Can Cats Have Almond Milk? Hint: It's Possibly Ok Occasionally in Small Amounts
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Almond milk is a nutritious alternative to regular cow’s milk which is commonly used by many people in their daily diet. But can cats have almond milk? Let’s find out!
Can cats have almond milk? Yes and no, almonds aren’t toxic to cats, and the milk is possible ok in small amounts but isn’t recommended.
Most cats are lactose intolerant, meaning they cannot digest lactose without facing gastric problems. Cats and dogs don’t have enough lactase enzymes to break down the lactose in milk. Although cats like milk and other dairy products, they shouldn’t be given regular cow’s milk as it can cause an upset stomach.
Many cat owners are looking for a dairy alternative that’s safe for their pets. Since almond milk doesn’t contain lactose, it’s a better choice for your cat. But is it safe to give to your pet? We’ve done all the research to determine whether cats can have almond milk and looked into why cats CAN’T be vegan.
Can cats have almond milk?
Almond milk has many beneficial properties because of the antioxidants it contains. This drink, when compared with regular cow’s milk, has much less fat and cholesterol content. The vitamins, minerals, and other nutrients present in almond milk make it a healthy alternative for people.
Whether cats can have almond milk or not is still debatable. Scientists believe that almond milk is not toxic to cats, but it doesn’t mean they can drink large amounts. A small amount of almond milk won’t harm your cat.
However, drinking large quantities may cause them to become constipated or can make them dehydrated. It can also cause gastrointestinal problems like diarrhea, vomiting, gas, and bloating. Almond milk is creamy and high in calories which can cause your cat to put in weight.
In most cases, small amounts of almond milk given occasionally won’t cause any harm to your pet’s health. It may even have some benefits. Almond milk contains vitamin E and antioxidants, but it’s worth noting that your cat will already get enough vitamins from his cat food. Many manufacturers also add additional nutrients such as vitamin D and calcium, which are found in cows milk.
Things to avoid when giving your cat almond milk
- Check that it doesn’t contain sugar or xylitol, a toxic sugar replacement
- Don’t give your cat dairy alternatives that have macadamia nuts
- Avoid products that contain chocolate and cocoa
- Only give your cat a small amount of almond milk very occasionally
Are dairy substitutes such as nut milk or soy milk suitable for animals?
Cats cannot digest lactose which means that regular cow’s milk will cause stomach problems. However, dairy-free milk substitutes such as almond milk, soy milk, or nut milk are suitable for animals as they don’t contain lactose.
Before giving your cat almond milk, you should always read the label as it may contain different ingredients that can cause problems for your cat. For example, you should never give your pet chocolate and cocoa because they contain caffeine which is very harmful to cats. Cats and dogs also need to avoid sugar alternatives such as xylitol.
If you decide to give your pet almond milk or another dairy supplement, choose a plain unsweetened variety. Avoid any products that contain macadamia nuts because they are toxic to felines.
Can my cat be vegan?
Some people want to feed their cat a vegan diet, but this is not recommended by vets. According to the ASPCA, cats digestive systems aren’t adapted to eating a plant-based diet. Cats are carnivores which means they need animal proteins and fats to be healthy, active, and happy. Most vets will recommend that cats eat meat-based food rather than plant-based products which lack certain nutrients and vitamins.
The main problem with vegan diets for cats is protein. Cats need animal proteins to survive. Plant-based products are not a good source of protein for felines because they lack certain essential amino acids, mainly taurine.
Taurine is vital to a cats health and is only found in meat and dairy. Humans and dogs can synthesize taurine, which is why they can have a vegan diet. Cats can’t do this and will suffer long-term if they are fed a vegan diet. Taurine deficiency causes heart problems which can be fatal, and eye issues resulting in blindness.
Another problem with vegan cat food is that it contains large amounts of carbohydrates which won’t give cats much energy. Cats’ digestive systems aren’t able to adequately process carbohydrates. Cats need a diet rich in calories that only meat can provide.
If you are vegan, it may be best to consider getting a pet that naturally eats a plant-based diet, such as a rabbit or guinea pig. Although there are some vegan cat foods on the market, they don’t provide enough protein for cats, contain too many carbohydrates, and lack taurine. If you want to have a vegan cat or are planning to change your cats diet significantly, you should always consult a vet first.
A vegan diet isn’t suitable for cats
- It doesn’t have enough protein
- Lacks the amino acid taurine
- It contains too many carbohydrates
- It isn’t suitable for a cats digestive system
- Cats can suffer from deficiencies that cause heart and eye problems
- Cats digestive systems aren’t adapted to eating a plant-based diet
- Cats are good hunters and will catch mice and birds if they have access to the outdoors. Keeping your cat 100% vegan would therefore be challenging.
Can Cats Have Almond Milk? Final thoughts
Can cats drink almond milk? To conclude, we can say that it’s not dangerous to give your cat almond milk but should be given sparingly. If you decide to give your cat almond milk, make sure it’s unsweetened and plain. It’s also a good idea to introduce almond milk to your cat’s diet in small amounts as an occasional treat.
Avoid giving your pet any dairy products especially cow milk, unless prescribed by a vet, and pay attention to the ingredients list with dairy alternatives. If you think your cat is lactose intolerant, almond milk can be given as an alternative but refrain from giving large quantities. It would be best not to give your pet almond milk daily, and a plant-based diet isn’t recommended for cats.
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