Should Cats Be Given Milk?

There are more than 70 cat breeds and they are often valued by humans for their ability to hunt vermin or for companionship (though they’re pretty self-centered). They have been blessed with strong, flexible bodies, quick reflexes, sharp, retractable claws, and teeth adapted to killing small prey (stereo-typically mice). But all these activities require nutrition and a proper diet and this is why they tend to consume a number of small meals in a single day (which is not so different than what I do). One of the most common pet myths is that milk is good for cats and from centuries, people who keep them do not refrain from practicing the skill of nutrient recommendation themselves.

Cats and Milk; always seems to be a match made in heaven. I mean who hasn’t seen adorable illustrations of cats lapping towards saucers of thick cream? As with so many romances and fantasies, the one between cats and dairy isn’t quite what it’s perceived to be. Even though most cats adore a bit of milk, milk doesn’t always show the same affection. The main culprit might be milk’s lactose, which is hard to digest, and the result is diarrhea or an upset stomach. Well not exactly romantic.

Like us, cats can also be lactose intolerant. Although we tend to think that it’s a problem but it’s completely normal. For the digestion of lactose, a milk sugar, the human and feline digestive systems require to contain the enzyme lactase which is in a plenty amount in our systems at birth, and it helps us thrive on our mother’s milk but as we grow up, it’s normal for people and cats to begin producing less lactase. Less lactase means less ability to digest lactose and this eventually results in lactose intolerance. Hence, when a lactose-intolerant cat drinks milk, the undigested lactose passes through the intestinal tract, drawing water with it. Bacteria in the colon also ferment the undigested sugars, producing volatile fatty acids. Cute little kitty might not even be able to complain about an upset tummy. (No wonder why people fail at Biology).

[sociallocker]When it comes to special treats, it seems that cats naturally gravitate toward milk the way dogs take to bones and mice go for cheese. Ever wondered why? There must be a pretty good explanation. The fact is that many cats DO like milk – undoubtedly because it is a reminder of the comfort of their mother’s breast as a kitten. There’s nothing inherently wrong in giving a cat an occasional small amount of milk but they are better off if provided a good quality of cat food instead because milk doesn’t provide them with any real nutritional value. Sorry kitty, but your mommy abandoned you a long time ago.[/sociallocker]

Milk does not contain the essential nutrients cats need to grow and prosper.

Too much milk may displace their appetites for meat-based diets, and cause nutritionally-deficient diseases. I’m afraid only education will convince the masses that milk really isn’t all that desirable for cats, even though cats like it. But the fact is that most people do not seek out that education – it’s easier to fall back on old myths and beliefs, propagated by the media which is pretty much why we do not deserve to ruin the health of our pets. WE SHOULD NOT GIVE MILK TO CATS.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *