Ever Wondered If Milk Is Good For Your Cat? Here's What You Need To Know!
We All Love Enjoying A Glass Of Cold Milk Every Now And Then!
At some point in your life, you might have seen a picture of a cat lapping up a bowl of milk. Popular media love to portray this picture as it looks cute and wonderful. While some cats may like to drink cow’s milk, you need to ask the question, “Is milk good for your cat or kitten?”
You probably heard some people who are lactose intolerant, but this problem exists in cats too. Lactose intolerance is the inability to metabolize or digest properly a certain type of sugar, which in this case, lactose.
Lactose intolerance could cause a lot of trouble in your cat. Signs and symptoms may include cramping, increased gas, diarrhea, constipation, and stomach pain.
Adult cats normally don’t need milk in their diet. For kittens, they still have an enzyme known as lactase, which is useful in breaking down lactose. This means that kittens are less likely to be lactose intolerant and they are able to metabolize lactose adequately. However, as they are weaned and they grow up, their body stops producing lactase, which then leads to lactose intolerance when they are given milk at a later age.
In the wild, lactose intolerance isn’t a problem for cats. But for domesticated cats, it has become a problem since we offer milk to them even if they are already adults.
Is Milk Good For Kittens And Cats?
The short answer is no. Cow’s milk is never intended for cats. It could cause lactose intolerance in adult cats, which may wreak havoc in their digestive system.
While kittens may be able to handle lactose, they may still not be able to obtain the essential nutrients, antibodies, and protein from cow’s milk. As much as possible, kittens should drink milk from their mother’s breast.
Is There A Type Of Milk Good For Cats?
For kittens, there are now milk replacers that are specially formulated for them. You can find them at most pet stores. These milk replacers come with added nutrients and protein for kittens. Moreover, there are also commercially prepared milk for adult cats. You can search for these in your local pet stores or on the Internet.
Is Soy Milk Better?
Soy milk may not be a good alternative option as well. Most soy milk contains added sugar to make it more delicious. However, this added sugar is not good for your cat.
Moreover, your cat may be allergic to soy protein. It can also cause stomach problems just like cow’s milk. Not only that, but soy products come with substances, such as phytoestrogens and isoflavones, that may cause hormonal imbalance in your cat.
If You Still Want To Give Your Cat Milk
Some pet owners may insist on giving their cats milk as a treat. If you are one of them, perhaps, you need to test first whether your cat can handle milk or not.
Give your cat 1-2 tablespoon of cow’s milk. Monitor him closely over the next 12-24 hours. If you don’t see any problems, then you can go ahead and give him more milk as a treat.
However, please note that you still need to give milk in moderation and only on certain occasions. Make sure the cow’s milk won’t exceed 10% of your cat’s regular diet.
If you are in doubt or you have more questions, please don’t hesitate to speak to your vet. He/she can provide helpful pieces of advice.
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