Tip 45 – Cat drinking milk – Can my cat drink milk
Must kittens and cats drink milk? This is one of those cat questions that confuse most new cat owners as well as the general public. Kittens need to drink THEIR MOTHER’S milk while they are nursing. It is full of the fat and protein that they need to grow rapidly and survive.
Cats and kittens can drink COW’s milk OCCASIONALLY but they do not need to drink it. A cat can easily live its whole life without ever having cow’s milk. Most feral or wild cats never have cow’s milk.
Like humans, many cats and kittens are lactose intolerant. They cannot digest cow’s milk properly and they get diarrhea or gastric upset when they drink it. Kittens that become lactose intolerant usually only become intolerant after they are about 3 months of age, so THEIR mother’s milk shouldn’t cause any gastric upset. If your cat or kitten gets diarrhea as a result of drinking cow’s milk, stop giving it milk and it should pass. Some cat owners who have lactose intolerant cats that are ‘milkaholics’ do occasionally give them lactose free milk. You can find lactose free milk in pet stores. If your cat digests milk without a problem then you can give it the occasional milk treat.
Remember – Cow’s milk should never be the primary or regular food source for any cat or kitten since it is missing many essential ingredients to keep your feline healthy.