We have all heard the old wives tales that cat’s need milk to survive. Not true! While milk will do your human body good, it will wreak havoc on your cat’s body. I always want to dip my Oreos in milk but this is disaster for kitty.
Kittens need mom’s milk to thrive. The entire process of mealtime fills a kitten with love, comfort and safety. I think humans have that same feeling as well. Although your cat will beg for milk from a cow it actually has a high lactose (or sugar) content that is terrible for cats.
Just as many humans are lactose intolerant, the majority of cats are as well. This means that they are unable to digest the sugars that occur naturally in milk. This causes problems that include diarrhea and other unpleasant digestive problems.
It is a misnomer that cats need to have milk in order to get all their nutrients. Cow’s milk has no nutritional value to a cat whatsoever! In fact if you only fed you cat milk, you would have a seriously malnourished cat on your hands. Take feral cats as an example- they do not have access to milk and they are typically healthy.
Feeding you cat a high quality, grain free diet with lots of fresh, clean water is the ticket to a healthy feline. If you are feeling the need to still give your cat a treat of milk please use one that is made for cats at your pet food store. Do not give kitty KMR or kitten mean replacement as that is made for kittens that need moms milk.
If you feel that you must give your cat a treat there are many on the market that are made for a cat’s body. There are several brands of “Cat Milk” that are made as treats. They should not be confused with KMR or Kitten Meal Replacement as this is specifically formulated for kittens without moms.
You can also try a very small treat of lactose free milk food in the supermarket. But, remember that any milk is a treat and not a replacement for a meal. Also remember that it is you who has to choose what is important for kitty to eat and drink. Kitty will be happy with your high quality choices and never miss milk at all.