Close this search box.
Dr Cockatiel is reader-supported. When you buy via links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission at no extra cost to you.

Cockatiel Cheese Guide: 7 Safe Types for a Happy, Healthy Feathered Friend

cockatiel cheese


As a cockatiel owner, you might have wondered about your pet’s diet and the various foods you can offer them. A balanced diet is essential for cockatiels to ensure they maintain optimal health, and this includes a combination of seeds, pellets, fruits, and vegetables. Cockatiel cheese, can cockatiels eat cheese? This question might have crossed your mind, especially if you’ve caught your feathered friend eyeing your cheese plate.

In this comprehensive guide, we will explore the nutritional content of cheese, the benefits and risks of feeding cheese to your cockatiel, how to safely offer cheese to your bird, and alternative sources of calcium and protein for a well-rounded diet.

The Nutritional Content of Cheese

red tomato beside yellow cheese

Cheese is a popular dairy product that comes in various types, including cheddar cheese, mozzarella cheese, Swiss cheese, cottage cheese, and parmesan cheese. Each type of cheese has a unique taste, texture, and nutritional profile, but they all generally contain essential nutrients such as calcium, protein, and vitamins and minerals.

However, cheese also has some potential drawbacks for birds, including a high fat content and lactose, which can cause digestive problems in some animals.

Lactose Intolerance in Birds

Lactose intolerance is a condition in which the body cannot digest lactose, a sugar found in dairy products like cheese. This is due to the lack of lactase, the enzyme responsible for breaking down lactose. Some animals, including birds, are naturally lactose intolerant because they don’t produce lactase in their digestive systems.

Symptoms of lactose intolerance in cockatiels can include diarrhea, bloating, and discomfort. If you suspect your cockatiel is lactose intolerant, it’s essential to avoid feeding them cheese and other dairy products.

Can cockatiels have cheese?


The answer to this question is yes, but not all types of it. As long as you know what type your bird can have and be sure it is free from any additives, you can feed it to cockatiels as a treat.

You should opt for hard cheeses to avoid the possibility of your cockatiel getting stuck. Soft cheese can also lead them down some pretty unfortunate digestive paths, so stick with something firm like cheddar or gouda!

Is cheese beneficial to cockatiels?

Cheese is a rich source of protein for your cockatiel. It can be harmful, however, if they eat too much cheese or the wrong kind it could lead to inflammation in their digestive tract. Cockatiel’s digestive system is not designed to break down dairy so to avoid getting clipithiasis, only give them a bit of cheese if they get it.

Many cockatiels like nibbling on food and will eat little bits of cheese offered by their owner’s fingers (make sure your cockatiel is well-trained before offering food in this way). You can also sprinkle grated cheese on cockatiel food to entice them, but do not overdo it.

As long as you know which type of cheese is safe for cockatiels and how much they should eat, this can be a great source of protein, calcium, and even fats for your cockatiel!

Types of cheese you can feed to your pet cockatiel

You can feed your cockatiel a variety of cheeses to suit its taste. These include:

Cheddar Cheese

cheddar cheese

Cheddar cheese is a great option for cockatiels. It is a hard cheese that is easy to digest and has a lot of protein. You can cut it into small pieces, so cockatiels can eat it easily.

Gouda Cheese

In contrast to cheddar cheese, cockatiels can have Gouda cheese in larger amounts because it is a soft cheese. It has the same nutritional value as cheddar, but cockatiels will prefer it because it is soft.

Parmesan Cheese

The great thing about parmesan cheese for your bird is that it has low lactose and sodium content! This means you can enjoy this tasty treat without worrying about digestive issues. You’ll want to give them some fresh vegetables with their meals too – adding in extra flavor will make all the difference!

Mozzarella Cheese

a container filled with white marshmallows sitting on top of a counter

Another favorite option for cockatiels, you can give them mozzarella cheese if they seem to be having trouble with food texture. They can eat mozzarella cheese because it has a soft, smooth texture that cockatiels are more likely to enjoy.

Cottage Cheese

Cockatiels might try to avoid cottage cheese at first glance, but this is actually one of their favorite cheeses! It can be hard for cockatiels to digest, so you should feed them in moderation. Make sure you also give them a cockatiel food pellet to supplement their diet.

String Cheese

String cheese is a good option for cockatiels because it has a hard texture that is easy to digest and has a lot of protein. You can serve in small chunks, so cockatiels can eat it easily.

Swiss Cheese

Swiss cheese is a great snack for pets because it’s high in protein and low on the list of ingredients. However, cockatiels do have an intolerance to lactose, so this type should only be given as treats or when you’re sure they’ll eat everything else first!

What types of cheese are not good for cockatiels?

Some cheeses may have higher sugar content, making them more suitable as treats rather than regular meals. If your cockatiel is large enough to eat these types of cheese, you should be sure they don’t have any other types of cheese for the day.

cooked food on bowl

  • Cream Cheese
  • Brie Cheese
  • Processed Cheeses (this can be hard to avoid if cockatiels get a taste for it, so you should be careful with what brand of processed cheese you purchase)

How much cheese can cockatiels eat?

The amount of cheese that your bird can have each day is limited to 3-4 grams, so you should serve it infrequently and only when absolutely necessary. The high-fat content in most cheeses might lead them towards obesity if consumed daily or on a regular basis because they contain lots of amounts of sugar, which is not good for the digestive tract as well!

When cockatiels get to eat cheese

You should give cockatiels milk or other dairy products only in rare circumstances. Cow’s milk is not natural for cockatiels, so if you do offer them dairy, you should ensure it is well-boiled to avoid bacteria growth.

Also, because cockatiels are prone to getting diabetes, you should be careful not to serve too many sweet treats as cockatiels will also develop issues if they consume sugar regularly.

How to Safely Feed Cheese to Cockatiels

If you decide to offer cheese to your cockatiel, follow these guidelines to ensure their safety and well-being:


1. Choose the Right Type of Cheese: Opt for low-fat and low lactose options such as cottage cheese, Swiss cheese, or mozzarella cheese. Avoid soft cheese with a soft and gummy texture, like cream cheese or brie, as they can stick to your bird’s beak and cause choking hazards.

2. Preparing Cheese for Your Cockatiel: Offer your cockatiel small, bite-sized pieces of cheese, about the size of a pea. Avoid feeding them large quantities, as too much cheese can lead to obesity and other health issues.

3. Monitoring Your Cockatiel: Keep an eye on your bird after feeding them cheese to watch for any signs of lactose intolerance or adverse reactions. If you notice any unusual behavior or symptoms, consult your veterinarian immediately.

4. Frequency of Feeding: Cheese should be considered a treat and not a regular part of your cockatiel’s diet. Offer cheese to your cockatiel no more than once a week to avoid potential health issues.

Cockatiel and other dairy products

Cockatiels can eat butter and yogurt, but only in a minimal amount. This is because cockatiels cannot digest much lactose, so their bodies might react differently to dairy products.

You should be careful not to offer cockatiels any other dairy product regularly because cockatiels are lactose intolerant. Even if cockatiels are fine with milk, they might have digestion issues if you give them cheese or other dairy treats often.

However, cockatiels can eat eggs, so feel free to serve them cooked eggs from time to time. You should also give cockatiels water in a separate container, so they can drink as much as they want!


Unibene Chewing Toy, Bird Beak Grinding Stone with Bell
  • NOTE : After a customer contact us about the potential safe problem of the metal clip and small bell, we've changed clip to cotton rope on the top and raplace bell with bigger size. Safer, Easier to hang in multiple places, good decoration for parrot's cage.
  • MATERIAL : Parrot chewing toys made of porous mineral stone, rich of calcium for pet's health while grinding bird's beak.
  • ADVANTAGES : Colorful beads between lava stones and the bell on the bottom attract parrot's attention, reduce loneliness, good for parrot's psychological wellness.
  • DESIGN : Star shaped design of the stone make it easy for parrots to trim and clean their beak.
  • WIDE FOR : Not only as bird supplies(African Greys Amazon Conure Cockatoo Eclectus Budgies Parakeet Cockatiel), but also for rodents to grind teeth(Hamster Chinchilla Rabbit Mouse Squirrel Gerbil). Best for small animals under one year of age.
Dr Cockatiel is reader-supported. When you buy via links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission at no extra cost to you.


Health issues of feeding your cockatiel cheese

Although cheese may be a healthy snack for humans, it can have negative consequences for cockatiels. As mentioned earlier, cockatiels don’t have a strong tolerance to lactose, and too much dairy can cause problems with digestion. Cheese is also high in fat and calories, so it can lead to obesity if cockatiels eat it too often. If you do choose to give your cockatiel cheese, make sure to limit the amount they eat and only serve it as an occasional treat.

What cockatiels should not eat?

chocolate bar on white surface

As cockatiels are lactose intolerant, they cannot digest cheese properly. Cheese has a significant fat content and is high in calories, which cockatiels don’t need. It doesn’t contain the nutrients cockatiels need to be healthy, so offer them alternative treats like green leafy vegetables or fruits.

Avoid feeding them foods that are high in sugar or fat, which is the major part of many desserts. This will prevent cockatiels from developing issues with their digestive tract and can lead to obesity over time.

Cockatiels might try fruits, but you should be careful not to give them every type because they may develop intolerance towards certain types of food after eating them for a long time.

Cockatiels should avoid eating junk food, including chips and any other type of salty snack because they contain high amounts of sugar which are also bad for their digestive tract.

They shouldn’t be fed chocolate since it has a lot of caffeine, which can be harmful in large quantities! Chocolate isn’t necessarily bad for people, but cockatiels can’t process caffeine, so it can be.

Cockatiel’s diet

A good way to provide a good diet for your cockatiel is to give them a mix of fresh fruits and vegetables, supplemented with pellets designed for birds. You can also give them occasional treats like cooked meat or eggs.

Examples are spinach, kale, broccoli leaves, dark green lettuce, mustard greens, carrots, sweet potatoes, and beet greens. They can eat apples, oranges, grapes, and bananas as long as you offer your bird a balanced diet, it will be healthy.

Other foods for your cockatiel include sprays of millet and oats, which can be bought at a pet store. It’s best to avoid giving cockatiels any other sort of grain like pasta or rice because they cannot digest them properly and may cause digestive problems.


Conclusion paragraph: Cheese is a great treat for cockatiels, but it’s important to choose the right kind. Stick with hard cheeses like cheddar or gouda to avoid any digestive problems. And as always, be sure to check ingredient lists for anything that might not be safe for your bird!