Milk, Dairy, and Our Housecats

For whatever reason, cats and milk just seem to pair together. Believe it or not, the two don’t mix! Learn more below from a vet in Myakka, FL.

Why Shouldn’t Cats Have Milk?

Most adult cats are lactose-intolerant, meaning that they can’t properly digest lactose, the primary enzyme of milk and other dairy foods. This is the same condition that many humans suffer from! When a cat drinks too much milk, an upset stomach, vomiting, or diarrhea is likely to result.

Don’t Kittens Need Milk?

Yes, kittens require milk from their mother or a milk-formula substitute when they are young. This is the only time in a cat’s life, however, that milk is necessary. Cats generally grow more and more lactose-intolerant as they age, and won’t take kindly to milk once they’re fully grown.

What About Other Dairy?

Since other dairy products—yogurt, cheese, etc.—contain less lactose than pure milk, they may not cause problems as quickly as milk does. However, dairy is not a nutritional necessity for any adult cat. Keep the portion size extremely small if you must give your cat a dairy treat!

Contact your Vet Myakka, FL for more information on your cat’s dietary needs.