When people think about cats, their first image is a cute kitten drinking fresh milk from its tiny bowl. But, is it really something that you should see in a real-life situation? Can cats drink milk?
Cat Cats Drink Milk?
The traditional image of a cat lapping from a bowl of milk is so far from the truth. Yes, cats are fond of cream, because they appreciate its high-fat content and that’s the main reason why they are especially attracted to milk. Furthermore, the milk that we buy in supermarkets contain little fat, and some cats like it for its taste, although many don’t find it easy to digest. Some foods are just bad for cats.
That being said, you should understand that cats can drink milk, but they shouldn’t. In a certain way, cats are lactose intolerant. The only time in a cat’s life when its body has enough of the enzyme lactase to properly digest lactose is at birth and its early years of life. The cat can feed off of its mother’s milk. After that, less and less lactose is produced, resulting in higher digestive complications. This may lead to the development of an intolerance. The most common symptoms of lactose intolerance include:
Keep milk away from your feline and do leave your breakfast with milk open on the table if your cat can easily reach it. Better safe than sorry.
When Do Kittens Stop Drinking Milk?
Kittens drink their mother’s milk until the mother gradually weans them as early as 4 weeks old. In general, kittens are eating solid foods by 8 to 10 weeks old. So, kittens can drink their mother’s milk, many cats lose the ability to process it after being weaned because solid food takes its place and they no longer need this ability.
Ideally, newborn kittens should be feed through their mother’s breast milk. That’s the best way for the kitten to grow into a strong and healthy cat, next to kitten vaccination. However, if you are in the care of an orphaned kitten, you should stay away from the cow’s milk and talk with an expert or your veterinarian on how you can provide the best nutrition.
Some cats can digest milk sugar into adulthood, while some may digest milk maybe for life. But again, you should think twice before you serve milk to your cat.
Is Milk Healthy For Cats?
When you think of giving cats milk, you are probably thinking of cow’s milk. This type of milk is hard for humans to intake, while for cats its difficult to ingest and evoke several problems.
Simply said, cow’s milk won’t supply all the essential nutrients needed to support your feline’s health. Also, cow’s milk comes with a significant amount of fat and it promotes weight gain and can strongly upset the stomach. If your feline grabs milk on the counter, she will probably have loose stool.
Milk consists of both glucose and galactose. So, to ingest it, the body naturally produces lactose in the small intestine. Further, they are responsible for breaking it down and transforming it into simple sugars. Therefore, by transforming it, its absorption is facilitated. Also, when the enzyme cannot fulfill its function, the lactose will pass into the large intestine without being digested. This will affect the bacterial flora, resulting in digestive problems.
Good To Know:Don’t pour milk on cat’s food. It doesn’t mean that she will eat dry food anyway. She may just fill up on milk and upset her stomach
Can Cats Consume Dairy Products?
As mentioned earlier, cow’s milk should be avoided all the time, and special attention should be given to your feline if she is lactose intolerant.
However, when it comes to dairy products in general, your feline can have a taste or a bit of it. If your feline is not allergic to milk or dairy products in general, she can consume some dairy products.
These products are yogurt and cheese as long as it’s natural and sugar-free. As with all processed foods, avoid large quantities and make it an occasional treat (yogurt has a high content in probiotics) and not an everyday meal.
Cat Cats Drink Milk Alternatives?
This is a common question among cat owners. Understandably, you want to provide your feline as many as different experiences (and tastes!) as possible, but you should never slip from your mind that your cat (unless she is a kitten) doesn’t need milk, therefore there is no need to give your cat milk.
Cat Cats Drink Almond Milk?
Almonds are not poisonous for cats, but you should still stop yourself from giving your cat this milk. After all, it can cause gastrointestinal problems.
Can Cats Drink Soy Milk?
Cow’s milk, almond milk, soy milk, a cat will just love the taste or it. However, it doesn’t mean that it’s a good idea to give your cat either almond milk or soy milk. Actually, giving your cat too much soy milk can result in liver problems in cats and thyroid. Also, giving your cat soy milk is a bad idea because it contains sugar. As you know, sugar is not suited for cat’s organism.
Can Cats Drink Coconut Milk?
Long story short, no. By any means possible, you should avoid giving your cat coconut milk. Just like almonds, coconuts have a high amount of fat and oil.
Coconuts are not nuts, but they have similar properties to nuts and fruits. Just as with soy milk, cats cannon handle plant proteins, including coconuts. Some experts and veterinarians believe that cats can benefit from coconut oil, but it’s yet to be proven.
What Do Cats Drink Instead Of Milk?
All animals drink water, normally, and cats are no exception. However, delicate as they are, cats prefer freshwater. Some cats may insist on freshwater so much that they would rather dehydrate than drink un-fresh water. If that’s the case with your cat, add wet food to her diet to contribute to her daily water intake.
Cats mostly prefer moving water rather than drinking from a bowl, so using a cat fountain may encourage her to drink more.
Cats Will Always Love Milk
Cats shouldn’t drink milk once they are behind their ‘kitten phase’, but it doesn’t mean that they won’t crave milk. Just like humans, cats can attach a certain memory to food. Therefore, milk for them is highly connected with the period when their mother nurtured them. For them, milk is a sort of comfort food. If you insist, you can make a special cat treat that will contain natural milk without sugar in a low dosage.
As kittens grow up into cats, intestinal lactase decreases to a fraction of that found in kittens. Basically, as a cat age, the harder for them it is to digest lactose. This is why the majority of cats is lactose intolerant. However, if your cat is still a huge fan of milk you can find a substitute and offer it to her. That being said, consider cat milk which is lactose-free with added taurine (an essential vitamin for cats).
Bear in mind that your cat may not even be interested in this type of milk. After all, they are interested in milk because they like it’s cream’s fat content.
Cat Cats Drink Milk: The Takeaway
In conclusion, we all know that cats love milk, and we can understand them. It’s creamy, reminisces childhood and gives us a feeling of happiness. It works quite similar to cats as well. However, this doesn’t mean that your feline should have access to milk or a lick of it. Milk is a part of cats regular diet just while they are kittens.
As they grow older they lose their digestive tolerance and they react badly to milk. If you want to avoid negative health consequences for cats, avoid giving her milk.
However, if your car isn’t lactose intolerant and it seems that she can handle milk, the best is to provide raw/natural milk goat’s or cow’s in small amounts (not more than s spoon a week).
Cat Cats Drink Milk: Frequently Asked Questions
1. Is It Bad For Cats To Drink Milk?
Mammals are capable of drinking and digesting milk, until one point in their development. Cats, just like all infant mammals, can digest the main sugar in milk, including the lactose. However, when an adult cat drinks milk, she will experience a stomach upset. Also, lactose intolerance is perfectly normal both for cats and humans.
2. What Type Of Milk Can Cats Drink?
Although some cat can drink different types of milk, you should stick to only raw goat’s and cow’s milk in extremely small amounts (not more than a tablespoon a week, maximum). Besides, you should avoid giving your cat coconut, soy and almond milk.
3. At What Age Can A Cat Drink Milk?
Cats should drink milk just while they are kittens. Overall, kittens drink their mother’s milk until the mother weans them as early as 4 weeks old.
4. Can Cats Eat Yogurt?
In general, cats are lactose intolerant, but they can consume and digest an extremely small amount of plain yogurt. Moreover, small amounts of plain yogurt should be safe for your cat. Avoid any yogurt with artificial sweeteners and sugar.
5. Can Cats Eat Ice Cream?
Just like humans, cats may have problems from too much sugar consumption. So, if your feline tries your ice cream while you are not looking is should be fine, but if she ingested a significant amount of ice cream you can expect for her to suffer from gastrointestinal problems and diarrhea.