Yes, cats can drink lactose-free milk but make sure that it is specially formulated for cats, for example Whiskas Cat Milk and Cat Sip Milk. In any case, it should only be given to the cat in moderation. Most cats are lactose intolerant because they cannot digest and tolerate the sugar in milk which is called lactose. While cats may enjoy milk, regardless if they’re lactose intolerant or not, it is not highly recommended by veterinarians and they suggest that water is the best for hydration.
Why are cats attracted to milk?
Cats are attracted to milk because of the protein and fat content in it. However, it is the cream that rises on the top of milk straight from cows that cats are most drawn to because of its high-fat content.
Why is milk bad for cats?
Milk, especially cow’s milk, may be detrimental to a cat’s health because it contains more lactose, a type of sugar present in dairy products, compared to other types of milk. Most cats are lactose-intolerant and cannot digest the lactose because they do not have the enzymes to process it in their digestive system.
Signs of lactose intolerance among cats include vomiting, diarrhea, and general discomfort. This happens because the undigested lactose stays in the intestines instead of passing into the bloodstream which ends up being fermented due to the bacteria. Needless to say, some cats can tolerate lactose, but milk is not recommended for cats and a better alternative would be water.
Can cats drink lactose-free milk?
Yes, cats can drink lactose-free milk so long as it is formulated for cats. However, it should be given moderately because while it provides hydration for your cat it contains lots of calories. It is recommended for intermittent or supplemental feeding only and not intended to be an important part of your cat’s daily diet.
Lactose-free milk brands that are good for cats
Here are lactose-free milk products that are specially formulated for cats by nutritionists:
Whiskas Cat Milk
This natural milk product is good for lactose-intolerant cats because of it has 98% less lactose compared to regular milk. It is safe and easy to digest and ideal for cats with very sensitive tummies. It is enriched with vital nutrients and contains calcium for healthy teeth and bones. Cat owners usually give this as a treat or along with their cats’ regular meals.
Ingredients: milk, water, nonfat milk, malt extract, lactase, taurine, carrageenan, guar gum, and corn syrup solids, among others
Cat Sip Real Milk
Like Whiskas Cat Milk, this product is ideal for lactose-intolerant kitties that cannot digest regular cow’s milk. It is made from Grade A, 1% low-fat, and ultra-pasteurized milk. Cat Sip is lactose-free and fortified with taurine which is beneficial for your cat’s health and it is good for dogs, too.
Ingredients: low-fat milk, lactase enzyme, taurine
Guaranteed Analysis: crude protein 2.5%, crude fat 1%, moisture 88.74, taurine .005%
Can I give milk to my cat even though I’m not sure if she is lactose-intolerant?
If you would like to give your cat some milk or dairy treats but you are not sure if she can tolerate it, cat experts recommend giving your cat a very small amount of milk, just a tablespoon or two of milk, and watch and observe for symptoms like vomiting and diarrhea. If there are no symptoms after 24 hours it means your cat may be fine with an occasional milk serving.
You can also try giving her a small pinch of cheese or a tablespoonful of yogurt to further minimize intolerance reactions. Dairy products and milk replacement products do not replace a balanced diet and add calories, protein, and fat to your cat’s diet so make sure to count it as part of your feline’s daily calorie intake to avoid overfeeding and health issues like diabetes.
Can orphaned kittens drink milk?
Yes, they can drink milk but it should be kitten formula milk or a mother’s milk replacement which is available at most local pet stores. It has the essential nutrients that kittens need especially if they are orphaned and not yet weaned. The weaning process for kittens starts at four weeks old and only completed when they reach eight to ten weeks old.
Cats can drink lactose-free milk but it should only be in moderation and make sure that it is specially formulated for cats. Vets and cat experts agree that cats need water more than milk so the latter should only be given occasionally and not as an important part of your cat’s diet.