Can Cats Drink Milk? A Vet Weighs In

Can Cats Drink Milk? A Vet Weighs In

If you’re a cat proprietor, you know that minding the do’s and don’ts of fluffy’s diet program is important. Do: Feed your feline fruits, greens, lean meat, and fresh fish. Do not: Let them to take in nuts, seeds, and extra fat trimmings. Offering your minimal one particular risky or toxic meals could direct to uncomfortable signs and symptoms like diarrhea, vomiting, or tummy problems.

But what about cow’s milk? Pop tradition loves to depict cats making the most of it — I vividly remember a scene from the cartoon Tom and Jerry in which Tom (the cat) fortunately laps up a bowl of the creamy stuff. But although life normally imitates art, that is not the situation below. Milk, it turns out, is not ideal for your kitty to ingest.

Beneath, veterinarian and behaviorist, Paola Cuevas, MVZ, delivers an official response to the problem of no matter if or not cats should drink milk — and she points out what can materialize if they do.

A Vet Weights In On Whether or not It’s Harmless to Give Cats Milk

Dr. Cuevas tells Woman’s Earth that though cats like cow’s milk because of its high-body fat written content, it can do a variety on their digestive tract.

WW: Why is it not alright for cats to drink cow’s milk? 

Dr. Cuevas: Most cats are lactose intolerant, which means that they are unable to adequately digest milk. You may be wondering: but never kittens consume milk from their mother? The reply is indeed milk includes a sugar called lactose, and mammalian offspring (or kittens) can digest milk thanks to the action of a digestive enzyme referred to as lactase. Having said that, numerous will prevent secreting lactase the moment they are weaned off the milk-only diet regime — which happens as early as 4 weeks of age. When this takes place, milk can no extended be appropriately digested, and undigested lactose will pass through the intestinal tract where by the sugar is fermented. This will outcome in excessive gas generation, bloat, cramping and pain, diarrhea, and sometimes vomiting. 

Cow’s milk is very very low in proteins and high in extra fat as when compared to a mother cat’s milk. Thus, it is not plenty of to make it possible for for a kitten’s healthier advancement and expansion. So, if you are hand-feeding kittens, opt for a kitten milk substitution formulation in its place, since it contains vitamins and minerals for wholesome progress (these as potassium and calcium). 

Can cats drink other types of milk? 

Specially formulated “cat milk” products are additional suited than normal cow’s milk, because they are lactose-free. Nevertheless, this isn’t a entire and well balanced food for your cat — so never just pour some into a saucer and call it a day. Cat milk is significant in fat, and does not incorporate all the nutrition (like iron and zinc) that ought to be bundled in your cat’s diet plan. With obesity getting a trend of worry in our feline companions, I only endorse cat milk goods when unquestionably vital. For example, applying those people merchandise as element of a wholesome selfmade cat handle recipe, or to entice an underweight kitten to try to eat by mixing it with his or her meals. These scenarios are less typical, nevertheless, and your cat’s food plan should be modified to compensate for the energy contained in the milk. 

Is there any type of milk I can give my cat?

If you continue to wish to supply your cat some milk, try out PetAg CatSip Liquid Milk Nutritional supplement for Cats (Purchase from, $2.13). This milk product or service is lactose-absolutely free, reduced in fat, and enriched with taurine. (Taurine is an crucial amino acid that cats must eat in their diet plan.) Abide by the package’s instructions for proposed serving dimensions and frequency of feeding. When serving your cat milk, make sure it is at place temperature (the preferred eating and drinking temperature for cats).

Cat Conundrum Solved

So, the age-aged dilemma of whether or not cats can and should really drink milk has been answered. The verdict: Frequently, no. However cat milk meets young kittens’ dietary requires, cow’s milk is a no-no. In fact, to protect against adverse aspect effects, you really should check with your vet ahead of introducing any new foods to your kitty’s diet.

For much more information on cat overall health, browse our stories about purchasing your cat an exercise wheel to assist in pounds decline  and how to comprehensively thoroughly clean your cat’s ears.

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