Dairy and Our Feline Friends

It seems that dairy and cats just go together—it’s very easy to picture a cat happily lapping up milk from a saucer. Did you know that the two don’t actually mix? Learn more here from a Coon Rapids, MN veterinarian.

Why Can’t Cats Have Milk?

The vast majority of adult cats are lactose-intolerant, meaning that they can’t properly digest lactose, the primary enzyme found in milk. This is the same condition that affects many humans! When a cat drinks too much milk, they’re likely to experience an upset stomach, diarrhea, or vomiting.

What About Kittens?

You may wonder about kittens, who drink their mother’s milk during the nursing period. This is true, but it’s the only time in a cat’s life that milk is nutritionally necessary. Cats become gradually more and more lactose-intolerant as they age!

Is Any Dairy Safe?

Since yogurt, cheese, and other common forms of dairy contain less lactose than milk, they’re probably safer for cats. With that being said, it’s not worth the risk, as dairy isn’t a nutritional necessity for cats. If you must give Fluffy dairy, keep portions extremely small.

Contact your Vets Coon Rapids, MN for more information on feline dietary requirements.