Are Cats Lactose Intolerant? Here’s the Deal!

January 15, 2021

Are Cats Lactose Intolerant? Here’s the Deal!

Is milk safe for cats to consume? Or, are the lactose intolerant? 

Children’s stories and fairy tales will have you believe that cats love milk. Growing up, I watched Tom and Jerry—and they both seemed incredibly fond of milk. 

But is that true? 

In this blog post, we will answer one of the most common questions we come across—Are cats lactose intolerant? in as much detail as we possibly can. 

Keep reading to learn more. 

Yes or No: Are Cats Lactose Intolerant? 

The answer to your question is maybe. 

Just like humans, some cats can be lactose intolerant, while others may no be. We think that lactose intolerance is a problem when it is not. It is normal! 

The thing is that usually, cats (and other mammals) drink milk only when they are babies. This milk usually comes from their mothers. 

To digest milk, the digestive system needs to contain lactase which is an enzyme. Humans and our feline friends have plenty of this enzyme when we’re young. However, as we grow older, we start producing smaller amounts of the enzyme—since our bodies don’t technically need milk as it gets energy from solid foods. 

With less lactase in our system, our ability to digest milk declines. 

It’s the same with some cats. 

Symptoms of Lactose Intolerance in Cats: Here’s What to Look Out For 

Let’s take a quick peek at some of the most common symptoms of lactose intolerance in cats. 

  • Abdominal pain 
  • Gas
  • Bloating
  • Diarrhoea 
  • Vomiting
  • Increased thirst 
  • Dry gums 
  • Dehydration 
  • Constipation 
  • Increased heart rate 

Summing Up: Are Cats Lactose Intolerant?

Did you find an answer to your question? 

Some cats might be lactose intolerant as adults, while others may not be—it depends on the individual cat. It’s the same case as with humans. 

If you have reason to believe that your cat may be lactose intolerant, it is best to contact your vet for further guidance and instructions. 

Do you have any questions or concerns? Feel free to leave them in the comments, and we’ll get back to you as soon as we can. 


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