In recent years, cat parents have learned a lot about the adverse effects of dairy on cats. Even though it sounds customary to give a cat a warm saucer of milk, it just isn’t good for their bellies. But is there an alternative?
You might wonder if almond milk is a suitable replacement since it’s totally plant based. In fact, almond milk can be given to your cat in moderation. Let’s discuss just how much your feline can take without side effects and what your other options are.
What Is Almond Milk?
Almond milk is a super nutritious liquid that is derived from the almond nut. It carries essential vitamins and minerals to nourish the body. Even though it isn’t as high in protein and some other vitamins and minerals as dairy milk, it is still a healthy alternative for humans.
But when it comes to our cats—simply put, it isn’t a natural part of their diet. Cats are obligate carnivores that thrive on animal-based proteins to thrive. Almond milk doesn’t contain the correct nutrition to be included in a daily diet.
Almond Milk Nutrition Facts
Can Cats Drink Almond Milk?
Almond milk is a safe product for cats. But that doesn’t mean that it should be part of their daily diet.
Since almond milk is non-toxic, there is really no issue when you give your cat a small taste here and there. Keep in mind that you shouldn’t offer it to them regularly. This treat is best in moderation, so only bank on 50 ml twice a month (no matter how much your cat begs otherwise).
>Remember that cats thrive on protein, and the added calories in almond milk come with little protein. Liquid calories add up, so giving too much almond milk to a cat might result in an overweight and unhealthy cat.
Possible Side Effects of Almond Milk
If your kitty has a sensitive belly, they might not take so well to this new liquid. Keep an eye for signs of gastrointestinal distress, such as:
If it seems to upset your cat’s digestive tract, leave almond milk off the menu.
Be Careful of Added Sweeteners
Cats really shouldn’t have sugar. Did you know that your cats can’t even taste sweetness? It’s true. Felines have appetites that require meat-based diets, and they crave nothing more. That is why a freshly opened stinky can of tuna heightens their senses.
You have to be careful what sweeteners are in a given food, almond milk or otherwise. While regular cane sugar is not ideal but not toxic, some products contain artificial sweeteners like xylitol, which is highly toxic to dogs and best avoided for cats
Almond Milk for Kittens
If you have a kitten that wasn’t fully weaned for whatever reason, you might be looking for options on what to feed them. You may know cow’s milk isn’t the best choice, but will almond milk suffice? The answer is no. You shouldn’t replace their mother’s milk with any alternative human replacements.
There are specially formulated kitten milk replacements available online and through many veterinary or pet shops. This milk mimics the exact nutrient content in a queen cat’s milk, so it provides the nutrients that kittens need for healthy development. You should never substitute a cat’s milk with any other kind of milk, or you will end up with a sickly kitten that might not make it.
What About Other Milk?
Since cats are, in essence, lactose intolerant, can you choose another type of milk that works better than almond milk? They do make lactose-free milk which might be easier for your cat to digest. But it’s still not the best option for your kitties.
Coconut milk is another option that you find in just about any grocery store these days. While non-toxic, it contains too high of fat and oil to be good for your kitty. That said, you can offer it in small portions.
Cat milk formulated for adult cats and different from kitten milk replacer formulas is also available on the market. Cat milk might actually be your best bet if you are wishing to give your cat some kind of milk
Related Read: Can Cats Drink Goat Milk? What You Need to Know!
So, what have we learned? Almond milk is non-toxic but also not healthy for your cat. If they must indulge, keep portions to a minimum and offer sparingly. Also, be sure to check the ingredients to make sure there are no harmful sweeteners in the recipe.
Ultimately, your cat needs a diet of fresh water and animal-based dry kibble. If you want to appeal to your cat’s appetite, there are tons of kitty-friendly broths and treats to choose from.