The Myth About Cats and Milk

It’s easy to picture a cat lapping up milk from a saucer; it just seems to fit! You may be surprised, however, that cats and milk don’t go together very well. Your North Phoenix, AZ elaborates below.

Why Can’t Cats Have Milk?

The majority of adult cats are actually lactose-intolerant, which means they can’t digest lactose (the primary enzyme found in milk) properly. Drinking too much milk will undoubtedly result in vomiting, diarrhea, or an upset stomach at the very least.

Don’t Kittens Drink the Mother’s Milk?

Yes, but this is the only time in a cat’s life cycle that milk is nutritionally necessary. As cats age, they produce less and less lactase, the enzyme required to digest lactose. By the time they’ve reached adulthood, most cats are entirely lactose-intolerant.

Is Any Dairy Okay?

Since other dairy like cheese or yogurt contains less lactose than milk, it’s less likely to cause negative health symptoms in your cat. However, no dairy is necessary in your cat’s diet. If you must feed your cat cheese or yogurt, only do so occasionally and keep the portion sizes extremely small.

Do you have questions about your cat’s diet? Contact your animal hospital North Phoenix, AZ.