Cats shouldn’t drink milk! Myth or truth?

When you think of a dog and what the dog wants to eat, first thing that comes to your mind is bones. For most people, same goes for cats and milk. In every illustration about cats you will see the cat drinking milk, or a bowl full of milk is next to the food bowl. But does the milk is good for the cat? And does the cat even want to drink milk?

The kitten, as every infant mammal, starts its diet with milk, this is how the cat is fed by the mother. And of course this is normal, this is natural mother’s milk. However, the kitten after it has been weaned doesn’t really need to drink milk. Cats will not gain anything nutritionally by drinking milk and the milk is considered a high calorie.

Is it ok to give milk to your cat?

Having in mind that the milk contains high level of calories, the skim milk contains 83 calories per cup and whole milk – 149 calories per cup, you should not feed your cat every day with milk. It is recommended that you give 20 to 30 calories a day from unbalanced sources, such as human food items or treats. This means that one cup of milk it would mean a lot of calories for the cat. If you feed your cat with too many of these calories, they will dilute out essential nutrients from its diet, which can lead to obesity problem. 

Many cats are lactose intolerant

[adToAppearHere] Standard cow milk has huge content of lactose in its composition. Many cats, just like many other mammals, are lactose intolerant. If they consume lactose it can cause vomiting, cats can become gassy, have soft stool or even get diarrhea after drinking milk. If you notice these symptoms with your cat after she drinks milk, avoid the dairy products in the cat’s diet.

There are also cats that are not lactose intolerant, so they can drink milk. However, you need to be careful when you buy milk and check its content. If your cat enjoys milk, then the best thing is to get only organic milk. Non-organic milk that usually comes from cow, has artificial growth hormones. Also, the amount of milk you give to your cat depends on her diet. If the cat is overweight, it’s not recommended to give milk very often. Maybe the safest way is to get lactose-free milk – in this case your cat will be safe if you haven’t notice her being lactose intolerant.

Substitute for milk

If your cat is lactose intolerant give her water. It’s safest and since some cats don’t get hydrated enough from their diet, replace the milk with water. (Read more about hydration in diet in Avoid these products in Maine Coon cat’s diet)  [adToAppearHere]

Other dairy products can be good for your cat

Even though the milk can be bad for the cats, other dairy products cause no trouble in cat’s diet. If a cat is lactose intolerant, she might have no problem with yogurt, cheese, butter or ice cream. The reason is that these dairy products are usually diluted with water or other fats. So, instead of giving your cat milk, try to give her cheese or yogurt. 


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2 thoughts on “Cats shouldn’t drink milk! Myth or truth?

  • July 11, 2017 at 2:38 am

    I gave my kitten milk but after his mother came to live with us, she got a hold of it and next thing I knew, she was screaming and I turned around to see what was wrong and she began to throw up – the milk had put gas on her tummy. Then my other cat did the same. So later, I started watching my baby who had been drinking tiny bits of it since I had him and it was making his stool very loose – so I knew he was probably getting pains some too – so stop him having any – but he sure did love milk. He could tell when I was drinking milk even if I poured it in a coffee cup where he could not see it. He would go to all extremes to get my milk but I would not let me have it. I had 3 cats but in August lost the mother cat – then a few weeks ago, lost my black cat (the one who loved the milk) and now it’s just me and my Baby Cash who is part Maine Coone and he keeps looking for his brother – and misses his mother (was not real mother and brother but they all lived with me and they were like mother and brother.)


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