Giving a cat some evaporated milk seems like it would be a special treat for them, and as classic as giving them a mouse to chase, especially if you put it in a saucer. But this is one fallacy that has made it into the mainstream about what we think we know about cats and what they need.
The basic fact is that evaporated milk is cow’s milk, it has just had a lot of the water removed, so it comes out creamier and thicker than ordinary milk. Some owners might think that because it lacks the sugar of condensed milk that this is a better alternative. But neither one should be given to a cat, as it can cause stomach cramping, diarrhea, and even vomiting in some cases.
As the owner you want to do what’s best for your cat, and perhaps the notion of giving them some form of milk has been perpetuated by cartoons or just a general understanding that cats like milk. But as it turns out they don’t respond well to it, and it’s not something that they need in order to stay nourished and healthy.
Can I Give My Cat Evaporated Milk? Answer: No.
The big reason why you don’t want to give your cat evaporated milk is that it’s still cow’s milk, and cats in general have a natural intolerance to lactose. It’s pretty well known that humans are the only species that drinks another species’ milk, and there are still plenty of us that are lactose intolerant. That’s why it’s very natural that cats can’t tolerate cow’s milk, and it ends up giving them diarrhea of an upset stomach.
A cat out in the wild would not seek out milk to drink, nor would they have much of an opportunity to drink it after weaning themselves as kittens. They simply drink water when and where they can find it. That’s why you’re keeping things all natural by not giving them milk, and sticking to water only.
Water is All They Need
Cats only need a fresh supply of water in order to meet all of their hydration needs. They get all of their other nutrients from their cat food, and they don’t require any supplementation in the form of evaporated milk or anything else. It’s best just to keep it simple. Instead of adding a bunch of things to your cat’s diet, it’s better to put that money towards the best cat food you can get for them, this way you’re assured that they’re getting everything they need, and your job is much easier.
Tinkering Not a Good Idea
It’s best not to tinker with your cat’s diet, and keep things as consistent as you can. This can be hard for us as humans because we try to think for the cat and we come to the conclusion that eating the same food and drinking the same drink every day would get monotonous. But that’s only because we’ve developed a highly evolved palette and because eating has become such an important part of the human experience. We not only enjoy eating, but we enjoy critiquing the foods we eat, and plenty of people make their living trying to come up with new taste sensations.
But cats don’t have that same need to find enjoyment from food, they use it for sustenance. Don’t mistake their race to your ankles when they hear their food being opened as a sign that they’re excited to eat because they want to savor all of the flavors. They are responding to a hunger sensation, or perhaps a Pavlovian reaction if they’re not quite hungry yet. They are more than happy to have the same food each day because they are simply satisfying the hungry feeling they get. You can tell because they quickly go back to their nap or whatever else they feel like doing when the dish is empty or when they’re full.
So try to recognize when you’re thinking about what you would want, rather than what your cat needs. Go with an alternative like Cat’s Milk from the makers of Whiskas if you insist on giving your cat a milky substance, but overall you’re best just leaving things alone and going with the basics.