Should I Give My Cat Milk?

Sparkle Kitty

No one could hold it against you if you believed milk was good for your cat, but the truth is that it is a myth. Milk is not the most nutritious drink for cats and may even cause digestive distress.

Your cat may find comfort in milk as it reminds them of nursing from their mother.

Cats certainly love their milk, even though most are lactose intolerant. Let’s explore this topic further and why you should not offer your cat milk regularly.


Should I give my kitten milk?

Cats, like other mammals, rely on their mother’s milk when they are first born. Kittens are born with the digestive enzyme called lactase, which is needed to properly digest lactose, aka milk sugars.

As the kittens are weaned from their mother’s milk, they naturally stop making lactase since, as they continue to grow, their body doesn’t need milk.

Once the lactase is no longer in the stomach, your kitten may become lactose intolerant and experience symptoms like diarrhea, bloating, stomach cramps, and gas when they consume milk. Their stomach cannot break down the lactose, and it ends up in the colon, where it ferments and causes digestive distress.

Giving your cat milk

While your cat would be pleased to lap up a bowl full of milk, their tummies may not be happy afterward. With that said, most cats can tolerate small amounts of milk from time to time. If you find your cat is ok with milk, offering a tablespoon or so every now and then would be fine. Please don’t push it through. You don’t want to give your feline friend too much and end up with a sick kitty on your hands.

Are cats allergic to milk?

While most cats are lactose intolerant, it is not an allergy but a lack of the proper enzymes in your cat’s stomach to break down milk sugars and process them properly.

Food allergies aren’t very common among cats, but if you notice that your cat is experiencing hair loss, watery eyes, and itchiness after consuming milk, they may very well have a milk allergy.

Milk doesn’t offer cats the nutrition they need

You may think giving your cat will round out their diet nutritionally, but that is not the case. Cats get very little nutrition from mil past their kitten years.

Giving your cat a well-rounded diet and water will keep them healthy and not cause any digestive issues like a diet that contains milk.

Are there any safe kinds of milk I can give my cat?

If you are stuck on giving your beloved cat milk as a treat. You can buy lactose-free milk as an occasional treat. There are also kinds of milk you can find online or in pet stores formulated with cats. They would be much easier on your cat’s digestive tract and can be given as a treat. Again, as mentioned earlier, these will give your cat a well-balanced diet and should be considered a treat.

Why do cats love milk?

Despite not being able to digest milk sugars properly after being a kitten, cats love their milk.

Milk is brimming with fat and protein, which cats love; it makes the milk very tasty. Milk also can be used as comfort food for cats. They associate it with being a kitten and drinking their mother’s milk.

Can cats die from drinking milk?

Giving your cat too much milk can cause diarrhea and vomiting. Those two symptoms can lead to dehydration if they become severe, which can be fatal for your cat.

If milk is given as a regular part of your cat’s diet, your cat may become undernourished since milk doesn’t offer much nutrition.

Giving your cat water is best. As much as you want to give your cat everything its little heart desires, that isn’t always what is best for them. Being a responsible cat owner means you understand that even though your cat loves milk and could eat bowlfuls of it. That’s not healthy, and a water bowl is much more beneficial to your kitty.

If your cat doesn’t like water that much, you can buy a water fountain, cats love running water, and it’s a great way to entice them to drink more H2O.


When should a cat stop drinking milk?

Kittens generally start the weaning process when they are four weeks old; by the time they are eight to ten weeks, they should be entirely off milk.

After this phase in their lives, cats have no nutritional need to drink milk.

Can cats drink plant milk?

Cats can drink almond, soy, and coconut milk. These kinds of milk are safe for your cat to drink and won’t cause digestive upset since they don’t contain lactose.

You must be aware that these types of milk are full of fats, and the calories can add pretty quickly for your small cat. Offering your cat plant kinds of milk too often may lead to obesity.

Some plant milk has added sugars, which may lead to tooth decay and obesity.

Reading the milk alternatives’ label for treating your cat to plant milk from time to time is a smart idea. Sweeteners like Xylitol are toxic to cats, be sure you know what the ingredients are and that they are cat friendly.


Given in small amounts, milk can be a treat for your cat. If you really want to feed your cat milk regularly, you should consider buying milk formulated for cats specifically. This is a better option since most cats become lactose intolerant after weaning from their mother milk.

Milk isn’t nutritious enough to make for a balanced diet but can be used as a treat from time to time.

Sparkle Kitty