Saturday, February 22, 2014

No Milk For Kitty...?

I read a while back that milk wasn't good for cats, and here is an article from KnowledgeNuts that explains why. My cats seem to drink it down without a problem!

I actually give my cats some of my chocolate milk and they treat it like a real treat. Guess they don't know that it's bad for them either! I reckon that we all learned something from this article. Now all I have to do is convince them that they can't have any more of my milk! That should be fun!

Cats Are Actually Lactose Intolerant
By Jessica Woolum on Friday, February 21, 2014

Few species of animal enjoy lactose outside of infancy, and even fewer of those enjoy the lactose of another animal. As common a theme as a cat lapping at a saucer of milk might be, lactose intolerance is the norm for most of any adult mammal. Only humans are found to enjoy the milk of another animal well into their adulthood.

Typically, mammals end up on a diet of milk in their early lives brought to them by their mother’s milk. This is often the first source of nutrition available, and “mother’s milk” also has a lot of other positive properties outside of base nutrition, such as proteins to help build the immune system. To properly handle and digest lactose our bodies have to produce its own enzyme known as lactase. Lactose is made up of two sugars, glucose and galactose, so for mammals to properly digest lactose it needs to be broken into two singular sugars, which is where lactase comes into play.

Lactase is produced in the body whenever lactose is consumed, so as long as lactose is in your diet, lactase will help you keep it all down. However, since most cats are natural carnivores, milk stops playing such a role in their diet once they are old enough to hunt and forage. Once cats move on to field mice, birds, and other local rodents, the build-up of lactase ceases. So as darling an image as a saucer of cream might be for that newly arrived feral cat, it is much safer and healthier to opt for a bowl of water.

While a lactose-intolerant cat typically won’t die from ingesting lactose, there are some troubling symptoms and complications that could arise. Upset stomach, diarrhea, and gastrointestinal cramps are the most common signs of lactose intolerance. Your cat should fully recover after the lactose has made it through digestion, so no worries there.

There is actually little harm in testing the waters to see if your cat is lactose intolerant. Giving your kitty a small amount of milk and watching for signs of arising symptoms is often regarded as safe practice. Some cats might even prefer milk over water, despite their digestive tract hating it, and for them there is a lactose-free alternative made special for cats.

As with most things, lactose intolerance can be taken on a case-by-case basis with each individual cat. Some cats that grew up with a heavy-lactose diet all their life would likely still produce the lactase needed to make milk a comfortable option for hydration. Some cats might find a preference for milk over certain tap waters, depending on the types of chemicals used in the local filtration.

Other potential dairy products should be treated similarly to milk, though some cheeses are much lower in lactose, and are even recommended by some veterinarians for slipping pills into, which allows an easier time medicating your kitty.

Most cat foods will provide your cat with the proper, square nutrition needed to be healthy. There are very few reasons to actively find out if your cat is or is not lactose intolerant, short of wanting to make your cat more comfortable with more options or preferences.

Somehow, I don't think that my cats are going to be as understanding as I would like, but as everyone knows dealing with cats is a crap shoot at best. At least most of the time it is!

Coffee out on the patio again. It may start to rain, but let's take a chance, OK?

8 comments:

Chickenmom said...

Never had a cat, so I don't know about them. But if it doesn't bother yours I don't think little bit of milk now and then would hurt them any. Heck, my chickens like milk, too! The patio is perfect - I'll bring jelly donuts!

Linda said...

I never saw a cat that did not like milk. My chickens like milk, but I forgot why they should only have a bit now and then. Are you going to forego milk if you don't give it to your kitty?

Mamahen said...

One of our four cats loves milk but I ha eard it wasn't good for them..Patio sounds good and so do the donuts :))

thecottagebythecranelaketwo said...

Well as long as the cat still is ok in the stomach it's ok to give it. Now days there are lactose free meilk for us humnans that works great for cats too and it tastes like normal milk but as if it was sweetened with sugar :-)

Have a great day!
Christer.

JO said...

I heard a long time ago not to give cats milk but didn't know why or I just forgot since I don't have cats. Allergies and cat are a bad mix for some.

Our temp dove to the high 30's last night and the day temp have drop some too. But lets take the chance on the patio.

HermitJim said...

Hey Phyllis...
I've had a cat or two for a long time now. I have always pretty much let them eat what they want, as long as they don't eat my clothes!

Thanks for coming over today!



Hey Linda...
I really don't want to stop drinking my chocolate milk, so I guess that I'll continue to share with them from time to time.

I draw the line at sharing my coffee with a cat, but luckily they don't seem to like coffee!

Thanks for dropping in today!



Hey Mamahen...
I figure that if it weren't good for them, they wouldn't like it. So far none of them are sick!

Thanks for coming over!



Hey Christer...
None of them seem to ever be made sick from drinking it!

Thanks, my friend, for coming over today!



Hey Jo...
A tad chilly here in ther morning, but going up to the high 70s later! Really some crazy weather!

Thanks, sweetie, for the visit today!

Dizzy-Dick said...

Some cats may be picky eaters, but our dogs have it made; my wife cooks for them.

deborah harvey said...

hi. as the article said they can tolerate it usually if they have had it from kittenhood. i am lactose intolerant so ours only get that kind anyway, but our feral garage cat will not drink any milk.
i'd go by the individual cat as with a human. if it hurts stop it. if it doesn't let them have it.
deb h