It's tempting to give your kitty a saucer of milk, but is it healthy?

The sight of a sweet little kitten lapping up a saucer full of milk is so cute, so trite, and so WRONG.

Cats cannot drink cow’s milk, and here’s the reason why: they’re lactose intolerant. Drinking milk makes cats sick to their stomachs. It makes them vomit. It gives them diarrhea.

As a pet owner, you surely know the inconvenience and unpleasantry of sharing a house with a vomiting, diarrhea-stricken animal.

As a compassionate human, you surely understand that no one—animal or human—wants to suffer stomach cramps, nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea.

“But My Friend/Sister/Nephew/Great Aunt Has a Cat Who Drinks Milk . . .”

Some kitties can digest milk better than others. Human parallel: some lactose-intolerant people handle milk better than others, too. This begs the question: if you were lactose intolerant, would the ability to “sort of” digest cow’s milk make you want to sit down and chug a gallon of half and half?

Find out if your friend/sister/nephew/great aunt is serving cow’s milk, or some other variety of the stuff. There ARE alternative, feline-friendly milk products out there. What are they?


Found at many grocery stores, pet food stores, and online, Cat-Sip is “milk” that is formulated for both cats and dogs. Look for a little blue box (similar to a juice box) with a picture of a smiling cat and dog on it. This product will not give Fluffy Wuffy-kins the runs, because it is lactose-free. It is also formulated with taurine, a necessary ingredient for Fluffy’s good health. Use Cat Sip as a snack, but not a meal. Cats need the nutrients found in wet and/or food to survive. Note: Cat-Sip is OK for your dog to drink, too. Just don’t tell him his beverage has the word “cat” in its title. It may offend him.

Whiskas Cat Milk

This is another feline-friendly product you can buy in stores and online that is “98 % lactose-free”, according to Whiskas’ web site. It also contains taurine for good health. Look for a purple box with a cute tabby kitty on it. Note: this product contains corn syrup solids, which are, in essence, carbohyrdates. Your cat doesn’t need carbs in the slightest; too many carbs may, in fact, do her body harm. Use this product as an occasional treat, not a meal replacement.

When to Use Cat-Formulated Milk

Kitties love the taste of milk and will enjoy it as a treat now and then. If you love your Fluffy Wuffy-kins and want to spoil her with special treats, do it the right way: buy a box of lactose-free milk substitute.

This product also comes in handy when you need to entice ol’ Fluff to eat and nothing else appeals to her.

If she needs extra liquids, and isn’t drinking water, offering a nice saucer of Cat Sip or Whiskas Cat Milk may be feasible a way to get her to drink.

Some medications—especially powders and liquids—may be surreptitiously mixed into a small bowl and fed to an unsuspecting cat.


Don’t give your cat cow’s milk, even if others do it and claim it’s OK. It’s not OK. Cow’s milk is bad for your kitty, and it will make her sick.

It’s fine to give her a lactose-free drink that has been formulated for cats, but make sure this is not her only source of nutrition. Lactose-free cat milk is not fortified with all the nutrients your kitty needs to survive.