Can my cat drink milk?

Is this tender and touching image of the kitten drinking this sweet white nectar true? Or is it just a cute invention designed to soften the public? Is milk the poison that everyone talks about, or is it necessary for the proper development of cats? Indeed, like all mammals, the feline begins its life by being breastfed by its mother, however, after weaning, your pet no longer needs to consume milk. Once adult, your cat can consume milk on an occasional basis, as long as it tolerates and digests it well and as long as it does not exceed the recommended doses.

Physiologically

Milk is composed of various elements, including lactose and milk proteins, which can be responsible for intolerances and allergies. If allergies in cats are rare, it is however quite common to find intolerances, both can cause symptoms quite similar to those of humans in case of food poisoning or allergy. An enzyme called “Lactase”, present in the body from birth, is an essential element in the digestion of lactose, but once the kitten is weaned, this enzyme gradually dissipates and finally disappears completely at adulthood.

In practice

Many cats enjoy sucking a few drops of milk and if there are no veterinary contraindications to this, it is still necessary to respect certain rules for the well-being of your little feline:

  • To begin with, you should only give a few milliliters of the beverage to your feline and in an isolated manner to make sure that he tolerates it well.
  • Once you are sure that your cat does not show any symptoms related to its recent consumption (diarrhea, itching, digestive problems, redness), you can then repeat the test several times.
    However, be careful not to give him too much. On average, it is recommended not to exceed the dose of 10ml per kilo and per day (e.g.: For a cat weighing 2.5kg => 25ml of milk per day maximum).
  • Finally, in order to limit or even avoid the appearance of possible symptoms, prefer milks that are low in lactose and/or milk proteins, such as goat’s or sheep’s milk, for example.
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