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Need Milk?

post #1 of 22
Thread Starter 
I know that cats are lactose intollerant (sp?), but I was wondering if they need some sort of milk supplement? Harley is always trying to get my milk (I've never given him any). I know that many people here use the Whiskas catsip stuff. I just didn't know that if they needed any kind of milk in their diet, or if just giving him fresh water all the time was alright?

Just a question, thanks in advance for your help
post #2 of 22
I don't have an answer but neither of our kits will touch the cat milk I bought at the pet store.

I don't think they need milk, but someone with more knowledge will be along soon.

Our cat Ebony loved vanilla ice cream. If I had a dish of ice cream he would literally climb up on my lap and up my chest and use his paw to pull on the side of the bowl to pull it down so he could have some. At no other time would he ever even sit on my lap. Naturally, I was a real soft touch and he always got a little bit and it never seemed to hurt him.
post #3 of 22
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Yosemite
I don't have an answer but neither of our kits will touch the cat milk I bought at the pet store.
Thats what I was thinking too- I could definately see me going and getting some, and he wouldn't even touch it!
post #4 of 22
My cats won't drink catsip at all. I have KMR on hand all the time, and sometimes the crew gets treated to a big bowl of very diluted KMR. A little bit of milk is not going to upset a cat, especially if you can dilute in in water. It is when there is a steady diet of it that you run into problems.
post #5 of 22


My cats get a little squirt of this vita gravy as a special treat, they love the salmon flavor.
post #6 of 22
They don't need milk but some cats love it and try to get it and some don't. Mine love goats' milk and I give them some every day, it is low lactose. If they are sick and won't eat, then it is a good way to get nourishment down them, mixed with egg yolk.
post #7 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by hissy
My cats won't drink catsip at all. I have KMR on hand all the time, and sometimes the crew gets treated to a big bowl of very diluted KMR. A little bit of milk is not going to upset a cat, especially if you can dilute in in water. It is when there is a steady diet of it that you run into problems.
I don't mean to dispute you, hissy, as you are probably more knowledgable than I. But I think this may be cat-specific. If Prego has even a teeny, tiny bit of milk, it will give him the runs (we're talking liquid poo). Icky! I suspect that cats, like humans, have varying degrees of lactose tolerance.
post #8 of 22
try raw milk. It's the pasturization of the milk that makes humans (and animals) locatose intolorent. Your cats shouldn't have any problems with raw milk.
BTW cats do not need milk. A cat would not drink cows milk in the wild.
post #9 of 22
Yep, it would be hard to milk a cow, unless of course the cat is a polydactyl

It is cat specific, I have one barn cat that loves milk, has had milk since he was a kitten and never had a problem with it. But my other cats either don't care for it, or get diarrhea when they do have it available.
post #10 of 22
Thread Starter 
Thanks everyone for your great help-you are all just wonderful.

I was just curious if they needed that extra nurishment in their diet (Harley eats like a pig anyways!)

BTW Hissy-What is KMR?
post #11 of 22
Kitten Milk Replacer- it is what you feed bottle babies
post #12 of 22
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by hissy
Kitten Milk Replacer- it is what you feed bottle babies
Ooohhh...thanks, I felt dumb asking!
post #13 of 22
Milk drinking is definately cat specific - I left a half eaten bowl of cereal (Yes, stupid I know ) and Diesel drank the lot!!! He also loves cheese if he can get his little paws on it!!

But Harley isn't missing out on anything by not having it! Its just sometimes a nice treat for them (Well, Cat Milk not ordinary Milk)
post #14 of 22
Now that I think about it, our barn cats always had raw cows milk (and so did we humans). I never had homogenized/pasteurized milk until I moved from the farm to the city.

Nowadays, even if you have a dairy farm you aren't allowed to drink the raw milk! How weird is that!
post #15 of 22
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Yosemite
Now that I think about it, our barn cats always had raw cows milk (and so did we humans). I never had homogenized/pasteurized milk until I moved from the farm to the city.

Nowadays, even if you have a dairy farm you aren't allowed to drink the raw milk! How weird is that!
I think that is quite weird, my Dad used to do the same thing!!
post #16 of 22
there's this thing i got from the pet store - "milk replacement treat for cats and kittens" or somethng like that (it's in an orange carton) and my kittens absolutely adore it. but then again, they eat everything from carton to rice ...
post #17 of 22
They don't need it, but some of them love it. Jamie is a cat milk addict - he yowls until he gets his bowl of Whiskas cat milk in the morning, whereas ZsaZsa can take it or leave it. If I give it to her, she'll drink it, but she doesn't demand it. My mom's cat drinks a bowl of 3% pasteurized, homogenized milk every day, straight from the refrigerator, and has never shown any adverse effects. That's her usual bedtime snack. The two school cats (bottle fed) will beg any time somebody is drinking buttermilk (and usually get most of it), and are nuts about cream of chicken or cream of mushroom soup, which isn't good, because there's too much sodium, etc., in processed soups.
post #18 of 22
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sibohan2005


My cats get a little squirt of this vita gravy as a special treat, they love the salmon flavor.
Do you give that to them plain? Or on their food?
post #19 of 22
Baby Harley is so cute!! Mackenzie, I remember you were discussing getting another kitten a while ago. I was travelling and didn't check in on the site for a while. What did you decide?

I have heard that some cats like yogurt. Mine aren't that keen about plain yogurt. Does anyone know if flavoured yogurt is OK for them?
post #20 of 22
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by lee
Baby Harley is so cute!! Mackenzie, I remember you were discussing getting another kitten a while ago. I was travelling and didn't check in on the site for a while. What did you decide?

I have heard that some cats like yogurt. Mine aren't that keen about plain yogurt. Does anyone know if flavoured yogurt is OK for them?
Oh yes-we are still in the process of deciding on whether or not to get one, there are so many beautiful kittens at our Humane Soceity that need a good home, I really want to bring one home into a loving house. It's $85 to adopt-right now we can't afford one, with Christmas coming up. But John just got a new job (with GREAT pay) so HOPEFULLY in the near future (after Christmas) we will be able to get one! I can't wait cuz Harley really does need a buddy, he's such a great kitten, I think he would be even better after getting a friend! Plus-I'm gonna wait til we get him fixed too (thats next month!)

I've heard about the yogurt too, never tried that, does it have to be diluted or anything?
post #21 of 22
When we got Cleo, she refused to eat kitten food, so I got her Whiskas Catmilk +Taurine, because it made up the nutritional difference between adult and kitten food. She LOVES it. She'll run to the refrigerator any time I go in the kitchen because she wants it SO bad. Then she'll run around my legs squeaking and squealing. Too cute. Albert wouldn't touch the stuff at first, but now he drinks it freely, I think partially because he didn't want her to have something he didn't.
post #22 of 22
All mammals need their mother's milk while they are babies. If this is not available then a commercial formula is an inferior but acceptable substitute until they are old enough to begin eating solid food.

After the age of weaning, mammals (including humans!) have no biological need for milk of any kind. This is why the majority of adolescent and adult mammals of all species lack the ability to digest lactose. The body usually naturally stops producing lactase once it no longer needs the ability to digest milk.

Water is the appropriate drink for any adult mammal, whether a cat or a giraffe or a human. The only time the nutrients in milk would be very useful to a cat is if the cat is unwilling or unable to eat enough food due to illness or a similar cause. In this case any extra calories and nutrients would be beneficial. But for a healthy, normal weight cat, the calories in milk will either be added on top of the calories from their normal diet (leading to possible obesity) or be consumed instead of the calories from their normal diet (leading to possible nutrient deficiencies). A small amount of cat milk or even regular milk if your cat tolerates it is absolutely fine to give as a treat, but it is not a good idea to rely on milk of any type as a source of nutrition for a healthy cat.
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