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Home > Cats > Why Do Cats Like Milk So Much? Facts & Healthy Alternatives

Why Do Cats Like Milk So Much? Facts & Healthy Alternatives

cat drinking milk from a saucer

Perhaps you’re pouring yourself a bowl of cereal and can’t help but notice your cat going crazy when you pull out the milk. Or maybe it’s when you pull out a block of cheese that your cat eagerly comes over to start purring and begging you for some.

The truth is that cats can’t get enough of dairy products, including milk, because of the high fat content in them. But just because your cat likes milk and dairy doesn’t mean you should give it to them. We’ve highlighted everything you need to know for you here.


Why Do Cats Like Milk?

If you put down a bowl of milk for your cat, they’ll likely run right over and start lapping it up. But what drives this desire for them to come and drink up all the milk you put out?

Well, it all comes down to the fat content in the milk. Milk is very high in fat, and cats will do whatever they can to get a taste. But just because it’s high in fat doesn’t mean it’s good for your cat, even if they can’t seem to get enough of it!

Catt drinking milk in black saucer_Joanna Zaleska_Shutterstock
Image Credit: Joanna Zaleska, Shutterstock

Should Cats Drink Milk?

While there’s no shortage of videos and movies where cats drink milk, the truth is that cats should not drink milk. The problem is that, like most mammals, cats are lactose intolerant. That means even small amounts of milk can lead to digestive issues like vomiting, diarrhea, bloating, and general discomfort.

So, while cats might come to drink the milk because of the high fat content, they don’t realize that it will make them sick if they drink too much of it. You do realize this, and because of this, you should keep your cat safe by keeping milk away from them.

Instead, offer your cat water for hydration—it’s the only thing they need to drink!

Alternative Healthy Treats for Cats

While you shouldn’t give your cat milk to drink, that doesn’t mean you can’t spoil them with other treats. We’ve highlighted six healthy treat options you can feed your cat if you want to spoil them.

1. Fish

smoked salmon outdoors
Image Credit: Tommy_Rau, Pixabay

If you’re looking for a signature cat treat, it’s hard to top fish. Don’t feed them live fish, of course, but they love tuna and other types of fish. Just don’t give them too much as it can be high in mercury, leading to health complications if they eat too much of it too often.

2. Bananas

When you think of cat treats, bananas likely don’t come to mind. But the truth is that most cats love the taste of bananas. Just don’t give them too many bananas because they are high in sugar, and that’s not good for your cat.

3. Carrots

Diced carrots in a pan
Image Credit: congerdesign, Pixabay

If you’re cooking carrots, there’s nothing wrong with pulling some out before you season them to give them to your cat. Many cats love the taste of carrots, and since they’re not high in sugar and other harmful nutrients, they can eat a fair amount of them.

Cats don’t need veggies to live, but many enjoy the taste, and they’re certainly nutritious for your furry friend.

4. Melon

Whether you want to feed your cat a watermelon, honeydew, or cantaloupe, chances are your cat will love it. Just ensure you remove any seeds before feeding them to your cat, as these can pose a choking hazard.

5. Eggs

Cat eating boiled egg from the shell
Image Credit: Vladimir Zhupanenko, Shutterstock

Are you looking to add a little protein to your cat’s diet? Eggs are a great choice. Just like other foods, you shouldn’t season eggs at all before feeding them to your cat, but you should thoroughly cook them to avoid potential diseases like salmonella and E. coli.

6. Catnip

No list of great treat options for cats would be complete without catnip! Cats go crazy for the stuff, and while it’s not super nutritious for cats, it’s not bad for them either. If you’re trying to spoil your cat, give them a bit of catnip on occasion.


Final Thoughts

While there’s no shortage of cats with milk in pop culture, that doesn’t make it a good idea in real life. Even if your cat doesn’t display some of the worst symptoms of lactose intolerance, if they drink milk, there’s a good chance they’re feeling some discomfort even if you can’t see it.

Because of this, we highly recommend ditching the milk, giving them fresh water to drink, and giving them some healthier treat options when you want to do something nice for them!

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Featured Image Credit: ChervovRV, Shutterstock

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