Why Do Cats Drink Milk? Is It Good For Them?

Yaniv
Yaniv
Writer, teacher, and animal advocate with extensive animal handling experience and a soft spot for large breeds and monkeys. Don't forget a proud parent to two adorable dogs.

This post may contain affiliate links. If you click and buy we may make a commission, at no additional charge to you. 

Table of Contents

Reading Time: 4 minutes

Why Do Cats Drink Milk?

The picture of a cat contentedly drinking milk is so common that many people don’t even question it anymore. However, it may come as a surprise to find that drinking milk is actually harmful to their health, no matter how much they enjoy its flavor.

It is preferable if cats are only provided with water to drink. However, it is critical for your cat to maintain appropriate hydration, especially if they are suffering from other health issues such as renal disease or diabetes. Some cats do not like the taste of water, but you may use a few methods to persuade them to drink more water. Continue reading for our suggestions.

Is Milk Bad For Cats?

Yes. Because most cats are lactose intolerant, ingesting dairy products might cause diarrhea and vomiting for the cat. Specific cat milk alternatives are available that are specifically developed for cats and have less lactose than other cat milk options. These, on the other hand, should only be used in moderation. The first few weeks of life are spent drinking their mother’s milk or, if required, special formula milk produced specifically for kittens (called “kitten formula milk”). They will, however, be entirely weaned by the time they are 8-9 weeks old.

However, adult cats do not have the lactase enzyme as kittens do, so as a result, they are unable to digest the lactose contents found in milk. Instead, as the lactose in the milk begins to ferment, it may produce an upset stomach.

do cats like drinking milk?

Why Do Cats Like Milk?

Because milk contains a lot of fat, cats adore its flavor. They will frequently opt to consume it even though it may cause an upset stomach. Unless your cat is provided a high-quality, well-balanced diet, he or she does not require the additional fat that comes from drinking milk, no matter how much they enjoy it.

Watch for indications of vomiting or diarrhea in your cat if it has had some milk, and contact your veterinarian if you have reason to be worried.

What Do Kittens Drink?

Young kittens will continue to consume their mother’s milk until they are weaned from the breastmilk. It is also necessary to provide unrestricted access to freshwater for their mother since the kittens will also begin to drink from it.

Around 3-4 weeks of age, they will begin to experiment with solid foods and will start to drink more water in addition to their mother’s milk.

Can Orphaned Cats Drink Milk?

It is recommended that you provide special ‘kitten formula milk’ to orphan kittens if you are hand-rearing them or if they are unable to consume their mother’s milk for any reason other than illness. The use of regular milk from another species is not recommended since it will not have the proper balance of nutrients for the growth of the animals. Colostrum is the term used to describe the first milk produced by a mother. This has a high concentration of antibodies, which aids in the transmission of immunity to her offspring. If a kitten is unable to consume colostrum from its mother, you should seek guidance from your veterinarian immediately.

why do cats drink milk

When should you start giving your kittens water, and how much should you give them?

Kittens will often begin to wean themselves around three to four weeks of age, at which point it will be necessary to introduce them to water and solid food on a limited basis. A small dish of fresh, clean drinking water should also be provided to them all the time (especially during feeding time).

What Do Cats Drink?

The only thing adult cats need to drink is water as part of a healthy, well-rounded diet. The amount of liquid they consume is determined by various factors, including their breed, size, age, and whether they eat raw, wet, or dry food.

If your feline has an underlying health condition, such as chronic renal disease, they need to maintain proper hydration levels. You may try boiling some simple chicken breast or white fish and giving your cat the cooking liquid to entice them if they are not interested in drinking fresh water. There should be no salt or oil in this mixture. You can also inquire with your veterinarian about whether or not oral rehydration fluids would be appropriate. These are frequently flavored with meaty flavors and are sometimes more popular than plain water. Another alternative is a pet drinking fountain, which some cats prefer to water dishes since they are more convenient.

Make sure that your feline companion is still eating from a balanced and nutritious diet and that their reward is included in their daily food allotment if you chose to offer them ‘cat milk’ from the pet store as a treat.

Keep in mind that your cat and weaning (or weaned) kitten should always have access to fresh, clean water.

Conclusion:

Cats basically need only one thing to keep hydrated, and that is plain freshwater. Contrary to common perception, milk is not beneficial to cats, and it is better to avoid giving them dairy products.

Meow! Was this post helpful?

Yaniv
Yaniv
Writer, teacher, and animal advocate with extensive animal handling experience and a soft spot for large breeds and monkeys. Don't forget a proud parent to two adorable dogs.

Get Furbulous tips & tricks into your inbox

The Latest