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Can Cats Drink Lactose-Free Milk?

Can Cats Drink Lactose-Free Milk?

The short answer: Yes, but only in limited amounts.

The long answer: Milk is a dairy product commonly produced by nursing mammals. It is packed with nutrients needed by young mammals, such as kittens who need sustenance from their mother’s milk. As kittens grow up, they generally lose the capacity to process the lactose found in milk. This is the reason why most adult cats are considered lactose intolerant. 

Lactose-free milk is made by including lactase to regular cow milk or other types of milk. The enzyme allows a cat to break down the lactose as it passes her stomach. Essentially, cats will be able to drink this type of milk safely without passing gas, experiencing digestive upset, vomiting, and getting the runs. However, you should only give them as treats since they do not need milk to meet their nutritional needs.

How to feed lactose-free milk to your cat: Treats should only make up 5 to 10% of your cat’s daily caloric intake. Consult with your doctor to find out how much lactose-free milk your cat is allowed to drink. Remember that lactose-free milk comes from cow milk, so it also contains nutrients and calories your cat may not need. 

In summary: Lactose-free milk is an occasional treat that can be given for cats who enjoy lapping milk. Before giving it to your pet cat, speak with your veterinarian to confirm that she is allowed to have it. Though cashew milk and almond milk are nut-based and lactose-free, the former should not be given to her because of its high fat content. 

References:

What Is Lactose-Free Milk?

Cats and Dairy: Get the Facts



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