Can cats eat milk?

Cat Food

It is believed that all cats adore milk. Should we give milk to cats? Technologists agree that this should not be done, as some felines do not have the stomach enzymes to digest lactose.    

This is not characteristic of all cats. The process is similar to an allergic reaction – an allergy to citrus/strawberries/eggs in humans. One cat drinks milk with great pleasure, while another cat gets diarrhea and suffers. Before pouring a milk drink to a cat, research the subject further.

Can cats drink milk? Yes, but not all cats because there is a risk of stomach upsets. The main culprit is milk’s lactose, which many cats have trouble digestingā€”the result: diarrhea or stomach upset. 

So, can cats drink milk? Is milk good or bad for cats?

Can kittens drink cow’s milk or should they drink lactose-free milk? The AnimalWised video answers most questions about the compatibility of milk and cats.

Is milk for kittens a necessity?  

Sometimes a mother cat can’t feed her babies. The case makes you think about what to replace mother’s milk with. Remember: a kitten can only digest a cat’s milk well. No possibility of finding a new cat feeder? Go to the vet and buy a mother’s milk substitute that looks like cat’s milk. Next, give your baby goat’s milk (it is considered hypoallergenic and healthy for babies). It should be diluted with water in a ratio of 2 to 1.  

Can cats eat milk?
Feeding the kitten with special milk from a jar

Instructions for feeding your kitten with milk replacer

  • A cozy, warm place;
  • The kitten lies on its stomach;
  • Nipple for feeding (you will find it in the drugstore for animals);
  • The inclination of the “bottle” – 45 degrees;
  • Feed according to the baby’s desire (when he is complete, he will let you know);
  • Feed a substitute until one month. After – gently introduce solid food.

What to do if there is no substitute in the veterinary drugstore

  • Feed baby formula (add more water when diluted);
  • Give diluted goat’s milk;

When the baby is two months old, stop feeding formula.

Cow’s milk for adults and kittens, in most cases, cannot digest. It will spoil the kitten’s stomach, causing undesirable consequences – diarrhea and vomiting. The fact is that cow’s milk is high in fat and calories (5 times more than cat’s milk) and is not suitable for kittens compared to mother’s milk. It is “heavy” on their bodies.  

Purchased milk may contain antibiotics, detergents, etc. (breach of technology when procuring). These substances will not be suitable for the whiskers. Especially since factories are pasteurized or sterilized – a mandatory process, and as you know, he kills valuable substances. Conclusion – milk for kittens is unnecessary if it is not for the mothers.

How sour is milk for adult cats  

Should adult cats be fed milk or not? The owner pours the nutritious liquid into the bowl without thinking about the consequences because there is a myth that all cats love milk and can’t live without it.

Can cats eat milk?
The cat drinks milk from a bowl and probably won’t benefit from it

The vast majority of experts believe that milk should not be given to adults. This is because, at younger ages (up to 3 months), kittens have enzymes in their stomachs that allow them to break down dairy products. As they grow older, the enzymes get smaller, and eventually, they do not remain at all.  

The feline family, who lives in the wild, does not consume dairy drinks. Therefore, a cat drinking milk is not customary in most cases (exceptions). Is the cat drinking milk and doing well? So the glass is neither beneficial nor harmful and is simply a treat.

The conclusion is that milk is not healthy for adult cats. Especially if the pet has diarrhea or vomiting after the “snack,” in other cases, allergies may develop.

Keep an eye on your pet – the cat won’t consume something that may bring him harm, especially don’t force him to try this drink. On the other hand, if the fluffy has a desire, the consequences of consumption are dire – the way out is to offer fermented milk products.  

An important point – giving food and milk simultaneously is very harmful – it can turn into the development of urolithiasis and damage other organs, along with dry food offering only water.

A healthy alternative is dairy products.  

It’s safe to give your cat fermented dairy products because they are lactose-free or concentrations are small. It becomes lactic acid during fermentation, so offer your pet the following foods:

  • cottage cheese;
  • yogurt with no additives;
  • low-fat cheese;
  • sour cream of 15 percent.

Does your milk-drinking cat feel fine? Then any product from the list is good for you. If not, it is forbidden to offer milk in any form.  

Interestingly, sour milk products are better digested in the feline family. They help the stomach to work correctly due to the enzymes they contain. An adult cat will do less harm with fermented dairy than a kitten. 

Cottage cheese is a healthy fermented dairy product (fresh, no more than 5 percent fat). As a result, the cat’s body gets calcium (allowed to babies in small quantities).  

Cheeses, although less digestible than cottage cheese, are still beneficial. However, most cheeses contain salt, so it’s better to choose unsalted products. Necessary – don’t give high-fat cheeses too often.

Sour cream is too fatty, so dilute it with 1:1 water before drinking it.

  • Condensed milk;
  • Cream;
  • Butter.  
These treats should not be given – they contain a high percentage of fat and sugar. This can cause damage to the pancreas of the pet. This organ in cats is not capable of digesting these products. So even if you have a pitying look on your face, know how to say a firm “no!”

Not all felines are happy to drink milk since it causes a lot of damage to the cat’s health. So be responsible for your cat’s diet and keep milk consumption to a minimum.

This article is only a recommendation. Talk to your vet!


Adverse food reactions in dogs and cats – Vet Clin North Am Small Anim Pract. 2011 Mar

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