Is Eggnog Safe for Cats?

Last Updated on April 12, 2020

During the winter holiday season, a lot of festive treats can be passing through the house. Many of these treats are things that our pets may be interested in if left unattended. For some cat owners, they know their cats enjoy sticking their heads in mugs, glasses, and cups to sometimes drink what is inside them. If your cat likes milk and cheese, you may find yourself with a cat who also wants to drink some eggnog. Is it a good idea to let your kitty drink it?

Eggnog Contains Nutmeg & Cinnamon

Nutmeg contains myristicin, which is considered a toxin. It would take a large amount to be deadly which eggnog typically has smaller amounts. While a small amount won’t be a risk to your cat’s life, it can cause stomach upset, which can range from throwing up, gas, or diarrhea. Cinnamon is also only toxic at high doses but can result in similar symptoms from smaller amounts. Cats who have sensitive stomachs or allergies are more prone to these issues. If your cat has eaten or accidentally inhaled a large amount of cinnamon, they will need to be taken to a vet ASAP. Cinnamon essential oil is, however, deadly to cats and should never be used indoors with cats.

Eggnog is Not Lactose-Free

Cats are naturally lactose intolerant to some degree. If they are given any kind of milk, it should be lactose-free. Most cats will have stomach upsets from regular milk that range from diarrhea, gas, constipation, cramps, and blood in the stool. While some tolerate it better than others, it should still be avoided. Standard eggnog is not lactose-free and made up of 40% to 70% whole fat dairy milk depending on the recipe.

Eggnog is High in Fat

High-fat diets and foods have been known to give cats health problems. The issue with eggnog, in particular, is the high-fat content from the dairy and eggs. It is not the kind of fat they would be eating in their natural diet which makes it even harder on their digestive system. Eggs, in general, should be limited to one whole egg per week per cat, eggnog contains as many as 3 eggs per 1/2 cup serving. Drinking enough eggnog can lead a cat to suddenly develop pancreatitis. Unlike pancreatitis that we see in humans, feline pancreatitis is much more severe. It can cause a cat to lose its will to eat or drink, cause severe seizures, blood in the urine, lethargy, and it is extremely painful for them. For kittens and senior cats, the survival rate is low.

So, is Eggnog Safe for Cats?

The answer is no. Under no circumstances should you let your cat have some. Be sure to rinse out glasses that were used to drink the eggnog and keep it out of your cat’s reach. If they accidentally do drink some, depending on the amount, you will have to monitor them for the next 72 hours. If your cat suddenly loses its appetite or appears to be very lethargic or in pain, take them to an animal hospital right away.

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