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Milk and kitty cats

CarmentinaCarmentina Raw Newbie

Now that there’s another interesting thread going about the evils of milk, I thought I’d start another one along the same line. Milk for our furry friends! I don’t drink milk, but I give it to my cat! Nothing makes her purr quite like it. It’s this instinctive thing that takes them back to the love and feeling cared for by their mothers. Whenever my cat jumps onto the corner counter and meows it means she wants milk. My vet says it’s bad for some cats – depends on their stool. Is it loose? If so, don’t give it to her. I know I’m supporting the milk industry this way, but such a small amount!

Your thoughts?



  • BluedolfinBluedolfin Raw Newbie

    Something to think about… In the wild, do cats drink another species’ milk? Ever see a cat milking a cow? Ouch! In the wild, do cats eat fish? It would necessitate a cat going in the water… Even if cats really “go” for a food, does it mean that it is really good for it? Just think about kids, and adults for that matter, desiring McDonalds…

    Food for thought…

  • ajchanterajchanter Raw Newbie

    Iv read that milk is really bad for cats! My cats always got ill after they had some, so i dont give it to them anymore. (i give them water) :)

  • ZoeZoe Raw Newbie

    I’ve got a Siamese and I hav lways been told that you mustn’t give milk to a Siamese. I wonder why people say that about Siamese and not other types of cat, I mean, they’re all the same in the inside aren’t they?

    It is amazing to feed your cat raw meat and bones, the changes in my cat after switching him over to raw were incredible. He is so fit and healthy, and extremely happy ;)

  • CarmentinaCarmentina Raw Newbie

    My cat eats both kibble (dry cat food) and raw meat. I haven’t gotten her to eat bones yet cuz she refuses, hence the crunchy kibble for her teeth. She’s in excellent health and shows no outward signs that milk is harming her. Her stool is healthy too. I’ve tried giving her goat milk, but she doesn’t like it and almond milk is out of the question!

  • RawKidChefRawKidChef Raw Newbie

    You just can’t give cats milk. Cats that eat cooked food do not show any outright signs of being sick from eating it, but cancer and a whole bunch of other problems are associated with eating cooked food, including milk. However, after a certain age, when animals stop breastfeeding, they (including humans) stop producing lactase, needed to digest lactose. Since milk is based on an animal, a cat will eat anything that is meat-related. This doesn’t mean it is good. Don’t give milk to a cat, if we can’t tolerate it, why would a cat be able to? And she purrs because it tastes good. For example, a 3 year-old who is given a piece of cake thinks it is delicious, but won’t be able to tell that it is bad for them.

    Also, you shouldn’t be feeding kibble to a cat, if you want to feed her that, eating canned food is better. You don’t want to end up with a cat in renal failure eventually, and I know I sound too negative, but eating raw meat isn’t enough. You don’t have to give her whole bones – just buy raw frozen formulas at a pet store (you may need to do some searching for that) which have all the organs and bones and everything needed – just defrost them. Or, as gross as it sounds, put some raw meat in your vita-mix with the bones and it will grind perfectly – it is not as gross as it sounds and you can just wash out your vitamix, but you don’t have to do that either.

  • My great uncle had a dairy farm and the barn cats stole milk all the time and it didn’t make them sick. It may be pasturized, overly processed milk that is the issue. We have very different physiologies than felines, so it doesn’t make sense to apply our condition to theirs. Their intestines are short for meat to make a “quick exit” so their tolerance of milk is probably better as well.

    Two of my five catChildren are chronically dehydrated and the vet suggested supplementing their diets with lactose free milk. I give it to them in small amounts only when their stool seems hard.

  • Hey fellow cat lovers,

    What type of meats do you feed your kittys? Also, how do you prepare them? We feed our cats typical supermarket stuff(fancy feast, Science diet crunchies, etc..) but if we could get them on other stuff, it would be nice. Do you make the food daily? Any info would be great.We are also guilty of giving milk to our orange tabby- he just loves it!! OH the shame!

  • greenghostgreenghost Raw Newbie

    As many have stated – cats really shouldn’t be given milk. It can cause digestive problems (even if not immediately noticed) and does not provide them any nutritional value.

    http://www.buzzle.com/articles/should-cats-drin… If your cat seems to handle milk well, sources say that it may be given every once in while but only as a ‘treat’. (although I would search for a different (healthier) treat for a cat)
    Milk should not be given consistently and never as a substitute for water (ie- always offer water first since they can’t live without it).

    On another related line regarding pet health- One food substance that should never under any circumstances be given to a pet is Chocolate. Chocolate is Toxic- even deadly – for dogs & cats. http://vetmedicine.about.com/cs/nutritiondogs/a…

  • rachel_akikorachel_akiko Raw Newbie

    most cast are lactose intolerant. I only gave milk to my cats once and they had diarrhea, and I had to clean it off the carpet :(

  • RawKidChef – obviously raw diets for cats are the healthiest way to go, but not all forms of kitty kibble are as bad as others… some are actually formulated very healthfully. most cancer in cats has actually been traced to chemicals in kitty litter, and vaccinations given in the back of the neck, as well as outdoor cats getting into things like chemical fertilizer and then licking their paws.

    Carmentina—i see no problem with you giving your kitty small amounts of milk just every so often as long as her stools are fine. it does make most cats ill, but also in most cases very tiny tiny amount does nothing. my cat back in Boston is a very healthy 17 years old and going, and i happen to know that my mom sneaks her tiny tastes of ice cream every so often, of all things. our other cats before her all lived to be 18 or 19 (two of them males which is really extraordinary) and they certainly weren’t raised raw or organic even in any way. if you treat your cat well and love her and watch what she eats etc, a little bit of milk that makes her so happy really is not going to kill her. really!! :)

    geespeen – i adopted my cat from a rescue foundation, and they’d had him eating only Friskies. i’ve been able to switch him over to only organic brands, but it took a lot of coaxing using the flavors mixed with seafood or liver. he still has yet to touch anything along the lines of ‘Turkey and Spinach Dinner’ haha. the woman i adopted bax from told me that Fancy Feast is pretty much the least nutritious form of cat food there is – she refers to it as McDonald’s for cats. that’s probably why they love it so much though!

    i feed my cat organic foods, but i can’t afford now to be feeding him raw. (i understand it’s expensive, no?) he also has painful gums (gingivitis) as the one symptom of his FIV (my poor street-toughened baby!) and i’ve been able to get them much better through a supplement, but i have to mix his cooked food with water to the consistency of soup or melted ice cream for him to be able to eat it, and i’m not sure he’d ever be able to even get down raw food! i just wonder if it could potentially help with his FIV… although he actually has no symptoms at all other than some pain in his gums.

    before someone chimes in, FIV is an immunity disease that is only passed to cats through penetrating bite wounds… it’s pretty rare in anything other than stray un-neutered male cats, which my poor gentle sissy boy used to be. it’s comparable to HIV, but in most cases where the cat is well taken care of the most severe problems it ever causes are things like gingivitis. it is not caused by food, but i suspect that it could be helped with a raw diet. but again… i don’t think he could even get it past his teeth! any thoughts?

  • CarmentinaCarmentina Raw Newbie

    Dorian don’t, I recently had to get my cat’s blood drawn (so she can move with me to Hawaii!) and my vet didn’t have gloves on. I asked her why and she said that feline diseases aren’t communicable to humans. I specifically asked about feline AIDS since I once had a cat contract it. She told me that if anything were communicable she would have it by now after so many years! So I guess the answer to your question is NO!!

    Thanks everyone for this lively topic. I see a lot of animal lovers out there!

  • BluedolfinBluedolfin Raw Newbie

    Carmentina~ That’s interesting about your vet and no gloves… Gloves are a two-way barrier… so the vet doesn’t pass on stuff to the animal or from animal-to-animal… hmmmm…

  • TomsMomTomsMom Raw Newbie

    I totally understand that for many, kibble is the affordable option, but if you can afford better, get kitty off the kibble. It creates plaque on the teeth. It does not clean the teeth in any way. This is propoganda from the pet food industry, spread by vets. Rawfedcats.org is worth looking into. A good person to talk to about the fact of food and teeth is a zoologist and not a vet.

    Also, if you give kitty meat, balance it out with enough calcium.(appropriately sized raw bones. My girl likes rabbit ribs.)

  • We have a beautiful gray kitty that we rescued and right now he is on half kibble and half raw food. I buy turkey giblets, raw chicken, and raw fish for him and he loves it. It hasn’t impacted my budget too much. :)

    Also.. think about a predatory animal in the wild… Would they absolutley never kill a nursing mother animal?? I say this is more likely as the recovering mom would be less able to get away from the big kitty. So.. it goes without saying that wild cats probably do “eat” or “drink” other species milk occasionally.. but of course.. it is raw and unheated. :)

    Just my thoughts. :)

  • Carmentina—i know that humans cannot contract any diseases from cats. i was asking what people who feed their cats raw food think about my cat not being able to eat food that he really has to chew too much bc it hurts him. i have to mix his cooked food with enough water that he can more or less lap it up without much chewing, and i have a feeling lots of chewing is necessary with well-balanced raw. i think it’s lovely that your vet doesn’t use gloves!! :)

    oh… although i guess he has no problem with chewing the crickets that come inside which he catches… which are certainly raw i suppose ha! (and sound pretty crunchy eww)

  • troublesjustabubbletroublesjustabubble Raw Newbie

    switching things up for a second, I don’t have a cat anymore but I do have a little cocker spaniel. I give her normal dog food (sensitive stomach type though) but she adores any fruit or veggie I drop as I cook. Her favorite is the white part of lettuce. She goes crazy for that.

    My question is, do dogs need that much veggie content in their diet? I don’t purposefully give her that stuff but I was just wondering if she’s crazy over it because her body needs it.

  • After kittenhood, cats no longer produce lactase, the enzyme that digests milk. Milk is not a good idea for adult cats (or adult humans for the same reason). I hope this helps! :)

  • MeditatingMeditating Raw Newbie

    TROUBLE – Here is a great link for you:

    Why do dogs eat grass. Maybe your cocker thinks lettuce is the missing green link. I’m sure this article is applicable to cats also.

    I used to have Persian cats and once a month or so I would give them spinach. Sometimes, they would ignore it and others they would devour it all.

  • troublesjustabubbletroublesjustabubble Raw Newbie

    that article is cute.

    My Mom told me when I was a kid that cats and dogs eat grass because it gives them the vitamins and minerals they don’t get from other things. So I just assumed that was true. But the amount of things consumed by my dog as I “uncook” is pretty big(I’m super clumsy so stuff drops all the time). She’s very healthy and happy and her coat looks good and so do her teeth so I can’t assume that it’s bad for her.

  • RawKidChefRawKidChef Raw Newbie

    My cat loves grass. It’s a natural thing for them to eat it. It has fiber, vitamins, minerals, etc. I feed my cat Garden of Life Primal Defense. Not meant for animals, but full of probiotics and grasses and greens and so many others.

    I’m still going to argue that kibble is cooked, and anything cooked will cause higher risk of cancer and renal failure is the biggest cause. It’s not very expensive to feed raw bones to a cat, believe me. Even if litter is the culprit, it’s not the main culprit. If you can afford it, I don’t recommend you buy kibble. You might regret it.

    The other option is, if you can’t afford bones, you can buy raw frozen formulas in the freezer section of certain pet stores – but not in Petco or Petsmart.

  • i do agree that other types of food are better than kibble, and kibble should never be the main part of an animal’s diet, but i still don’t think a little on the side is a huge deal. although again yes i think an all raw diet is absolutely by far the best.

    i’m still looking for any advice or feedback on whether or not raw could be a possibility for my cat. his gums are sore because of his fiv and so i have to mix his food with water so that he can eat it without it hurting him. i’m still assuming that raw meat and bones are going to require lots of chewing, no?

  • What type of bones are good for cats? Will they not splinter and possibly hurt them? Also, when any of you switched your cats from CATSAD to raw, did they take to it right away or was there a transition? Did the cats stool change? Any Detox symptoms? Any info would be great as we are seriously considering this. It stinks to think we were always trying to give our Kittys the best but could be hurting them!

  • MeditatingMeditating Raw Newbie

    DORIAN What if you used your blender to puree the meat down or you could provide her with some ground meat? Kitty might like some raw meat soup.

  • TomsMomTomsMom Raw Newbie

    dorian don’t, if he has real problems that keep him from chewing raw meat and bone, then you can grind it up for him. My girl has some jaw problems left from kittenhood and although she now handles meat chunks and small ribs great, she can’t handle larger raw bones.

    Of course, I keep all of her bone an appropriate size. I know some owners feed their cats chicken thigh and leg bones, but I don’t think this is a natural size for a cat. Think bird size.

    If you do go all raw for kitty, remember to add the right amounts of raw organ meats, and keep in mind cats cannot make their own taurine, so add extra heart. I actually pay less for my cat’s all raw food than I did with the organic, expensive kibble and canned I used to give her. I’m still amazed.

    geespeen, raw bone is great for cats. No, it won’t splinter or harm them at all, and the soft bone and cartilge(sp?) rubs the teeth and keeps them clean and white, unlike kibble, which creates a horrendous, bacterial ridden coating. This raw bone is what they have evolved to eat, so don’t worry.(Cooked bone, though, is very very bad for both cats and dogs. It is extremely hard and breaks into sharp points!)

    Keep in mind that even with the breeding we have done over the centuries with cats, their biology has not changed one bit. Just make sure the raw bones are an appropriate size, i.e., small.

    My cat’s IBS and tummy upsets cleared up almost immediately when I moved her to raw. However, she resisted it for a while, because commercial pet foods contain salt, sugars and flavor enhancers to get the cat to eat. It’s quite addicting, and so natural, raw diet tastes very bland at first. Some cats take to it fast, while others want to be cajoled and babied through the transition.

    There were no detox symptoms. CAts are obligate carnivors and they change from a typical grain and refuse commerical diet to a natural diet with no problems. (except for the snobbery of the tastebuds, haha)

  • This is a great site for feeding raw: http://rawfedcats.org/ And it also lists the problems with ground raw: http://rawfedcats.org/ground.htm

    Apparently, grinding the food increases the risk of bacteria and the cats really need to chew on bones and not have them ground in. However, cats are extremely finicky. I have had no success in getting my cat to try raw in the past(though I tried the ground raw diet, so I’m going to attempt the prey model diet next.) Also, in the case of an older cat or a cat with teeth problems, they may not be able to chew bone, but they can still chew kibble. They really need something to chew.

    I really hope the prey model works this time around. I’m going to try to get her some fresh fish and quail and see if she eats it whole. She did eat my pet finches(on Thanksgiving…my cat has a sense of timing,) so a small bird may intrigue her. Polarica sells all kinds of game birds, so I may get partridges to quarter up for her.

    (I’m kind of gagging at the thought because I’m vegan, but these are the types of decisions we need to make when we rescue carnivorous animals.)

  • When my cat/child was just a kitten we bought cheap catfood (we were poor) and he got terrible urinary tract blockages from buildup of salt crystals. He had to be catheterized and flushed overnight for $300 a pop (twice). Then he had expensive prescription diet catfood, $30 a bag!

    I asked my vet what ideally he should eat and the man flat out told me to kill mice and chop it up for him, and that I could bake it for him if I wanted to change things up once in a while.

  • Justine: If you’re having a hard time trying to get your cat to eat raw, try putting the meat on YOUR plate and leaving it within paw-reach.

    It doesn’t matter what I’m eating, my cat will eat it because it is mine. He has climbed me (standing) just to put his paws in a strawberry smoothie before, and I’ve watched in awe as he lay down romantically besides my friend’s dinner plate and lovingly caressed their linguine chicken alfredo.

  • RawKidChefRawKidChef Raw Newbie

    Just grind up the bones with the meat. Yes, splinters can cause stomach problems. CHicken backs or bones work. I always grind by bones up for her so it is nice and smooth, you should too if your cat’s gums are sore.

    I have been feeding raw eggs to my cat, and she is doing much better with much more energy. It is also important to give fiber, such as in the form of flaxseeds.

  • I allowed my cat to eat chocolate, unfortunately this led to her illness. I want to warn everyone about this. Here is a detailed article https://catspurfection.com/can-cats-eat-chocolate.html explaining why cats can not eat chocolate. If I had this information before ...


  • jammysjammys Raw Newbie
    edited October 2022

    Thank you for your kind words of recommendation. My query has been solved.

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