a close up of a chocolate sundae topped with whipped cream and chocolate sauce

Can Cats Have Whipped Cream?

Can cats have whipped cream? They like it but shouldn’t have it because cats are lactose intolerant. Read on to learn more…

Oh no! Did your precious kitty just take a large lick of that whipped cream you dropped on the floor? Whipped cream tastes great on top of your hazelnut latte, but can cats eat whipped cream?

As your cat looks up at you, you have mixed feelings. First, the bit of cream left on the cat’s nose looks so cute. Second, should you be packing the travel crate for a trip to the vet?

In this post, we’ll unpack everything you need to know about your cat and whipped cream.

Can Cats Eat Whipped Cream?

As a simple answer – no, your cats can’t eat whipped cream. 

Regardless of whether it’s fresh cream or cream in a spray can keep it away from your kitty.

Is whipped cream bad for cats? Fresh whipped cream is less of a problem than canned spray whipped cream. The canned variety adds additional ingredients into the cream to enhance the taste; apart from the dairy, your cat’s digestive system contends with vanilla extract and sugar used to sweeten the cream.

These ingredients may cause harmful digestive reactions in your cat’s tummy, resulting in severe digestive issues ending in vomiting and diarrhea.

a chocolate sponge cake topped with whipped cream presented on a plate outdoors
Not Suitable For Cats…

Understanding Cats And The Effects Of Eating Whipped Cream

So, what’s the problem with cats eating whipped cream? If you or anyone you know is lactose intolerant, they’ll tell you about the stomach pains and cramps involved with eating a bowl of Ben & Jerry’s before bedtime.

Lactose intolerant individuals produce low amounts of the enzymes required to digest dairy products efficiently. As a result, it creates a food allergy where your gut biomes start building gas. The result is the onset of cramps and diarrhea.

Cats have the same issue. Felines are obligate carnivores, meaning they need to eat meat to survive. They gain all the nutrition they need from the fat and protein in the food they eat. Cats don’t need carbohydrates to survive, evolving a digestive system that efficiently digests meat.

Therefore, when you give your cat some tasty cream to lick off the spoon, it results in a similar condition to lactose intolerance. Your cat’s gut biome doesn’t know what to do with the dairy and sugar, and the vanilla essence adds to the problem.

Your cat starts to experience massive amounts of digestive inflammation as the intestinal wall expands, and the biomes begin producing gas in the gut.

How long does it take for your cat to digest? In a few hours, you’ll hear your kitty meowing in discomfort, and they’ll be making a mess of the litter box shortly after that.

a strawberry and whipped cream tart presented on a plate on a wooden table top

What Is Lactose Intolerance And What Causes It?

All mammal mothers raise their young on milk – from whales to cats. Mother’s milk comes with lactose, a simple sugar aiding in the growth of the infant.

The milk’s energy is valuable for the cat when it’s young, but they quickly grow out of this phase. As the kitten develops, its gut biome changes, weaning the kitten of the milk.

The kitten starts looking for new sources of food to appease the changing nature of the gut biome. In a sense, the statement that we think with our gut is somewhat true.

Our gut biome, like the kittens, changes over time as per what we eat. That’s the reason why many people find themselves “addicted” to sugar.

In reality, these individuals trained their gut biome to digest sugar. When the body gets hungry, it signals the brain to start issuing you with thoughts of what you want to eat – namely, sugar in this case.

It’s the same with your cat. However, unlike us, humans who have the ability to change our diet and cut out sugar with willpower, cats don’t have the same free will. The cat’s digestive system will suffer if you feed it whipped cream.

a tabby cat tucking into a cup of whipped cream

The gut biomes simply can no longer handle the simple sugars in the lactose, causing digestive inflammation in your poor kitty.

In most cases, you’ll start to see the evidence of lactose intolerance manifesting in your cat after 8 to 12-hours. Some of the symptoms of lactose intolerance in cats include the following.

  • Meowing and crying in discomfort.
  • Bloating.
  • Gas.
  • Diarrhea.
  • Vomiting.

Why Do Cats Want To Eat Whipped Cream?

So, if kitty’s gut biome knows it’s bad for them, why does your cat pester you for a serving of whipped cream when you’re topping off your sundae? Do cats like whipped cream?

Vets aren’t sure, but they think it has something to do with the whip cream’s fat content. Since cats are meat-eaters, they rely on protein and fat for calories.

However, the macronutrient split in their diet also plays a significant role in maintaining digestive health. Your cat’s diet should only contain around 3% fat, and the balance in protein – with no carbs.

Some food manufacturers introduce low-calorie carbs into kibble to standardize cat diets. However, these carbs produce minimal digestive inflammation in your cat’s gut.

Another reason why cats like to eat whip cream is just that you have it. You know how your cat can get when you walk into your kitchen. They get around your feet trying to catch your attention, hoping you’ll give them a treat.

Cats have curious natures, and if they see you eating something, they assume it must taste great. The moment you put it down and turn your back, they’re on the counter investigating.

So, if you’re making a bowl of whipped cream, put it back in the fridge rather than leave it alone on the counter.

What Happens To My Cat If They Eat Whipped Cream?

If your cat eats some whipped cream, it’s probably not the end of the world. Sure, the cat experiences some severe stomach discomfort, but it won’t need a trip to the vet in most cases.

However, it also depends on how much cream they eat. Let’s say you whip up a bowl of fresh cream with some caster sugar, and leave it on the counter as you walk into the living room. You come back five minutes later, and kitty is halfway through the bowl.

That’s going to be a problem, and you need to get her to the vet right away. That level of intoxication is going to produce some pretty bad results in your cat’s digestive system. Get them to the vet for some medication ASAP.

The level of discomfort your cat experiences might also vary from cat to cat. 

Some cats might handle a small amount of whipped cream with no issues. Others might spend hours crawling around their litter box, crying in pain.

an overhead view of a grey cat in litterbox

What Do I Do If My Cat Eats Whipped Cream And Starts Displaying Symptoms?

If the cat ate a lot of whipped cream, don’t wait around for the symptoms to kick in; get them to the vet as soon as you can.

However, if they ate a small amount, wait it out for a few hours to see if they start displaying symptoms. Make your judgment call to take your kitty to the vet or sit it out, depending on their reaction.

Keep Your Kitty Away From Whipped Cream

Your cat needs a sensible diet to keep her healthy. Feeding her the right food is essential to longevity and digestive health.

Keep your kitty away from any form of dairy, including milk. As mentioned, cats don’t deal with lactose. Keep them away from milk, cream, and dairy products altogether.