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 cowâ€™s milk, and hereâ€™s the reason why: theyâ€™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 oneâ€”animal or humanâ€”wants to suffer stomach cramps, nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea.
â€œBut My Friend/Sister/Nephew/Great Aunt Has a Cat Who Drinks Milk . . .â€
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 â€œsort ofâ€ digest cowâ€™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 cowâ€™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 â€œmilkâ€ 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 Fluffyâ€™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 donâ€™t tell him his beverage has the word â€œcatâ€ 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 â€œ98 % lactose-freeâ€, according to Whiskasâ€™ 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 doesnâ€™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 olâ€™ Fluff to eat and nothing else appeals to her.
If she needs extra liquids, and isnâ€™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 medicationsâ€”especially powders and liquidsâ€”may be surreptitiously mixed into a small bowl and fed to an unsuspecting cat.
Donâ€™t give your cat cowâ€™s milk, even if others do it and claim itâ€™s OK. Itâ€™s not OK. Cowâ€™s milk is bad for your kitty, and it will make her sick.
Itâ€™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.