Today’s question: Can cats drink soy milk? What about almond milk? Despite what old cartoons would have you believe, most cats are lactose intolerant and should not be given any milk once the weaning process is completed. Plant-based milk like soy and almond milk, though, are naturally lactose free, so you might think that they are a good alternative for your lactose intolerant feline friend. But is it safe for cats to drink plant based milks like soy and almond milk?
Can Cats Drink Soy Milk?
The short answer would be no, it’s not okay for cats to drink soy milk. Having a few sips is no cause for alarm, but soy milk is definitely not good for cats to drink, so it’s best to keep it out of your feline’s daily menu.
The Problem with Soy Milk for Cats
For soy milk the same goes as for cow milk, little amounts are okay, but it’s best if they are not given soy milk. Soy milk doesn’t contain lactose, which cats cannot digest, but soy milk does contain other anti-nutritional factors that you cannot digest properly and might lead to diarrhea when they drink it too much. Almond milk is safe for cats as well, in moderate amounts. Here goes the same rule, there is no lactose in almond milk, but there are other products in there that could upset the stomach of your cat.
Why is regular cow milk not ideal?
Just like humans can be lactose-intolerant, when they miss the enzyme called lactase, cats are always lactose-intolerant. They cannot digest this milk sugar, and drinking big amounts of cow milk can lead to diarrhea.
What can you give your cats?
You might be thinking, if my cats can get stomach issues from all these types of milk, is there another sort of milk I can give to my cats, and yes there is. This milk especially for cats is cat milk, it’s like regular cow milk, only the lactose is removed from the milk. Thus, cat milk is the safest milk option for cats that is available. So, if your cat is crazy about milk and you want to treat them every occasionally, then go for cat milk. If you are drinking milk or having a bowl of cereal with soy milk, then it is okay to have them have a few licks.
Just because cat milk is perfectly safe for cats doesn’t mean that they should be drinking it non-stop, as it does add a lot of extra calories. A cup a day is too much, it is empty calories that don’t deliver any nutrition to your cat. You can give them a cup once a week or so, and they’ll be fine, but you don’t want your cats to become obese. A cat of 10 pounds needs only around 200 calories a day, and when you hear that one cup of milk is already half of this, it is not a smart idea to let them have this every day.
On top of this, some milks, also cat milk, contain artificial sweeteners or extra sugar. This could lead to tooth decay and certain types of artificial sweeteners like xylitol can be toxic for cats. Thus, you want to avoid artificial sweeteners for your cats altogether.
To sum it all up, soy milk and almond milk are not toxic for your cats, but it’s probably better to give them cat milk, although you shouldn’t give them too much cat milk either. This will supply them with a lot of extra empty calories that could eventually lead to obesity if they receive too much calories on a regular basis. So, are you going to give your cat some soy milk, or will you be buying special cat milk? And is your cat just as crazy about milk as you’d expect from a cat, I can understand it is hard to say no to your cat when all he or she wants is milk.