Milk has long been portrayed as the ideal food for cats, and this belief has only grown with the popularity of popular movies, books, and cartoons, like Tom and Jerry.
So, can pregnant cats drink milk?
No, pregnant cats cannot drink milk. The truth is that most cats are lactose intolerant, so giving them cow’s milk can cause serious health problems. Milk is not a necessary part of cat nutrition, and many cats suffer stomach upsets or other problems as a result of their owner mistaking milk for a treat.
Keep reading this article to know more about why you should avoid giving your pregnant cat milk.
Is Milk Good For A Pregnant Cat?
No, milk is not good for a pregnant cat.
Although many people believe that milk is beneficial to cats, this is a myth.
Unfortunately, milk is not the healthiest drink for pregnant cats.
In fact, it can cause a variety of problems, including stomach upset, cramps, and severe diarrhea.
When fed cow’s milk, the vast majority of pregnant cats become lactose intolerant and/or dehydrated.
Milk, no matter how you cut it, lacks the essential nutrients that cats require to grow.
Too much milk can even replace their appetite for meat-based diets, resulting in nutritionally deficient diseases.
Furthermore, one of the most common reasons milk isn’t recommended for adult cats is that many of them have digestion issues.
Most cats lack the enzyme lactase, which aids in the digestion of lactose found in milk.
Lactose enters the pregnant cat’s digestive system undigested and absorbs water from the intestines.
Simply put, lactose cannot easily pass through the intestinal wall into the bloodstream. Pregnant cats are also susceptible to gut bacteria, which can cause painful gas and diarrhea.
If your pregnant cat consumes milk and has frequent bouts of diarrhea, the outcome could be fatal.
Because it causes dehydration, this is most commonly found in pregnant cats. Instead of milk, simply provide your pregnant cat with what it truly requires: clean water.
Water is required on a regular basis to keep cats hydrated.
If your pregnant cat does not appear to be drinking enough water, it is possible that he or she is eating wet food.
The moisture content of the food is frequently sufficient. If your pregnant cat is eating dry food and not getting enough water, try getting her to drink from a spigot or fountain, as the sound of running water often entices them.
You may have noticed that special milk for cats is available in supermarkets and pet stores.
These typically contain much less lactose or are lactose-free.
While they are less likely to make your pregnant cat sick, their fat content is frequently just as high as any other milk, so they are still bad for them.
While you could give this to your pregnant cat as a treat on occasion, you should keep the extra calories in mind when giving them their daily food allowance.
Because cat milk is not always a complete meal, your pregnant cat may be getting fewer vitamins and nutrients if you choose to give it to them instead of their daily allowance of complete food.
Interesting Read: Can Cats Drink Condensed/Evaporated Milk?
Can I Give My Pregnant Cat Cow’s Milk?
No, you should not give your pregnant cat cow’s milk.
In a nutshell, cow’s milk is bad for pregnant cats.
Most cats are ‘lactose intolerant,’ which means they lack the enzyme (lactase) in their intestines that allows them to digest the sugar in milk (lactose), so milk containing lactose can make them sick.
Drinking it can cause vomiting, diarrhea, and stomach pain (just like lactose intolerance in humans).
While not all pregnant cats will become ill, it is far better not to take the chance!
Another reason not to give your pregnant cat cow’s milk is that it is high in fat, which is why they enjoy it so much!
A saucer of milk for your pregnant cat is equivalent to eating a 12-inch pizza.
That may not sound too bad on its own, but imagine eating it in addition to your regular daily food and meals. That pizza suddenly appears to be a lot more!
Interesting Read: Can Cats Drink Lactose-Free Milk?
Can Pregnant Cats Drink Goat Milk?
Yes, pregnant cats can drink goat milk as goat’s milk is a healthy milk replacer for cats that has more nutrients and is easier to digest than cow’s milk, but it’s not perfect pet food, and it can’t replace the other food you feed your cat.
We’ve all seen movies in which someone gives a bowl of cow’s milk or cream to a cat.
Although this is traditional imagery, cow’s milk is not the best food for most cats.
Some cat owners are turning to goat’s milk as an alternative to provide calcium and other vitamins and minerals to their pregnant cats.
If you’ve been curious about goat milk, the good news is that pregnant cats can safely consume it.
Goat milk is a nutrient-dense food that promotes good bacteria in the gut and helps your pregnant cat stay hydrated.
Goat milk contains enzymes and other nutrients that can aid in the maintenance of a healthy diet.
While it cannot be your pregnant cat’s sole source of food, it can supplement what you feed her. Here are some of the health benefits of drinking goat’s milk for your cat.
1. Provides a Rich Source of Nutrients
Goat’s milk has multiple nutrients that your pregnant cat can thrive on, including vitamins, antioxidants, triglycerides, and essential fatty acids. Some of these include:
- Vitamin A
- Vitamin B5
These are good supplements to work into your pregnant cat’s diet.
2. Increases Hydration in Your Pregnant Cat
Pregnant cats are prone to dehydration. Simply put, most pregnant cats do not drink enough water or get enough water from their food.
Hydration is critical for your pregnant cat’s health and digestive system. Some cats prefer the taste of goat’s milk to water, so it may encourage them to drink more.
You can also use it to add moisture and flavor to their food.
3. Offers Probiotics for Gut and Digestive Health
Probiotics found in goat’s milk benefit both the digestive and immune systems. It also contains prebiotics, which are carbohydrates that support the immune system and gut bacteria.
This probiotic/prebiotic combination helps reduce the amount of bad bacteria in the gut while also supporting overall pet health.
Some goat’s milk products, such as those from The Honest Kitchen, have probiotics added for added benefit.
Find out more details: Can Cats Drink Goat Milk?
Concerns Regarding Goat Milk
Cats can begin drinking goat’s milk as soon as they are fully weaned.
Since it contains insufficient protein and fat for a newborn kitten, it is not a good choice if they are still weaning.
However, once they’ve fully transitioned to kitten food, it can be a useful supplement. Goat’s milk can also help pregnant cats.
Overall, goat’s milk is a healthy milk substitute for pregnant cats that contains more nutrients and is easier to digest than cow’s milk, but it is not a perfect pet food and cannot replace the other foods your cat consumes.
Here are some of the issues that some cat owners have with goat’s milk.
1. Goat’s Milk Still Contains Lactose
If your pregnant cat is lactose intolerant, goat’s milk is not a good option. It contains lactose, which may irritate your pregnant cat’s already upset or sensitive stomach.
Goat milk, on the other hand, contains less lactose than cow milk.
Some cats can tolerate small amounts of lactose, and because of the lower amount, they may be able to digest goat’s milk better than cow’s milk.
2. Fat in Goat Milk Products
Goat’s milk is high in fat, and cats don’t require a lot of fat in their diets. Excess fat can lead to weight gain and other health problems.
Although goat’s milk contains less fat than cow’s milk, it is still something to consider.
3. Cat Allergies or Sensitivities to Goat Milk
Some pregnant cats may be sensitive or allergic to goat milk, and drinking it may result in diarrhea and stomach upset.
Keep in mind that true food allergies in cats are extremely rare, but you should monitor your pregnant cat’s health for any signs of problems when introducing any new food.
If you notice any of these symptoms, an elimination diet can help you determine which food in your pet’s diet is causing irritation. You should also speak with your veterinarian.
Can Pregnant Cats Drink Whole Milk?
No, pregnant cats should avoid drinking whole milk as it is rich in fat and contains lactose.
Experts say that whether whole, skim, or two-percent milk, all of them have unhealthy amounts of fat, and the necessary nutrients cannot be found in just a milk diet for your cat friends.
To be able to digest lactose, the type of sugar found primarily in milk and other dairy products, you must be able to digest milk.
Lactase, an enzyme produced by cells in the small intestine lining, is required for this. Lactase non-persistence affects approximately 65% of us humans.
This basically means that once we stop drinking baby milk, our bodies stop producing lactase (either partially or completely), and we lose our ability to tolerate milk.
The thing about cats is that, almost without exception, they all have lactase non-persistence. In other words, lactase disappears from their gut shortly after weaning. So they are unable to digest whole milk.
Because there is nothing in a pregnant cat’s gut to break down the sugar in whole milk, the lactose just sits there for a while until it starts to ferment – and this is where the problems begin.
The pregnant cat is likely to feel bloated and have flatulence and diarrhea an hour or so after drinking it.
This could last a few hours (until the lactose is finally out of the system). The more whole milk your cat has consumed, the worse the symptoms will be and the longer they will last.
Some people believe there is no harm in giving their pregnant cat a small amount of cream or whole milk as a treat.
True, a small amount of milk is unlikely to cause much of a reaction. However, pregnant cats do not require this.
And by reinforcing the idea of dairy as a treat, you increase the likelihood that they will help themselves to a larger portion, almost certainly resulting in an upset stomach.
What Is The Best Thing To Feed A Pregnant Cat?
High-quality kitten food is the best thing to feed a pregnant cat.
Pregnant cats require more calories and protein, which can be found in high-quality kitten food.
Switching mum to kitten food will also benefit her litter because they will be able to mimic her and try some of her solid food as they wean off her milk.
Change your cat’s food to wet kitten food. Begin transitioning your cat to high-quality wet kitten food around the midpoint of her pregnancy.
Kitten food contains higher percentages of nutrients and vitamins than adult cat food, giving the queen more protein and calories during pregnancy.
It’s important to remember that your cat’s food consumption will increase during pregnancy. She will typically eat 50% more than she would normally.
A cat’s pregnancy usually lasts between 58 and 70 days. By the fifth week, your queen should be eating nutritious kitten food.
Interesting Read: Can Cats Drink Spoiled/Expired Milk?
Frequently Asked Questions
Can my kitten drink cow’s milk?
Kittens should ideally stay with their mothers for the first eight weeks, where they will get all of the nutrients they require from maternal milk. Although it is uncommon, kittens must sometimes be removed before they are fully weaned. Because they still have the lactase enzyme, a tiny kitten like this should be able to tolerate cow’s milk. However, cow’s milk does not provide them with everything they require at this stage. Instead, your veterinarian would recommend a cat-specific formula.
Would a cat willingly drink milk?
If you put a saucer of skimmed or semi-skimmed milk in front of them, they’d probably regard it as a curiosity rather than a treat. Full-fat milk and cream, on the other hand, are a different story. Because of the high fat content, they’ll probably gulp it down without realizing it’ll cause them problems later.
Is coconut milk good for cats?
While very small amounts will not harm your cat, coconut milk contains a lot of fat and oil, which your cat does not need in its diet.
Find out more details: Can Cats Drink Coconut Milk?
To provide everything your pregnant cat requires, a complete cat food designed to meet all of its nutritional needs is the best option for keeping your pregnant cat healthy and happy.
Even special cat milk does not provide all of the nutrients that a high-quality complete cat food does, so with the exception of a very occasional treat, it is best to avoid milk and stick to scientifically proven food to promote the best cat health possible.
If you have any questions, please leave them in the comments section.
Interesting Read: Can Cats Drink Warm or Cold Milk?