Should I give Milk to my Kitten or Cat?

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Is it OK to give my kitten milk?

Giving your kitten milk can cause upset tummies, cramps and severe diarrhea. Diarrhea can be deadly to kittens because it dehydrates their little bodies very quickly.

Cats and kittens do not need to drink milk and can live their entire lives without having one lap of milk. Water is all they will ever need. If you really want to give them milk then you can purchase special cat-kitten milk which is lactose free from your pet food store, vets or supermarket but they really don’t need it.

Most cats are lactose intolerant because they lack the enzyme ‘lactase’ which helps them digest lactose and take it into their blood stream. Lactose is the sugar found in milk. As undigested lactose passes through the kitten’s digestive system it draws water from the intestines. Lactose cannot pass easily through the intestinal wall into the bloodstream, so it remains in the intestines. Soon, gut bacteria invade and fermentation sets in causing large amounts of gas to form. The result is pain and diarrhea for your kitten.

Very young kittens and indeed all mammals produce the enzyme lactase when suckling from their mother but the ability to produce the enzyme diminishes after weaning.

The bottom line is not to give cats or kittens milk to drink. Water is all they need.

More Information

How to Care for Your Kitten Everything you need to know about Kittens.

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