It is a common misconception that cats should drink milk. Most cats will enjoy milk however for many it will cause them stomach complaints. The problem with milk being is that once a kitten is weaned off of its mother’s milk and onto solid foods he or she will loose the ability to break down lactose, which is contained in dairy products. It is this lack of being able to break down the lactose in milk that causes diarrhea or other digestive complaints. It is common for humans to experience similar allergies to lactose, after all technically dairy should not be consumed once the need for a mother’s milk is surpassed.
It is important to remember that kittens will need milk, but only their mother’s milk, not cows milk. The mother’s milk is important for growth but also all-important fats, proteins and antibodies that a kitten needs.
Although some cats may show a tolerance to milk, which will allow for that occasional treat. The best way to tell if your cat can have milk or not is to give a little in a saucer and see if there are any negative reactions, such as diarrhea or vomiting, by trying a little bit adverse reactions should be avoided.
If you discover that your cat is lactose intolerant there are many other ways to provide a treat without causing your pet any unnecessary grievances. The bullet points below offer a few catty treats that you may not have thought of before.
- Try adding the brine of tuna to dry cat food to make it that little bit more interesting. Each time you use a tin of tuna pour the brine into an airtight container for your next renewable free cat treat!
- Pick up lactose free milk from the supermarket isle. This can usually be found next to the regular milk.
- Use a good quality everyday feed which will provide your cat with all their nutritional needs. It can be tempting to replace everyday feed with treats, but ultimately this will add to an un-happy, un-healthy cat with poor begging behavior.