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Can Cats Drink Goat Milk? What You Need to Know!

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By Nicole Cosgrove

bowl with milk

Owners are often discouraged from giving dairy products to cats because many of them are lactose intolerant and cow’s milk can cause upset stomachs, gas, and other gastrointestinal complaints. Goat’s milk, on the other hand, is considered a healthy substitute and is safe for cats to drink in moderation. It offers several health benefits when consumed and many cats enjoy consuming it unadulterated, without any additives or extra ingredients. You can freeze it, mix it with other foods, or pop it in a bowl and let your cat drink a moderate amount.

Is Goat Milk Safe for Cats?

Two cats drinking milk from bowl
Image Credit: Dmitri Ma, Shutterstock

Cat owners are discouraged from feeding cow’s milk to cats because it contains lactose, and this is also true of goat’s milk. It does contain lactose. Cats struggle to digest lactose, and this intolerance can give your cat an upset stomach and may cause diarrhea and vomiting.

Although there is less lactose in goat’s milk than in cow’s milk, it is still present and there is still enough that it could cause your cat to get ill.

With that said, some cats can stomach a little lactose, and because goat’s milk does have less lactose than cow’s milk, it represents a decent alternative for those felines that can stomach this type of sugar.

Goat’s milk is not considered toxic, which means that you shouldn’t panic if your cat pinches a little from your plate or glass, for example. If your cat can handle some lactose in its diet, the low-lactose levels of goat’s milk mean that it could actually prove beneficial. Read on for more on the potential health benefits goat milk offers cats.

Reduces Intestinal Inflammation

One of the benefits of goat’s milk is that it contains oligosaccharides. These reduce gastrointestinal inflammation. Inflammation can be caused by injury or it may be caused by irritation from pathogens or damaged cells. Goat’s milk can help soothe the discomfort that this inflammation causes, although you should stop feeding it if it causes any further GI upset.

milk in glass bottles
Image Credit: pasita wanseng, Pixabay

Contains Prebiotic Content

Goat’s milk is rich in prebiotics. These good bacteria regulate and combat the bad bacteria found in your cat’s stomach. As well as reducing instances of diarrhea and vomiting, improved gut health is shown to have numerous health benefits. For example, it can reduce the severity of infections and can even improve overall immune system health in your cat.

Related Read: Can Cats Eat Cheese? What You Need to Know!

Less Allergenic

Goat’s milk is a novel protein for cats and dogs. This means that it is a protein that they are not usually exposed to, so they are less likely to be sensitive to the ingredients and they will not show signs of sensitivity or allergy. Also, goat’s milk contains smaller fat globules than other forms of milk, such as cow’s milk. Therefore, it is more easily digested, taking less effort to consume than cow’s milk takes. Estimates suggest that it takes around 15 minutes to digest goat’s milk.

If your cat is prone to allergic reactions or sensitivity when consuming cow’s milk, you can try goat’s milk instead because it can reduce negative reactions.

cat drinking milk from a saucer
Image Credit: ChervovRV, Shutterstock

Nutritionally Beneficial

Filled with vitamins, minerals, enzymes, and protein, goat’s milk is considered nutritionally well-rounded. What’s more, it facilitates the absorption and the use of other minerals like magnesium, iron, and calcium, in your cat, so it has a host of benefits to offer your cat.

You might also be interested in: 8 Best Kitten Milk Replacers – Reviews & Top Picks

Serving Goat’s Milk

If you are sure that your cat can tolerate lactose, you can try feeding a small amount of goat’s milk. The simplest way to do this is by pouring it in a bowl and offering it as a snack. Your cat will likely lap it up thanks to its creamy texture and appealing taste. Alternatively, you can mix it in with dry kibble or other food. This may serve to make otherwise bland food seem more appealing to your feline friend.

Goat’s milk will usually stay fresh in the refrigerator for up to 14 days, but it can be frozen or bought frozen, too. Keep the frozen milk in your freezer and defrost it as required. If your cat will take frozen food, you can even feed it as a frozen yogurt-style treat that will help keep your cat cool. This can also prevent them from gulping down too much of this treat too quickly.

Goat’s Milk for Cats

Goat’s milk does contain lactose, but less than is found in cow’s milk. If your cat can tolerate a little lactose without showing adverse effects, consider giving a small amount of this milk as a treat, or mixing it with your cat’s regular food so that he can enjoy the various health benefits that this milk has to offer. Refrigerate or freeze the milk to ensure that it keeps without spoiling and so that you can continue to offer it.

Looking for more advice on what your cat can drink? Try:

Featured Image Credit: Viktor1, Shutterstock

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