats may not experience any side effects, depending on how much they consume. However, if you believe your cat ate whipped cream containing xylitol or artificial sweeteners, contact your vet as soon as possible for guidance and the next steps. 

Why do cats love whipped cream?

Whipped cream can contain several ingredients that are appealing to cats, including fat and protein. However, they can’t taste the sweetness of the whipped cream. In addition, your cat might simply want to eat something because you’re enjoying it. Cats learn from watching their pet parents, so if they see you enjoying whipped cream, they might be curious to try it. Still, it’s not a healthy snack for cats, so it should only be fed to them in moderation as an occasional treat. In addition, you shouldn’t feed them an entire spoonful. Since cats only require a few hundred calories at most and whipped cream can be high in calories, a small amount is usually best. 

Orange cat licking whisk with whipped cream on it

Final Notes 

Your cat doesn’t have a sweet tooth and already gets the calories and nutrients they need from their regular cat food. If you’re wondering, “Can I give my cat whipped cream,” the answer is yes because it’s non-toxic. However, it’s always better to avoid potentially dangerous foods that can lead to weight gain. Your cat doesn’t need whipped cream in its diet, and it can even contribute to other health problems. In addition, your cat won’t taste whipped cream the same way you do, so it’s essentially giving them empty calories they don’t need. Of course, if you share whipped cream with your cat, it should only be an occasional treat since it can cause GI issues due to lactose intolerance. 

In most cases, it’s best to avoid feeding your cat whipped cream and choose healthy alternatives like carrots or pumpkin instead. However, you should always consult a vet before feeding your cat anything new, especially if it may impact their health. Wondering what to feed your cat as a treat or snack? Consult a Dutch vet. We can help you find the best treats for your cat based on age, health, and weight while ensuring their overall health and advise you on foods safe and unsafe for your feline friend. Sign up today. 

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References

  1. “Vet Q&A: Can Cats Drink Milk?” PDSA, https://www.pdsa.org.uk/what-we-do/blog/vet-qa-can-cats-drink-milk.

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