When I learned that milk is bad for cats, I was like, “What?! Why?! How?!”
If you have thought that cat absolutely love milk, well you are not alone. We have been surprised as well to know that you shouldn’t be giving your cats milk.
A lot of pictures and cartoon shows have depicted happy cats and kittens happily slurping down milk, but the truth is it’s actually bad for them.
Most cats are lactose-intolerant, like dogs and humans. This means that her body doesn’t have the enzyme needed to digest lactose in milk.
When cats drink milk, they might end up with a terribly diarrhea and/or stomach cramps. This is because lactose stays undigested in their system, and ferments in there because of the bacteria typically found in a cat’s digestive tract.
Where did the myth that cats love milk come from?
Cats love milk that came directly and freshly from cows. Okay, not the milk itself, but the cream that rose up to the surface of freshly-squeezed milk. Even then, it still gave the cats a string of digestive problems.
Can kittens drink milk?
Kittens still can digest milk until they are weaned. After around 8 weeks, kittens start to lose the enzyme lactase, which helps them digest milk.
Nevertheless, cow’s milk still is not the best option; there are kitten milk formulas that could provide the nutritional needs of your kitten, available in your local in pet stores.
We hate to be anti-climactic here, but the next best thing to momma cat’s milk, is just plain water. Cats don’t normally get enough water, since they don’t get as thirsty as dogs, so cats end up not getting the required daily amount of water in their system.
Make water a little bit more enticing to drink by buying them a kitty water fountain. This provides moving water for your cats, instead of stagnant water in kitty bowls.
If you really wanted to give your kitty the benefits of milk without the rambling diarrhea and/or tummy ache, you can buy some lactose-free milk in your pet shop or even grocery store. Basically, if it’s safe for lactose-intolerant humans to drink, it’s safe for lactose-intolerant cats as well.