are cats allergic to milk

Did you know that most cats are lactose intolerant? It’s true. While they’ll happily lap up the white stuff if you present it to them, for many cats this “treat” will result in stomach cramps and that’s no fun.

What can happen if a cat drinks milk?

Some cats may react strongly to cow’s milk and develop severe health problems as a result of consuming it. After consuming milk, colic can cause discomfort in cats who have moderate lactose intolerance.

If your cat cannot break down the sugar in milk, the lactose will go through their digestive system unprocessed. There, it begins to ferment and it can produce gases. Then, these gases may cause cramps, colic, and occasionally, excessive flatulence. Lethargy and occasionally curling into a defensive position to “guard” their abdomen are indicators that your cat may be experiencing colic pain. Additionally, when you pet them, you might notice that their stomach is swollen.

A cat with lactose intolerance may also develop diarrhoea. This results from water being drawn into the intestines by undigested sugars.

In light of this, giving milk to your cat is generally not advised, especially if you are unsure of how they will respond to it. The only way to determine if your cat is lactose intolerant is to watch what happens when they consume milk; there is no test for this. It is dangerous to test your cat by giving it milk because a severely lactose-intolerant cat will become very ill very quickly and require emergency medical care.

It is best to see your veterinarian before giving your cat milk, just like you would with any other dietary changes.

What is lactose intolerance?

For milk sugar (lactose) to pass through the small intestine’s mucous membrane and into the bloodstream, it must first be broken down into its component parts, galactose and glucose. The enzyme lactase is responsible for this process. An adult cat’s diet consists of meat instead of milk, so it either produces very little or no lactase. This means it is lactose intolerant. The lactose in milk and dairy products does not dissolve and enter the bloodstream in the small intestine of an adult cat; instead, it passes straight through to the large intestine unaltered. There, bacteria colonize it, resulting in uncomfortable gas, flatulence, cramps, stomach pain, vomiting, and diarrhea, usually 8 to 12 hours later.

are cats allergic to milk

Which alternatives to milk are there?

are cats allergic to milk

FAQ

Is it OK to give cats milk?

Is milk bad for cats? Yes – most cats are lactose intolerant, and consuming dairy products can lead to diarrhoea and vomiting. There are some specially designed cat milk options available, which are more suitable and contain reduced lactose. However, these should only be fed in moderation.

What percent of cats are allergic to milk?

The risk of milk allergy is very small in cats. In cats, the occurrence of all food-allergic reactions is not more common than in dogs, and would be affecting less than 0.05% of the cat population (3), with dairy products accounting for less than 0.01% (4).

What happens when a cat drinks milk?

They can get vomiting, diarrhoea and stomach pain from drinking it (just like lactose intolerance in humans). While not all cats will get poorly, it’s really better not to risk it! Another reason not to give your cat cows’ milk is because it’s full of fat, which is why they like the taste so much!