Can Cat Drink Milk: One of the most common scenes in the cinema, theater, painting or any scenic art is to represent the cat licking with desire to good bowl of milk. This usual image makes milk is often considered an adequate food for cats, but is this the case?
No, in general cats should not drink milk vacuum, but there are nuances that we explain below.
Can Cat Drink Milk
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The first nuance is: what happens with lactating cats. Small kittens do drink milk but it is not cow’s milk, but milk from their mother cat. The Natural weaning usually occurs about 3 weeks old and, thereafter, the cat would stop drinking milk.
Now, what about the orphaned kittens? From the outset, if we find a litter of kittens we should check that the mother is not nearby, since it is best not to separate them from her. In case of not being able to have them with their mother, they should be given special milk for kittens, never cow’s milk.
How is Milk Digested?
To know how cow’s milk affects cats it is important to consider how your digestive system works.
As happens with people and other animals, the digestive system is changing throughout the life of the cat, especially to adapt to the different stages of it.
- To understand how the cat digests milk. It must be borne in mind that enzymes are involved in the digestive system. Specifically, in the digestion of cow’s milk. The lactase enzyme intervenes, which plays a vital role in “breaking” lactose (present in milk) in its two simple sugars: glucose and galactose. This process allows the body to absorb milk, since it can only absorb simple sugars.
- During lactation, kittens have a large amount of lactase enzymes, but once they are weaned, lactase production decreases, even disappearing. Hence, many cats end up being lactose intolerant.
How to Give Milk to Cats?
In case the cat is not intolerant or allergic to milk, it is not strictly necessary to offer milk.
If we still want to offer milk or a derivative such as yogurt, the first thing is to know if it is processed well and does not cause problems.
That is, the first time we give milk to the cat we must give little and see if any of the above symptoms occurs.
If the cat is not intolerant or allergic, milk may be offered as long as it is not one of the main foods in your diet.
Some tips to offer milk are:
- Small, infrequent doses.
- Milk without lactose or skimmed or semi-skimmed. While they can consume whole milk, usually this type of milk feels better.
- Special milk for cats. There are milks that have already been manufactured for this purpose, and we should always look at their composition beforehand.
- Yogurts or dairy products They usually carry less lactose than milk. They should not carry sugars or similar, the best is a simple natural yogurt. Another option is to offer kefir.
Is Milk Dangerous for Cats? Can I give Yogurt to My Cat?
Cats that drink milk from the bowl and cats that go mad when they are offered a spoonful of yogurt or other dairy product such as cheese. These scenes are not strange for those who live with these animals. But is milk good or dangerous for adult cats? Can cats take milk and other dairy products such as cheese or natural yogurts?
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Although the image of felines feeding on milk is recurrent in film. Literature and the performing arts, is this dairy food good or dangerous for them? “Adult cats do not need to ingest milk. Some cats, as in people, do not tolerate lactose well, for these animals, taking a plate of milk usually implies the least gastric problems,” explains veterinarian Gina Spadafori. of the international network of veterinarians VIN.
Cats with Milk Allergy:
There are cats that love milk. The test to know if the cat is one of them is simple: just serve a bowl of cereal and leave it at your fingertips. The cat that enjoys milk will not hesitate to pounce on the container! Other cats, in addition to milk, go mad with yogurt, cheese and other dairy products.
But watch out! Cats can develop allergy and intolerance to some foods, including milk. “In fact, adverse reactions to milk are among the most common food allergies in cats,” says veterinarian Amanda Friedeck, who has conducted an extensive study on food allergies in dogs and cats, published in the journal Veterinary Technician.
“The lactose intolerance of milk is common in cats and dogs,” adds the veterinarian. This allergy occurs when the patient does not have enough enzymes responsible for breaking milk lactose molecules and, consequently, his body responds adversely to the presence of these foods.
Some staples, such as milk, can cause an allergic reaction in cats. In this way, “adult cats can develop intolerance to cow’s milk,” agrees a group of Australian scientists in a study published in the Australian Veterinary Journal.
But milk is not the only food that can cause allergy in cats. The fish and beef are two other foods that cause allergies in these people.
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How to Recognize a Cat Allergic to Milk?
The most obvious sign that the cat suffers from lactose intolerance and milk allergy is vomiting. “In addition, food allergies in these animals are related to between 10% and 20% of feline skin diseases,” Friedeck adds.
Although allergic reactions to milk or other foods occur a few minutes after the cat has ingested the food, sometimes the symptoms can be triggered hours later, even a few days later.
In any case, it is necessary to go urgently to the veterinarian in order to avoid any major danger.