In most minds milk and cats just go together. This association of cats and milk can be found in many children’s books and movies, but it also exists in reality, because cats really love milk.
One theory around this taste for milk in cats is that it reminds them of their breastfeeding period.
On the other hand, it is often said that cats are intolerant to lactose in milk.
What is it really? Can cats drink lactose free milk or not?
Milk for the Kitten
A kitten drinks its mother’s milk until it is about 8 weeks old. Nevertheless, orphaned kittens that will not be able to suckle must be bottle-fed, while making sure to gradually introduce solid food into the diet, as the kitten would naturally do by imitating its fellow kittens.
From 10 weeks of age, kittens may no longer digest milk as easily as before, and if their diet has not been diversified earlier, they may suffer from deficiencies.
However, cow’s milk (or goat’s or ewe’s milk for that matter) should not be fed because it is too low in fat, protein and minerals, which again may cause deficiency in the kitten.
That’s why formula for kittens is much better than ruminant milk.
Milk for the Adult Cat
For adult cats, the problem is not the same. If cats like cow’s milk (which is very often the case), there is no real reason to prevent them from drinking it if they tolerate it properly.
In fact, as long as the cat is not allergic or intolerant to milk protein or lactose (50% of adult cats are), there is no reason to prevent them from drinking some.
Note that an intolerance will result in itching, digestive disorders with very liquid diarrhea, vomiting, etc.
Otherwise, a cat can drink up to 40 ml of milk per day without any problem (on average, 10 ml of milk per kilo).
Whether the milk is whole, semi-skimmed or skimmed has no influence.
Why Are Cats Lactose Intolerant?
As in humans, the digestive tract is in constant evolution, modifying the production of certain enzymes according to the diet followed, the amount of protein ingested, the quantity of fats, sugars, etc. In this way, it is logical that these changes are also subject to the different stages of growth.
In this sense, during the lactation period, infants produce a large amount of lactase, an enzyme responsible for digesting the lactose that makes up milk.
As weaning progresses and milk consumption decreases, the kitten’s digestive tract also decreases lactase production and, in some cases, develops lactose intolerance.
This same process can also occur in humans, which is why the percentage of lactose intolerant cats is so high.
However, as we point out, not all cats are as radically affected in the production of the enzyme and, as a result, some of them have the ability to tolerate milk as adults.
Especially cats that continue to drink cow’s milk after weaning tend to continue to produce lactase.
However, although they have the ability to digest lactose properly, it should be noted that milk should not take up all of the cat’s diet.
On the other hand, although the production of the enzyme lactase decreases, if the cat continues to produce a small amount of lactase, it can also tolerate milk in small quantities, you can give the cat milk.
Similarly, dairy products such as cheese and yogurt, by carrying a smaller amount of lactose, may also be digestible by the animal in moderate amounts.
The Problem with Lactose Free Milk for Cats
Although lactose free milk will be better digested by your cat, there are several reasons why it is not recommended to give your cat lactose free milk.
Too Much Sugar
Often these products contain too many sugars. The cat’s diet should not exceed 10% carbohydrates.
Often, these products contain up to 30% carbohydrates, which is far too high for our furry friends.
Too Much Fat
Absorbing this type of milk will explode the maximum limit of fat that your cat can absorb.
We remind you that this limit is set at about 2 grams per kilo.
What’s more, the food you give your cat already contains the right proportions of fat. If you add this type of milk, you will exceed the daily fat limit.
Too Many Calories
An average cat should absorb about 20 calories per pound of body weight. For a cat weighing 9 lbs, 180 calories per day is more than enough to keep your cat healthy.
If your cat drinks this type of milk, it will absorb a significant proportion of the recommended daily amount of milk, perhaps 50%, which is way too much.
So, Can Cats Drink Lactose Free Milk?
Along these lines, so, what I’ve found is that despite the fact that lactose-free milk might be somewhat preferable for your feline over customary milk, it’s despite everything going to lose the parity that business feline nourishments give.
Whenever given milk much of the time, it’s probably going to cause weight gain and other more unobtrusive, however possibly unsafe, changes inside your feline.
So it’s definitely not recommended to give your cat lactose-free milk.
I’m certain there are a lot more reasons as well. Dairy animals’ milk, including sans lactose milk, simply isn’t healthfully adjusted for felines. They needn’t bother with milk of any sort once they’re not, at this point a cat.
Be that as it may, in case you’re going to give it at any rate, you should just give it as an intermittent treat. That implies just 1-2 times each month. Furthermore, you should weaken it with water, giving just ¼ of a cup (counting the water) probably.
I found that really, crude goats milk is the most ideal choice.
Since crude goat’s milk isn’t purified, it despite everything has all the chemicals in it that considers the simpler separate of lactose with the goal that your feline won’t have stomach related problems.
Dairy animals’ milk, then again, is sanitized. In that procedure, it is warmed which makes the chemicals be slaughtered off leaving your feline’s stomach related framework to manage the lactose.
Finding the crude goat milk is the troublesome part. It’s not something that most supermarkets have available.
The best activity is call around to some neighborhood wellbeing food stores, cultivates that sell new meat and produce, or your nearby rancher’s market.
In my general vicinity, there’s really a milk conveyance administration that conveys new, crude milk right to your entryway.
It’s imaginable not the least expensive alternative, however there might be something comparable in your general vicinity.
Cat Drinking Milk Photo by Krzysztof Pluta from Pixabay