It is not always easy to ensure that our pets have a healthy and balanced diet. In fact, digestion is not exactly the same in animals and humans. Thus, there are certain foods that can be eaten by humans but not by animals. As for milk, is it safe for cats to drink?
Like humans, most cats are lactose intolerant
In movies, series, cartoons and on social media, we often see cats happily lapping milk from a bowl. We even see a lot of little kittens being bottle fed with milk. However, milk is not really a recommended food for cats, despite popular belief. In fact, although cats love to drink milk, it is not the healthiest drink for our feline friends. Like humans, the vast majority of cats are lactose intolerant.
The explanation for this problem is very simple. In mammals, the production of lactase – an enzyme that breaks down and digests milk – stops when the animal (or human) is weaned from the mother’s milk. For lactose-intolerant cats, the consumption of milk and dairy products can thus cause various very unpleasant symptoms, such as diarrhoea, vomiting, cramps and other digestive problems. Also, there really isn’t any additional nutritional benefit to feeding a cat cow’s milk.
As the name suggests, cow’s milk is milk specifically produced by a cow to feed its calf. And as you might expect, cow’s milk does not have the same nutritional profile as cat’s milk at all. If a cat has a balanced diet, it is therefore absolutely not necessary to give him cow’s milk, which he probably cannot tolerate and which is also too fatty. In addition, cow’s milk is very rich in phosphorus, which can harm cats’ kidney health in the long term.
Absolutely do not give cow’s milk to kittens.
Therefore, it is strongly discouraged to give milk to cats, especially to small kittens. Even kittens that have not yet been weaned can be lactose intolerant, and this often manifests itself in persistent diarrhea that causes dehydration, which can lead to the kitten’s death. So if a kitten has lost its mother and absolutely needs to be fed, it is much better to give it water. There are also milk replacers specifically dedicated to cats in specialty stores.
Note that milk is not the only food that may seem ordinary to cats, but is actually harmful to their health. Among these dangerous foods for cats we can also mention onions, garlic, chives, fat, bones, eggs and tuna. In fact, incredible as it may be, too regular consumption of tuna can cause mercury poisoning in cats. In addition, tuna does not contain enough nutrients to meet the dietary needs of cats.
Do you like cats? Moving on, here are 10 foods that should not be given to your cat.