If you’re a cat lover or even just an animal lover, there’s no doubt that you want what’s best for your pet. Odds are that you’ve heard and read lots of things online and by now you probably just need some clarification.
One thing worth knowing about what’s best for your feline friend is that they shouldn’t, contrary to common belief, be given bowls full of milk to enjoy, especially after growing out of their kitten stage. You may also be wondering if, since you shouldn’t give them cow’s milk, almond milk would be any better.
To answer the question, “Can cats drink almond milk?” – sure, they can. But they probably shouldn’t.
Related: What milk can cats drink?
Cats and Cow’s Milk
Like almost anyone alive, you’ve probably heard at some point that cats love milk. That’s true, but that doesn’t mean you should give it to them. Like any newborn, kittens drink their mother’s milk, but once they reach a certain age, they grow out of it.
You may be tempted to give your cat a bowl of cow’s milk, but the reality is that just like some humans, cats can also be lactose intolerant. Giving a cat cow’s milk could cause bloating, gas, diarrhea, or just general stomach discomfort.
Aside from that, if you’re feeding your cat a good quality cat food, it should already be getting all the essential nutrients it needs, so you could just pass on the bowl of milk anyway. It probably isn’t adding much benefit to your cat’s diet.
Cats and Almond Milk
If you’ve been to a grocery store to buy milk any time in the last five years, you’ve probably noticed that the shelves beside the cow’s milk have become inundated with various types of almond, soy, and other dairy-free types of milk.
You may even have a carton of almond vanilla milk in your own fridge. And like any good parent, you probably want to share it, even if you’re just sharing with your beloved cat. Feel free to give your cat some of your almond vanilla milk; it won’t kill him. However, much like cow’s milk, your cat could experience an upset stomach from the almond milk.
Almonds aren’t deadly for cats, but almond vanilla milk doesn’t have a lot of beneficial nutrients for cats either. Aside from that, almond milk may have added sweeteners or artificial ingredients that you really should avoid as much as possible in your cat’s diet.
Benefits of Almond Milk for Cats
Almond milk is all the craze now, for humans at least. It is a great substitute for milk in cereal or for creamer in coffee. It can be lower in sugar and calories, and if you opt for almond vanilla milk, you’ll add a little extra flavor to your food or beverage.
For cats, however, almond milk does not offer many benefits in nutritional value. Being made from almonds, it does have the benefits of omega-3 fatty acids, which can be good for fending off cardiovascular disorders.
Depending on the brand of almond milk you use, you might find some that has calcium or vitamin D added. These are great for cats. But calcium, vitamin D, and Omega-3’s can also be found in food, so if you are feeding your cat a high-quality cat food, you will not have to worry about supplementing their diet with any type of milk.
What happens if my Cat Drinks Almond Milk?
If your cat drinks almond milk, don’t panic. It actually will not hurt them unless, by chance, your cat has a nut or almond allergy. In general, when you give your pet something new, you want to start small, wait, and watch for any negative reactions or allergies.
If you give your cat almond milk and it does have an allergy, odds are that it will just experience stomach-related discomfort. These symptoms can include gas, bloating, diarrhea, constipation, or just an upset stomach.
Of course, it can be hard to tell if your cat has an upset stomach if the more visible symptoms are not present, but if you give your cat almond milk and it seems cranky or upset afterwards, you probably should not continue giving it to them. In addition to that, if you know your cat already has some digestive issues, introducing a new drink for them to digest is probably not a good idea to begin with.
If your kitty seems happy with its current diet and is getting all the nutrition it needs, why add something else that could quite possibly upset its stomach? If you give your cat almond milk and don’t notice any behavior changes, you could offer it almond milk as a treat, but you still shouldn’t just leave a bowl of milk – almond milk or any other kind – sitting around for it to drink.
Like dogs, cats don’t really do a good job self-regulating how much they eat or drink, so if you leave a bowl of milk sitting out, your cat will probably think it’s so delicious that they just don’t stop drinking until it’s gone.
After that, they could possibly have an upset stomach because they drank too much.
Pet owners just want what’s best for their pet, and cat owners are no exception. Our furry friends are as near and dear to our hearts as any other pet is to its owner. We want to make sure our cat is cared for and has everything it needs, but sometimes we want to show it a little extra love.
You should not make a habit out of offering your cat bowls of almond milk, but as an occasional treat, there are worse things you could give them. If you do choose to share your almond milk with your cat, make sure that your cat does not have an allergy, and exercise caution when offering it for the first time.