It can sometimes seem like there aren’t many choices for making sure your cat stays content and in good health. That’s why lots of cat owners wonder if they can give their pets oat milk, a plant-based milk that doesn’t contain lactose.
Cats can consume oat milk without any harm. Cats are carnivores by nature and have difficulty digesting plant-based foods and products. While oat milk may provide some hydration for cats and fortified versions may offer minimal nutritional benefits, it should not be relied upon as a significant source of nutrients or calories for your cat.
Many pet owners desire to provide their pets with a high-quality diet. While it is commonly portrayed in the media that cats enjoy drinking milk, responsible pet owners are aware that most adult cats cannot tolerate lactose. If you are thinking about incorporating oat milk into your cat’s diet, here is some important information you should be aware of.
Is It Safe To Give Cats Oat Milk
Most cats can safely consume oat milk, as long as it is not sweetened or flavored. Although vanilla, the most popular flavoring for oat milk, is not harmful to cats, vanilla-flavored milk often contains excessive amounts of unnecessary sugar. Consuming too much sugar can be detrimental to your cat’s health, as it adds empty calories and significantly raises their blood sugar levels.
There is a slight chance that your cat might have an allergic reaction or some other bad reaction to plain oat milk.
Although oat milk does not contain lactose or any other problematic substances found in cow’s milk, some cats may experience a similar reaction to oat milk. For example, both cow’s milk and oat milk can cause diarrhea in cats.
However, oat milk is a safer and healthier choice for your cat compared to cow’s milk. Oat milk has fewer calories and less irritating substances than cow’s milk. It is also a better option than goat’s milk or other dairy milk because it has less impact on your cat’s diet.
What’s In Oat Milk
Oat milk is a unique product, but let’s take a look at the usual ingredients and whether they are safe, helpful, or harmful for your cat.
|Optional or Required
|X (in some cases)
|X (safe in small quantities)
You can even make plain oat milk at home if you want to. However, it’s important to avoid giving your cat commercial oat milk that has been sweetened or flavored, as both can be harmful to them.
It’s important to steer clear of oat milk that contains unnecessary preservatives, flavorings, or salts. While these ingredients are not typically found in oat milk, even small quantities can cause issues for your cat.
What Kind Of Milk Is Safe For Cats
Some cats may be able to safely consume milk, including plant-based options like oat milk and nut milk, but it is generally not recommended by veterinarians due to individual reactions and dietary requirements.
Nevertheless, numerous cat owners still desire to give milk to their cats, either as a simple method to increase hydration and calorie consumption or because their cats appear to enjoy and relish drinking milk.
Definitely, drinking milk can be harmful to many cats. So, it’s important for cats and their owners to opt for safer milk options that are less likely to cause any issues.
Cats can consume small quantities of cow’s milk or goat’s milk. However, both types of milk carry the potential for causing stomach problems or other negative reactions. Therefore, it is advisable to limit the amount to one tablespoon per serving and closely observe your cat’s health afterwards.
Oat milk is a better and generally healthier option, but not all cats like oat milk.
It’s generally not a good idea for cats to drink any kind of nut milk. This is because nut milk can be high in fat and sugar, making it hard for cats to digest. Nut milk also has more fat than oat milk and other grain-based milks.
A lot of people believe that cats should drink raw milk instead of pasteurized milk because it has more nutrients. However, raw milk also carries a greater chance of containing harmful bacteria and other pathogens.
If you want to give your cat milk regularly, it’s better to choose cat milk. Cat milk products are usually not made from milk produced by lactating cats, but they are made from cow’s or goat’s milk that has been processed to reduce fat and remove lactose. Some cat milk products also have their nutrients adjusted to match what your cat needs.
So, cat milk products are a good option, but there’s still a chance of things like diarrhea and weight gain happening.
What’s Better For Cats Milk Or Water
Typically, water is much healthier for cats than milk. This is because cats need to stay hydrated, especially if they mainly eat dry food. While milk can provide hydration, it usually lacks a proper blend of nutrients.
This means that milk provides calories, but it contains excessive calories and fat compared to the other nutrients in the milk.
If you want to give your cat a special treat that’s not milk, you can try giving them ice. Lots of cats enjoy the refreshing feeling of ice and will be just as satisfied with it instead of milk.
What Can You Give Cats Instead Of Milk
There aren’t many other options for cats to drink besides milk because milk doesn’t play a necessary role in their diets.
If you want to find safe treats for your cat, you can try giving them a hydrating treat called Churu. Another good option is unseasoned bone broth, which is made without vegetables, salt, or spices, and can be especially beneficial for older cats.
Avoid dairy products such as cheese, sour cream, or butter because they have the same issues as the milk they are derived from.
However, if you want your cat to get the calories from milk and prefer a choice that won’t upset their stomach, cream could be a suitable option. This is because cream has less lactose but more fat, making it more calorie-dense and beneficial for cats that are underweight.
Despite having lower lactose content, cream is still not suitable for the majority of cats.
For young cats, old cats, and cats that are unwell, kitten formula can be another good choice. Kitten formula should not be given to older cats all the time because it has more nutrients than adult cats require. However, as an occasional treat or to provide nutrition for sick or underweight cats, kitten formula is a great option.
Another good choice is low-sodium tuna juice. Regular tuna juice may contain excessive salt for many cats, but low-sodium tuna juice is a lower-calorie option that still provides essential nutrients and proteins for your cat’s diet.
Things To Consider
It’s important for cats to stay hydrated, which is why many cat owners want to give them milk. Instead of milk, you can try feeding your cat wet food or giving them more wet-food treats to help keep them hydrated.
Why is wet food a great choice for cats? Well, because cats in the wild get most of their hydration from their food, they don’t have a strong urge to drink water. This means that most cats won’t drink enough water to stay hydrated if they mainly eat dry food.
If you decide to give your cat milk, it’s important to watch out for any negative reactions. Diarrhea is the most well-known negative reaction, but farting, loss of appetite, or appearing tired can also suggest that the milk has upset your cat’s stomach.
It’s crucial to understand that not all cats will respond to milk in the same manner when you offer it to them. As cats age, they may have varying reactions to milk, even if they handle it well during their younger years.
If you want to give your cat different drinks instead of milk or to keep them hydrated, there are some things you should stay away from. Avoid giving your cat sugary or artificially sweetened drinks. Caffeine is also a big no-no, so don’t give your cats any drinks with caffeine.
Avoid adding salt to your cat’s drink as it can harm their kidneys and cause damage, especially if given regularly.
Lastly, cats should not consume any type of alcohol. Alcohol is not only harmful to cats, but even the smell can make them upset and irritable. If a cat is angry, it is more likely to be aggressive towards you and your other pets, so it’s best to keep your cat away from alcoholic beverages!