When we think of cats, we tend to think of saucers of milk. The phrase “the cat that got the cream” also springs to mind. But the surprising truth is that the vast majority of cats are lactose intolerant, which means that you really shouldn’t provide them with cow’s milk, goat’s milk or milk from any other animal. While your cat may lap it up, it could cause significant short term and long-term health issues. Milk does not provide your cat with any nutrition. Instead, it can simply cause stomach upset and other digestive issues, potentially resulting in vomiting or diarrhoea. Let us take a moment to look a little further into the subject:
Why Avoid Milk?
As we have briefly discussed above, when people ask “can cats drink milk?” or “can cats drink cow milk?” the answer is no. When people ask “are cats lactose intolerant?”, on the other hand, the answer is yes. On top of potentially causing stomach upset and other related issues for your feline friend, milk is also extremely high in fat. Giving your cat just one saucer of milk is the equivalent of giving a human four cheeseburgers. This, of course, is no good for your cat and could also cause your cat to face issues such as obesity. Any vet will tell you to not feed your cat cow's milk at all, especially kittens. Once kittens are weaned, they no longer need their mother’s milk and cow’s milk can cause diarrhoea, which in turn can cause dehydration, which in turn can prove potentially fatal for your kitten.
You may have seen cat milk products online or on store shelves. This is 100% suitable for cats, as it is specially formulated by leading cat nutritionists to suit your cat’s digestive system. Unlike regular milk, it has been developed to contain lower levels of lactose, allowing your kitty to digest it properly. If you are going to feed your cat some cat milk, we’d recommend Whiskas Cat Milk. This contains less than 0.2% lactose and has added vitamins such as bone strengthening calcium and protein. Just make sure to limit the amount of cat milk that you give to your cat and that you adjust the calories you feed your cat in their solid food diet to account for the calories given in the cat milk. If in doubt, simply consult your vet and they will be able to make recommendations.
Giving Your Cat Water
Of course, your cat’s main source of liquids should be water. So, even if you do give your cat some cat milk, you need to make sure that you are still providing them with sufficient fresh, clean water. Your cat should have constant access to this, so that they can rehydrate themselves throughout the day.
So, there you have it! Cats should not be given regular cow’s milk! While there are cat milks available on the market, you need to make sure that you only give these to your cat in moderation and you also need to ensure they have plenty enough water too!