A beautiful cat and glass of milk


The Truth About Cats and Milk: Can cats drink milk?

It’s no secret that many cats have a special love for milk. But here’s an important question: can cats drink milk? While it might seem like a natural thing to do, it’s crucial to know the possible risks and effects. In this article, we will dig deep into the topic of cats and milk, uncovering the truth behind this common belief.

Why do cats love milk?

First and foremost, milk’s delicious taste is partly due to its proteins and fats. These components give the milk a rich and appealing flavor that felines find irresistible.

Another reason for cats’ affinity for milk may go back to their early kitten days. During that time, kittens relied on their mother’s milk for nourishment and comfort. This association between milk and feelings of security and warmth during their crucial early development creates a lasting fondness for the beverage.


In simpler terms, cats are drawn to milk because it’s yummy, and they may have a sentimental attachment to it from their time as kittens. It’s like their comfort drink.

Why Cats Are Lactose-Intolerant

As cats grow older, their bodies don’t produce enough lactase, the enzyme that breaks down lactose in milk. This means that adult cats struggle to digest lactose, which leads to tummy troubles when drinking milk.

In the wild, adult cats don’t usually drink milk once weaned. Since they’re carnivores, they focus on meat-rich diets instead of dairy.

It’s important to know that not all cats react the same to milk. While some cats may handle small amounts of milk better than others, it’s usually best not to give them milk at all.

Is milk healthy for cats?

As we mentioned earlier, cats are lactose-intolerant, which means their bodies struggle to digest milk properly. This can cause stomach problems as well as nutritional deficiencies.

Besides this cow’s milk, often given to cats, is high in fat and can cause weight gain and obesity if consumed regularly.

Can kittens drink milk?

Although kittens can easily digest their mother’s milk, cow’s milk is not suitable for their tiny tummies. Drinking cow’s milk can lead to diarrhea and dehydration, which can be fatal for them.


If you have orphaned kittens or those separated from their mother, consult with a veterinarian who may recommend specially formulated kitten milk replacers. These alternatives provide all the nutrients the little furballs need for healthy growth. They are gentle on their delicate tummies and don’t cause the digestive problems that cow’s milk might have.

Can Cats Drink Plant-Based Milk?

As plant-based milk alternatives gain popularity, maybe you are wondering if your kitty can enjoy them too.

Cats are natural meat-eaters, which means their bodies need a diet rich in animal-based proteins. Plant-based milk substitutes, however, do not provide the essential nutrients cats need to stay healthy. These substitutes often lack sufficient protein, a vital component for cats’ well-being. Additionally, cats require specific amino acids like taurine, which are primarily found in animal products and are important for their overall health.

Moreover adding plant-based milk to a cat’s diet may also lead to digestive problems. Plant-based milks often contain high amounts of sugar, fats, salt, and other ingredients not suitable for cats. Some ingredients, like chocolate, can even be toxic to them.

What Can Cats Drink Instead of Milk?

If milk isn’t the best choice for your furry friends, what can you offer them instead? Luckily, there are plenty of safe and healthy options available. Let’s explore some suitable alternatives to keep your kitty happy and hydrated.

Water is the go-to drink for cats. It plays a vital role in keeping them hydrated and helps with digestion. That’s why your feline friend should always have access to fresh, clean water throughout the day.

Apart from water, fortunately, there are specially-made milk substitutes available for cats. These products can be found in pet stores and are formulated to meet a cat’s specific nutritional needs. They’re lactose-free and don’t cause tummy troubles.

Can I Pour Milk On My Cat’s Favorite Food?

You may be curious if adding milk to your cat’s food will make it more enticing, especially if your cat is a picky eater. However, it’s important to know that even a small amount of milk can cause an upset stomach for your furry friend.

Instead of taking risks with your cat’s well-being, let’s explore some safe alternatives to make their food more appealing.

Wet food

One great alternative to milk is wet cat food. It comes in different flavors and textures, making it more enjoyable for your furry friend. Wet cat food also keeps your cat hydrated.

Adding Water to Dry Food:

If your cat prefers dry food, you can make it more appealing by adding some water. This makes the kibble softer and easier to chew, which can entice your cat to eat. It also adds moisture to their diet, helping them stay hydrated. Just be sure not to add too much water, as it might turn the food into mush.

Final Thoughts

In conclusion, it’s not true that cats can drink milk without problems. Adult cats don’t have the right enzymes to digest the sugar in milk, which can cause tummy troubles and other health issues. When you make informed choices about what your cat eats you will help him stay healthy.

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