There is a reason it is a stereotype for cats to drink milk–they love it. While it is not something you should give your cat all the time, milk contains many of the vitamins and minerals cats need. Naturally, many cat owners wonder if it is safe to give their cats other types of milk.
For example, can cats drink evaporated milk? Cats should not drink evaporated milk because is more processed than regular milk and, as a result, may be bad for your cat’s stomach.
It is easy to give in to temptation when your cat looks at you with its cute eyes. Resisting giving them your food and drinks is difficult, but you must for the good of their health. You should avoid giving them evaporated milk under all circumstances. It is not safe for cats to eat and can cause severe health issues. If they need calcium, there are plenty of safer options.
When kittens are young, they need milk from their mothers daily. In fact, they need to drink milk more often than that. As a result, it makes sense to think about supplementing their mother’s milk with evaporated milk. Sadly, it is not safe for kittens to drink evaporated milk.
When kittens are born, they do not have fully developed digestive systems. They are strong enough to function and keep themselves alive but cannot handle many things outside the norm. So, it is dangerous for kittens to drink evaporated milk.
Evaporated milk contains a high concentration of sugars, fats, and other complex nutrients. Additionally, evaporated milk has a higher concentration of lactose than regular milk. Now, it is crucial to note that kittens can process more lactose than adults, but even they cannot handle the amount of lactose in evaporated milk.
Another thing to note is that evaporated milk causes dehydration rather than hydration. So, it can cause problems for your kitten’s digestive system and kidneys. They may have trouble processing it and can have diarrhea as a result.
Furthermore, evaporated milk is not only dangerous because of what is in it, but there are also several key nutrients missing. Kittens need various vitamins, minerals, and nutrients to grow into healthy adult cats. They will not get those nutrients from evaporated milk.
With all that in mind, you should not give evaporated milk to your kitten. If they drink some accidentally, contact your vet for support. Depending on how much they drank, you may need to take them to the emergency room.
So, evaporated milk is not safe for kittens, but is it different for adult cats? Sadly, evaporated milk is just as dangerous for adult cats as it is for kittens. You should not give evaporated milk to your cat under any circumstances. It can cause a plethora of health issues.
Adult cats cannot process as much lactose as kittens, and evaporated milk has a higher concentration of lactose than they get from its mother’s milk. Additionally, the sugar in evaporated milk can upset their stomach, causing them to vomit, have diarrhea, or experience dehydration.
Furthermore, cats can only take in small amounts of each nutrient since cats are so small. Notably, they should not take in an excessive amount of salt, or it can be dangerous. Evaporated milk has a high salt concentration, and if your cat drinks it, it can cause low blood pressure. The results of low blood pressure can be organ failure and death.
Another thing to consider is that evaporated milk has a high concentration of protein and vitamin D. Cats that intake too much protein can experience an overgrowth of bacteria in their intestines. Too much bacteria can lead to inflammatory bowel disease. As for vitamin D, it is toxic for cats, so it should not be ingested.
Can Cats Drink Carnation Evaporated Milk?
While it is slightly different from regular evaporated milk, Carnation evaporated milk is still unsafe for cats. Evaporated milk is milk with half the water removed. Removing half the water makes the milk richer, creamier, and better for cooking. Unfortunately, this process makes it unsafe for cats to drink.
Carnation follows this process but adds carrageenan. Carrageenan is an additive that is used to thicken and preserve foods and drinks. It is a natural ingredient that comes from red seaweed called Irish moss. Unfortunately, this ingredient makes it more dangerous to cats.
Carrageenan can cause an inflammatory response in the pancreas. Cats can get type 1 diabetes as a result of this response.
It is crucial to keep in mind that even a teaspoon of this type of milk has three-quarters of your cat’s daily recommended amount of sodium. So, even if they only drink a small amount, it can have adverse health effects.
Condensed milk is similar to evaporated milk, and as a result, it is not a safe option for cats. Cats are one of the few species that cannot safely digest condensed milk. Generally, cats have a low tolerance for lactose and high-fat content. So, most dairy products are not safe for cats to eat.
Condensed milk has a lot of sugar which can lead to feline hyperthyroidism. That is a fancy term for stomach problems with symptoms like vomiting and diarrhea. So, you should avoid giving evaporated or condensed milk to your cat. Additionally, consuming condensed milk may cause indigestion.
Some symptoms of indigestion to watch out for include:
If there is one thing evaporated milk has that cats need, it is calcium. Cats need lots of calcium to build strong bones and grow into healthy adults. While evaporated milk is not safe, there are plenty of alternatives.
The most obvious option is to purchase kibbles and canned cat food that is rich in calcium. Like human food, cat food companies must include nutritional details on the box or bag. So, you can look at all your options and pick the one with the highest calcium concentration.
If you want to ensure they have variety in their diet, you can give them canned salmon or sardines once a week. You should not give them canned seafood every day, but once a week is safe and will give them plenty of extra nutrients.
Raw beef bones are a great source of calcium and other vital nutrients for cats. Additionally, chewing on beef bones is beneficial for your cat’s dental health. On the negative side, you should be aware that consuming too many beef bones can cause constipation and intestinal blockages.
Sadly, you probably will not have beef bones lying around to give your cats. Fortunately, there are a few other options. You can give sliced cheese to your cats as it is also a dairy product and contains calcium. You should only give them 100% pure varieties, or your cat might experience stomach issues. Additionally, you should only give it to them once a week.
Finally, you can give raw vegetables to your cats to get them more nutrients. Vegetables like broccoli, zucchini, cauliflower, and squash are good options. Unfortunately, your cats probably will not like the taste of vegetables. So, you will need to mix them into their food to get them to eat it. It might take a while to convince them to eat it, but they will get used to it eventually.