Cats love milk, and the chances are that you give your pet milk every other day. You probably are reading this post because you’ve thought about giving your pet a nice treat of chocolate milk.
While chocolate milk is tastier than regular milk, giving it to your cats is not recommended. You might be surprised even to learn that milk isn’t suitable for cats. Most adult felines are lactose intolerant, and vets don’t recommend giving your cats flavored milk, including chocolate.
Chocolate milk isn’t good for cats. It’s toxic and can lead to several health complications, including seizures, breathing problems, and stiffness.
Chocolate milk is also high in lactose and sugar, affecting your kitty’s enzyme production and leading to diarrhea and vomiting.
If you’ve been giving your cat milk daily, you might have noticed that your pet suffers from diarrhea, restlessness, vomiting, and seizures. Generally, if you must feed your pets milk, let it be a treat.
Here’s why chocolate milk isn’t good for your furry friend. We’ll also tip you on what to do if your pet drinks chocolate milk.
Is Milk Safe for Cats?
First, you may want to know whether milk is safe for your kitty. Well, during the first few months, your pet will get all the vital nutrients it requires from its mother’s milk.
Nursing should take about two months; after that, the cat’s digestive system won’t process sugar and milk. Their bodies don’t produce the required enzyme (lactase) to break down sugar and milk, which is one of the reasons why cats are lactose intolerant.
Your kitty can stomach a few mouthfuls of milk, and you might not notice any complications. But with time, their bodies won’t process milk effectively. Milk is also high in calories.
So, giving your cat milk often could potentially lead to obesity. Obesity increases the risk of developing health issues like heart disease, cancer, bladder stones, hypertension, and diabetes mellitus.
Is Chocolate Milk Good for Cats?
Chocolate milk isn’t good for cats. This milk contains toxic ingredients, caffeine, and theobromine. These substances can affect your pet’s overall health when consumed in large amounts.
The effect of caffeine and theobromine is more damaging in cats than in humans, which is the main reason why cats are pretty sensitive to chocolate.
Reasons Chocolate Milk Isn’t Safe for Your Cats
To this point, you now know that milk isn’t suitable for your cats, and you could make things worse by giving your pet chocolate milk. Here are reasons chocolate milk isn’t a healthy way to make your kitty happy.
Cats will get milk from their mothers during the first few months of their lives. As mentioned before, their bodies don’t produce the required enzyme to break down sugar and milk. Therefore, chocolate milk will only affect your pet’s overall health.
Obesity will affect cats in the same way it affects humans. Chocolate milk contains a lot of sugar and calories.
You might think your cats love chocolate milk, but they get addicted to it because of its fat content. Cats also enjoy other cream-based foods, but since they’re lactose intolerant, these foods will lead to serious health problems.
The last thing you need is to see your pet suffering from bad symptoms like vomiting, bloating, increased thirst, restlessness, diarrhea, and hyperactivity.
In some cases, cats experience extreme symptoms like increased heart rate, muscle stiffness, tremors, or even death. These symptoms are problematic, and you should avoid them by ensuring your pet doesn’t drink chocolate milk.
Our kitties are our best friends, and we always want to take care of them by ensuring they eat healthy, nutritious foods. Since these furry animals are lactose intolerant, they mustn’t get addicted to milk.
Addiction will only make it difficult for you to refuse your cat’s requests. Luckily, there are lactose-free milk options for cats to enjoy. So, to be on the safe side, consider these alternatives.
What Kind of Milk Can You Give Your Cat?
Since milk is not good for your kitty and chocolate milk isn’t recommended, what kind of milk can you give your cat?
Cow’s milk is not safe for your cats since it contains lactose. The enzyme lactase breaks down lactose. While we have this enzyme, cats don’t. It’s essential to know the specific type of milk you can give your kitty and the type you should avoid.
Almond milk can be a good choice if you want to feed your cat milk. This type of milk lacks lactose. Almond milk that is rich in protein is a suitable option, but you should consider supplementing the milk with other foods to achieve a balanced diet.
A few lactose-intolerant people drink rice milk, and some pet owners claim to give their kitties this milk. However, rice milk is high in sugar and can affect your pet’s blood sugar levels.
You don’t have to risk giving your cat rice milk only to suffer complications later. To be safe, never feed your cat rice milk.
Most people will opt for soy milk as a replacement for cow’s milk. And it’s a great choice if you want to eliminate lactose from your foods. However, does this hold for cats?
While feeding cat soy milk doesn’t contain lactose, processed soy milk has ingredients that might contribute to bad side effects for cats. For example, proto-estrogen can cause hyperthyroidism. Moreover, soy milk is high in carbohydrates, which your cat doesn’t need in its diet.
Instead of putting your cat’s health at risk, cat milk comes highly recommended. It’s made explicitly for cats since it’s lactose-reduced milk. However, you should ensure that the cat milk you buy has few carbohydrates.
What To Do if Your Cat Drinks Chocolate Milk
Chocolate milk won’t harm your pet immediately. But it’s important to stay alert and know what you should do in case your furry friend develops adverse side effects.
If you fed your cat chocolate milk as a treat without knowing it might be harmful, keep an eye on your pet to establish whether any symptoms occur. Keep your pet inside to ensure you don’t miss these symptoms.
Call your vet if you’re worried your cat might not respond to the chocolate milk well. Your vet might induce vomiting to flash out the milk and prevent any symptoms from occurring.
If the cat suffers from chocolate poisoning, keep your friend hydrated throughout the day with water. The good news is that you shouldn’t worry since your pet will survive chocolate poisoning with the right medication.
Recommended Milk Alternatives for Cats
Milk will do more harm than good to your cat. Since cats are generally lactose-intolerant, avoid feeding them milk and milk alternatives. If you must give your cat milk, do this occasionally. Here are ideal options that will still keep your cat hydrated.
Bone broth is a suitable milk replacement since it contains plenty of nutrients. Cats are obligate carnivores, and they’ll love a treat of this food from time to time.
You don’t have to feed your cat milk because she is thirsty; wet food can suffice. Every time your cat eats, ensure the food is wet enough to keep it hydrated.
Water is good for your cat, and it’s a suitable milk replacement if you just need to provide the required hydration for your pet.
Chocolate milk isn’t safe for cats. While you might think milk is good for cats, do not feed it to them since these animals are lactose-intolerant.
Feeding your cat milk will only lead to unwanted health complications or even death. Choose healthier alternatives to milk, including bone broth, wet food, or water.