Feeding milk to cats
18th July 2012
There are many tasty treats that you probably enjoy, but which aren't all that good for you: a big juicy cheeseburger, a bag of crisps or a chocolate bar filled with silky caramel.
Humans aren't alone in their love of things they shouldn't have. In fact, if you have a cat, it's likely that your meower goes mental for milk.
It's not unusual for cat owners to catch their kitties lapping up the last few drops of milk in what was a bowl of breakfast cereal, or squeezing their heads into a mug of milky tea.
But just because your cat likes milk doesn't mean you should give her a bowl of it whenever she looks up at you with those big green eyes.
Unfortunately for our feline friends, milk is not a very healthy option once they become adults. That's because most fully grown cats are intolerant to lactose, the sugars that exist in the white stuff.
In fact, drinking cow's milk is likely to give your cat an upset tummy, with a range of unpleasant - and usually very smelly - side effects.
If you want to give your four-legged friend a bit of milk as a special treat now and again, opt for a product that's been formulated for felines. But if this causes digestive problems, it's probably best to stick to other types of treats in the future.
In either case, be sure that your cat is normally fed a diet of nutritious cat food and that she always has access to plenty of fresh water.
Of course, it's also important to note that kittens must have milk when they're growing, as it's the only source of nutrition they can consume until they're around four weeks old.
Kittens have a special enzyme in their stomachs that allows them to digest milk properly, but as they grow they stop producing it. What's more, the lactose level in cat milk is naturally lower than in cow's milk.
If you're taking care of a young kitten, special formulas are available, which can be bottle-fed and mimic the milk they would have received from their mothers.
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