We’re always looking for fun treats to give our cats. Even though we all grew up with images of cats drinking milk from bowls, most of us know that dairy isn’t a great idea for our furry friends. Almond milk, enjoyed by lactose intolerant humans the world over, is a great alternative for people who don’t digest dairy/cheese or who don’t like the taste. But can cats drink almond milk?
In this article, we’ll cover the following;
- Cats and Almond Milk, What You Need to Know
- Can Cats Drink Almond Milk?
- Can Kittens Drink Almond Milk?
- Benefits/Negatives of Giving Cats Almond Milk
Cats and Almond Milk, What You Need to Know
Almond milk is quickly becoming very popular all over the world. Its mild taste and milky consistency make it a great alternative to traditional dairy milk. But is it safe for cats? Like most questions about dietary restrictions for pets, the answer is a little complicated, much like the question of whether or not cats can drink soy milk.
There are a few foods that are absolutely bad for cats such as raisins, alcohol, chocolate, etc. But many things can be shared with our feline friends, as long as we are careful to do so in moderation. Almond milk is one of those foods.
Almond milk does not contain any dairy, which means it doesn’t have any lactose. Lactose is difficult for cats to digest, thanks to their low levels of the lactose enzyme. This is the same enzyme that is missing or low in humans who are unable to digest lactose.
While almond milk is unlikely to do your cat any serious harm when given occasionally in small quantities as a treat, a lot will depend on your individual cat and their tolerance for human foods.
Can Cats Drink Almond Milk?
Because almond milk is made from nuts rather than dairy, most cats will be able to digest it in small qualities. But is it worth the risk of potential digestive upset?
Before pouring your cat a bowl of almond milk, here are a few things to watch out for:
- Sensitivity to nuts: Some cats don’t like or are sensitive to nuts, including almonds. If your cat has shown a negative reaction to nut consumption in the past, it’s best to avoid almond milk.
- Sugar: Many almond milk brands contain a lot of sugar, which is bad for cats in any quantity. If you want to share a little almond milk with your cat, make sure it is unflavored (no vanilla or chocolate) and make sure it is a low or no sugar variety.
- Unfamiliar: Some cats will be sensitive to any food that they simply don’t consume often. Giving your cat an entire bowl of almond milk is inadvisable for this reason. If you want to give them a tasty treat, give it to them in small quantities to get them used to it and see how they react. Some cats will experience digestive issues simply from being given a new food. If this is a problem for your cat, avoid almond milk altogether.
Is almond milk toxic for cats? Let’s hear from a vet directly:
Can Kittens Drink Almond Milk?
While some adult cats may be able to digest small amounts of almond milk, it is never a good idea to give it to kittens. Because kittens are rapidly growing, everything they consume should be packed with the nutrition they need. Almond milk can be given as an occasional treat for adult cats, but there is no reason to give it to a kitten. Moreover, kittens have more sensitive digestive systems than their full grown counterparts, and are more apt to react negatively to an unusual food being introduced to their diet.
Benefits/Negatives of Feeding Cats Almond Milk
Maybe you have a little almond milk with your cereal every morning, and your cat has shown interest in tasting a little bit herself. If you absolutely can’t resist, it’s usually okay to give your cat a taste. But make sure it’s just a taste! The key to sharing human food with our pets is moderation. How can you introduce your cat to almond milk?
Here are a few tips:
- Give your cat a tiny bit on your finger. If they lap it up, they probably like it.
- Give your cat a tablespoon of unflavored, low sugar almond milk in their bowl. Don’t give them any more until you’ve monitored her. If she has runny stool, throws up, or doesn’t like it, don’t offer her any more.
- Only give your cat this special treat once and a while. Nutritionally speaking, almond milk doesn’t have much to offer our feline companions. A little taste once a week or once every two weeks is more than enough.
If you want to give your cat a taste of almond milk, feel free to give it to them in very small quantities. But what if it makes your cat sick? Here are a few signs that the almond milk isn’t agreeing with your cat’s digestive system:
- If your cat throws up after consuming almond milk, don’t give it to her again. There is no reason why a cat should drink milk, so don’t risk it. Monitor your cat closely after she vomits to make sure she isn’t sick from something else.
- Loose stools are a common enough occurrence in most pets. If you see your cat has loose stools soon after drinking almond milk, the unfamiliar food or the nuts may be the culprits. If your cat has diarrhea after consuming almond milk, it’s best not to offer it again.
So, Can Cats Drink Almond Milk?
We love our cats and we want them to be happy. And most cats are expert beggars. If you are eating something that they’d like to try, they’re going to let you know! And who can resist their kitty cat eyes? Almond milk is a relatively safe human food for your cat to try, and can be a nice alternative to dairy milk (which is not good for cats).
But almond milk should only be an occasional treat, and should never make up any significant portion of your cats diet. It’s important to feed your cat a high quality cat food and avoid giving them human food. But if you absolutely can’t resist giving in once and a while, here are a few final reminders about almond milk and cats.
- Pick the right kind of almond milk. Avoid giving your cat flavored almond milk, or a brand with a lot of sugar. Here’s an unsweetened type of Almond milk that I recommend.
- Only offer your cat a tiny bit, and only do so once and a while. Too much almond milk is definitely not good for your cat.
- Monitor them for signs that the almond milk doesn’t agree with them. Vomiting and diarrhea are both signs that your cat has eaten something that has upset their stomach. If you suspect almond milk is the cause, don’t give it to them again.
Another non-dairy milk that people often wonder about is coconut milk. Find out here if cats can drink coconut milk.
Have you ever given your cat almond milk? How did they feel about it? Ask us in the comments!