White and wrong for cats

It is in books and cartoons, everyone knows cats love a saucer of milk but is it good for your cat. Let’s cut to the chase, the answer is no. They might lap it up, but sore tummies are just round the corner.

Do cats like milk?

Yes they do, milk is full of fat and it is the fat that makes it delicious. However, if they have a well-balanced diet, they don’t need it. All that fat will just make its way to their waistline and lead to all the problems associated with obesity. The protein in cow’s milk may also cause dietary imbalances.

Most cats are lactose intolerant.

Like many humans, most cats do not have the enzyme to digest lactose, so milk, especially cow’s milk can cause upset stomachs, diarrhoea and vomiting. Lactose is a milk sugar and is present in the milk from lactating but is a much lower amount than in the milk of ruminants. Kittens are able to tolerate some lactose up until about the first twelve weeks of their lives however this tolerance disappears for most. After a kitten is weaned from its mother’s milk it will get all the vitamin’s it needs from a well-balanced diet.

Alternatives to milk

There are products that are lactose free that you can get for your furry friend, but they tend to be full of fat, which is not great for the health of furry friends. They will already be getting everything they need from their food. Water is by far the best thing for them to help maintain good health. They might not be bowled over by a bowl of water, but it is much better for them than a saucer of milk.

Did you know

  • Cats avoid water that is next to their food or near their toileting area
  • Cats often love filtered or rainwater
  • Cats prefer their whiskers not to touch the edge of the bowl while drinking, so use a wider bowl
  • Plastic bowls can taint the flavour of water and put cats off
  • Some cats will not like the taste of chlorine.

Is it safe to give milk to cats? It is not dangerous, but it is not doing them any good. It is usually recommended to avoid large amounts treats and unbalanced food sources should be limited to 10% of the daily intake. They will be much healthier and happier with a good diet and a saucer of water rather than a saucer of milk.


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