Can Cats Drink Milk?: Should Cats Drink Milk?

can cats drink milk?

When most people think of cats, something that might pop into their heads is the well known image of them enjoying some nice milk or drinking a warm bowl of it.

But, did you know that milk is actually not good for most cats?

Yes, that’s right.

Most cats are actually lactose intolerant, and while a bowl of milk occasionally may not harm them, it is better to give them nice regular water instead.

Cats are attracted to the creamy fluid, and young kittens do drink milk from their mother, but can they continue to drink milk as they reach adulthood and develop into adults?

Let’s explore this in more detail…

Can Cats Drink Milk?

Many people simply cannot tolerate lactose, and the same thing is true for most cats.

It can cause them to get an upset stomach and diarrhea even.

Some cats can tolerate it, but most cats are lactose intolerant and they should not have it as a part of their diet.

can cats drink lactose free milk? is milk good for cats? milk and cats.
can cats drink milk?

What is lactose again?

Lactose, which is found in milk is a milk sugar that is commonplace in dairy products and creamy milk as well.

There is only one timeframe in a cat’s life when they can really tolerate milk properly and that when they are newly born or very young and with their mother.

Then as they grow up they will be less tolerant of it.

Though, a lot of these animals are able to digest and drink milk just fine. But, most cat’s can’t and milk from cows is not really that great for them to have.

So, it is best to steer clear of cow’s milk and give them water to drink instead.

It is not that beneficial for felines anyway to have it when they are adults, so it is just more risky to give it to them than something like water which they can tolerate drinking.

How Does It Affect Them?

When these animals have milk, the lactose in the milk will not be digested properly in the vast majority of the time. Instead, it will just stay in their intestines undigested and it will not go into their bloodstream right as it should.

The milk will not be digested right when a cat drinks it, and the lactose will stay in their guts and end up fermenting within them.

Felines do not have the enzyme needed to properly digest and tolerate lactose, so when they have cow’s milk it can give them diarrhea or stomach issues.

When cats drink milk they can get:

  • An upset stomach
  • diarrhea
  • vomiting or throwing up
  • abnormal weight and appetite loss
  • stomach pain and discomfort

So, it is best to not give milk to cats at all, and keep it away from them.

Though, many cats can drink milk just fine, but this does hold true for the majority of these pets so the general rule is not to give them any milk when they are adults at all.

should cats drink milk? type of milk for cats

Should cats drink milk?

No they should not.

Not unless they are small kittens that are still drinking their mothers milk.

If they are adults and fully grown, then they should only be drinking clean water and getting their daily hydration from the food they eat as well.

Milk for adult cats can give them an upset stomach and diarrhea so you really ought to just give them water instead.

Cats don’t like to drink still water, so I recommend having a water fountain for them to drink from.

No, I don’t mean a huge stone water fountain, but one specifically made for cats to drink from.

These clever and innovative devices keep drinking water running which encourages our cats to drink more and it makes it way more pleasant for them to drink the water.

In nature, cats only like to drink running and moving water, from springs for example and when water has been standing stale in a bowl all day it does not make a cat want to drink the water from it.

So, a water fountain is a great idea if your cat needs to drink more water or appears to have a strong dislike for drinking water from it’s regular bowl.

Also read: Best water fountain guide for cats.

Why Do Cats Like Milk So Much?

So, why do cats like milk so much if they cannot digest it?

Cats like the flavor of it and are drawn to it because of how rich milk is in both protein and fats.

Cats do need a lot of protein in their diets, but fats not so much.

This high amount of fats that is present in cow’s milk can make cats gain weight unfortunately so there is another reason why cats should not have milk in their diet.

So, cats like milk because of the protein and fats in it, and are drawn to the creamy flavors and smell. Too bad they can’t digest it.

is milk good for cats?

Is Milk Good For Cats?

Not really, unless they are small kittens who need their mothers milk.

Kittens need a lot of dense, energy rich milk from their mother as they have a lot of growing and developing to do.

But, nature intended this very same “mothers” milk for young kittens, not adult cats.

The milk from their mother is formulated especially for the young kitten, having everything that a kitten would require to grow up big and strong. It is the perfect superfood for kittens.

But, grown cats and small kittens have very different energy and dietary needs indeed.

Adult cats do not need such a type of “food”, the milk that is.

Them drinking milk is more harmful for them than it is good, it has lactose which most cats can’t handle, and a lot of bad fats in it.

Can Cats Have Almond Milk?

No, they should stay away from almond milk and it was never meant for these animals in the first place.

Stay with water instead.

Other types or alternatives such as soy milk are just not a good idea since your cat could get allergies or stomach issues from drinking them.

These are human foods, not cat foods.

Many brands of almond milk have things such as artificial sweeteners, added sugars, preservatives, and more things like that which are not good for kitty’s at all.

It is true that almond milk does not have any lactose, which makes it safe for cats regarding that.

Small amounts of almond milk for your cat will probably be okay, but most vets still don’t recommend it despite that.

Almonds by themselves are not considered to be harmful for these animals, but they can still be bad news.

Almonds are very high in various types of oils and fats.

These are not good for cats at all. It can make cats get an upset stomach and make them vomit or get diarrhea even.

So, it is better to avoid almond milk for cats all together, even if small amounts of it will probably not hurt your cat.

can cats drink almond milk? can cats drink coconut milk?

Can Cats Drink Coconut Milk, Is It Safe?

They should not have coconut milk either, for basically the same reasons as why they should not have almond milk.

Coconuts are very high in both oils and fats which do not benefit your cat whatsoever.

Cat’s cannot digest the unique plant proteins that these big “nuts” have, which is why they should not have it.

It does not have any lactose though, which is good news.

Coconut milk is not considered toxic to cats, but they should still not have it because of how many fats and oils are in it.

Can Cats Drink Lactose Free Milk Then?

Cats are able to drink lactose free milk, but it may still not be what is best for them in the long run.

But, an occasional treat may be a good idea instead, but they should not have too much of it.

In general, cats should not have any type of milk and you should not give it to them, no matter how much they plead with their eyes.

There is one exception though, a type of milk you can give to your cat, but it is formulated especially for them.

When giving your cat any milk it is good to choose one made especially for cats, but one milk for cats is called CatSip.

It is lactose free and made with cats in mind, intended to be a fun treat for them.

white cat licking paws

Author: Cathour

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