Cow MilkCats (domestic)Can kittens drink cows milk?Anne Wiebe, 50 years as a cat caretaker and admirer, fostered 100+ baby kittensAnswered 177w agoI have fostered nearly a hundred baby kittens, so I have a lot of experience with this question. The short answer is no, don't feed a kitten cow's milk. Cats in general do best with only the foods specifically for them. Most cats are lactose intolerant, and can't digest the lactose in cow's milk.
So the kitten should never be given cow's milk. Kittens' digestion is very delicate, and they will get diarrhea very easily and dehydrate. A dehydrated kitten is in big trouble and needs veterinary help, they can easily die from that. So do avoid cow's milk when feeding a kitten, stick to the foods meant for kittens.If you're feeding a tiny kitten too young to eat solid food, then ideally, the kitten should nurse from its mother and then graduate to solid food.
If there's no mother cat to nurse the kitten, there are commercial kitten formulas sold at pet stores as well as pet bottles. There's lots of information online about how to bottle-feed kittens, it's doable but you need to inform yourself about it. You can also Google homemade kitten formula, sometimes called "kitten glop," to bottle-feed a kitten. A kitten old enough to eat solid food should be fed only cat food, both canned and dry, plus water.
Anything other than that should only be fed as a daily diet if recommended by a vet. This is the best way to keep your kitten healthy.Your response is private.Is this answer still relevant and up to date?YesNoWill Falconer, Veterinarian who's seen cats in practice since 1980, but now sees them quite differently in the past 20 yea...Answered 177w agoI've rarely seen a problem with diarrhea in cats or kittens fed occasional cow's milk.
Ideally, your source would be raw milk, not the pasteurized, homogenized version that is sold in most stores.The raw milk will have enzymes intact, which help it digest very easily. Its proteins will also be unchanged, just as they appear to the calf drinking it directly, so are less likely to be harmful or not tolerated.That being said, milk should only be an occasional supplement to a more species appropriate diet based on raw food that's balanced.
And, stools should be observed to see that they remain well formed and do not become diarrheic. If the latter occurs, you'll know milk is not tolerated well and should be stopped.More significant in my experience is feeding cats of any age kibble, the dried, wholly unnatural food that is the commonest stuff sold. Kibble causes untold problems, especially in this water conserving, predatory species, whose natural diet would not be anything resembling cereal!Here's a page I've written that explains in detail why you'll be better off never using kibble in cats: No Kibble for Kitty!Your response is private.
Is this answer still relevant and up to date?YesNoChristine Condo, Cat WhispererAnswered 177w agoThanks for A2A. There are two excellent, well-informed answers here, so I'll just try to simplify. Dr. Falconer is of course correct; pre-weaning age (about 9 weeks or younger) kittens can drink cow's milk, or any milk. Neonates are not lactose intolerant; this develops gradually with age.That being said, it's not ideal; it doesn't have the right fat-to-protein ratio, and is missing some crucial nutrients that are specific to cats.
It's in the "better-than-nothing" category. I like Anne Weibe's suggestion about making it at home, but rather than simply googling it, go with a site run by someone who works in veterinary medicine. Here are a few I've found:http://www.cathelp-online.com/he...http://ac.ingham.org/PetCareReso...http://www.catdocmaine.com/orpha...One thing I want to add: Keep young kittens away from other cats until they've had their vaccines, and get them vaccinated as soon as possible.
If they didn't get first milk from their mom shortly after birth (the window closes at 48 hours or so), then they didn't get her immunity, so they are very susceptible to disease.Your response is private.Is this answer still relevant and up to date?YesNoBoris R. Liston, Bsc Science & Biology, Florida State University (2011)Answered 17w agoKittens derive far more than simple nutrition from their mother in the eight to 10 weeks that they spend nursing.
Once weaning is complete and cats move on to more adult foods and water dishes, both their need for milk and their ability to digest it at volume are practically nonexistent.Let’s take a closer look into cat nutrition, from the whelping box to old age, and see why giving any kind of milk is not only redundant, but possibly harmful. Some topics we’ll cover when it comes to kittens and milk:Mother cat and newborn kitten careBottle-feeding kittens in mother’s absenceCan kittens drink cow’s milk?Are cats lactose intolerant?Are milk substitutes, like lactose-free milk, okay for cats?Why do cats like milk?What milk can kittens drink? Are lactose-free milks okay for kittens?There are other varieties of milk.
For instance, people increasingly ask whether goat milk for cats is an acceptable treat. Goat milk for kittens is a little more salutary than cow’s milk, but the difference between them is negligible at best. A cup of goat’s milk has only one less gram of sugar in it than a cup of cow’s milk.Paul Theodoropoulos, Constitutional Scholar and legal expert.Answered 174w agoAs others have noted, plain cows milk isn't a good choice.
Other species such as goats are better, as they have less lactose. However, there is another alternative, and it's fairly readily available - Kefir. Kefir is cultured milk - and the cultures digest essentially all of the lactose. Our cats go crazy for it. It's very good for people, too.Dixie L. Davis, former Research Assistant at University of Edinburgh (1993-1994)Answered 176w agoThey can, but it's not very good for them, and can cause stomach upset.
Best to get kitten milk replacer. After 6-8 weeks, kittens and cats (like most mammals) don't need milk. (Time period depending on mammalian species, but point being that mammals don't need milk past infancy.)See Also: Cow Meat In India
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Thinkstock 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. But while it’s true that many kitties love to lap up the white stuff, it turns out that they can’t always successfully digest milk without getting sick. So we decided to get the real dish on how milk affects felines from Dr.
Cailin Heinze, VMD, MS, DACVN, an assistant professor of nutrition at the Tufts Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine. Should Cats Drink Milk? “Cats do not gain anything nutritionally from milk that is not present in a well-balanced commercial [cat food] diet,” explains Dr. Heinze, adding that it should be treated more like a very occasional high-calorie treat than an everyday food. “We generally recommend that cats be fed no more than 20 to 30 calories a day from unbalanced sources, such as human food items or commercial treats," adds Dr.
Heinze. "Skim milk contains 83 calories per cup, while whole milk contains 149 calories per cup. Too many calories from such treats can dilute out essential nutrients from a feline's main diet, contributing to the serious obesity problem that we are currently facing with our pet cats.” Aren't Most Felines Lactose Intolerant? Standard cow milk has much more lactose and casein than many dairy-loving kitties can digest.
“Most adult mammals have at least some degree of lactose intolerance — and cats are no exception,” explains Dr. Heinze. “The amounts of lactase (the enzyme that digests lactose) that the body produces declines after weaning.” In other words, cats’ bodies are even less equipped to handle the stuff as they stop nursing and get older. “Lactose is a sugar, and undigested sugars draw water into the intestine, causing diarrhea,” adds Dr.
Heinze. “They are also fermented in the gut, and can cause bloating and flatulence.” Ultimately, like humans, some cats will tolerate milk without a problem, but Dr. Heinze recommends offering safer treats, like bite-sized bits of cooked meat and fish or commercial cat treats for an equally tasty reward. For answers to other curious questions about animals, check out our other "What's the Deal With .
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