Cats and milk seem to go together intrinsically. Believe it or not, this couldn’t be further from the truth! Cats shouldn’t have milk—learn why below from your Sharon, ON vet.
Why Can’t Cats Stomach Milk?
Almost all adult cats are lactose intolerant. Like humans with the condition, this means that they don’t possess the proper enzyme (lactase) to digest milk’s primary enzyme (lactose). If a cat were to drink milk, it’s likely that vomiting, diarrhea, or—at the very least—an upset stomach will result.
What About Kittens?
Kittens drink milk from their mother when they’re nursing. This is, however, the only time in most cats’ lives that they’ll require milk at all. For an adult cat who gets the proper nutrients from their high-quality cat food, milk isn’t nutritionally necessary in the least!
How About Other Dairy?
Other forms of dairy, like yogurt or cheese, contain lower lactose levels than milk does. It shouldn’t harm a cat to ingest small amounts of these substances, but never overdo it. Any dairy at all should be kept to a minimum, used only as the occasional indulgence.
Do you have more questions about your cat’s diet? Call your animal hospital Sharon, ON.