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    Can Cats Drink Milk?

    Can Cats Drink Milk?

    by Health / 3 min read

    Published: May 5, 2023

    Summary: Is milk good for cats?” Learn whether cats can have milk, why they like it, and if they can drink other types of milk (coconut, oat, soy, etc.) here... 


    We’ve all seen those scenes in movies and TV where a character’s feline friend is offered a saucer of milk. But is cow’s milk good for cats? Should we really be sharing this white liquid with our purring pal...? 

    Can Cats Have Milk? 

    Did you know that most cats are lactose intolerant!? Lactose is the sugar present in cow’s milk, so most cats shouldn’t be given milk at all as it may result in gastrointestinal distress!  

    In addition, according to UK Charity PDSA, a cat drinking a saucer of milk is the fat equivalent of a human-being eating a 12-inch pizza! If a cat’s being offered milk in addition to their regular diet, then this can lead to unnecessary weight gain and leave them at higher risk of conditions like feline diabetes – obese cats are 4 times more likely to develop the disease.  

    Cats only like the taste of milk because it’s so high in fat (and previous experiences of stomach upset will most likely not put them off it!), but it doesn’t benefit their health in any way. Very much like how most humans feel about foods like donuts... 

    Can Cats Drink Lactose-Free Milk? 

    Technically yes, a cat can drink lactose-free cow’s milk. But this milk option typically contains similar amounts of fat as regular milk and so must only be offered in real moderation and only as an occasional treat to a cat.  

    a small gray tabby kitten looks up with dark green eyes from a floral-patterned, orange inner, white outer China bowl, filled with milk on green grass. They lick their lips with their small pink tongue


    Can Cats Drink Almond Milk? 

    A small amount of almond milk shouldn’t harm a cat, but cats don’t have nuts in their regular diet, so there’s no need to offer them almond milk. Almond milk may cause stomach upset in some cats too.  

    Can Cats Drink Oat Milk? 

    While it would be better for them than cow’s milk, oat milk can still cause gastrointestinal distress in cats so it’s not advised.  

    Can Cats Drink Soy Milk? 

    It’s not recommended you offer your cat soy milk. Cat digestive systems will still have trouble breaking down the – albeit non-lactose – sugars present in soy milk and this may cause them to have an upset stomach. 

    Can Cats Drink Goat Milk? 

    While lower in fat and lactose than cow’s milk, these are both still present in goat milk, so it’s not advised.  

    Can Cats Drink Coconut Milk? 

    Like almond milk, small amounts shouldn’t technically cause your pet any adverse problems but its high-fat content may upset some cats' stomachs. But it really isn’t necessary to share any type of milk with them – they will reap no benefit from it.  

    Cats and Milk 

    Cats only really need to drink water and eat high-quality cat food. 

    Of course, kittens need to drink their mother’s milk or be fed kitten-specific milk if they have been separated from their mother for whatever reason. But once weaned there is absolutely no need for a cat to have milk. 

    If you’re concerned about your cat’s hydration levels, read our blog on how much water a cat needs to drink here. 


    Dr. Walther, Ricky “Can Cats Drink Milk? Here’s Everything You Need To Know” Pawlicy  

    “Vet Q&A: Can Cats Drink Milk?” PDSA, Nov 17. 2020  

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    The information contained within this site is not intended as a substitute for professional medical or veterinary advice. PetLab Co. is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease. If your pet has, or you suspect your pet has any medical condition, you are urged to consult your veterinarian. Medical conditions can only be diagnosed by a licensed veterinarian. These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. Results May Vary. Not intended for human consumption. Please consult your veterinarian regarding any change in treatment or supplementation.
    *In Amazon Pet Health Category in 2022