Can I give my cat soy milk? Can almond milk be given to a cat? These are common lines of inquiry. We know that cats have lactose intolerance, but is it safe to give them dairy-free milk because it is also lactose-free? Let’s find out.
While we do not recommend feeding your cat human foods, we are aware that some people do so occasionally as a treat. The best food for cats is a specially prepared cat diet (which contains meat as cats are obligate carnivores).
Can Cats Safely Drink Soy Milk?
Cow’s milk is not suitable for cats because of their lactose intolerance, which is becoming more and more widely known among cat owners.
Kittens need milk, but it should come from their mother or a specially formulated cat milk replacement product because some cats are allergic to cow’s milk. However, the suitability of soy milk is unclear to many owners.
Soy milk appears to be a great substitute for cow’s milk at first glance. The absence of lactose, the main allergen in cow’s milk, is the first positive aspect of this alternative.
Second, soy is an ingredient in many brands of cat food that are currently on the market.
However, things are not quite so simple in practice. Although soy is included in trace amounts in some brands of cat food, it is not a good idea for cats to eat it regularly.
This is because it can cause hyperthyroidism in cats and cause a rise in blood sugar levels if given in excess.
In addition, the sugars Raffinose and Stachyose can be found in most soy milk. Similar to lactose, the digestive enzymes produced by a cat are insufficient to properly break down these sugars.
Large doses of this can cause nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, abdominal gas, and pain.
Adding sugar or artificial sweeteners to the soy milk you give your cat increases the risk of health issues, and some of these substances are toxic to cats and other pets.
Additional health risks may be posed by soy milk with added sugars, including the potential for increased risk of tooth decay and even diabetes.
Finally, the fact that soy milk is so high in calories is a major argument against giving it to your cat.
In reality, a cup of soy milk can account for as much as half of your cat’s allowance, depending on its size and recommended daily calorie intake, while providing very few of its nutritional needs.
Because of this, not only is it a wasteful option, but it can also easily and rapidly promote feline obesity.
In conclusion, cats can safely consume soy in moderation, but soy milk should be avoided.
Ingredients That Are Unsafe in Soy Milk
So, it’s natural to wonder if soy milk is safe for kittens. has been decisively rejected, but let’s examine the reasons why.
Stachyose and Raffinose are two sugars found in soybeans that are bad for your purring paw-pal. They are both natural plant compounds that can be found in a wide range of foods.
Your cat will experience the same stomach issues after consuming goat’s milk as its digestive enzymes are unable to break down the lactose and globulin in goat’s milk.
Although they can digest some grains and vegetables, cats are obligate carnivores that thrive on meat, fish, properly cooked eggs, and commercially prepared cat food. Soybean-containing products, on the other hand, are not cat-friendly.
Side Effects of Having Soy Milk
Here are some signs to watch out for if your cat has accidentally (or intentionally) consumed soy milk:
- Stomach ache
Cats, like humans, are prone to occasional stomachaches; however, if your cat’s symptoms are particularly severe, it’s best to err on the side of caution and take them to the vet as soon as possible.
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Alternatives to Soy and Dairy Milk
We’ve established that it’s not a good idea to give your cat any kind of milk, and now we know that almond milk contains sugars that can upset your cat’s stomach as well. Is there anything else you can give your cat if you don’t want to give it milk?
To begin, know that milk is not necessary for a cat’s diet. As we’ve established, cats are strictly carnivorous, so they thrive on a diet of raw meat or commercial cat food.
There are a few options if you insist on treating your cat to some. Kittens need their mom’s milk or a cat milk replacement for the first four to eight weeks of their lives.
After that, there are milk products that are safe for cats because they contain less than 0.2% lactose and none of the potentially harmful sugars found in soy or almond milk. You can buy these at any store that sells pets, as well as at some grocery stores.
These items aren’t required to keep your cats healthy, but they do provide them with a number of advantages.
The digestive, immune, bone and tooth health, and fur of your cat may all benefit from switching to one of these milk substitutes. They can also help your cat drink enough water to prevent dehydration.
Is Soy Milk Acceptable As a Rare Treat?
Now that we know that giving your cat a small amount of soy milk as a treat is probably safe, you may be wondering: is soy milk safe for cats?
The short answer is “yes,” but if your cat shows signs of distress, you should stop. The word “occasional” should be taken literally, meaning “very rarely,” rather than “several times a week.”
Just so there’s no confusion: if your cat accidentally drinks some soy milk that you left out, there’s really no reason to worry.
Your cat may experience temporary bloating or other mild digestive issues, but this is highly unlikely to persist after a single exposure.
If you have fed soy milk to your cat in the past without realizing the potential dangers, you can relax.
But as we’ve seen, it’s not great for cats’ health and has no real value as far as nutrition goes. In the simplest terms, it’s a waste of money to include in your pet’s diet.
Therefore, you should probably think about whether or not it’s worth it to introduce your cat to something that could be harmful in larger quantities, like soy milk.
It’s high in calories, as I mentioned before, and eating too much of it is very tempting.
For these reasons, I think it’s best to avoid giving it to your cat and instead look for an alternative treat that doesn’t pose any health risks and can be provided more easily.
What Type of Milk Can Cats Drink?
So, at this point, you’re probably wondering, “If I can’t give my cat cow’s milk or soy milk, what kinds of milk can I use?”
Unfortunately, most types of milk contain sugars that cats cannot properly digest, and others are simply too calorically dense to be a healthy option for adult cats.
While almond milk is safe for cats to drink, it still doesn’t measure up to the competition for the same reasons that soy milk does.
Kittens need milk, but not just any milk; they need either their mother’s milk or a cat milk replacement formula.
You can find alternatives that contain about the same amount of protein and fat as real cat milk on store shelves. Kittens’ immune systems are typically strengthened by the added vitamins and minerals found in these foods.
However, cats should only drink cat milk or cat milk replacement for a short period of time.
Indeed, most cats begin weaning their kittens from milk at around four weeks of age, and by the eight-week mark, most kittens should be eating solid foods.
After about 10 weeks of age, kittens’ digestive systems stop producing the lactase enzyme necessary to digest lactose. As a result, they shouldn’t go back to drinking milk.
After that point, your only guarantee of safety is to purchase a milk alternative that is safe for cats. Major brands such as Whiskas, TopLife, and Pets at Home produce these items, and store brands from major supermarkets are also readily available.
Cat-friendly milk typically has a lactose content of less than 0.2%, and its ingredients are carefully formulated to provide cats with essential nutrients while preventing the gastrointestinal distress that can result from drinking cow, soy, or almond milk.
Is Cat-Friendly Milk Necessary?
Finally, while cat-friendly milk products are safe for cats to consume, they are not required to do so by any means.
Because of their nature as obligate carnivores, cats don’t need any other food sources besides meat, not even milk when they’re young. Your cat will remain properly hydrated with a diet of premium wet cat food and a small amount of water.
That’s not to say there isn’t any benefit to cat-friendly milk. However, most of these items are formulated with calcium, vitamins, and minerals in mind, so they can help your cat stay healthy.
Your cat’s immune system, coat, digestion, bone health, and protection from issues like tooth decay can all benefit from these supplements.
However, milk products that are safe for cats can do more than just that by actually getting your cat to drink more water. This is significant because many cats avoid drinking water and instead get most of their hydration from the food they eat.
However, it is easy for a cat to become dehydrated if you feed it dry cat food or if your cat loses its appetite for some reason. Some unpleasant side effects may result from this.
Cat-friendly milk alternatives are less likely to cause stomach and digestive issues than cow’s milk or soy milk. They have a much lower calorie density than other foods, which can help people avoid weight gain.
Therefore, if your cat enjoys milk, it may be worth purchasing cat-friendly milk even though it is not required.
Can cats drink soy milk? Because they contain sugars your pet can’t digest, the answer is an emphatic yes.
Don’t put your cat through the discomfort that this “milk” may cause in their stomach. Soy milk is safe for cats if given in moderation, but it’s best to avoid giving it to them at all. Milk alternatives that are safe for cats are the better option.
If your cat has severe stomach pain after ingesting soy milk or for any other reason, you should take them to a vet.