Ok so I used to think that cats loved milk so you should give them some of the dairy produce that you were pouring into a cuppa every morning. Oh how wrong that is though. I was pretty startled to find out that cow’s milk is seriously not good for cats.
Basically – opposite to common belief – cats are effectively fairy intolerant to dairy products and giving them cow’s milk can actually result in a range of nasty and uncomfortable symptoms such as itchy skin under their fur, hair loss, excessive scratching, vomiting, diarrhoea, and miliary dermatitis – hard scab-like crusty bumps that appear all over your cat’s skin.
I know this for a fact as after giving my cats cheese and butter on separate occasions three of the four suffered at the hands of the diarrhoea genie.
So why is diary bad for cats?
Most cats are lactose intolerant – so should really only ever be given water to drink as they don’t need milk or any other fancy drinks to survive and be happy – because they lack the enzyme responsible for breaking down the lactose and turning it into energy.
Essentially, giving cats even a small saucer of milk – which is the equivalent to three or four Big Mac burgers for a cat by the way, so definitely not good for their waistline! – causes the unfermented lactose to stick in the cat’s intestines, resulting in gas and cramps.
This is exactly why you find cat milk in shops! So, instead of giving your cat cow’s milk, offer it a cat specific dairy treat instead!
What else are cats ‘ intolerant towards’?
Apart from the obvious things such as alcohol and caffeine, cats should not be given:
- chocolate – as it contains caffeine
- onions and garlic, as they cause digestive upset and anaemia
- grapes as they run the risk of making your cat suffer from acute kidney failure
- fat trimmings – from bacon for example, as your cat cannot digest this type of fat at all so can choke on it or develop pancreatitis
- eggs – can cause vomiting and salmonella poisoning
Bits of chicken and ham – non-processed – are ok though! Otherwise, stick to your cat’s normal cat food – you can’t go wrong with kibble and wet food pouches – particularly if you want to keep your kitty healthy and safe, and not fat.