Can You Feed a Cat Milk? Do Cats Like Milk? Are Cats Lactose Intolerant?

Can You Feed a Cat Milk? Do Cats Like Milk? Are Cats Lactose Intolerant?

It’s an image straight out of a vintage painting. A cute kitty-cat lapping up a saucer of milk as happy children look on. But now we know better, cats and milk don’t mix.

Cats might like milk, chances are they even crave it. But just as people should avoid certain things that we enjoy, cats are better off without milk, especially cow’s milk.

The notion that Fluffy favors dairy products could have originated on farms, where cats roamed freely and helped themselves to a quick lap out of the pails when cows were being milked. The question is, are the cats coveting a special source of moo-juice or just quenching their thirst when water isn’t readily available? Hard to say. But because it’s a common behavior, people assume that cats prefer, and perhaps even need milk.

Once kittens are weaned, they no longer need milk in their diet. What’s more, most grown cats are lactose intolerant. In the same way humans do, cats can experience stomach pain and diarrhea when they drink milk. Because cats don’t know to stop drinking something that actually tastes good, they can have continuous diarrhea, which leads to a loss of fluids and nutrients and can endanger their health.

Can you ever give your cat milk? As always, your veterinarian can tell you what’s best for your particular pet. To be on the safe side, consider one of the latest products at pet supply stores, milk-free milk for cats! At the same time, though, remember that milk and milk substitutes are really a form of food rather than a beverage. The best way to quench your cat’s thirst is a handy source of fresh cool water.

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