“What greater gift than the love of a cat.”- Charles Dickens
All feline parents will agree that it’s always a purr-ty with cats. Spending time with their cats is probably the best part of a cat parent’s life. But your love isn’t enough to fill up the hungry stomach of the adorable creatures. No kitten will need nutritious food for healthy growth. Media depiction has often linked cats with milk.
We think milk is the most appropriate food for our cats. But is milk really healthy for our feline friends? Keep reading to know whether you should give your cats milk or not.
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Is Milk Healthy For Cats?
Whenever you have given a bowl of milk to your cat, they have probably finished it within seconds. You might have seen them licking every single drop from the bowl. It’s no surprise that your feline friend loves the taste of milk even more than your cuddles and snuggles.
But the real question is whether milk is healthy for your cats.
Milk can be really bad news for your cat’s stomach and digestive system. You will be surprised to know some cats are lactose intolerant and can’t digest milk. Lactose is a sugar found in milk and other dairy products. An enzyme called lactase is necessary to properly digest milk and other dairy products.
Cats have adequate amounts of lactase in their body only during their early years of life, and it helps them feed off their mother’s milk. As a kitten starts growing, the lactase production in the body reduces. It can often result in digestive complications after your cat feeds on milk.
You must be wondering about those cats who are not intolerant to lactose. It’s true that some people like milk and can even tolerate it. But they might not be getting any nutritious value from consuming milk.
The benefits of consuming milk by cats are often outweighed by the side effects.
What Type Of Milk Is Good For Your Cat?
We often feed cow milk to our feline friends. Cats like milk due to its high-fat content. But cow milk is not at all healthy for cats. Cow milk does not contain any nutrients that are healthy for your cats.
If you are feeding your cat a balanced meal, there’s no need to give them cow milk. Cow milk often triggers lactose intolerance symptoms in your cats. The symptoms include vomiting, abdominal pain, and diarrhea. Some alternative options to feed your cat instead of cow milk are as follows:
1. Goat Milk
Goat milk can be a more prudent option for your cats. Goat milk contains low amounts of lactose. Your feline friends will be able to digest goat milk quite easily. Even lactose-intolerant cats face fewer digestive complications from consuming goat milk.
The fat content in goat milk is also less than the fat content of cow milk. But you need to remember that even goat milk can negatively impact your cat. You should give your cat a limited amount of goat milk.
Buy skimmed or partially skimmed goat milk to feed your cat.
2. Almond Milk
Feeding small amounts of almond milk to your cat is quite safe. Almonds are not at all toxic for your cats. But almond milk has a high amount of calories in them.
A 10-pound cat will usually need around 200 calories per day. One cup of almond milk contains 100 calories. Some almond milk is also sweetened using artificial sugar. It can cause your cat’s teeth to decay.
It can also make your cats obese. Some artificial sweeteners used in cat milk, such as xylitol, are also too toxic for your cat.
3. Soy Milk
Soy milk is quite safe for your feline buddy. Many commercial cat foods contain soy as a protein source. But soy is also responsible for causing food allergies in pets. Therefore, if your cat is allergic to food items, soy milk should not be given.
If you really want to feed some milk to your cat, it’s prudent to buy special cat milk. You can find special milk for your cats in the supermarket.
The special milk for cats contains low amounts of lactose. Sometimes commercial cat milk doesn’t contain lactose at all. Therefore, the chance of your cat falling sick from consuming these products is quite low.
But the fat content of commercial cat milk is not low. Therefore, you should only give commercial cat milk to your feline friend as an occasional treat. Even if you are giving them cat milk occasionally, the quantity should be as little as possible.
A few sips at the bottom of a bowl should be enough for your grown-up feline friend. If your cat is falling sick after drinking milk, it shows they are lactose intolerant. Stop giving lactose intolerant cats milk altogether.
Besides Milk What You Can Give Your Cats To Drink?
Like their human parents, cats also need water to stay hydrated. Water serves a wide range of functions in your feline friend’s body. It helps in regulating body temperature and aids food digestion. It also lubricates tissues and eliminates waste from the body.
● Water is life: Your little creature might not be too keen on drinking water. But you have to find innovative ways to make them drink water. Try keeping bowls filled with different corners of your house. If that does not work, you can invest in a kitty fountain. Your feline companion will love drinking water from the fountain.
● Canned liquid food: Wet canned food is also another alternative for making your cat drink water. Since your cat might not drink plain water, wet food can serve as a great alternative.
● Bone broth and tuna juice: Cats can also drink tuna juice and bone broth. Bone broth has various health benefits. It can improve the liver health and digestion of your cat. If you are feeding tuna juice to your cat, dilute it in water. Excessive oil in tuna juice can lead to the stomach upset of your cat.
Some drinks that should be strictly prohibited for a cat include caffeinated drinks or sugary drinks. Alcohol can lead to alcohol poisoning in your cats. Caffeine can be fatal for small cats if consumed in a high quantity.
Sugary drinks, especially the commercially bought ones, can cause obesity in your cat. It can even cause diabetes in your feline buddies.
Educate yourself and learn about how to stop cats from spilling the water bowls? It will help to feed your cat well and keep the place clean.
Even though your cat loves milk, it might be detrimental to their health. Feed your feline friends a balanced meal and eliminate the need for giving them milk for nutritional requirements. If you are giving them milk as an occasional treat, you should go for commercially produced cat milk. So, hopefully, now you know whether or not your furry friend should take the Milky Way!