Should You Give Your Cat Milk?

It’s all too easy to picture a cat contentedly lapping up milk from a saucer. Did you know, though, that cats and milk don’t mix well? Here, your Aurora, CO veterinarian tells you the truth about cats, milk, and diary.

Why Can’t Cats Have Milk?

The majority of adult cats are actually lactose-intolerant. This is the same condition many humans have; it simply means that there isn’t enough lactase in the gut to digest lactose, milk’s primary enzyme. Most cats who drink too much milk will experience an upset stomach, diarrhea, or vomiting.

What About Kittens?

Kittens do drink their mother’s milk, yes. This is the only time in the feline life cycle, though, that cats need milk! As cats age, they produce less and less lactase, gradually become lactose-intolerant.

Is Any Dairy Acceptable?

Some forms of dairy, like cheese and yogurt, contain less lactose than milk does. Therefore, these foods are safer to feed to cats, but they’re still not nutritionally necessary. If you overdo it, you’ll have a mess on your hands! It’s best to stick to normal cat foods and the occasional cat treat.

Do you have questions about your cat’s diet? Ask your animal hospital Aurora, CO.