Your Cat and Dairy

Cats and dairy somehow seem to go together—you’re likely already picturing a cat lapping up milk from a saucer! You may be surprised to learn that cats and milk don’t mix. Learn more below from your Mt. Pleasant, SC veterinarian.

Why Can’t Cats Drink Milk?

The vast majority of adult cats are lactose-intolerant, just like some humans can be. This means that the cat doesn’t possess enough lactase in the digestive system to digest lactose, the primary enzyme of milk. For most cats, ingesting too much milk will result in vomiting or diarrhea.

What About Kittens?

Yes, kittens drink their mother’s milk during the nursing period. This is the only time in your cat’s life, though, that milk is a nutritional necessity. As a cat ages, they typically produce less and less lactase, gradually becoming lactose-intolerant by the time they’ve grown.

Is Any Dairy Safe?

While other forms of dairy like yogurt or cheese contain less lactose than milk and therefore may be safer for cats, no dairy is nutritionally necessary. If you must give your feline friend these foods, keep the portion size extremely small.

Call your Mt. Pleasant, SC vet for more information on your cat’s diet.

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