Can Cats Drink Milk?
It’s a common misconception that you can give cats milk as a tasty treat. In reality, most cats are lactose intolerant, and feeding them cow’s milk can cause serious digestive upset. Cats are obligate carnivores, meaning their diets only require nutrients found in animal flesh. This means milk is not a necessary part of a cat’s diet and can actually do more harm than good.
Can You Give Kittens Milk?
For the first four to five weeks of their lives, kittens rely on their mother’s milk for survival. Kittens can have their mother’s milk or kitten milk formula, but they should not be consuming cow’s milk. Kittens have an enzyme in their stomachs that allow them to break down the lactose in their mother’s milk, but not the lactose found in cow’s milk.
When the lactose from cow’s milk starts to ferment in a kitten or adult cat’s tummy, it can cause significant stomach upset resulting in diarrhea or vomiting. While a little bit of cow’s milk probably won’t harm your cat, it’s best to avoid it altogether to avoid the risk of digestive upset.
Do Adult Cats Crave Milk?
You might notice that your adult cat gets excited when you pour yourself a glass of milk. Many cats are drawn to the scent of dairy products and will convince you to give them a taste. If your cat is begging for the piece of cheese in your hand, try replacing this craving with a cat treat, like fish flakes or another cat-friendly snack.
Always make sure your cat has access to plenty of clean water throughout the day. You can also incorporate wet food into your cat’s diet to increase their daily water intake. Here are some other ways to keep your indoor cat happy.
Will a Small Amount of Milk Hurt Your Cat?
No, a small amount of cow’s milk probably isn’t going to hurt your cat. However, any more than a small taste adds a lot of fat to your cat’s diet and increases the risk of stomach upset. The amount of lactose in cow’s milk is much higher than the amount in a mother cat’s milk and is hard to digest, but it is not unsafe for your cat in small amounts. So don’t worry if you’ve given your cat a taste of milk before, but avoid making it a regular treat.If you want to share some of your human snacks with your cat, check out eight human food your cat can eat instead of reaching for milk or cheese. Interested in a new pet door for your feline friend? Here are the Top 16 Cat Doors of 2022.