Why Is Milk Bad For Cats? – All Reasons

Milk being good for a cat’s health is just a myth that continuously revolves around us like many others about this animal. But why is milk bad for cats?

Cats are self-centered creatures, and people have often been in a misconception regarding them.

Why is Milk Bad for Cats

We often see pictures of cats on the internet sipping milk and think that milk is the favorite liquid of cats. If you also feel the same, you’re not alone.

Every cat owner might have fed milk to their cats without knowing the adverse effects.

Can Cats Drink Milk?

According to veterinarians and several experts, milk is not good for a cat’s health. This fact may surprise you because we have always heard that cats love milk. If you constantly feed milk to your cat, you need to stop right here!

Why Is Milk Bad For Cats?

Here are the reasons for “why is milk bad for cats?”

1. Cats Are Lactose-Intolerant

The primary reason for the milk being bad for cats is because cats are lactose-intolerant.

It means that cats lack the enzyme lactase. This enzyme helps digest the lactose in milk. As cats do not have the lactase enzyme in their body, the milk they drink remains undigested inside their bodies.

When some food does not digest in our bodies, we all know the consequences. The same happens with cats.

2. Milk Contains Fat

Milk also contains fat. If a cat drinks too much milk, it can add unhealthy amounts of fat to the cat’s body.

You will see your cat gaining too much extra weight. It can also lead to obesity. The excess fat in the body will show quick results, and you may not be able to control your cat’s weight.

Obesity can further lead to severe health issues, which we’re sure you don’t want for your cat.

3. Milk Has No Nutritional Benefits

Although milk is highly beneficial for humans due to the calcium present in it, it isn’t the case with cats.

Being carnivores, cats need high amounts of proteins in their diet for a healthy body. So, they eat meat to fulfill their nutritional requirements.

They don’t need milk for a healthy body or bones. Thus, many veterinarians say that milk has minimal nutritional benefits for cats.

Due to the tiny amount of nutrition and higher amounts of fat, we think it is better to avoid giving milk to your cat. Many veterinarians also recommend preventing milk even as a treat for your cat.

The lactose intolerance will make the cat sick, making it feel more like a punishment to the cat rather than a treat.

4. Cat Milk Allergy

While most people confuse lactose intolerance with milk allergy, both terms are different.

While lactose intolerance is caused by the lack of enzyme lactase in the body, milk allergy is an allergic reaction.

Like humans are allergic to some ingredients present in food, some cats can be allergic to the protein present in milk.

Many veterinarians regard it as a food allergy because the symptoms and causes are the same as food allergy in humans.

Milk allergy in cats can occur at any time. That is why most veterinarians cannot differentiate between lactose intolerance and milk allergy and regard both of them the same.

Reasons Why is Milk Bad for Cats

In general, cat milk allergy develops between the age of two and six. But, some cats up to 12 years old have also been diagnosed with milk allergy.

Such a wide variety is because milk allergy often takes time to develop. It may happen that your cat had been drinking milk when young but developed an allergy after a few months.

It is because the cat’s immune system takes time to develop when it’s born. So, it will take time to establish a defense mechanism against the protein found in milk.

While milk allergy is often due to the protein in cow’s milk, it can also be due to other types of food such as soy, corn, beef, etc., which primarily contain protein.

The symptoms of cat milk allergy are also quite similar to lactose intolerance. These symptoms are:

  • Itchy skin
  • Abdominal pain
  • Diarrhea
  • Vomiting
  • Loss of appetite
  • Lethargy
  • Weight loss

You may also see the cat licking its skin constantly, as well as hair loss.

5. Milk Addiction

Although milk is bad for cats, they can get addicted to it quickly. It is because our felines don’t know what is good or bad for them. Giving some milk to your cat two or three times may make it addicted to the taste of milk, which can become difficult to overcome.

Many owners don’t realize the risks of feeding milk to their cats until it has become a habit or addiction. So, if your cat is addicted to milk and you just came to know about its side effects, we know how worried you would be at this time.

But, it’s ok! You can still do some things today and save your cat’s life.

One option is to reduce the quantity of milk you feed your cat every day. Immediately stopping giving milk to your cat may have negative results. So, lower the quality slowly.

After a week, you can skip one day and feed it milk the other day. This step will help your cat slowly get rid of the milk addiction.

Another idea is to lessen the quantity of milk and replace it with other treats. Some people also dilute the milk with some water. You can gradually increase the amount of water in the milk. After some time, the taste of the milk will change because of too much water in it, and it won’t seem tasty to your cat.

Although milk addiction is challenging to overcome, you’re never too late to stop it. If you’ve been feeding milk to your cat, the above steps can help you stop it. If your cat doesn’t drink milk, make sure you never provide it because the addiction is serious.

See also: Can Cats Drink Almond Milk?

Why Do Cats Like Drinking Milk?

We cannot neglect the fact that our cat will run while licking its tongue on the teeth to sip the milk as soon as you put it on the floor.

Cats often like the taste of milk, and they keep drinking until it finishes. They might also look at you and ask for more.

Cats do not know whether milk is good or bad for them. They will only like it based on the taste. As the owner, it is your responsibility to check on your cat’s diet and provide the right food for it.

What Happens If A Cat Drinks Milk?

Drinking milk has adverse effects on the cat’s health, and it can also prove fatal. Here are a few consequences that may arise if your cat drinks milk.

Upset Stomach

As the milk remains undigested in the cat’s body, it will mix up with the other food and cause an upset stomach. The cat will feel grumbling inside the stomach as the food will cause discomfort.


The cat will feel severe pain in the stomach and may also start to vomit. Vomiting is perhaps a better way for the cat to release the undigested food and milk.


In other cases, the cat will get diarrhea. As diarrhea causes dehydration, your cat can go on the verge of dying.


You may also see your cat lying around or feeling tired all day. Cats also tend to hide their sickness, making it more difficult for you to know about their illness.

But, their body language will help you understand the situation. If your cat walks slowly or hides in the corner all day, it means something is wrong with it.

According to experts, a cat will usually show the signs within 8 to 12 hours of drinking milk.

Ignoring the issue can risk the life of your cat, and you may lose your best friend. So, a better idea is to take it to the vet as soon as you notice signs of illness.

Is Milk Bad For All Cats?

Milk is bad for the majority of cats. But, some of them can drink milk because they aren’t lactose-intolerant.

It is better to avoid giving milk to adult and mature cats because lactose intolerance increases with age, making it more difficult for cats to digest milk.

If you want to check whether your cat is lactose-intolerant or not, a better option is to give it a few sips of milk. You should also keep a keen eye and look at it closely. The cat will show symptoms of diarrhea or vomiting in 8- 12 hours.

But, here’s one thing!

As milk will provide no nutritional benefits to the cat and make it obese, we recommend avoiding giving milk to your cat even if it isn’t lactose-intolerant.


Taking care of our cat’s diet is our responsibility. After reading this information, we’re sure you must have realized that “milk is good for cats” is just a misconception in our society.

Many cat owners don’t know about this basic fact and feed milk to their cats, which becomes a life risk.

The reasons we explained are everything you need to clear out your confusion. If anyone still asks you, “why is milk bad for cats?”, we hope you will answer them promptly!