Can British Shorthairs drink milk?

Cat breeds

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Many owners wonder: is it true that milk is a suitable food for a British cat? Or maybe, on the contrary, it is not useful at all? Let’s get to the bottom of this.

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Kittens under 2 months eat milk

Babies, starting from the first day of life, do indeed feed on milk. But it’s cat milk. It has a special composition that differs from that of cows or goats. Until about 1 month of age, milk is the only food in kittens’ diets. But from about 3-4 weeks, breeders introduce complementary foods. The best option is to feed raw meat.

However, kittens who have started complementary feeding still eat their mother’s milk. It remains up to 2 months a staple food, containing many nutrients. Therefore, if possible, it is recommended that kittens up to 2 months should only be fed meat, but not weaned from the cat’s breast. In extreme cases, it is allowed to raise the babies on artificial formula.

At 2 months of age, little kittens are almost completely switched to adult food and essentially do not need mother’s milk, although they may still come to the breast if they stay with their mother.

Milk for adult cats

Up to 3 months of age, the kitten can still attach to its mother’s breast or drink cow’s or goat’s milk or cream, which the breeder gives it. And, as a rule, a small amount does not cause any problems until the animal is 3 months old. Plus or minus from this age, cats stop producing enough lactase enzyme, which is necessary to break down lactose – milk sugar. Therefore, milk is not recommended for cats older than 3 months.

However, not everyone develops lactose intolerance at once. Some cats are completely lactose intolerant when they reach the age of 3 months. They get gas and diarrhea every time they try this treat. Such cats, most interestingly, can continue to love milk. And there is a pattern: the less often an animal gets milk, the worse it tolerates it.

Other cats, on the other hand, may consume milk in limited quantities throughout their lives. Usually it is 40 grams of milk per 1 kg of cat weight. If you exceed the norm, you may start to have problems: gas, cramps, diarrhea. We, however, recommend that if possible, do not give milk to anyone and in any quantities. The fact is that owners often do not notice that their cat suffers discomfort after drinking milk, because they are not necessarily expressed in the form of diarrhea.

It is better to replace milk with fermented dairy products that your pet likes. These are kefir, cottage cheese, sugar-free yogurt, ryazhenka, and even sour cream. But sour cream is quite a fatty product, so you should not give it much. It is also acceptable to treat yourself to a small piece of quality cheese (not cheese products, namely cheese!). Also, as an option, the cat can be offered lactose-free dairy products, including lactose-free milk.


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Felinologist Kate Yuhosh

Author and editor of the site "Murkotiki". She is educated according to the WCF system (World Cat Federation). She is raising a Scottish Straight cat. a Highland Fold cat and a Miniature Schnauzer dog. The field of in-depth interests includes zoodietology and zoopsychology.


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