Does your cat like milk?

 

cat drinking capuchino

Honestly, I have 2 cats and I have never given them milk to drink because I was always told it wasn’t a good idea. But most cats do like cow milk, they are drawn to it because as kitten they drank milk from their mother and they love the fat and the nutrients it contains.

Is milk really bad for cats?

Cow milk, and also cheese, contains more lactose and casein than a cat can digest. Too much of it can make them sick and can cause diarrhea and constipation. If you want to give your kitty milk, do it in moderation as a special treat.  Give your cat lactose -free milk  if she really enjoys milk! But do not give a cat soy milk, because soy is an allergen and can cause digestive problems.

cat drinking milk

Even though milk can upset the cat’s stomach, she enjoys drinking it.

What about that catnip

Catnip or cat grass is an all natural treat that could be grown in your backyard, it’s low calorie and safe to eat for cats. This is a popular treat among cat owners since the volatile oil in the catnip grass gives the cat a sensation of euphoria that lasts a few minutes. Once the cat sniffs the grass, she starts rolling around and starts moaning in different funny ways. It is very entertaining to watch your cat going nuts and her antics make us laugh. And by the way, this herb can also be consumed by humans, mostly as medicinal tea.cat enjoying catnip

Cat and mouse

My cats stay outside at night and I have always wondered what they are doing during those hours. Cats are hunters and they stay busy going after mice, moles, lizards, and other small critters. They kill what they catch and they leave the corpses all over the yard or bring them on the porch. Even house cats that spent their days inside and only go outside at night turn into predators on the move.

So, I have been wondering if cats really eat what they catch? Cats who are fed on a regular basis don’t have the need to hunt for basic food like cats living in the wild. Even though they are domestic cats, they still hunt by instinct and chase after their prey without necessarily killing or eating it. A female cat would bring the kill to her kitten, but if it is a spayed house cat she just brings us the prey as a “present”.                   cat just caught a mouse

Occasionally even house cats consume a mouse here and there or a bird they catch, and since they are carnivores, they will benefit from the additional essential nutrients like amino acids. They will eat the edible and inedible parts (furs, bones, feathers) of their prey. But when I look at the animal corpses that my cats bring to our porch, it seems like they lose interest after killing their prey, and it is rather our dogs who will try to consume the kill ….

Cats are grass nibblers

Always wondered why cats eat grass even though they are meat-eaters? They do it instinctively because grass helps with the cat’s digestion. The juices in the greens contain essential vitamins and nutrients that help break down hair balls that accumulate in the cat’s stomach, thus throwing up whatever is bothering her. The same way grass acts as a laxative pushing out waste the animal’s other end.

cat and pot with cat grass

Since cats like to chew on our plants, it is important that we make sure they are safe to eat and not treated with pesticides. Pet stores offer seeds like rye, wheat and barley grass that can be grown in containers, pretty much grow your own kitty friendly garden. This is a safe way to offer your cat organic and nutritious grass!

Cats don’t have a sweet tooth

It’s a fact that has not been known for a long time, but cats don’t have the genetic ability to taste sweet. The taste receptors on a cat’s tongue cannot recognize sweet taste, very unlike other mammals.  Just think about your dog trying to snatch that piece of cake out of your hand.

Cats also lack a specific enzyme that helps in digesting glucose (and ultimately carbohydrates).  Major pet food manufacturers  add quite a few corn and grains to cat food, and these carbohydrates could be the reason why diabetes is common among house cats.

Cats are exclusive carnivores, especially cats in the wild. So what if your kitty eats a piece of fruit or some ice cream occasionally? She could be enjoying the texture, or she could be attracted to the smell or fatty flavor.  Just don’t give your cat chocolate, grapes and raisins, these are toxic to cats.

Cats eat differently

Did you know that a cat’s stomach cannot handle large meals? Unlike dogs, a cat’s stomach doesn’t expand and when they eat too much they start throwing up food.  Feral cats who spend a lot of time hunting for food eat small frequent meals throughout the day. House cats, even though they might spend some time outside and hunt, usually don’t eat their prey and should be fed 2 or 3 smaller meals a day, if possible (2 meals is probably more realistic since most cat owners are at work).

I don’t think cats need to be spoiled with treats like we do with dogs. Cats don’t expect to be rewarded for good behaviour, and a house cat who stays outside all night gets whatever she needs on her own.  Even though kitty enjoys a bowl of milk once in a while, she would be perfectly happy with that juicy and nutritious home-grown grass she can nibble on.                                                                   cat playingin the field

 

 

 

 

 

3 thoughts on “Does your cat like milk?”

  1. Andrea, just a note to say give your cats lactose free milk. As kittens they can drink raw milk. As they get older this ability disappears. So they become lactose intolerant.

    Many years ago we decided to give out cats lactose free milk. Checked this with the vet and he agreed. They don’t drink much of it (they prefer water as long as it isn’t fresh and clean!).

    As for plants, as far as I can see it is easier to find ones that aren’t harmful. I started a list of bad ones but gave it up as a poor decision. There are so many.

    Now for the rest of your site.

    Ciao
    Helen

    1. Thanks Helen for the comment, and you are right, rather give your cat lactose free milk if she is a cat that likes to drink milk. I never offered it to my cats simply because I heard it’s not good for them but of course I thought about the lactose. And I never thought of lactose free milk because I don’t drink it …. but I am thinking about incorporating that thought in my post.
      We live in the country and our cats and dogs spend a lot of time outside, and you are right, if I would be worried about all the different harmful plants on our property I would drive myself crazy. Sometimes I think our pets are more resilient than we think, and we used to have some cats as tough as nails!
      Andrea

      1. Something else we were told was to buy the people’s version of the lactose free milk. It is the same as the pet one and usually much cheaper. And if you run out of ‘normal’ milk you can use it for guests. They don’t look peculiarly at you for using pet milk!

        I have also used this when I look after orphan possums (our Australian version) and wallabies. That works well too.

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