There are quite a few myths that go along with owning a cat, and the biggest one is probably thinking that milk is the perfect cat food and that they must drink this liquid in order to be healthy.
Of course cats enjoy sipping milk, but is it really good for them, or necessary? The answer to that question depends largely on the cat’s digestive system. However, for most cats, milk is not a good idea.
The milk we purchase at the grocery store is made from cows. Cow milk can be extremely unsuitable for your cat’s digestive system, which in turn creates messy piles of, you know what! And diarrhea isn’t the only problem is caused by drinking too much milk, a cat may experience gastric disturbances which can prove to be very uncomfortable.
Why is it then that most of us consider cats and milk to go together like peanut butter and jelly? Perhaps it is because of the array of television and cartoon characters that always portray milk as a cat’s best friend.
Amazingly enough, even as adults we are prone to believe myths like this that are untrue based on memories, like cartoons for example.
Milk Isn’t Always Bad
Although cow’s milk is not really a good food choice for a cat, not all milk is considered bad. Kittens for example need their mother’s milk in order to survive and grow. It is absolutely essential.
And when they are small, this milk gives them all the vitamins and minerals they need at that time, including antibodies.
However, at approximately 12 or more weeks old, these kittens will lose the ability to digest lactose, which is found in milk. There are a small percentage of cats that are still able to drink milk without problems, but they are few and far in between.
For Those Of You That Insist On Feeding Your Cat Cow’s Milk
Milk can be a great source of protein and vitamins. The only way to know for sure whether your cat is a good candidate for cow’s milk is to test by feeding him small amounts at a time. Start by giving him less than 1 ounce of milk at one sitting daily.
Be sure to keep the schedule consistent by serving your cat this milk at the same time every day.
After three or four days, if you do not see any proof of diarrhea in your cat’s stools, you may increase the amount of feeding times to two each day. Continue with this process until you are successfully able to feed your cat milk two to three times per day without any problems.