Milk for Cats?

Typically, kittens are pictured while lapping up some milk, but is milk really the best food to give them? Can cats drink milk?

True or false? Giving your cat milk is a good part of his diet. This rumor is…so false! Generally speaking, most cats are lactose intolerant! This means that the sugars in milk will upset your pet’s stomach, and could cause diarrhea. Some cats are more tolerant to lactose, but the only way to find out is whether or not it develops an upset stomach.

However, there is some truth to the rumor about cats and milk, because very young kittens do require milk to survive. However, the milk young kittens need is far different from the cow’s milk that humans drink. From birth up until the age of four weeks, kittens live off milk that their mother produces. If the kitten is a foster kitten or has no mother around, the kitten should be given specially designed kitten formula. The best place to find that milk would be to ask your veterinarian.

Under no circumstances should a young kitten be given cow’s milk to drink. Cow’s milk is made for, you guessed it, baby cows. So, it’s no surprise that it offers much different nutritional values than milk for kittens.

Milk may good as an occasional treat for your pet. However, be sure to purchase the “lactose free” milk from your local pet store. Also, note that milk is not a substitute for water. A bowl of water should always be available for your furry friend, especially in warmer months.

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