Come to think of it, pop culture for a long time has continuously presented the cat as a lover of dairy products –which might not be true in its entirety. On the other hand pet owners keep on asking whether they are lactose intolerant. Cats are carnivores and meat is an integral part of their diet. As such, milk is not a crucial requirement in a cat’s diet. That said, cats are also mammals; their kittens need mother’s milk before they wean to solid foods. Therefore, it would be wrong to say that kittens are lactose intolerant. Why? Well, Lactose is a form of carbohydrate, a disaccharide sugars (complex sugars). At birth all mammals are born with the ability to produce an enzyme known as lactase, which break down lactose into easily digestible sugar.

Are cats lactose intolerant?
A cat drinking milk Source

As kitten age they naturally lose the ability to produce lactase which is critical in the digestion of lactose. When this happens the cat will automatically become lactose intolerant because of the inability to produce the crucial enzyme. Therefore, citing this occurrence it is safe to conclude that nearly all adults’ cats are lactose intolerant. It’s also good to note that once the cat lose its ability to produce lactase, it cannot regain the ability later on in life.

Are cats lactose intolerant: dealing with dairy products

Immediately a cats lactose intolerant ingest any form of dairy product, the body reacts by drawing a substantial amount of water into the intestines where bacteria ferments the unbroken sugars. This result to diarrhea, cramping, stomach upsets and bloating. The conditions start to manifest itself in just about 8 to twelve hours after ingestion. There is no doubt that there is a form of attraction between cats and milk. Perhaps, out to curiosity, lactose intolerant cats will follow any smell of dairy products even if it means leaving it at that. After realization of the substance, cats will voluntarily avoid lactose filled products.

Are cats lactose intolerant? Attraction to dairy products

What attracts cats to lactose filled products is the proteins and fats contained therein. Generally, veterinarian advice cat parents not to include dairy products in the cat’s diet since most adult cats are lactose intolerant. In the end lactose ingestion will only bring about stomach upsets

Are cats lactose intolerant
Kitten by milk dish Source

Different dairy products contain varying degrees of lactose in them. Therefore, some of these products might be more tolerable than others. To avoid all the hassles and vet’s visits you should simply provide lactose free milk to your adult cat. In fact there is a special milk purposely formulated to fill the need for milk by cats.

If you must offer your cat the lactose filled dairy products ensure that it is served in small amounts such as one tablespoon or two every once in a while. However, you will be required to observe your cat for any lactose intolerant signs mentioned above.

There are some cats that are lactose intolerant while others are not. The best thing you can do is to conduct the simple test by providing sizeable portions of a Dairy products and wait for the reaction. If your cat is lactose tolerant then go ahead and offer him/her the dairy products in substantial measures.

Now read: Are Carnations Poisonous to Cats?