Whilelactose intolerance is akin to humans, it also happens to pets likecats. Although the digestive system of a kitten accepts the milk ofits mother, the genetic makeup of adult cats is such that theproduction of lactase stops altogether or reduces to the bareminimum, which makes grown cats biologically lactose intolerant.
While lactose intolerance is akin to humans, it also happens to pets like cats. Although the digestive system of a kitten accepts the milk of its mother, the genetic makeup of adult cats is such that the production of lactase stops altogether or reduces to the bare minimum, which makes grown cats biologically lactose intolerant.
However, since felines need a high-protein diet, dairy choices like regular cow milk become an easy option. In this article, we introduce you to safer nutritional options high in protein and safer for your feline’s gut health.
But first things first…
What is Lactose Intolerance?
Naturally, the small intestines produce an enzyme called lactase which helps in the breaking down and digestion of the sugar in dairy products called lactose. The deficiency of the body to produce lactase creates intolerance when lactose is consumed through dairy products. This intolerance manifests in stomach upsets, digestive issues and other gastrointestinal problems. In cats, it causes painful gas and stomach acid.
What you should feed your lactose-intolerant cat
As already established, grown moggies may react to a lactose diet. Therefore, here are 3 other proteinous products to give your lactose-intolerant cats in place of Cow milk:
1: Unpasteurised milk
Also known as raw milk, unpasteurised milk is milk that still contains all prebiotics and probiotics as well as all-natural enzymes, including lactase. This way, your cats will have no issues breaking down the lactose in the milk. Although unhealthy for humans due to the bacteria content that may cause health issues in humans, raw milk is an ideal alternative for moggies.
2: Lactose-free milk
Not the choicest alternative, but being lactose-free is a plus. However, this category of diary usually comes highly sweetened with high calories and may cause obesity and other weight issues in your cats. It is advised to feed your cats lactose-free milk in little portions as regularly consuming it may upset your feline’s stomach, amongst others.
3: Plant-based milk
From soy and almond milk to coconut and rice milk, plant-based milk is a healthy option to feed your grown cats. Take caution, however, as this kind of milk does not only come high in protein; but in fat and calories as well. Too much will interfere with your feline’s sugar level, weight and digestion. It is advised to limit plant-based milk to treats and to give your cats moderate quantities.
Pro tip: although liquid, milk should not replace the water in your cat’s diet. Lactose intolerance causes dehydration; therefore, always keep your lactose-intolerant cat hydrated.
You can say that cats are drawn to dairy because of the fatty and protein contents, which they probably can smell from a mile away. To curb the displeasure that will arise when lactose is consumed and also give your felines healthy treats, then exchange your regular diary for any of these options on the list – it’s a win-win for your cats. In addition, you can upgrade your cats’ overall nutritional health by learning about cats’ nutrition on sites like Mellowed Cats. How do you treat your lactose-intolerant cat?