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Do Cats Like Milk? Truth Or Myth?

Do Cats Like Milk? Truth Or Myth?

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One of the greatest myths about cats is that they should be fed milk. Let’s investigate and see what the real truth about cats and milk is.

Often, it’s cartoons that make everyone believe that cats adore milk and that they should consume it. However, in the real world, this is not completely true.

If you wondered, do cats like milk at all? The answer is yes, but that doesn’t mean that it’s safe for them or that they should consume it.

Cats eat meat. They are obligate carnivores which means that their diet should be based on meat and protein. Therefore, cats don’t get many benefits from drinking milk.

Moreover, cats are lactose intolerant animals which means that drinking milk can even cause them harm, leading to various different health problems.

So, if you want to learn more about cats and milk, read on to find out more. It could be very important for your feline friend’s overall health.

Why Do Cats Like Milk?

cat drinking from bowl

You’ve probably seen a cat enjoying a bowl of milk a thousand times, so that means that most cats like milk.

Cats like milk because it has a high fat content. So, despite the possible consequences, your feline will drink her milk.

However, cats cannot really benefit from drinking milk. Most cats are lactose intolerant so milk can only cause them harm and lead to issues such as an upset stomach, or more serious problems with the digestive system.

There are some cats who aren’t lactose intolerant, but still, you shouldn’t overdo the amount of milk and dairy products you give them.

If you are confident that your cat is not lactose intolerant, you should still ensure that you only give milk to your feline occasionally as a treat. This is because the high fat and sugar content may lead to other issues such as obesity.

If you feed your feline top-quality food, and she has a balanced diet, there’s no need for more fat content from milk. Moreover, some cat treats and cat food actually contain milk. Cats usually adore these treats, but you should be careful with them and only give them as directed.

So, if you give your cat milk or food and treats that contain milk, make sure that it’s only given as an occasional treat and in small amounts.

It is important to pay attention to your cat’s behavior after they consume dairy products, and if you notice symptoms such as vomiting or diarrhea, then you should contact your veterinarian.

If this happens, don’t forget to provide your furry friend with plenty of fresh water in order to stay hydrated during that period.

Can Kittens Drink Milk?

kitten drinking milk

Milk is the main food for kittens, just like for all mammals. When kittens are born they drink their mother’s milk. It’s very rich in nutrients and it helps the kittens to grow and get stronger.

In your cat’s early days, this milk is completely safe because kittens produce an enzyme which is called lactase. This enzyme helps kittens to digest lactose (the sugar found in milk) properly without causing them any harm.

So, when nursing, this enzyme breaks the lactose into glucose and galactose so that they can be absorbed easily in the bloodstream.

However, the problem starts when the kitten gets older. As they age, kittens produce less lactase and most cats become lactose intolerant, meaning that they cannot digest milk and other dairy products properly.

What About Orphan Kittens?

If you are caring for an orphan kitten, you might wonder what type of milk you should feed it. The best thing to do is to consult with your vet and get advice on the best replacement for the mother’s milk.

The mother’s milk is very important for the kittens as it contains all the necessary nutrients for a kitten’s overall health.

So, if you are caring for an orphan kitten, the ideal thing would be to find a foster mother to nurse your kitten.

However, that can be difficult because even if you can find a nursing mother cat, not every cat will accept the orphaned kitten. So, if that plan doesn’t succeed, you can try using a kitten milk replacer and feed your kitten with a bottle or tube.

A kitten milk replacer is a formula that contains all the nutrients that are necessary for the kitten’s health and normal growth.

Still, these milk replacers may lack the ideal taurine levels, arginine, or fatty acids that are necessary for the kitten’s best health.

In this case, it’s best to follow the vet’s advice. Just make sure that you don’t give your kitten baby formula, cow’s milk, or milk alternatives, as they don’t contain the right balance of protein, calories and fat that are important for the kitten at this crucial early stage.

Suggested Read: 4-Month-Old Kittens Size And Growth Changes – Kitten To Adult

Can Kittens Drink Water?

Besides milk, can kittens drink water? When kittens are born, their mother’s milk should make up their main diet in order to provide them with all the necessary nutrients.

However, after the weaning process, kittens will start eating wet cat food and with that, they’ll need to start drinking water, which is completely normal.

Don’t worry about teaching your kittens to drink water; it usually comes naturally. As they grow up, kittens usually start to imitate adult cats, and that’s how they learn to eat, drink water, and even use a litter box.

However, if you don’t have any adult cats, then it all depends on you. Don’t worry – here are some tips on how to get your kitten to drink water:

• Provide your kitten with a fresh water and a clean water bowl

• Put water bowls in a few different spots around the house

• Try using cat water fountains – it may be more appealing to your kitten

• Add water to the kitten food

• Add some flavor to the water

• Try using different water bowls

So, yes kittens can drink water. As soon as they start eating solid food, make sure that you always provide them with plenty of fresh water in order to keep them hydrated and to keep them safe from health problems such as kidney disease.

Is Milk Bad Or Good For Cats?

cat looking at camera while drinking from bowl

Even though cats love milk and dairy products due to the high levels of fatty acids they contain, they shouldn’t be a part of a cat’s diet, just like most human food.

Your cat’s normal diet should consist of cat food and drinking water.

However, some cats may be lactose intolerant and some may not. That means that some cats won’t experience issues with digesting milk and dairy products while others will.

If a cat drinks milk, it may lead to serious issues such as stomach ache, digestion issues, vomiting, diarrhea, weight gain, and similar. This happens in lactose intolerant cats because undigested lactose will ferment and won’t be able to pass in the bloodstream.

However, nowadays, there are a lot of lactose-free milk options, as well as milks with less lactose that can be less harmful for felines, but still you shouldn’t overdo it. If giving your feline friend milk, make sure you offer it only as an occasional treat.

Which Type Of Milk Is Safe For Cats?

Although cats shouldn’t drink milk, especially lactose intolerant cats, there are a few types of milk that contain less lactose which can be somewhat safer for felines. Still, it should be given to the cat rarely.

Read on to find out what types of milk are safer for cats!

Raw Milk

If you decide to give your furry friend milk, then the best option would be raw milk. According to research, raw and unpasteurized milk has fewer negative consequences on your cat. Still, remember not to overdo it with the raw milk either.

Goat Milk

Raw goat milk is a safe option for your feline friend only if your cat is not lactose intolerant. Goat milk is better than cow milk as it’s easier to digest and it contains a lot of minerals and vitamins.

Also, it has slightly lower levels of lactose. Again, for good cat care, use it only as an occasional treat.

Which Type Of Milk Is Bad For Cats?

cats drinking from bowl

Cow Milk

Cow milk should be avoided when it comes to cats as it contains high levels of fat and sugar. That can be a problem, especially for lactose intolerant cats, and can lead to serious issues.

Cats who don’t have problems with lactose can have small amounts of cow milk, but only very rarely.

Moreover, nowadays there are a lot of lactose-free cow milk options that are somewhat safer for cats, but still it’s better to avoid them in order to spare your feline from potential issues.

Almond Milk

Even though almond milk doesn’t contain lactose, it’s not safe for cats. The reason why almond milk is considered to be toxic for felines is because it contains high levels of oil and fats.

Almond milk may also cause serious issues in cats such as vomiting, diarrhea, or even pancreatitis.

Soy Milk

Soy milk is another type of milk that should be avoided by cats. Soy milk is made from soybeans which aren’t good for cats.

A cat’s system is simply not able to digest large amounts of carbohydrates, therefore it’s not a good option for them.

Coconut Milk

Coconut milk is a big NO. Just like almond milk, coconut milk contains a lot of oil and fats which are not good for cats. It can cause them serious issues, so it’s best for both you and your feline if you avoid adding coconut milk to your cat’s diet.

Pasteurized Milk

Pasteurized milk should not be part of a cat’s diet. It can cause serious damage to a cat’s health, including skeletal abnormalities or reproductive issues.

Sweetened Condensed Or Evaporated Milk

This is probably the worst type of milk for cats, therefore it should be avoided at all times. It can cause serious problems to cats as they cannot handle the amount of carbohydrates that this type of milk contains.

To learn more about healthy kitten diet, I suggest reading about how to properly feed a of 10-week old kitten!

Cats And Dairy Products: YES or NO?

cat drinking from cup

When it comes to cats and dairy products, it all depends on the individual cat.

Usually, dairy products don’t contain such high levels of lactose as milk does. Therefore, certain products such as cheese, yogurt, or ice cream may not cause such serious issues to cats as milk would.

Remember, cats cannot benefit very much from eating dairy products. Therefore, it’s better to stick to cat food as the main part of their diet.

Now that you know diary products should not be a part of your kitty’s diet, I suggest reading Happy Whisker’s article on cat breakfast ideas in order to see all of the healthy options for your kitty’s first meal of the day!

What Should Cats Drink Instead Of Milk?

While the answer to our main question ‘do cats like milk’ is affirmative, the only thing that cats should drink is water. Water plays an important role in good pet care. It helps cats to stay hydrated and it keeps them safe from various health problems.

Moreover, the amount of water that a cat consumes can even give you insight into their health. If your cat drinks a lot of water, you might want to pay more attention to their behavior and monitor them for symptoms of illness.

It’s very important that you always provide your feline friend with fresh water and clean water bowls. You should put several water bowls in different spots around the house so that your pet always has easy access to it.

However, if your cat friend adores milk, you can give her small amounts of the safer types of milk, as we have discussed, but only as a treat.

Furthermore, you can also try giving her special formulated milk products designed for cats. These are lactose-free and can be found in pet stores or supermarkets.


white cat drinking from cup

Do Cats Like Milk As A Treat?

Yes, cats like milk – mostly because it’s high in fat. However, it should be avoided as it can have negative consequences for your cat’s health, especially if they’re lactose intolerant. Just make sure that your feline has a balanced diet that provides her with all the necessary nutrients.

Moreover, if your cat adores milk, you can give them special lactose-free milk treats that you can find in pet stores or in supermarkets.

What Is The Best Way To Give A Cat Milk?

It’s best if you avoid giving your cat cow milks or similar types that are not safe for them.

Instead, if your cat enjoys drinking milk, try using lactose-free milk, but still you shouldn’t overdo it, especially if you’re giving them milk for the first time.

If you’re giving milk to your cat for the first time, make sure that you give them only one tablespoon of milk in order to be sure that they won’t experience negative consequences from it.

What Is The Difference Between Cow’s Milk And Milk From Other Animals?

The main difference between cow milk and milk from other animals is that cow milk contains the highest amounts of fatty acids, protein, and carbohydrates than any other type of milk.

What Are The Benefits Of Giving Cats Milk?

Cats usually don’t get any benefits from drinking milk. It can only cause them health issues. Still, small milk treats given occasionally shouldn’t cause your feline serious harm, especially if they already have a healthy and balanced diet.

What Does Milk Do To Cats?

Most cats are lactose intolerant which means that they cannot properly digest lactose, which is the sugar in milk. Unfortunately, that may lead to various issues such as vomiting, diarrhea, stomachache, and similar.

Final Thoughts

cat drinking from bowl on table

If you have wondered do cats like milk, the answer is yes. Cats like milk because it’s high in fat. However, the fact that cats like milk doesn’t mean that they should consume a saucer of milk every day.

Quite the opposite, cats shouldn’t drink milk as most of them are lactose intolerant, therefore, milk can cause them health problems.

Cats are obligate carnivores which means that their diet should be based mostly on meat. As far as drinking is concerned, cats should drink only water in order to keep them hydrated and healthy.

Although milk is not the safest product for cats, there are some types of milk that can be safer for them, but only in small amounts and only if given occasionally.

If your feline adores drinking milk, you can give her lactose-free milk treats that you can find in pet stores or in supermarkets.

If you want to have a happy and healthy cat friend, make sure that your cat has a healthy and balanced diet. Milk should be given only as an occasional treat and nothing more.

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