Is Milk Bad For Cats? Are They Lactose Intolerant? Or Is It Good To Give To My Cat Or Kitten?

Cats are mammals. But the milk produced by a pregnant cat has nothing to do with the regular milk found in your fridge.

Newborn kittens need milk from their mother as it’s their only source of nutrition while they’re babies.

However, after weaning, their bodies adapt to regular cat food (protein-heavy stuff), which helps them grow into healthy adults. They no longer need milk at that stage of growth.

Wait, so is milk bad for cats?

It’s not poisonous, but yes, milk can be bad for cats and can cause severe complications in your kitty’s digestive system.

Why Is Milk Bad For Cats? Are They Lactose Intolerant?

It’s not bad for all cats or when served on rare occasions. Rare meaning NOT as a substitute for your cat’s daily water.

Most cats are at least somewhat lactose intolerant. This means they often lack the needed lactase enzymes that help them break down the lactose found in milk and other dairy products such as cheese and butter.

Cats produce less and less lactase as they age.

A lactose-intolerant cat cannot digest lactose properly. As such, drinking milk can result in complications and symptoms, including:

  • Diarrhea
  • Dehydration
  • Indigestion
  • Gas
  • Stomach pains

Gas can be caused by almost everything your cat swallows, including air, and usually does not harm your cat. Other complications, however, are often rather painful and unhealthy for the kitty.

Diarrhea and dehydration can lead to severe problems and even death when it comes to young or newborn kittens.

When Is Milk Good For Cats?

Milk contains various vitamins and minerals that are just as essential for cats as they are for human beings. But while your kitty definitely needs such ingredients, it’s better to get them from other sources.

For example, you can either use a specialized milk replacement or another type of milk that is less dangerous for your cat.

Soy milk and lactose-free cow milk might be good options. Unfortunately, they can’t guarantee that your pet won’t experience any nasty consequences, so it’s usually not worth it.

Should I Give Milk To My Cat?

Why go to the trouble when there’s a high likelihood it’ll harm your cat?

If your furball happens to be lactose tolerant, it’s safe to treat it with some milk. But if you’re looking for a healthy treat, you should opt for real cat treats. Such products are specifically manufactured to meet a feline’s dietary needs.

Dairy products and conventional human foods aren’t sufficient to provide a healthy cat diet. You should always stick to high-quality cat food when it comes to feeding your fluffy pal, regardless of its breed or age.

If you still wish to treat your kitty with milk, you should opt for specialized pet-friendly products.

Our review process is unbiased and based on extensive research. If you buy through the links on our site, we may earn a commission.

Milk Replacement Options For Kittens

KMR Kitten Milk Replacer

KMR is one such product. It’s manufactured to serve as a milk replacer for young or newborn kittens aged up to six weeks.

The unique formula is similar to a mother’s milk in terms of calories, fat, protein, and carbohydrates. It’s formulated to be easy on kitty’s digestive system and offers a sufficient amount of vitamins and minerals to help your pet grow and thrive into a healthy adult cat.

The powdered milk lacks harmful preservatives and is easy to mix with water. It’s ideal for adopted kittens that still need to nurse.

KMR comes in a 12-oz package and is currently a top best-selling milk replacer on Amazon. It’s not only healthy and efficient but also won’t break your wallet. You can get the 12-oz package for less than $20, and it can produce approximately 60-oz of liquids for your cat after being mixed with water.

If you need a milk replacer for your new baby kitten, this is definitely the best choice on the market in terms of price and efficiency.

See Price Button

>> Click here to read more reviews and see today’s best price on <<

Our feline furballs have various ways of manipulating us into catering to their whims. However, it’s best not to spoil your pet with milk.

High-quality cat foods are packed with more than enough vitamins and essential ingredients to nurture your cat.

Emily Parker

Emily Parker is the Content Manager at Catological. She's passionate about helping cat parents love their cats better by providing the best information and recommendations about everything you'll need to know about your cat, from kitten to senior years. She believes natural, biologically-appropriate products are best...why wouldn't you provide the best for a member of your family?!