Can I Give My Cat Milk?

Have you ever given your feline friend milk? You might be surprised to find out that milk isn’t good for most cats! Here, your Orangevale, CA veterinarian tells you more.

Why Can’t Cats Drink Milk?

The majority of cats are actually lactose-intolerant, just like some humans are. This means that they don’t possess enough lactase in the gut to digest lactose, milk’s major enzyme. Drinking too much milk will surely result in an upset stomach, if not diarrhea and vomiting. It’s not worth the risk!

Don’t Kittens Need Milk?

Yes, kittens require their mother’s milk (or a formula substitute if the mother isn’t around) when they’re young. This is the only time in a cat’s life, though, that they’ll need milk of any kind. As kittens grow, they produce less and less lactase, becoming lactose-intolerant by the time they’re adults.

Is Other Dairy Safe for Cats?

Because other forms of dairy like yogurt and cheese contain smaller amounts of lactose than milk, they’re a bit safer for cats. They’re not nutritionally necessary in the least, though—it’s safest to avoid giving your cat dairy of any kind.

Talk to your Vets Orangevale, CA for more information on your cat’s diet.