Can Cats Drink Milk? The Truth About This Common Myth

Can Cats Drink Milk? The Truth About This Common Myth

Aug 31, 2023Admin Petterati
Many people associate cats with milk, thinking that it is a natural and healthy treat for them. However, the reality is that most cats cannot digest milk properly and may suffer from various health problems if they drink it regularly. In this blog post, we will explore the facts and myths about milk for cats, and offer some alternatives that are safer and more beneficial for your feline friends. 

Why Milk Is Bad for Cats?

The main reason why milk is bad for cats is that they are lactose intolerant. Lactose is a type of sugar found in dairy products, and it requires an enzyme called lactase to break it down in the digestive system. However, most cats lose the ability to produce lactase as they grow older, meaning that they cannot digest lactose effectively. 
When lactose-intolerant cats drink milk, the undigested lactose stays in their intestines and ferments, causing gas, bloating, diarrhoea, vomiting, and abdominal pain. These symptoms can be very uncomfortable and distressing for your cat, and may also lead to dehydration and malnutrition. 
Another reason why milk is bad for cats is that it contains a lot of fat and calories, which can contribute to obesity and other health issues. Cats do not need dairy products in their diet, as they can get all the nutrients, they need from high-quality cat food. Adding milk to their diet can disrupt the balance of their nutrition and make them gain weight. 

Also Read: Recognising Illness In Cats

What Kind of Milk Can Cats Drink?

Some people may wonder if there are any kinds of milk that are safe for cats to drink. The answer is not very straightforward, as different cats may have different levels of tolerance to lactose and other components of milk. However, some general guidelines are: 

  • Avoid cow's milk, as it has the highest amount of lactose and fat among common types of milk. 
  • Avoid plant-based milks, such as soy, almond, or oat milk, as they may contain additives or ingredients that are harmful or allergenic to cats. 
  • Consider goat's milk or lactose-free milk, as they have lower amounts of lactose and may be easier for some cats to digest. However, these kinds of milk still have fat and calories, so they should only be given in moderation and as an occasional treat. 
  • Always consult your veterinarian before giving your cat any kind of milk, as they can advise you on the best option for your cat's individual needs and preferences. 

Also Read: How to feed your kitten right? 

What Are Some Alternatives to Milk for Cats?

If you want to give your cat something tasty and hydrating besides water, there are some alternatives that are better than milk. For example: 

  • Catnip tea: You can brew some catnip leaves in hot water and let it cool down before offering it to your cat. Catnip tea can stimulate your cat's senses and provide some health benefits, such as soothing stress and inflammation. 
  • Bone broth: You can make some bone broth by simmering animal bones in water for a long time. Bone broth can provide your cat with protein, minerals, and collagen, which can support their joints, skin, and immune system. 
  • Wet cat food: You can mix some water with wet cat food to make it more moist and appealing for your cat. Wet cat food can provide your cat with hydration and nutrition at the same time. 

Also Read: Why Cats Need Meat in Their Diet?  

Milk is not a good drink for cats, as it can cause digestive problems, obesity, and other health issues. Most cats are lactose intolerant and cannot digest milk properly. Therefore, it is best to avoid giving your cat any kind of milk on a regular basis. Instead, you can offer your cat some alternatives that are safer and more beneficial for them, such as catnip tea, bone broth, or wet cat food. Always consult your veterinarian before introducing any new food or drink to your cat's diet. 
1) Can Cats Drink Milk? | PetMD. 
2) Can Cats Drink Milk? The Truth Behind the Popular Myth - Reader's Digest. 
3) Can cats drink milk? Cow milk or plant-based, which is safer for cats?. 
4) Is it safe for cats to drink milk? | FirstVet. 

More articles