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Home > Cats > Can Cats Drink Goat Milk? Vet-Reviewed Facts & Safety Guide

Can Cats Drink Goat Milk? Vet-Reviewed Facts & Safety Guide

russian blue cat with milk in a bottle

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Reviewed & Fact-Checked By

Dr. Amanda Charles

Veterinarian, BVSc GPCert (Derm) MRCVS

The information is current and up-to-date in accordance with the latest veterinarian research.

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ats are depicted in cartoons and films drinking from a saucer of milk, which is why it is a shock to new cat owners that many cats are lactose intolerant. Cow’s milk is difficult to digest and can give them an upset stomach as a result. On the other hand, goat’s milk is considered to be a safer option for cats to drink. It’s easier to digest and offers some health benefits if you serve goat’s milk that is free of additives. We’ll discuss the potential benefits of feeding goat’s milk to your cat and the best way to serve it.


Is Goat’s Milk Safe for Cats to Drink?

Cats struggle to digest lactose, which is in cow’s and goat’s milk, and this intolerance can result in an upset stomach that can cause vomiting and diarrhea. However, there is much less lactose in goat’s milk than in cow’s, making it the safer option.

That doesn’t mean your cat will not experience stomach problems from drinking it, but if they can handle a little lactose in their diet, goat’s milk is the perfect alternative to cow’s milk.

cat drinking milk from a saucer
Image By: ChervovRV, Shutterstock

Can Kittens Drink Goat’s Milk?

Sometimes the internet is an excellent resource for finding information, and other times it’s a minefield of misinformation. You might have stumbled on some sources recommending feeding your kitten goat’s milk, but that isn’t a good idea. Most veterinarians discourage cat owners from giving kittens goat’s milk. There are formulas that will offer your kitten a complete and balanced option that is better for their digestive system if they are unable to get the milk they need from their mother.


Top 3 Benefits of Drinking Goat’s Milk

Giving your cat a little goat’s milk occasionally has a few benefits, and we’ll examine them below.

1. Vitamins and Minerals

Although your cat should be getting all their essential nutrients from good quality cat food, goat’s milk does contain nutrients that are beneficial to cats. It is rich in A and B vitamins, and minerals such as potassium, zinc, calcium, and magnesium.

Cute Scottish fold cat drinking milk at home
Image Credit: Aquarius Studio, Shutterstock

2. Prebiotics and Probiotics

The oligosaccharides in goat’s milk act as a prebiotic, which supports the growth of healthy bacteria in the gastrointestinal tract, helping to prevent diarrhea and constipation. Probiotics which are the helpful bacteria that live in the gut are found in fermented milk products.

3. Provides Hydration

Goat’s milk is 85% water, making it another fantastic way to encourage your cat to drink and keep them hydrated.


Can Goat’s Milk Be Bad for Your Cat?

The main problem with goat’s milk that we’ve already touched on is that it still contains lactose, and while there is less than cow’s milk, it might still affect your cat. All cats react differently, so it’s especially important to introduce goat’s milk to your cat gradually and watch for signs of an upset stomach if it is their first time having it.

Goat’s milk also adds extra fat to your cat’s diet. There is slightly more fat in goat’s milk compared to cow’s milk, and cats don’t require extra fat in their diet unless they are actively trying to gain weight. Just like with cow’s milk, you can purchase skim goat milk which will reduce its fat content. Before including goat’s milk in your cat’s diet, consult your veterinarian to determine if it’s a good idea.

How to Serve Goat’s Milk to Your Cat

If you introduce goat’s milk to your cat for the first time, serving them a small amount (1 tablespoon) in a bowl is a good place to start. You can also mix it with their food, and the creamy texture might make their dinner a little more appealing if they’re picky about their meals or dilute it with water. Wait 12 to 16 hours, and if you notice loose stools, diarrhea, or vomiting, avoid giving them goat’s milk again. Contact your veterinarian if your cat continues to vomit or experience diarrhea.

If your cat doesn’t suffer any adverse effects, you can increase the amount by a tablespoon. However, they should enjoy goat’s milk in moderation because of the fat content, which can cause your cat to put on weight, leading to problems like obesity and diabetes.


Final Thoughts

Your cat can enjoy goat’s milk as an occasional treat if they can tolerate a little lactose in their diet. There are some benefits to goat’s milk, and it is a much safer option than cow’s milk. Please note that you should avoid feeding your kitten goat’s milk since kitten formula is more nutritionally beneficial. Also, be aware that adding extra fat to your cat’s diet can cause them to put on weight, which can lead to other problems like arthritis and diabetes.

Featured Image Credit: Nailia Schwarz, Shutterstock

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