For many, milk is a staple food item that we often take for granted. It can be difficult to imagine our daily lives without it!
Milk has been consumed by humans for centuries all across the globe. Even if you don’t like milk as an adult, there are plenty of ways to enjoy it as a child or even as a pet.
There are several types of milk including cow’s milk, goat’s milk, hemp milk, almond milk and rice milk. Each one of these have their pros and cons depending on what you want from your drink.
This article will talk about how kittens could benefit from drinking either cow’s milk, almond milk or both. Also, I will discuss some potential health benefits of each type of milk for cats. But before we get into those, let us start with something important: why should your cat eat milk?
Why Should Your Cat Eat Milk?
Most dogs are not allowed to consume dairy products due to the risk of them developing allergies. This includes cows’ milk, cheese, cream and ice-cream.
For this reason, most people limit the amount of milk their dog eats to prevent problems. However, this isn’t always possible for owners. Some may just prefer not having meat in the diet.
Dairy foods are a good source of protein and vitamins which are needed for healthy growth and immune function.
They may not like it
Many kittens develop an aversion to milk as they grow older. This is usually due to taste, or possibly because they get thirsty more quickly when they are drinking milk.
If your kitten refuses to drink almond milk after trying it several times, do not force her to take it! Taking away food can be very harmful for certain cats or dogs, so always check with us before you perform that action.
You can try introducing watered down milk instead, but still with no success? Try adding some cinnamon to help sweeten the mixture. Some cats enjoy cinnamon in drinks so this might work!
For tips on how to wean off of cow’s milk, read here.
It can cause diarrhea
Many people believe that kittens can drink almond milk because they see it in stores or online advertisements with little to no pictures of how puppies are drinking it. While some adult dogs can eat almond milk, this is not the case for puppy diets.
Almond milk is made from almonds which are an edible nut grown in California. The skin of the almond contains small amounts of vitamin E which helps protect the milk from going bad. This happens when you stir the milk or if there are bacteria present in the environment where the milk was stored.
When buying almond milk make sure it does not have sugar added to it nor do they add gelatin to thicken it. Both of these things may lead to diarrhea due to the excess lactose (the sugar form of milk) being consumed. Lactose cannot be absorbed into the blood when digestion has been completed so it goes through the digestive system and is eventually expelled.
There have been reports of kitties getting sick after eating the milk alone or along with other foods. Some cases involved adding additional ingredients such as fruits which contain natural sugars.
They may get cramps
Many kittens enjoy drinking almond milk as it is very rich in nutrients, particularly vitamin D which helps promote strong bones. Unfortunately, though, most puppies and young kitties cannot drink this milk due to an enzyme they have that breaks down lactose, the naturally occurring sugar found in cow’s milk.
When puppies or younger cats are given cow’s milk, their digestive systems produce a special enzyme called lactase, which begins breaking down lactose.
This usually works well until the cat or puppy reaches around one year old when the enzyme levels decrease enough for digestion. At this stage, the dog or kitten will begin to feel ill after eating dairy products, and some may even experience vomiting.
Some veterinarians consider having a lactose-free diet for these dogs and cats to be impossible unless the animal receives daily supplements of bovine enzymes.
It isn’t as nutritious as cow’s milk
Many people believe that because almond milk is made from almonds, it must be more nutritious than regular milk. This couldn’t be further from the truth. While some studies have shown that almonds may help keep your heart healthy, none of these studies determined whether or not this effect was due to the cream content in the drink or the nuts themselves.
As we mentioned before, one of the major components of almond milk is coconut oil. Coconut oil has many different uses, but most notably, it can be mixed with water and heated to make an edible gel.
When you add fats to our diets, we need to balance them out. Too much intake of any food group — such as fat, carbs, or protein — could result in overweight or obesity. Unfortunately, just like with sugar, too much saturated fat can contribute to health problems. That’s why it is important to limit intake of foods high in saturated fat, especially when you are trying to lose weight.
There are several types of milk that contain higher levels of cholesterol and/or saturated fat than plain old milk. Almond milk is probably the least expensive option if you are looking to cut back on dairy products, but it is very hard to tell what kind of additives it contains.
They may not grow as fast
Although many people believe that kittens need to drink milk in order to thrive, this is actually not true! Most young cats are born with the enzymes they need to eat dried or powdered milk products.
Kittens who are bottle-fed liquid milk can also produce their own natural antibodies. So even if you choose to wean your kitten off of milk, she/he will still be protected against most allergies at home and away.
Furthermore, some studies show that early exposure to cow’s milk can increase an infant’s risk for developing food allergies later in life. Because children typically inherit these protective antibodies from birth, it is possible to prevent allergic reactions by never giving them cow’s milk.
However, research does indicate that solid foods (such as meat, chicken, rice, and pasta) can reduce the incidence of allergy symptoms in infants. This means that starting with an oral tolerance program when your baby is very little (say, six months old) could help prevent potential allergies down the road.
It can be expensive
Many people believe that kittens cannot drink almond milk because they think almonds are too rich for little kids. However, this is not true! Although most adults’ nutritional needs are slightly higher than an infant’s, it is possible to make nutritious additions to your kitten’s diet if you follow our tips below.
First of all, just like with any other food, make sure your kitten is drinking enough water. If she seems thirsty but there isn’t much liquid in her, try giving her one of these bowls so she can access some extra fluid.
Secondly, give her half of her normal feeding amount every time she drinks from the bowl. This way, she will still get adequate nutrition while limiting how much milk she consumes.
Thirdly, do not offer her the whole container at once. Let her choose how much she wants to sip off of the top layer before moving onto the next bit.
Fourthly, remember that even though babies need less protein than teenagers or adult humans, kittens need more than cats who are exclusively eating meat. Therefore, do not worry about whether or not her body will use all of the protein she has been given.
Fifthly, check out our article: How To Make Your Own Nutrient-rich Food For Cats.
They may not like the taste
Many kittens seem to enjoy eating plain milk with no additions. Unfortunately, this isn’t always the case!
Many kitten owners try adding dried or liquid cat food into their kitty’s diet as an alternative to cow’s milk. This can sometimes be tricky for those who don’t drink milk already.
Most kids are taught that milk is the perfect beverage, so most people know how to make it. But what about cats?
Just because dogs love milk doesn’t mean that every cat does. Some will growl at the thought of drinking it and some won’t take its shape easily when you pour it in a bowl for them.
Some cats have never drunk any kind of milk. So how do you get your kitten to accept it?
You can usually train a young kitten to drink milk by offering it in a dish that contains only milk. As his or her paws move towards the milk, give a little push so they drop onto the milk.
Repeat this process several times a day until the kitten comes to understand that milk is part of his or her daily routine.
Disclaimer: The content written here is for informational purposes and should not be considered specific advice for anyone else. Only speak from experience with foods that work for your own personal body.
This article was inspired by one titled Why Does My Cat Refuse To Eat Mouse Or Rat Diet?.
They need to grow up before they can properly digest it
Although many people believe that kittens can drink milk, this is not true! Before you give your kitten an ounce of milk, she must be weaned off her mother’s milk.
Kittens are born with a natural instinct to nurse for several reasons. First, their nutritional needs are easily met by nursing. Their parents’ milk contains enough nutrients for growth as well as general health.
Furthermore, most young cats develop the habit of nursing while in the womb where nutrition is plentiful. This helps prepare them for the more limited resources at their new homes after birth.
However, just because puppies and adult cats can eat milk doesn’t mean that every individual puppy or cat owner knows how to do it safely. Some dogs and cats may suffer from gastrointestinal upset due to milk allergies or digestive issues.