Many children’s books are full of beautiful drawings of cats… with a bowl of milk. Of course, we think that it is ok to give cats some milk, but is that really the case? The cat’s age and the kind of milk play a big role in this!
Of course, young cats -kittens- should be drinking mother’s milk. This milk is packed with antibodies and important nutrients for the kitten to grow up. Especially in the first 24 hours it is important that the kittens are nursed by the mother, because then they take in the colostrum. This milk is extra enriched with antibodies.
Feline mother’s milk has a specific composition: it contains more energy and fats and less lactose in comparison to cow’s milk.
Lactose could cause digestive problems in cats. Generally, kittens don’t experience this problem, because they have an enzyme (lactase) to digest the lactose. This enzyme stops functioning when the kittens are six weeks old, and then the lactose will not be digested well. MANY CATS ARE LACTOSE INTOLERANT
When the kittens have lost their mom, or when they are born in a very large litter, it may be necessary to offer artificial milk. Do not give cow’s milk, but use a specific milk that strongly resembles mother’s milk.
Oropharma Pet Milk is a perfect and safe milk replacer, which can be used from birth to weaning. Carefully follow the instructions on the instruction leaflet for the right quantities.
It is important that adult cats are drinking enough; plain clean and fresh water is ideal for them. Click HERE for tips on how to have your cat drink more.
Cow’s milk actually is not good for adult cats; moreover, it has no added value for them. Many cats are lactose intolerant -the enzyme lactase does not function well anymore- and they could get diarrhoea from drinking cow’s milk.
kittens are best to drink mother’s milk until they are weaned. From then on, water is the golden drink for cats!