Can Cats Eat Sour Cream? 7 Facts You Need To Know

Is it safe for our feline friends to eat foods that have been topped with sour cream?

Plain sour cream is not recommended for cats, but it does not contain any ingredients that could be harmful to them. Some vitamins and minerals can be found in sour cream, and there is also some protein. While most people use sour cream as a condiment, you should only give your cat a very small amount of sour cream on its own.

This article investigates the question of whether or not sour cream is safe for cats to consume, as well as the potential drawbacks associated with giving your feline friend sour cream.

Is Sour Cream Safe for Cats To Eat?

Sour cream is generally safe for cats to eat, though it is not recommended. Sour cream can be a tasty treat for your cat, but it’s important to only give them a small amount occasionally.

Sour cream is a good source of nutrients like vitamin K, vitamin A (in its most bioavailable form, retinol), vitamin B2, calcium, and phosphorus, and may even be beneficial for your cat.

But before you dig in, make sure the sour cream you’re buying doesn’t contain any chemicals, preservatives, or potentially dangerous additives like xylitol by reading the label. If you feed your cat sour cream that is loaded with preservatives and other unhealthy additives, it could cause stomach upset.

If you want to feed your cat sour cream, make sure it is plain/unflavored sour cream without any additives or spices that could be harmful.

Can Cats Eat Sour Cream? Is Sour Cream Safe For Cats? - CatTime

What Is Sour Cream? Ingredients & Additives

Cultured cream is what we call sour cream, and like most dairy products, it contains the protein sources known as caseins and whey.

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The thick, slightly sour, and acidic substance known as sour cream is created when lactic acid-producing bacteria are added to dairy cream.

The following are common components of commercially produced sour cream:

  • Guar gum
  • NaClO3 (Sodium Hydroxide)
  • Citric acid sodium
  • Carrageenan
  • Sulfate of calcium
  • Sorbitol (potassium)
  • Adhesive made from locust beans
  • Sugar substitutes like xylitol

You might be surprised to learn that several of these ingredients are actually found in cat food, despite their unappealing appearance.

However, even trace amounts of xylitol are toxic to cats, so it’s best to stay away from it.

Cats and Lactose Intolerance

Not everyone can digest lactose, and it’s not just humans who have problems with it.

In fact, most cats are lactose intolerant, meaning that they shouldn’t consume any dairy products. However, this does not imply that a dab of sour cream or a saucer of milk will instantly prove fatal.

However, your cat may experience digestive issues if it consumes even a small amount of dairy.

Can Sour Cream Benefit Your Cat?

There is some protein in sour cream. Sour cream contains a negligible amount of protein, but as an obligate carnivore, your cat needs a lot more than that to thrive.

white kitten licks lips

Is Sour Cream Bad for Cats?

The truth is that every cat has the potential to have a unique reaction to sour cream, or any other type of dairy product.

Cats, like people, have varying degrees of sensitivities and allergies. However, many felines have lactose intolerance, so it’s likely that dairy products won’t sit well with your cat.

However, even if your cat is lactose intolerant, giving it a very small amount of sour cream may have no ill effects.

If your cat is not lactose intolerant, feeding it a small amount (or even a lot) of sour cream probably won’t harm it. However, even in this case, it’s best to only give your cat very small amounts of sour cream on rare occasions.

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The fat content of sour cream is relatively high. Fats are difficult for cats to digest, so only small amounts should be given to them.

Hyperlipidemia, where there is an excess of fat in the bloodstream, can be brought on by consuming a high-fat meal, such as a large amount of sour cream.

Another negative effect of eating too much fat is weight gain, which won’t happen from just one meal but can happen quickly if you give your cat fatty treats on a regular basis.

Your cat’s physical abilities and overall quality of life will suffer as a result of this. Cats that are too heavy are at increased risk for a number of serious health problems, including joint pain, poor mobility, diabetes, and heart disease.

When Is Sour Cream Not Safe for Cats To Eat?

Spices (such as chives, pepper, garlic, onion, and chili) and artificial sweeteners (such as xylitol) found in flavored sour creams are toxic to cats.

Flavorings and spices added to sour cream are likely to make your cat sick to its stomach.

This is due to the fact that cats cannot properly metabolize spices like humans can, and that this can cause digestive distress.

You should look for plain sour cream specifically because most sour cream packages contain spices and flavors to make them more palatable to humans.

Sour cream used as a chip dip often contains additives that are harmful to cats, so it’s best to keep your cat away from it.

Cats are obligate carnivores, so it’s best to limit their exposure to human foods like sour cream and other dairy products to special occasions. Sour cream does not provide enough protein for their daily requirements.

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You should also be careful about giving your cat sour cream and other dairy products for the following reasons:

  • Because of the high fat content of sour cream, feeding it to your cat on a regular basis and in large quantities can increase the likelihood that it will become overweight.
  • Once weaned from their mother’s milk, most cats are lactose intolerant, so feeding them dairy-based foods will only cause them digestive problems.
  • Sour cream is probably safe for cats to consume, as they are not lactose intolerant, but it provides no nutritional value and should be avoided.

How Much Sour Cream Can You Feed Your Cat?

Your cat can safely consume a small or moderate amount of sour cream without risk of illness. Sour cream isn’t the best choice for your cat’s diet, as we’ve shown, so be mindful of how often and how much you give it to your pet.

Sour Cream in glass

Only give your cat a small amount of sour cream at a time, no more than a spoonful or two. Once you’ve observed your cat’s reaction, you can decide whether or not to increase its diet.

You should limit your cat’s exposure to sour cream to no more than once per week.

Again, this is something you should decide for yourself as a responsible pet owner, but there are many reasons why excessive sour cream consumption isn’t good for your cat.


Sour cream is safe to give to your cat as a reward because it contains no ingredients that could be harmful to them. However, many felines have lactose intolerance, so start slowly to gauge your cat’s reaction.

You should still limit how often and how much sour cream your cat gets as a treat, even if it doesn’t seem to bother them.

A cat that regularly consumes excessive amounts of sour cream is more likely to become overweight, which has many negative health consequences.

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