For decades, cartoons, movies, picture books and alike have circulated the image of cats lapping at a dish of milk. Since most cats also appear to like milk, people often assume it's totally fine to give the pet milk. Hence, when your furball expresses special interest at your chocolate milk, you are willing to let it take a sip. But being a novice pet owner, you likely have worried: Can cats drink chocolate milk? In fact, is it even a good idea to give cats any kind of milk? What may happen if cats consume large amounts of milk?
Wish to hear what experts have to say about the issue of cats drinking milk? If that happens to be the case then you have come to the right place.
Cats And Milk: They Simply Don't Mix Very Well
So can cats drink chocolate milk, strawberry milk, vanilla milk,...? It depends but the majority of vets recommend that you refrain from giving your pet milk regardless of the flavor.
Generally speaking, kittens receive nutrients through the milk of their mother for about 6 – 8 weeks after birth. Once that period passes, the pets shall move on to solid foods which means milk no longer plays the dominant role in the daily diet. As a result, the felines lose the ability to process sugar found in milk because they don't need it. Over time, the production of lactase – the enzyme that is in charge of the break down of lactose in milk – just comes to a halt. That is why most cats on the planet eventually become lactose intolerant as they grow.
What happens if people allow their cats to drink milk? In the unusual case, expect diarrhea, vomiting and so on. That being said, different cats tend to have different constitutions so several pets could tolerate milk better than the rest.
Why Milk Often Attract Cats
Milk definitely gives the stomach of cats a hard time but why the felines still feel inclined to drink milk? Well, there is only one thing that cats like in milk: the taste of fat. Being obligate carnivores, the pets have to eat the flesh of other animals to survive. However, cats prove completely unable to resist the urge to ingest anything that possesses fat. Therefore, in addition to milk, it's common for pet owners to see cats go crazy over ice-creams, cakes, ... Cats don't have a sweet tooth, they simply like the fat in sweet stuff.
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Giving Cats Milk Every Day
You notice that your fluffy friend is quite fond of chocolate milk and it experiences no significant issues so far? If that is the case, there is another thing that you must keep in mind about giving cats milk: calories. Milk packs a lot of calories which means if pet owners give their cat too much milk, the risks of obesity would increase without fail. Considering the fact that obesity leads to a variety of serious health implications, it's widely advised that you avoid giving your pet milk regularly even if it's able to handle the lactose somewhat.
Several Excellent Alternatives To Milk
So can cats drink chocolate milk without getting sick? Maybe. But why bother resorting to milk when we have other options that don't put our feline pals in danger? Take a look at the following choices if you want to safely keep your pet healthy as well as happy.
To put it plainly, it's impossible to go wrong with water: it contains zero calories, it costs practically nothing and it's completely safe. As a result, in case you want to give your cat something to satisfy its thirst then use water. Most of the time, a standard bowl should suffice but some felines may prefer to drink from moving water. Therefore, it's wise to invest in a couple of cat fountains to ensure that the pets receive enough water. You would be able to purchase such items in pet stores at affordable prices nowadays.
As mentioned above, cats have to acquire much-needed nutrients by consuming tissues of animals. Because of that, it's definitely wise for you to hand out tuna to your furball every once a while. Tuna treats deliver protein, minerals, vitamins, antioxidants and many others to cats which is nice. Moreover, tuna contains low amounts of calories compared to milk so it's unlikely that your pet would develop obesity. Nonetheless, pet owners should keep things moderate by giving cats tuna treats at specific times.
Though wet foods tend to fall behind dry foods in particular regards, they are great alternatives to milk on average. Thanks to the moisture of wet foods, cats have no trouble staying hydrated throughout the day, especially lazy ones that don't drink enough water. Furthermore, the diverse taste of wet foods often allows you to use them in the daily meals of your pet and as occasional treats too. Assuming that you have a firm grasp on the ingredients of the products, your fluffy friend could remain in shape.
What To Do If Your Cat Just Adore Chocolate milk
At this point, you already how to answer the question of can cats drink chocolate milk on your own, right? But here is a scenario that might cause headaches: The pets remember the taste of chocolate milk so they keep begging their owner for more. What is the ideal solution?
Well, if you accidentally give your cat chocolate milk before and it grows fond of the taste, get a few boxes of lactose-free milk. As the name suggests, the milk lacks lactose in its composition which allows cats to drink them without much difficulty. Similar to conventional milk, lactose-free milk on the market come at a variety of flavor so all you have to do is to pick one that suits your cat. Certain cats might not like lactose free milk because of its low-fat content though.