In almost all children’s books and cartoon shows where there’s a cat, you’ve probably seen a kitten drinking milk before. But regardless of what you’ve heard, it’s always best to do prior research in finding out why milk is bad for cats before attempting to feed your beloved kitty with any.

Although milk is considered a nutritious drink for humans, it doesn’t necessarily mean that it can have the same effect on animals. As we all know, cats have relatively weak digestive systems and can only eat certain types of food.

It’s important to know the essential information if you are a cat lover and take care of your own pet. It is to ensure that your cat doesn’t experience any physical problems or stomach aches.

Therefore, it’s always safest to do your research before feeding your cat any type of milk. If you want to learn more about if milk is bad for cats, continue reading this article!

About cat’s diet

You might think that since milk is a nutritious drink for humans. It must mean that it has the same advantages for cats. But you should know that giving them milk can cause significant health issues if fed in large amounts. 

Since cats require a moisture-rich and carnivorous diet, it’s essential to know what you are feeding your cat. It is to ensure that they have the necessary nutrients and a balanced diet to keep your cat healthy.

When acquiring the proper nutrition and protein, your cat will become more energetic, have better health, and have a shinier fur coat. 

Why can kittens drink milk?

A lot of us have seen an image of cute kittens drinking milk before. But have you wondered why felines can drink milk at a young age and not during their adult years?

That’s because adult felines have a difficult time digesting milk. Unlike adult cats, kittens have the needed enzymes in their stomachs to break down the lactose in the milk. So, if an adult cat drinks milk, they’re more likely to have a stomachache.

Kittens can digest milk and lactose until they’ve been weaned. That means they can drink milk until they’re about eight weeks old. After that, dairy may not be the best option for your kitten.

There’s no need to feed your kitten any type of milk apart from their mother’s milk. It already contains all the nutrients that the kitten needs for growth and development.

However, if your cat is an orphan, you should opt to get kitten formula milk or lactose-free milk. That can reduce the chances of getting a stomachache. 

Why shouldn’t you feed your cat milk?

We’ve all heard that there’s nothing more than a cat loves than a fresh bowl of milk. But we’re sorry to inform you, but that isn’t true.

In fact, cows milk isn’t a natural part of a cat’s diet and can be considered harmful to some. Although your cat may like milk because of the creamy content, it doesn’t always mean that it’s good for your cat to drink it.

Cats are very sensitive animals. So, even a small amount of milk could make your cat feel uncomfortable and lead to sicknesses such as mild manifestations, diarrhea, vomiting, etc.

Depending on your type of cat, there are many reasons why cats can’t drink milk. One of the main reasons is because most cats can be lactose intolerant. Similar to most mature mammals, some cats can be lactose intolerant. That means that their body isn’t able to break down lactose, which is the sugars in milk.

So if the type of milk you’re feeding them contains a large amount of lactose, they might not have the needed enzymes to absorb and break down the lactose, which will result in an upset internal digestive system.

Symptoms

If you’ve accidentally fed your cat some milk, don’t worry. Although it shouldn’t have a significant effect on your cat, here are a few symptoms to keep a close eye on when taking care of your cat.

You most Know: What to Expect after Deworming a Cat?

What do cats drink?

Are you wondering what to feed your cat instead if you can’t give her milk? 

This section will tell you all about what other liquid substitutes you can give your cat that isn’t harmful to their digestive system. 

Water

Keeping your cat hydrated is important, so a stable liquid in their diet should be fresh and clean water. As an essential part of their balanced diet, water can help their body function better, regulate temperature, remove bodily waste, and maintains your feline friend’s health.

As boring as it may sound, water is the best alternative for keeping your cat healthy. Although some cats don’t typically enjoy drinking water, there are many ways to make drinking more enjoyable for your feline friend, such as buying a water fountain or putting a small amount of flavoring into the water.

Mother’s milk

When a cat gives birth, the mother develops milk to feed the kitten for the first few weeks to get all the needed nutrients for growth. So technically, you don’t need to feed your cat any additional milk if you feel that they’re lacking nutrients. The mother milk should contain all the required components until the weaning process. 

Lactose-free milk

The truth is, cats don’t need milk in their diet to gain optimal health. Some milk can be quite fattening, which can cause your cat to develop obesity. 

However, if you want to provide your cat with a creamy liquid treat and scared that your cat is lactose intolerant, you can try to purchase lactose-free milk. Since the lactose is removed by lactose enzymes, it’s a safe drink for lactose-intolerant cats and humans.

If you’re feeding a kitten, you can probably get away with feeding them milk with lactose. It is because they have the enzymes needed to break down lactose,

FAQ

The following section answers all the common questions that kitty owners might have regarding if milk is bad for cats or not. 

How to give my cat milk safely?

A: If you want to give your cat a touch of milk to satisfy their cravings, you should make sure your cat isn’t lactose intolerant first before deciding to feed your cat milk.

Should I let my cat drink cow milk?

A: Although it may not cause your feline to have severe symptoms, cow milk doesn’t have the necessary protein, nutrients, and antibodies for a growing kitten. It’s always best to let your cat drink their own mother’s milk or use a formulated milk replacer that’s made for kittens.

Read More: Does a male cat have nipples?

Should I stop giving my cat milk?

A: If your kitten is experiencing either of the following, it’s best to stop giving your cat milk and seek professional help if necessary. Symptoms include vomiting, having diarrhea, abdominal gas, becoming gassy, etc.

Is almond milk bad for cats?

A: Although it isn’t necessarily bad for cats, if your cat has a sensitive stomach, it can still upset their digestive system and cause them to have diarrhea. 

Is there any milk specially made for cats?

A: If you want to give your cat milk, you can find lactose-free milk made for pets, although it can be considerably more expensive. There is a lot of available cat-specific dairy that you can buy in markets or veterinary clinics.

Can cats drink soy milk?

A: Some felines can be allergic to soy protein like they are to the lactose in cows milk, which results in digestive problems. Also, soy is considered as a vegetable protein and doesn’t fit in a cat’s natural carnivorous diet. 

Is coconut milk bad for cats?

A: Since coconut milk is mostly made up of fat and sugar, it may not be as harmful as milk containing lactose. However, it isn’t suitable to feed your kitten too much, or else they can turn obese.

Is a little bit of milk okay to feed my cat?

A: A small bowl of milk may not be considered to be lethal. But too much can cause trouble for your kit and will require dangerous procedures. 

Conclusion

Hydration is vital when it comes to raising a healthy kitten. But that doesn’t mean you should feed your at liquids that don’t suit their body and digestive system, such as milk.

However, that doesn’t mean you should completely avoid it. Remember to refer to this article before feeding your cat if you decide that you want to give your kitty cat a milky and creamy liquid as a treat.

After reading this article, we hope you’ve learned a considerable amount of information about whether milk is bad for cats. Good luck with your cat raising journey, and we wish you the best!

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