Is milk good for kittens

Can cats drink milk?

Fortunately, the days when domestic cats were mainly fed with leftover food and milk are largely over. The awareness grows, the house tiger species-appropriate, on whose individual needs tuned to feed. Numerous products are available on the market as complete or additional feed as well as various snacks and treats. A whole industry is concerned with food for the spoiled palate. But what about the old one? Small bowl of milkthat you want to "treat" your cat to? What is true about the fact that cats are not allowed to drink milk and what about special Cat milk out?

Bellyache after the white treat

Indeed, many cats do like to lick some milk and don't seem to have any problems with it. Gourmets among them even nibble fatty cream and look forward to the tasty snack. However, what you as a holder often cannot tell at first glance is whether the little sweet tooth is paying for the white delicacy with a stomach ache or at least a more or less pronounced grumble in the intestines. Some of them even get diarrhea after consuming dairy products.

Causes of the discomfort

Milk or milk products contain one type of sugar, cats do not metabolize well can: Lactose or also called "lactose". Lactose is digested in the body with the help of a specific enzyme called lactase. The enzyme is located in the small intestine, breaks down the double sugar lactose and thus helps with its utilization. If the enzyme is missing or in insufficient quantities, the lactose initially migrates undigested into the large intestine, where it is absorbed and fermented by bacteria. Among other things, gases are produced, which are then expressed, for example, by flatulence. In severe cases, diarrhea can occur. Abdominal cramps and a feeling of fullness occur. One speaks of one Lactose intolerance - which also occurs with us humans in different forms.

Where does the lactose intolerance come from?

Basically, lactose is a natural substance that occurs in the breast milk of mammals, not only that of cows, but also in feline breast milk or in that of humans. However has nature not intendedthat mammals also consume this natural product in adulthood and regulate the body in such a way that it produces lactase as they grow up throttles - with one more, with the other a little less. It is assumed that cats that have regularly consumed cow's milk on farms for generations and thus have become accustomed to it over a long period of time tend to be able to digest lactose better in adulthood than others. However, there are no valid scientific studies on this and probably are difficult to control. The symptoms of lactose intolerance can different levels of difficulty run and are often difficult to see in cats. You should therefore not take the risk of overlooking your cat's stomach ache after licking milk and completely Refrain from feeding lactose-containing products.

Alternatives to dairy products are better tolerated

Make more sense and are just as tasty for most lactose-free productsthat are now available on the market from various manufacturers. The milk contained was prepared in special cat milk. The milk sugar was industrially split and is with it harmless for the cat's intestines. Sometimes other substances are added to the products, and this is where it is worth taking a second look for you. While the addition of the essential (i.e. vital) amino acid taurine can be useful, other carbohydrates and especially sugar are only added as fillers or for the human eye (namely for a prettier color of the product). In the best case scenario, they give the cat unnecessary calories. The cat cannot even taste sugar and is therefore completely worthless to them.

It is also possible to switch to lactose-free products made by humans. This milk or cream can also be consumed by us humans and tastes a little sweeter to us than "normal" milk. Don't worry, there is no added sugar added. The sweet taste is caused by the lactose that has already been broken down and is harmless.
By the way, you can fermented milk products like yogurt or cheese mostly harmless feed. As a result of the fermentation process that has taken place, the products also contain little or no lactose. However, you should still dose carefully, as there is a higher proportion in cheese, for example phosphate contained, which burdens the cat's kidneys.

Warning - calorie bomb

In particular cream, but also fatty cow's milk are little calorie bombs and should only be fed in small quantities. It is best to test whether and how much your cat likes the white treat with a dash of water. The more water you can add, the better.
As so often: It's the amount that counts and so lactose-free dairy products should only be a treat for your feline connoisseur.

Carmen Schell, owner of Cattalk®, is a trained animal psychologist (ATN) specializing in cats in the Rhine-Main area, mainly around Darmstadt and Frankfurt, as well as in online coaching. She offers professional support for all questions about keeping and problematic behavior of velvet paws. In addition to personal advice, she regularly gives lectures and nationwide seminars for interested laypeople and professionals. The author has lost her heart especially to cats from animal welfare and is involved in regional animal welfare on a voluntary basis.

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