Cats and milk have a long and storied history, but can cats really drink milk? It’s a question that has been debated by cat owners, veterinarians, and animal enthusiasts alike. Let’s look at the facts to see if cats should be drinking milk.
Is Milk Healthy for Cats?
The short answer is... maybe. While cats are unable to digest lactose as well as humans, some cats may be able to tolerate small amounts of milk. If your cat does not have any digestive problems or sensitivities, they may be able to enjoy the occasional sip of low-lactose milk such as oat, almond or rice milks. It’s important to keep in mind that any dairy product contains high amounts of fat and calories that can cause health issues in cats if ingested regularly. In addition, too much dairy can lead to diarrhea and vomiting in some cats. Therefore, it’s best to limit any dairy products given to your cat for treat purposes only.
What About Kitten Milk Replacers?
Kittens (under 4 months old) do not produce enough of their own enzymes needed for digestion until around 6 weeks of age—so if you find a kitten who needs help, it is best to provide them with a kitten-safe formula designed specifically for kittens who cannot nurse from their mother or other lactating female cat. These formulas are specially designed with the correct nutrients a kitten needs and are easier on their developing digestive systems than cow’s milk is. When providing formula for young cats it is important they receive enough nutrition while also being mindful not to give them too much which could lead to obesity or health issues down the line.
Can cats drink milk? The answer depends on many factors such as age, sensitivity level, diet restrictions and more—but generally speaking most experts would agree that it is best not to give full-fat cow's milk on a regular basis due its high fat content and lack of nutritional value for cats as compared to kitten replacer formulas which are specifically designed with kittens in mind. As always, consult your veterinarian before adding anything new into your pet's diet!
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