Can I Give My Cat Milk?

CatChannel veterinary expert Arnold Plotnick, DVM, discusses why cat's should not drink milk.

By Arnold Plotnick, DVM | Posted: November 26, 2010, 3 a.m. EST

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Q: I have two Siamese cats, one is show quality and the other more traditional. Is giving milk a bad thing for Siamese cats? One breeder I spoke to strongly opposed it. She also insisted on that they need raw meat.  I feed them Wellness canned food in addition to Royal Canin brand dry food. I would appreciate your comments. They love their food but the small female for some reason craves milk and we are leery to give it to her.

A: Cats love milk, but they cannot digest it properly and most cats wind up with diarrhea. In fact, in my practice I’ll often prescribe milk for cats with constipation problems because of its diarrhea-inducing properties.

You can offer a small amount as a treat, and monitor to see if it causes diarrhea. If so, you’ll need to stop giving it. If not, then a little milk here and there is OK as a treat.

I am not a proponent of feeding “raw” diets to cats. The brands you use, Wellness and Royal Canin, are both excellent diets. No need to supplement with milk.

See more articles by Arnold Plotnick, DVM>>

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Reader Comments

Gail    Mission Viejo, CA

1/26/2015 8:07:02 PM

I give my cat lactose free milk. He does not get diarrhea or vomiting from it. He refuses to drink water.

Alice    Nokomis, FL

10/1/2014 10:53:20 PM

I drink fat free lactose free milk and so do my cats thet never have any problems,

Margaret    International

9/14/2014 4:26:27 PM

I give my cats Lactose free milk - seems not to affect their tummies x

Liz    San Antonio, TX

9/13/2014 9:43:26 PM

My cat is 18 years old, she drinks about 1\4 of a cup of half and half diluted with a little water every day. She loves it and doesn't have stomach problems.

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