Giving Your Cat Milk

It’s easy to picture a cat lapping up milk—the two just seem to go hand in hand. However, cats and milk really don’t mix! Here, your Riverbend, ON vet tells you more about your cat, dairy, and milk.

Why Can’t Cats Drink Milk?

It turns out that most adult cats are lactose-intolerant, meaning that they can’t properly digest lactose. If a cat ingests too much milk, they’ll experience an upset stomach at the very least, and are likely to exhibit vomiting or diarrhea.

Don’t Kittens Need Milk?

Yes, kittens require their mother’s milk (or a synthetic substitute) during the early stage of life for proper growth. After that, milk doesn’t need to be a part of the diet. As cats age, they produce less and less lactase in the gut, which allows them to digest lactose. By the time a kitten is grown, they’re most likely lactose-intolerant!

Is Any Dairy Safe?

Dairy foods of any kind—cheese, yogurt, etc.—aren’t nutritionally necessary for cats, and too much could cause problems. A commercially available “cat milk” that has had all lactose removed is a much better idea!

Contact your vet clinic Riverbend, ON to learn more about cats and milk.