While milk has always been considered a treat for cats, most people don’t realize that many cats (and, in fact, most mammals) become lactose intolerant as they mature. They simply stop producing the enzymes that digest the sugars in milk. Those undigested sugars feed the bacteria in the IG tract and cause gas, cramping and diarrhea. In fact, milk, given in small amounts, has long been used as a remedy for constipation in cats.
Some cats retain the ability to digest milk sugars and do fine with small amounts. If your cat is one of these lucky few, by all means feel free to indulge him. The safest bet, though, is to stick to lactose-free milks. There are some, such as “Cat Sip” that are specifically marketed for animal consumption.
If you have any further questions or would like to schedule an appointment, please contact Hudson veterinary Hospital at (330)650-2929.