If your kitty has been turning down regular milk you might have considered giving them lactose free milk as a substitute. But the real question is not only if you cat can handle it, but is there any pressing reason to give it to your cat?
The milk industry has done its work and now many people believe that milk is a healthy drink for humans, but the idea of milk being a good thing for cats goes much further back. It’s almost embedded in the mind of society that if you see a stray cat you can nourish it with a saucer of milk, which they’ll happily lap up. But too many owners have seen the repercussions of giving a cat milk, and have stopped after the first serving.
But the lingering thought is that you somehow have to find a workaround for milk, as it must be essential to a cat’s survival. But many vets and owners point to the fact that there’s no real need to give your cat milk, whether it’s lactose free, or almond or soy milk. Your cat only needs water, and they get all of their other nutritional requirements from the food that you’re giving them.
Can I Give My Cat Lactose Free Milk? Answer: Not Recommended
The reason people think it’s OK to give a cat milk is because of a long-held belief that they like it. It’s similar to cats and fish, in that there’s not a lot of documented evidence that cats naturally prey on fish, nor is there any data that would show a cat opting to suckle up under a heifer. It’s unclear how these myths started, but they’ve been perpetuated for years now, and are part of our understanding of domesticated felines. But don’t buy into it, as there’s no need to give your cat milk of any kind, and you definitely don’t need to go out of your way to do so.
Cats and Lactose
The reason that most cats are lactose intolerant is that they weren’t designed to drink milk from another species. Kittens have no problem tolerating their mother’s milk, but the vast majority of cats can’t stomach regular cow’s milk. The reason that humans are able to drink cows milk is because we’ve been doing it for several generations, but you still see many people that can’t handle it and this is why there are a ton of different brands and types of lactose free milk. A cat’s digestive system has even less experience with milk, and the myth that cats need milk needs to end.
The Added Expense
You usually have to pay a little more in order to get lactose free milk, and that extra money could be going toward a higher quality cat food. The nice thing about owning a cat is that you can pour all of the funds from all of the supplemental things you might want to give them into the highest grade of cat food possible, and then you don’t have to worry about anything other than keeping their litter box tidy. They pretty much take care of themselves and don’t need a lot of extras, not even treats or supplements that you might think will help them.
Any Need for Milk?
The good news is that your cat doesn’t need to drink milk, as long as their being fed a quality cat food. Any nourishment or benefit of drinking milk is negated by the lactose, and if you give them lactose free milk there’s not a lot in it that your cat is missing out on, as their food contains all of the vitamins and minerals your cat needs for a happy and healthy life.
So to recap, son’t worry about giving your cat lactose free milk. Take the money you’ll save from not buying it and invest it in a high-quality cat food. This is where your cat is getting all of the nourishment it needs, and it makes things very easy for you as the owner, because you won’t have to worry about supplementing their diet, or whether a certain food or drink is alright for them.