Science Focus (issue 26)

Since the dawn of the internet, cats have taken over our explore pages in the form of funny video compilations, heartwarming videos and of course: memes. Meme culture has guaranteed that cats can gain the same amount of worship and reverence now as they did in ancient Egypt. Some of these memes raised trivial yet interesting questions: Can Cats Have Cheeseburgers? This may be a seemingly silly question with a seemingly obvious answer; however, it may surprise you to know that it can prove beneficial to occasionally feed your cat hamburgers. As carnivorous animals, cats can have a variety of meats — making plain hamburgers a safe and welcome treat for them [1]. Feeding your cats burgers comes with its own set of “terms and conditions” though. Unfortunately, your cat cannot “haz cheezburgerz” (footnote 1) specifically. Contrary to popular belief that cats love milk, most adult cats are lactose intolerant [1] because they can no longer produce enough lactase to break down lactose after weaning. Therefore, it’s probably wise to skip the cheese and seasonings we add in our own hamburgers when you feed cats. Toppings such as onions and garlic can also harm their gastrointestinal tracts and damage red blood cells if consumed in large amounts. The oxidative compounds in onions can denature hemoglobin, causing anemia [1, 2]. …Or Maybe a Little Salami? As per the meme, a cat may as well have typed this out and, technically, it wouldn’t be wrong. While cats can have a little bit of salami, it shouldn’t become the staple of their diet. As a processed meat The Science Behind Cat Memes: Can Your Cat Haz Cheezburgerz? 貓咪迷因大解構: 主子「可摸耳」吃芝士漢堡? By Aastha Shreeharsh