Can you give milk to your cat and is it useful?

We all have in mind the photos, drawings, engravings and other representations featuring a cat lapping up milk. But, in fact, can you really give milk to your cat? Is it useful and good for your health? Giving milk to your cat is a popular belief that has a hard life. Explanations and advice to follow.

Formula milk for the orphan kitten

Until the age of 4 weeks, the kitten feeds on its mother’s milk by suckling. But what to do when the kitten is an orphan and must then be bottle-fed?

Cow’s, goat’s and sheep’s milk is strongly discouraged. There is formula milk available from your veterinarian, pharmacy or specialized stores and sites. This milk will cover the nutritional needs of the kitten.


A formula milk for kittens is prepared at the time of bottle distribution at a temperature of 37° .

The frequency of distributions will be 7 times a day on average for up to 8 days , then the number of feedings will decrease by one bottle per 24 hours from the second week.

If the kitten manages to lap up, the milk can then be distributed in a small bowl, always heated to 37° before.

At the 4th week, a solid food for kitten recommended by your veterinarian can be mixed with the milk. It will be necessary to start with small quantities in order to observe how the kitten reacts. Give a little milk to the kitten who after weaning tolerates it will be possible, which will allow him to maintain his ability to digest lactose.

From 10 weeks the kitten can no longer digest milk and there is a risk of deficiencies.

Not all adult cats tolerate milk

Not all cats love milk. At least some tolerate it, others do not, do not digest it and others are intolerant to it and may be allergic to it.

Some cats do not assimilate lactose or milk proteins.

It is estimated that some 50% of cats cannot tolerate milk .

The inability to digest milk can lead to various disorders including:

  • particularly watery diarrhea,
  • vomitings,
  • but also itching.

A consultation so that the veterinarian determines the exact cause of the disorders is essential.

If your cat has no intolerance or allergy , then it will be possible to give him milk. Milk is not a toxic food for cats .

When distributing his meals , knowing that the cat likes to make several babies a day, the milk will always be given in small quantities .

Plan on average per day on 10 ml of cow’s milk per kg of weight of the animal . It can be whole or semi-skimmed milk.

Can you give dairy products to your cat?

Yogurt, but also fermented milk products such as cheese or cottage cheese, contain less lactose than milk. That is why they can be better assimilated by cats and can be given to them.

Again, the distribution will be done in a reasonable way. Some cheeses being particularly fatty will be given sparingly because it can lead to weight gain with the risk of promoting overweight and obesity, harmful to the health of the cat .

Finally, if the cat is particularly “loving” of milk as an adult, you will also find specially formulated milks, lactose-free, which will satisfy his gluttony.

Water is the only essential drink for the cat

Cow’s milk should never replace water, which is the only truly essential drink for the cat .

As long as your cat has a well-balanced diet, drinking water is sufficient. Make sure to renew the cat’s water bowl regularly . In addition, it is possible to multiply the water points within your house or apartment.

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