Your Cat and Milk

Cats and milk seems like a natural pairing. Did you know that milk isn’t very healthy for our feline friends? Learn more here from a veterinarian Roanoke, VA.

Why Can’t Cats Have Milk?

Most adult cats are lactose-intolerant, just like many humans. This means that they don’t possess enough lactase in the gut to digest lactose, the main enzyme found in milk. Too much milk, and a cat might experience an upset stomach, vomiting, or diarrhea.

Don’t Newborn Kittens Require Milk?

Yes, kittens need their mother’s milk—or a synthetic substitute product if the mother isn’t available—for proper growth in life’s earliest stages. As a kitten grows, though, they start to produce less and less lactase in the gut. By the time a cat is fully grown, they’ve most likely developed an intolerance to milk.

Is Any Dairy Safe?

Other common dairy foods, like cheese or yogurt, have lower concentrations of lactose than milk. This means they’re a bit safer for cats. Still, they’re not nutritionally necessary. A better choice is a “cat milk,” a special milk made just for cats with all lactose removed.

To learn more about your cat’s nutritional needs, contact your animal hospital Roanoke, VA.

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