Is Milk Good For Cats?


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Is Milk Good For Cats?

Every day, your cat roams near the food bowl at specific times waiting for you to pour milk. It’s try that your cat gets attracted to the milk’s taste and desperately waits to drink milk. But, Can Cats Drink Milk

Is your cat lactose-intolerant? There has been a misconception that cats need milk to survive. But, the fact is that felines don’t require milk to maintain their health. Instead of improving health, feeding milk to cats may cause various health issues in cats like obesity, gastric problems, etc.

Find out the reasons behind the adverse effects of milk consumption in cats and the best alternatives to milk and milk supplements for cats. Let’s go through this in-depth article to get purr-fect answers to all these kitty questions. Have a glance!

Can Cats Drink Milk?

You might be wondering Can Cats Have Milk? Undoubtedly, the answer is a big ‘NO’. Though several people believe that milk is a great option for your cat to stay hydrated, the sad reality is that it’s a myth. 

Milk is one of the best protein foods which is good for humans. But, it may not be the same in the case of cats. Rather than being a healthy beverage, milk is a harmful drink to cats as it leads to stomach upsets, diarrhea, vomiting, cramps, etc.

Is Milk Good For Cats?
Is Milk Good For Cats?, Source:

When cow’s milk is given to cats, it can make the cat dehydrated. The reason behind not giving milk to cats is that it leads to various digestive problems for felines. Cow milk doesn’t provide the nutrients that your cat needs especially if you give the milk to the cat instead of a proper healthy meal.

Adult cats don’t have an enzyme that helps in breaking down lactose from the milk. As a result, cats can’t digest milk sugars. Unfortunately, the lactose present in the milk [given to cats] could cause various health problems as mentioned already.

Can Kittens Have Milk?

Can Kittens Have Milk? Yes, kittens can have milk i.e., mother cat’s milk without any worries. Kittens don’t feel any kind of distress by drinking milk at an early age. The reason is that kittens are born with the ability to digest their mother’s milk easily through certain enzymes present in their body. 

As the days pass and once they start weaning and consuming cat food, they gradually lose the ability to digest milk. Usually, kittens face this issue when they reach 8 weeks of age. 

The most important thing to be mentioned is that the kittens are only able to process their mother cat’s milk but not the milk produced by any other species like cow’s milk, buffalo, goat, or sheep’s milk. 

If your cat doesn’t have its mother cat available then you can give the best cat milk supplements that are present in the form of powder or liquid. Usually, this type of supplement is preferred for orphaned cats and cats who require more milk.

Are Cats Lactose-Intolerant?

Are Cats Lactose Intolerant? Yes, most cats are lactose-intolerant. Generally, young kittens produce more lactase, an enzyme that helps in digesting milk easily. However, adult cats lose their ability to digest the milk as their body produces less lactase. This results in making your cat intolerant to lactose. 

If lactose-intolerant cats drink milk, they suffer from various health ailments such as diarrhea, vomiting, etc. When there is no lactase enzyme in the body of the cat, the indigested milk sugar enters the intestinal tract and the excess water goes into the intestines. 

The excess water eventually causes diarrhea in felines. Meanwhile, the bacteria present in the colon intakes a large flow of sugars causing gastric problems in the cat. Due to this, your cat may suffer from stomach upsets, vomiting, diarrhea, and other illnesses. 

If you witness any of the above symptoms in your cat within a day or 24 hours after feeding milk then it is a clear sign of lactose intolerance. In most situations, these problems in your lactose-intolerant cats will resolve on their own. But, if the problem is severe and your cat is dehydrated then, you must seek veterinary assistance and treatment immediately.

Do Cats Like Drinking Milk And Why?

Yes, cats like to drink milk. The reason behind the cat’s love for drinking milk is that it is high in fat content. Cats usually have high senses of smelling the fat content and protein present in the milk. 

Though drinking milk causes several illnesses in cats like upset stomach, vomiting, and various behavioral changes, cats don’t give up their liking to milk. In case, you feed a high-quality quality balanced, and healthy diet to your feline, it gets all the necessary nutrients through that food. 

Such cats don’t exclusively require fat that comes from milk. In case, your cat has drunk milk in immense quantity then, you must watch for some signs like vomiting diarrhea, etc. If you find anything abnormal in your cat, immediately consult your vet. 

Adverse Effects of Milk Consumption in Cats

Is Milk Bad for Cats? Giving milk to your cat in limited amounts doesn’t cause any sort of adverse effect. However, it depends on the type of milk you feed your feline friend. Feeding milk to adult cats in higher quantities may cause serious illness. 

This is due to the absence of lactase enzyme in the body of the adult cat. As a result, if you feed milk to cats, it leads to severe digestive problems. This causes a plethora of health issues in the cat as listed below. 

  • Lactose-intolerant
  • Diarrhea
  • Gastro-Intestinal Issues
  • Dehydration
  • Stomach Upsets
  • Vomiting
  • Bloating
  • Obesity

Alternatives or Milk Replacements for Cats

There are copious alternatives to milk that can be given to cats. 

1. Kitten Milk Formula

If your orphaned cat hasn’t started weaning then, the best replacement for milk is kitten formula. Unfortunately, if your cat doesn’t have a mother, it can’t drink its mother’s milk. 

In such a case, a specialized kitten formula can be given to cats during the early weeks of the cat. However, cats will start weaning fully around 8 to 9 weeks. During the early stages of a cat i.e., in the kitten stage, cats can be given special kitten formula.

Kittens get all the nutrients from the mother’s milk. When looking for milk replacements, you need to feed the milk which has all the nutrients like fat, protein, minerals, amino acids, and carbohydrates.

2. Lactose-Free Milk Alternatives

No milk can substitute Mother’s cat milk. Still, cats who can’t drink mother milk need to look for the best milk replacement. Some of the best lactose-free milk alternatives for cats include CatSip, CatSure, etc. Lactose-free milk is usually made of lactose that aids in digesting the milk in cats.

3. Goat Milk

Goat Milk can be given to cats but in moderate amounts. Also, you should not feed goat milk frequently to your cat as it leads to overweight problems. Moreover, goat milk has less lactose content compared to cow’s milk. Goat milk comprises a high number of calories. 

As a result, it should be given in limited amounts to evade obesity in the cat. If required, you can even feed skimmed goat milk or partially skimmed goat milk to the feline to curb the fat content.

4. Almond Milk

Almond milk is another great alternative to milk but should be given in smaller amounts. The reason is the same as the goat’s milk. Almond Milk has a high-fat content. If you feed almond milk in high quantities to your cat, it makes your cat obese. 

It is better to prepare almond milk at home and feed it to the cat without mixing any artificial sweeteners. In the local stores and markets, you will get only almond milk made of artificial sweeteners. It causes serious illness in your cat.

5. Water

Cats require a lot of water. Water is one of the best milk replacements for cats. Water is essential for encouraging the optimal functioning of all the organs in a cat’s body. Though cats don’t like to drink water quite often, it is better to feed wet canned food to cats to remain hydrated.

Difference between Milk and Milk Supplements

  • Milk is a natural thing that comes from humans or animals to feed their newborns. On the other hand, milk supplements are specially designed for animals like cats, kittens, dogs, and puppies.  
  • A wide variety of milk such as cat’s milk, cow’s milk, goat’s milk, etc. Milk supplements such as formula milk, soy milk, almond milk, oat milk, etc. 
  • Milk is a dairy product while milk supplements are non-dairy products. 
  • Milk is available in liquidized form while milk supplements are made of powder and liquid. Milk powder is made using dehydrated and pasteurized milk.

Do I Need To Ask Vet Before Feeding Milk To My Cat?

Yes, it is always important to ask your veterinarian before feeding milk to your cat other than the mother cat’s milk. Before incorporating any type of milk into your cat’s diet, you must speak to your vet. Once your vet approves, you can feed any milk to the cat once or twice a week. 

How Frequent My Cat Can Drink Milk?

When you feed any other milk to your cat, it would be a special treat to it. Whenever you start giving a new food item to your cat, you must wait for one or two days. If your cat shows any adverse reactions to that food, you must stop feeding it. In that case, you can try some other milk that has less lactose. Usually, you can see any sort of negative reaction from your cat within 8 to 12 hours of feeding milk to the cat.

Once cats start weaning, they don’t require milk to survive. Still, if your cat is showing interest in drinking milk then, you should feed only a small amount of milk once or twice a week to your cat.

How Much Milk And How Often Kittens Can Drink Milk?

In the case of newborn kittens i.e., 4 weeks of age, you must give a milk replacer every 2 to 3 hours a day. If your cat is given mother’s milk then, the kitten requires breastfeeding milk every 2 to 3 hours. In that case, your cat needs a total of 8 to 12 times milk feedings a day. 

If there is any reaction, you may witness the same in your cat within 8 to 12 hours of feeding milk to the cat. When they grow gradually, they start weaning and meanwhile, their hunger increases due to their large stomachs. They don’t need much milk like earlier as they survive on other cat foods.

What Type Of Milk Is Good For Cats?

Wondering What Kind of Milk Can Cats Drink? To be precise, cats don’t need milk like kittens do. Being a kitten, it requires breastmilk that naturally comes from its mother cat. There is a wide variety of milk available in the market. 

It includes plant-based milk variants, lactose-free milk alternatives, formula milk, and animal-based milk such as goat, cow, sheep, etc. Plant-based milk varieties include almond milk, soy milk, oat milk, etc. Plant-based milk is usually low in protein.

Go through this article to find out the ideal type of milk to be fed to cats. 

1. Cow Milk

Can Cats Drink Cow Milk? No, cats shouldn’t be given cow’s milk as it is high in fat content. Due to this, your cat may be prone to obesity issues. If you give cow’s milk to your cat frequently, it may cause increased fats and sugars in the body. This makes your cat overweight. Moreover, cow’s milk doesn’t offer all the required nutrients for your cat.

2. Goat Milk

If you insist on giving milk to your feline companion then, you can give goat milk which is less in lactose content compared to cow milk. As a result, cats can easily digest goat’s milk. However, make sure that you give goat milk to your cat occasionally as a treat. Apart from this, you can also give lactose-free milk available in the market. 

Even lactose-free milk should be given rarely to cats. The reason behind this is that goat milk and lactose-free milk are high in calories that could make your cat gain unnecessary weight. To reduce the fat content, you can give skimmed and partially skimmed goat milk to your cat.

3. Almond Milk 

Almond milk can be fed to cats in smaller amounts. But, almond milk is another type that has high fat content which is not good for cats. Moreover, almond milk available in stores is made of artificial sweeteners. 

4. Soy Milk

Soy milk shouldn’t be given to cats as few cats are allergic to it. Though soy is the best protein source for your cat, soy milk should be avoided for the sake of your cat’s health.

Ultimately, we suggest you give the best cat milk formula available in the market. We can find a wide variety of lactose-free milk substitutes for your cat that are prepared with the utmost safety to reduce the risk of digestion issues in the cat. 

It is best to give clean water to cats once they start weaning. It’s the best drink you give to cats to keep them hydrated it won’t hurt your cat’s little tummies. Make sure you give clean water to your cat to diminish the risk of infections. 

Mostly, cats prefer drinking running water. Hence, we suggest you set up a water fountain for your cat so that it drinks water from the fountain directly. 

Benefits of Milk for Cats

Is Milk Good For Cats? Milk is not toxic to all cats. But, the truth is that most felines are lactose-intolerant. If you give milk that is high in lactose, it eventually causes major health problems in cats. 

Moreover, milk can’t provide enough nutrition to the cats like they get from their daily diet. Here are some of the significant benefits of feeding milk to cats. 

  • Milk is a great food for kittens. In the case of adults, giving milk may remind their mother’s milk. 
  • If your cat is very low in weight then, feeding milk to such cats may help them gain adequate weight. The reason is that milk has more fat content and it is high in calories.
  • Some of the benefits of giving goat milk to cats include improved immune system, support to the digestive system, relief from food allergies, healthy skin, etc.

How Can I Feed Milk to My Cat?

If your cat has a mother then, it can directly get feed from the mother cat. Otherwise, you can contact your local vet to look out for a nursing mother cat available who will be able to feed the kitten. Before trying to bottle feed the kitten using formula milk, seek out help from the nursing cat.

You can buy the best kitten milk formula available in the local pet food store or online stores. Some of the popular kitten milk formula brands include Just Born Kitten Milk, Cimicat, and others. 

Initially, boil water and mix it with the kitten replacement formula milk to feed it to the cat. Add a teaspoon of formula milk powder to a cup of boiled water. You can give this milk via a bottle or in a bowl to the cat. 

In the case of kittens, using a syringe to feed milk is the best option. Using the syringe, you can drip the milk directly into the kitten’s mouth. As kittens are unable to suck from the syringe, it is better to purchase a bottle feeder to feed your cat.

Make sure you sterilize the feeding equipment of your cat every time you feed your cat. Rinse the cat feeding equipment thoroughly with boiled water. While feeding the cat, you need to sit in a chair comfortably. 

Place a folded towel on your lap. Place your kitten in a position just as the way the kitten nurses from its mother cat. Keep your kitten’s head up and feet down while the stomach is in resting position.

After feeding milk to the cat, you can place back the kitten in its warm bed. You can continue this feeding schedule for up to 8 weeks of the kitten’s age. However, some of the kittens will bottle feed for up to 4 weeks. Once your cat starts weaning, you can start solids for your cat. Before starting a new food for the cat, contact your vet.


Here are some of the frequently asked questions related to ‘Is Milk Good for Cats’. If you want answers to your queries, we have compiled a list of queries alongside the answers in this post. Check it out!

  1. Can Cats Digest Milk?

    No, cats cannot digest milk as they don’t have an enzyme namely lactase that can help in breaking down the sugars present in milk. Still, if you give milk to cats, it could lead to severe digestive issues and sometimes various health problems like diarrhea, vomiting, bloating, dehydration, and more.

  2. Does Milk Cause Allergic Reactions in Cats?

    Yes, milk causes various allergic reactions in felines. Few cats may be mildly allergic to milk. Felines that are allergic to milk may cause stomach upsets. This results in severe reactions to the cat.  Some of the health issues your cat may face include runny stools twice or thrice. Other cats may suffer from diarrhea, vomiting, etc. Certain cats may be allergic to plant-based milk and milk proteins.


That’s all! This is everything you need to know about ‘Can Cats Drink Milk’. Hopefully, this article has given enough information for what you have been looking for about giving milk to cats. 

Through this article, we have explained all the queries about milk feeding to felines such as the benefits of milk, the best milk type for cats, frequency of giving milk to cats, alternatives of milk to cats, adverse effects of consuming milk in cats, and more.

Do you still have any queries about this article? If so, let us know in the comments section. Stay in touch with our website ‘TheCrazyCats.Net’ for more articles related to cat behavior, pet food habits, health issues of pets, and a lot more.

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