Do cats like milk?

Cats definitely like milk! Cats are often pictured as milk slurping pets. Cats are mammals and just like any other animal species that belong to this class, cats have mammary glands that produce milk to nourish the young. Before kittens are weaned, milk is the only food they need to survive. There is no question about cat’s love for milk. Milk though is not a very good food for kitty.

Cats are lovable animals. Cat lover or not people would always want to help a cat. Guess what will be offered to a shivering and obviously hungry and cold cat huddled on the doorstep? A saucer of milk! Anyone not prepared to feed a cat would reach for milk. This is because people have the common notion that cats love milk. Milk, after all is the only food and source of nutrition a kitten would need to survive before it is weaned generally at the age of four weeks. However, not just any kind of milk would do for cats. The mother cat’s milk is the only kind of milk that can be safely consumed by cats.

Cats are obligate carnivores. This means that cats would only obtain their nutritional needs from eating animal flesh and animal organs. Cats do not have the enzyme necessary to metabolize plant matter. Apparently cats are not aware of this fact as these fur balls have the tendency to eat plant matter. Cats also eat human food. Cat owners though must be aware that some human foods must not be given to cats because of their dangerous effects on the health of these animals. Milk is one of the human foods that have possible adverse effects on the cat. Although kittens have survived by nursing from their mother cats, orphaned kittens and mature cats should not be fed just any kind of milk. Just as with plant matter, cats would not get nutritional benefits from milk. Additionally, milk would have unwanted effects on the cat because of the fact that most cats are lactose intolerant. Orphaned cats must not be given cow’s milk but must be provided with milk substitute. This kitten formula is specially formulated to provide the nutritional needs of baby cats.

What happens if the cat has lapped clean the bowl containing half a liter of milk? Cats do not have the enzyme necessary to digest lactose, the sugar found in milk. Ingested milk that is not digested would ferment inside the cat’s intestine causing upset stomach, buildup of gas and diarrhea. Cats are not aware that the upset tummy is caused by the bowl of milk it has devoured. Cats do not only like milk, these animals actually love milk. A cat owner that sees how much the pet likes milk should get milk alternatives. Lactose-free milk is supplied by most pet food suppliers.

It is not uncommon for cat owners to give in to the pleading of the pet. If specially formulated milk for cats is not available, a small amount of milk can be given to the pet once in a while. Water would still be the best drink for cats but it would not hurt the pet if it is given a small amount of milk for humans as a treat.