Tuesday, May 14, 2024

Is Milk Bad for Cats

Mythologically people mention that feeding milk to your kitten can help it grow and it’s healthy for it. We have seen cats in cartoon television shows that enjoy drinking milk. There are some commercials and cartoon advertisements displaying cats enjoying milk. This leads us to a question, is milk bad for cats? What does milk do to our kitty’s bodies?

In this article we will discover is milk bad for cats. How come is milk bad for cats if it’s liked by it.  To learn more continue reading!

The Myth of Why Cats Love Milk

In the early days when we can still avail fresh cow’s milk from the farms. It is said that when the farmers milk the cows, the cat would lap the cream on top of the milk and would enjoy it. That’s when the myth of a cat loves milk started.

Is milk bad for cats?

Though milk is very healthy for us humans as it provides good nutrition of vitamins and calcium in our body, it’s bad news that it is bad for our cats. Milk can cause some gastrointestinal issues for our lovely feline.

Why is milk bad for cats?

Most of our lovely felines are lactose intolerant. Same with human beings, it means that they don’t have the necessary enzymes that can help in digesting dairy products.

Lactose is a sugar found in dairy products. When someone has the proper enzyme to digest this, it should go to the bloodstream and be absorbed by the cells of the body. However, in cats, they don’t have the enzyme that can digest it. What happens to lactose when consumed by cats is that it remains undigested and ferments in their gastrointestinal system.

What happens when a cat drinks milk?

As mentioned earlier, the cats’ gastrointestinal system can’t digest lactose. When a cat drinks milk, problems may occur within eight to twelve hours of drinking milk. The following things may happen:

  • Upset stomach
  • Abdominal discomfort and pain
  • Vomiting
  • Loss of appetite
  • Diarrhea
  • Increased scratching

If cats are lactose intolerant, why do kittens drink milk from their mother?

Kittens born are fed by their mother’s milk. The only time that they can drink milk is within the first 12 weeks of their lives. This is known to be the only time that a cat has enough necessary enzymes called lactase to digest lactose. But, as soon as their teeth start to come out, they will be weaned off from milk and start eating real food. That’s also the time that the cat’s lactase goes out.

Can I give milk to the kitten then?

The answer is a big NO. Though kittens have enough lactase, they’re not supposed to take dairy. You may seek your veterinarian for a mother cat formula milk to give to your little feline. The milk from a cat’s mother provides the essential nutrients that a kitten needs.

Why are there some cats that show no GI reaction when taking milk?

Not all cats are lactose intolerant. Some cats can tolerate milk when taking them. However, there’s no way for us to determine whether a cat is tolerant or intolerant. The only way to know is to risk it by giving them some milk.

How can I help my cat if she gets GI issues from drinking milk?

Though it’s not poisonous to give milk to your cat, if done regularly may result in GI issues. If your cat suffers diarrhea, make sure to hydrate it with enough supply of water. If it persists, bring your kitty to a veterinarian.

Otherwise, it may take some hours for your cat to recover from the gastro issues caused by taking some milk.

The best advice for this one is to keep your kitty away from any dairy products such as milk, cheese, etc. Avoid giving it to them to be on the safe side.

Are there any dairy alternatives?

You can’t help to give a liquid treat to your kitty?  No problem, you may seek lactose-free milk from your pet store to give to your cat. There is also some milk from the grocery that you can avail that seems to be safe for your lactose-intolerant cat and human beings.

The best liquid to give to your cat

There’s nothing better than WATER. Your feline friend doesn’t always get thirsty. Adding water to their diet can result in better health for your lovely feline.


Milk is bad for your cat because they don’t have enough lactase enzyme. Lactase is the enzyme that helps digest lactose in order to be absorbed by the body. Lactose is a sugar that comes from dairy products.

Once your cat takes milk, within eight to twelve hours of taking it may result in any GI issues such as vomiting, diarrhea, abdominal pain and discomfort, and loss of appetite. When this happens, you need to ensure that your cat is hydrated and if it continues to persist bring your kitty to the vet.

Lastly, not all cats are lactose-intolerant. However, if you really want to give milk to your cat you may look for lactose-free milk from your pet store and grocery. For kittens that don’t have a mother to feed them with milk, there’s an available kitten’s milk formula that you can buy from your pet store. The best liquid to give your cat is water.

That’s it! Now we know why milk is associated with cats. Most likely, that cat from the farm suffered from the worst stomach ache of all time.  Imagine how that cat has to deal with its GI issues. Have you seen a cat from a farm lapping the cream of the milk?

Just remember to keep the dairy out of your cat’s way. Never let it taste it or have it especially if they are lactose-intolerant. You don’t want your fur baby to feel hurt by lactose. Have you tried giving milk to your cat? How did your feline react?

Serina Russow
Serina Russowhttp://smartcatlovers.org
Hey there, I'm Serina, your friendly feline fanatic! As the proud founder of "Smart cat lovers," I'm on a mission to share my passion for all things cat-related. With years of experience in cat behavior and health, I'm here to provide expert advice on nurturing happy, healthy kitties. When I'm not tapping away on my keyboard, you'll find me curled up with my four adorable furballs: Whiskers, Luna, Billy, and Charlie.

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