Cats love milk, here is why you shouldn't give it to them

A saucer of milk for your cat is not as good an idea as it sounds. In fact, vets warn that it can make your feline friend unwell and lead to long-term health complications.

Cats love milk; but here is why you shouldn't give it to them
© Photo by Bonnie Kittle on Unsplash
Cats love milk; but here is why you shouldn't give it to them

Cats used to be synonymous with milk, but the benefits of this dairy product on our felines' health are rather questionable, to say the least. PDSA, the vet charity for pets in need, warns that milk can cause serious harm to cats and advises to steer clear of dairy in favour of water.

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Surprise! Most cats are lactose-intolerant

Most cats don’t possess the enzyme to digest lactose in their intestines and are therefore 'lactose-intolerant'. Consuming milk which contains lactosecan cause cats the same discomfort as it does to humans and lead to vomiting, diarrhoea and stomach pain.

A saucer of milk is a cat’s fat feast

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Cow’s milk is high in fat and can be the reason behind your cat’s weight gain. A saucer of milk compares to an entire 12-inch pizza, which can be a meal but not a drink or a snack.

Milk shouldn’t be a substitute for a meal

According to the UK’s leading cat welfare charity Cat Protection, drinking milk instead of eating vitamin-rich cat food for a balanced diet can make feline divas miss out on key nutrients they need. This, in its turn, may lead to serious long-term health complications.

Don’t be fooled by 'special cat milk' from a store

Supermarkets and pet shops sell special milk made for cats. While it sounds like a genius idea, it isn’t much better than regular milk for your feline's health. It may be lactose-free and less likely to cause discomfort, but the fat count still poses risks for your cat’s waistline.

Water is always a better idea

PDSA vets insist that water is the only drink a cat needs to stay hydrated, healthy and happy. You might have noticed that cats are attracted by the moving water. A cat water fountain can be a fun way to make your feline drink more.

Milk is for kittens

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Possibly the only case where milk can be beneficial to cats is when you need to take care of a tiny kitten if it doesn’t have access to its mother's milk. The choice of milk has to be consulted with the vet for the right balance of nutrients.

The conclusion is pretty straightforward: as long as your cat eats a balanced, age-appropriate diet, it shouldn’t drink milk. A cat with a milk saucer is for idyllic pictures, not for healthy and happy cats in real life.

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