If youve ever read childrens books where theres a cat, youre probably wondering, Can cats drink milk? The age-old myth that milk and cats go hand-in-hand has officially been debunked by veterinarians and cat experts. Regardless of how tasty milk may be to your cat, this is bad news for their stomach and digestive system. As it turns out, most cats are lactose intolerant.
Whole, 2 percent, and skim cows milk can also add unhealthy amounts of fat to your cats diet. Since cats dont have the enzyme necessary for digesting lactose, drinking milk can lead to gastrointestinal issues such as an upset stomach, diarrhea, vomiting, loss of appetite and weight, abdominal pain and discomfort, and cause behavior changes such as increased scratching.
Is it bad to give cats cows milk?
This type of milk isn ‘t healthy for most cats, especially if it’s taking the place of a balanced meal. “Consuming cow’s milk alone won’t supply all the essential nutrients needed to support your cat’s health,” Dempsey says. Whole, two percent and skim cow’s milk can also add unhealthy amounts of fat to your cat’s diet.
What kind of milk can cats drink?
If your cat’s not throwing up or having diarrhea, he or she can consume whole, skim, or lactose-free milk in small quantities. Some experts advise that cream is better than regular milk because it has less lactose than whole or skims milk.
What can cats drink besides water?
If your cat will not drink fresh water, then you can try boiling some plain chicken breast or white fish and give your cat the cooking liquid to tempt them. This should not contain any salt or oil. You can also ask your vet whether oral rehydration fluids would be suitable.
Why do cats like milk so much?
Most mammals drink milk directly after birth, so drinking milk is natural for most. … Cats are attracted to yoghurt and milk because of the fats and protein that they can sense and smell within the dairy products.
Did you know that most cats are lactose intolerant? Its true. While theyll happily lap up the white stuff if you present it to them, for many cats this treat will result in stomach cramps, and thats no fun.
When a lactose-intolerant cat drinks milk, the undigested lactose passes through the intestinal tract, drawing water with it, according to the Cornell University College of Veterinary Medicine’s website.
Kittens drink milk, but as they grow into adults, can cats continue drinking milk? Theyre drawn to the creamy liquid, but only some cats can drink and digest milk.
Consuming cows milk alone wont supply all the essential nutrients needed to support your cats health, Dempsey says. According to Dempsey, Too much fat can promote weight gain and contribute to an upset stomach. Purina nutritionist Lori Mintle adds, Loose stool can indicate lactose intolerance in your cat.”
If thats the case with your cat, adding a wet food to her diet can contribute to her daily total water intake.
Cats and milk: In childrens stories, it always seems to be a match made in heaven. Who hasnt seen adorable illustrations of a kitten lapping at a saucer full of cream?
And although we tend to think thats a problem, its actually completely normal, says Linda P. Case, MS, adjunct assistant professor at the University of Illinois College of Veterinary Medicine and author of The Cat: Its Behavior , Nutrition, and Health. When a lactose-intolerant cat drinks milk, the undigested lactose passes through the intestinal tract, drawing water with it, according to the Cornell University College of Veterinary Medicine’s web site.
But the most common symptom of lactose intolerance in cats is diarrhea, usually within eight to 12 hours, says Susan G. Wynn, DVM, CVA, CVCH, an animal nutritionist in Atlanta and co-author of the Manual of Natural Veterinary Medicine. If you dont see symptoms within a day, chances are good your cat will do fine with milk as an occasional treat. Remember that treats of all sorts — such as tuna, meat, cheese, or other people foods — should make up no more than 5% to 10% of your cats diet.
Sometimes a cat that cant tolerate milk may have no problem with other forms of dairy, like yogurt, cheese, butter, or ice cream. Despite those charming storybook illustrations, cows milk is completely inadequate for kittens, Wynn says. The casein to whey proportions are all wrong in cows milk too, Case tells WebMD.
You can give these as treats, but in general, there is no reason to use them unless the cat has developed an unusual taste for them,” Wynn says.
Is milk bad for cats?
Just like humans, some cats can’t digest lactose, a milk sugar that’s found in dairy. The only time in a cat’s life when its body actually has enough of the enzyme lactase to properly digest lactose is at birth and during its early years of life. This is so the cat can feed off of its mother’s milk. After that, less and less lactase is produced, resulting in potentially increased digestive complications.“Even though some cats can tolerate milk and seem to enjoy it, cow’s milk just isn’t good for cats,” says Dr. Gary Richter, a veterinary health expert with Rover. “Cats don’t need dairy milk, and the potential problems outweigh the potential benefits.” Here are some other signs that your cat is trying to tell you something.
What happens when cats drink milk?
“[When a cat drinks milk] undigested lactose will stay in their intestines rather than passing into the bloodstream, and end up fermenting,” says Dr. Richter. “Whole, 2 percent, and skim cow’s milk can also add unhealthy amounts of fat to your cat’s diet.” Since cats don’t have the enzyme necessary for digesting lactose, drinking milk can lead to gastrointestinal issues such as an upset stomach, diarrhea, vomiting, loss of appetite and weight, abdominal pain and discomfort, and cause behavior changes such as increased scratching.Again, just like humans, some cats don’t have a problem digesting milk. Regardless, most veterinarians suggest other alternatives since cow’s milk has no nutritional benefits for cats.
Why Cats and Cow’s Milk Don’t Mix
Did you know that most cats are lactose intolerant? It’s true. While they’ll happily lap up the white stuff if you present it to them, for many cats this “treat” will result in stomach cramps, and that’s no fun.
Why Would Cats Be Lactose-Intolerant?
An article in Science Focus debunks the popular myth of the kitty with the saucer of milk by describing the biology of cats:Turns out, this is lactose intolerance is perfectly normal for both humans and cats.According to Linda P. Case, MS, adjunct assistant professor at the University of Illinois College of Veterinary Medicine and author ofAnother symptom is diarrhea. If your cat is lactose intolerant, you’ll know within 8 to 12 hours because they’ll exhibit the symptoms of diarrhea, vomiting, or upset tummy.
If your kitten is young and still needs mother’s milk, you can try a milk replacer made specifically for kittens.Sold by vets or found in pet stores, cat milk replacers often contain cow’s milk that’s “been modified to approach as closely as possible the nutrient composition of cat’s milk,” Case says. That means adjusted casein and whey ratios, and a reduction in the amount of lactose. If you’re fostering or raising an orphaned kitten, “milk replacers formulated specifically for kittens are definitely a way to go.”For adult cats, treat milk replacers like any other dairy product: You can offer small amounts as a treat.The same goes for dairy substitutes designed for humans, such as soy and lactose-free milk. You can give these as treats, but “in general, there is no reason to use them unless the cat has developed an unusual taste for them,” Wynn says.