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Cats and lactose tolerance, how can you tell?

post #1 of 10
Thread Starter 
I'm thinking of giving two 9 month old siamese the occasional milk but did a search on this forum first.

Basically milk should be avoided or at the very least, given in moderation because most cats are lactose intolerant and are likely to get diarrhoea (sorry about the spelling).

So my question is how do you know if your cat is lactose tolerant or not apart from testing it?

If you do give a lactose intolerant cat milk, will it end up defecate every where?

I'd like to give them a small amount at night to supplement their water and as a treat. Would that be a problem?
post #2 of 10
Quote:
Originally Posted by walkover View Post
I'm thinking of giving two 9 month old siamese the occasional milk but did a search on this forum first.

Basically milk should be avoided or at the very least, given in moderation because most cats are lactose intolerant and are likely to get diarrhoea (sorry about the spelling).

So my question is how do you know if your cat is lactose tolerant or not apart from testing it?

If you do give a lactose intolerant cat milk, will it end up defecate every where?

I'd like to give them a small amount at night to supplement their water and as a treat. Would that be a problem?
I think the only way you are going to know is by giving them milk and if their stool softens and/or they get diarrhea, then you know they are lactose intolerant. They likely will not defecate everywhere, just have runny poo in the litter box unless the diarrhea is so bad they don't have time to make it to the box which is unlikely.

Not all cats have a problem with lactose - our barn cats always drank cow milk and had no issues, I personally have never had a cat that was lactose intolerant so it's something you would have to test for yourself with your particular cat.
post #3 of 10
I'd probably just assume they are lactose intolerant. Most mammals are, unless they continue having milk after they're weaned (like humans do in many countries).
post #4 of 10
Agreed. I wouldn't try. Get some "cat milk" at the pet store and give it to them as a treat instead. That won't upset their stomachs.
post #5 of 10
My thoughts exactly
post #6 of 10
As far as I know most cats are Lactose intolerant. I’m guessing there are a few ways to tell. Example: My sister has two cats. She lived in the basement apartment at my Dads house and the cats who loved my dad would always go visiting. My dad would feed them a bowl of milk everyday not knowing they were intolerant.

One cat ended up defecating everywhere. Diarrhea all over my sister house. Vets couldn’t figure out what was wrong, this went on for two weeks. It was nasty to say the least… Her other cat, Thing, had soft stool and must have had a really bad belly ache because she farted all the time and for once in her life did not let anyone touch her belly.

So I guess it depends on the cat. My Mom has three cats, my dad gave them milk and they all had problems as well. My cats are both intolerant as well (learned that from leaving out a glass of milk for literally five min while I went to answer the door).

I would just assume they are. Now that i think about it every cat ive had in my entire life was Lactose intolerant.
post #7 of 10
You could try some lactaid...

Oliver isn't completely intolerant, but if he gets dairy his poos get a little loose and extra stinky... I used to give him some lactaid as a treat, but he wasn't like psycho obsessed over it, so I stopped just to save money... he occasionally steals a little cream cheese of a bagel though
post #8 of 10
You can buy special milk for cats. The kind I get is real milk only treated with the enzyme lactase so cats can digest it.
post #9 of 10
I can only guess that I've been really lucky not to ever have had a lactose intolerant cat. One in particular was very fond of Haagen Daas ice cream.

Since most everyone else has cats that cannot tolerate lactose, then it is perhaps best to follow their advice and not give dairy products. As they suggested, you can get special milk for your cat at your local pet store for a treat if you wanted to do that. My cats won't touch the cat milk but Bijou is quite happy stealing some of the milk on my cereal.
post #10 of 10
Quote:
Originally Posted by Yosemite View Post
I can only guess that I've been really lucky not to ever have had a lactose intolerant cat
Of the 10 cats I've owned only one has been lactose intolerant. The current 3 are all fine having milk and icecream
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