Milk! It is a thing that we immediately think of a nutritious drink as mentioned. However, here is just a point for the human body. For cats, the fact seems to go much further back. Many people are still questioning this issue of milk for cats and especially, can cats drink lactose free milk? The answer could be YES, the lactose free milk can be used for cats. However, there are some notes to keep in mind.
Basically, milk is not good for cats
A funny story is that people always believe the milk is for cats, bones are for dogs and cheese are for mice. Undoubtedly, lapping up a tasty white drink can attract much attention of little cats. But, they are in trouble with digesting milk all the time.
Nutritious absorption from milk in cats is not thinkable. According to experts, milk is just an occasional commercial treat that contains a high calorie level for cats. Normally, the amount of calories a cat should be fed per day is 20 or 30 from unbalanced sources like commercial products. 83 and 149 are calorie levels in each cup of skim milk and whole milk respectively. These are too much for an ideal cat diet and leading to serious obesity easily.
By researches, a large number of cats are not tolerant of lactose. It is the most important reason why milk is bad for cats. In fact, many cat owners have really understood of lactose intolerance with their feline friends yet. Let’s learn more about the problem by answer two basic questions, what it is and how it has negative effects on the cat’s health.
What is it?
It is the lactase which is a type of enzyme which most cats have very little or even do not have in the body. Hence, the lactose in milk is impossible to digest. Then such sugar keeps staying in the intestinal system and brings a lot of bacteria. After fermenting, the sugar results in reactions in both the stomach and the gastrointestinal, cause cats to be painful.
Lactose intolerant occurs with 100% adult cats. For kittens, the probability declines when they still drink milk from mother but it will go on the opposite side when the kitty gets older. That kittens stop absorbing mother milk means the lactose enzymes do not keep producing. In fact, it is hard for you to know whether your cat is intolerant with lactose milk or not. So, being careful is still better.
How does it have negative effects on the cat’s health?
As mentioned above, the milk consumption of cats can influence the intestinal system negatively. One of the typical discomforts that cats suffer is distress in the digestive. It is totally not the same as the allergic when there is a bad response from the immune system to certain food consumption.
Some typical symptoms to know that cats are not lactose tolerant include diarrhea, dehydration, vomiting and so far. Moreover, cats can also face costiveness, painful stomach, and dry gums.
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Let’s find out some alternatives
The story could sound pretty funny if saying that water is the best alternative. Normally, in a daily diet, cats often do not get water properly. Dehydration is not a strange condition for such animals. And the result will be difficulty in pooping and then costiveness.
In case that the water you take is not interesting enough to catch little pets' attention and get, why don’t you invest a drinking fountain? A tool set up with funny water streams somehow makes cats drink water more frequently.
But, maybe, you cannot get the thinking of cat treat with that white liquid out of your head, let’s try some lactose-free milk. You are probably wondering if cats can drink lactose-free milk while milk is bad for cats in general. Pet parents can find this product in pet shops as well as grocery stores. The lactose-free one no longer contains lactose sugars which are getting rid of by lactase enzymes. So, it does not trouble the digestive system.
In the market, tons of nut milk available include almond, soy and so far which are in use for lactose-intolerant people. Despite being more benign than cow milk, they are still not suitable for a cat’s digestive system due to the sugar in.
Despite not having a bad effect on cat’s health, the lactose-free milk should only be in use when really needed. For cats, the milk from their mother is always the best one. Normally, mother cats give kids the milk for approximately 12 weeks, in some cases, the period is higher. Then, the cat will turn to pure water.
If you ask the question that can cats drink lactose-free milk, surely you know of your cat’s lactose intolerant. For those who do not should be careful when treating cats with the white liquid.
Assume that you cannot make sure whether your cat is the lactose intolerant or tolerant and still want to give it some milk. So, what is next to do? Experienced pet parent suggests doing the milk treatment little by little. It means that a very small about of milk will be the beginning to help you observe probable symptoms. Unless there is anything occurring, feel free to increase slowly the milk intake for the cat. During the trial, you have to remember to follow carefully to ensure that the current milk amount is a reasonable treatment with the cat digestive system.
To sum up
In fact, many cats out there are fond of milk so much in spite of the opposite truth with the digestive tracts. As you know, tons of formulated milk products are available for cats in stores. And, especially, most of them do not show any rate of lactose. As the cat treatment, there are two points that owners ought to remember all the time. It may come as no surprise to tell you many cat foods meet all demands for a balanced daily diet. Hence, there is no need to give your cats additional protein source like milk.
Although the answer YES is given to the question “can cats drink lactose-free milk”, please do not overdo it. The limitation should be included here. In short, water had better be the first choice for liquid treatment so that your little cat owns a healthy digestive system.
Find out more about what cats should and shouldn't eat at Cattybox!