What Do Veterinarians Say About Cats Drinking Cow's Milk or Cream?

Water is the answer for your kitty's hydration needs.
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Before feeding your cat anything, some thorough research is always necessary. After all, the last thing you want is your poor kitty getting sick. Though many people believe cow's milk is healthy for felines, it actually may not be as suitable for them as you think.

Adult Cats

Cow's milk and cream are both dairy products, and adult felines are essentially lactose intolerant. Veterinarians at the College of Veterinary Medicine for Cornell University say cats lack the lactase enzyme, so digestion of the lactose sugar is impossible for them. If your cute kitty drinks cow's milk or consumes cream, it results in stomach upset and diarrhea -- not a pleasure for your pet, and certainly not a pleasure for you to have to clean up.


Veterinary experts at the Virginia-Maryland Regional College of Veterinary Medicine indicate that cow's milk and cream are also not nutritious options for young kittens, either. One of the most prominent ingredient's in cow's milk is the aforementioned lactose, which is a type of carbohydrate. Kittens do not digest carbohydrates properly and have no natural high need for them. In fact, most healthy kitten diets are chock-full of proteins and fats, instead. As a result, cow's milk leads to various uncomfortable gastrointestinal results in kittens, including diarrhea and bloating.

Small Quantities

If your cat has consumed a small bit of milk previously and experienced no discomfort or illness, that doesn't mean she will do well with a full saucer. When a kitty drinks cow's milk or consumes dairy, an upset stomach is almost inevitable, so err on the side of caution and keep her away from it all entirely. After all, a nutritious and healthy cat-food diet leaves absolutely no need for cow's milk in cats. Milk is essentially redundant for your furry pal.


Remember, cow's milk is not the beverage of choice for any feline -- good, old-fashioned water is! To keep your pet healthy and happy, regular hydration is a must. Make sure that your cat always has access to H20 that is clean, fresh and cool. Even if your cat seems to have little interest in drinking water, it is always important to have it readily available for her.

Always check with your veterinarian before changing your pet’s diet, medication, or physical activity routines. This information is not a substitute for a vet’s opinion.

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