Can Cats Drink Cow's Milk

It may be a much repeated cliche but also a much repeated truism-your pet is one of the family. Our faithful, feline friend does not criticise or belittle, does not argue or cause upset and does not ask awkward questions or demand his food at 6 pm. He gives nothing but unconditional love and asks for nothing in return except a warm knee, a kind word and, ideally, a full tummy!

In the same way that a parent only wants the best for their child to enable them to flourish, a cat owner only wants the best for their precious pet. It is no trade secret that cats like milk. It is an automatic association, in the same way as mice and birds are, but there has been much debate in recent years as to whether it is safe for cats to consume the same milk as us humans consume. So, is it safe to give your cat a drink of cow's milk?

The answer to this question essentially lies with your pet. The majority of cats are lactose intolerant. Lactose is the predominant sugar naturally found in cow's milk and just as a human can suffer from an allergy or intolerance to a particular substance, unfortunately, many cats do to one of their favourite drinks The only way to know if it is safe to give your cat regular milk is to actually let him drink it, then wait and see! If your pet is intolerant he will show signs of an upset stomach, such as diarrhoea and vomiting which, let's face it, is pleasant for no-one! Obviously, if after drinking milk, your cat is fine then he is one of the lucky ones and can tuck into a bowl of milk at leisure, advisably as a simple treat.

Treating your cat to milk is like treating a child to chocolate. There is no specific nutritional content available in cow's milk for a cat, it just tastes delicious. For this reason your cat may barely touch a bowl of water but may devour a bowl of milk in ten seconds flat, as though he has a desperate thirst to quench, but fear not. Unlike many other animals, cats do not have a need to consume large amounts of liquid in order to stay hydrated, particularly if they have a daily diet of wet food, which is generally ample for their hydration needs.