The Truth About Your Cat and Milk

For whatever reason, cats and milk just seem to go together. It’s not difficult to picture a cat lapping up milk from a saucer on the kitchen floor! Did you know that cats and milk aren’t the match that they seem to be? Learn more here as your Sugar Land, TX veterinarian sets the record straight.

Why Isn’t Milk Good for Cats?

The truth is that most adult cats are lactose-intolerant. This is the same condition that affects many humans. It means that the cat does not possess enough lactase in the gut to digest lactose, the main enzyme found in milk. To put it simply, milk does not agree with most adult cats’ digestive systems!

What Happens When a Cat Drinks Too Much Milk?

A few small teaspoons of milk might not cause much harm to your cat. Overdoing it, though, is likely to leave you with a mess on your hands. When a cat drinks too much milk, they’ll first start to experience an upset stomach. Vomiting or diarrhea is likely to follow. Feeding your cat an abundance of milk simply isn’t worth the risk—it offers no real nutritional value to your feline friend, and it probably will just make them feel sick.

Don’t Kittens Need Their Mother’s Milk?

You might be wondering about kittens—don’t they, after all, need their mother’s milk during the early stages of life? This is true: young kittens require their mother’s milk, or a commercial substitute milk product if the mother’s milk isn’t available, to grow healthy and strong. As a kitten ages, though, they begin producing less lactase in their digestive systems. That means that the older a cat gets, the more likely they are to be partially or entirely lactose-intolerant!

Is All Dairy Bad?

Other types of dairy foods like cheese or yogurt don’t have the levels of lactose that milk does, so they’re a bit safer for cats. Still, though, they’re not necessary in the least. Plus, too much of any foreign food can make your feline friend sick! A much better idea is to try a “cat milk” product on your pet. These are milks made specifically for cats, and they’ve had all lactose content removed to make them perfectly safe for Fluffy.

Would you like to know more about the ins and outs of your cat’s diet? Call your Sugar Land, TX veterinary clinic for help.

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