Can Burmese Cats Drink Milk? The Important Reasons

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For many people, the classic depiction of a cat may include the image of lapping up milk. But, can Burmese cats drink milk?

Burmese cats cannot drink milk with lactose.  Burmese cats can drink some milk alternatives in moderation, but it cannot replace food or water. Owners may provide alternatives or add substitutes to a Burmese cat’s diet, such as lactose-free milk, almond milk, or food additives.

While kittens do grow up feeding off of milk either from their mother or through milk formula for the first few weeks, it’s quite common for cats to crave the taste and smell of milk into their adulthood. But, caregivers need to be mindful of the potential harm it could do to your beloved feline. Read on to learn more!

Cat Product Note:  I will recommend some broths on Amazon (affiliate link) that my cat finds tasty: Click Here To See These Tasty Broths On Amazon That My Cat Loves.

Can Burmese Cats Drink Milk?

No, Burmese cats cannot drink milk with lactose. Most cats do, in fact, suffer harmful side effects from drinking the same milk that humans drink and eat, which is primarily milk with lactose in it. Burmese cats owners should give their cats special cat broths instead of milk.

Skim, low fat, half and half, and any other variant of these milk will also be harmful to them, as it may still contain lactose and may even contain fats which are also harmful to your cat in other ways.

Can Cats Digest Milk?

In addition to the risk of harm from lactose, many cats lose their ability to digest milk for unknown reasons, which will vary for each cat. Some milk substitutes are safe for felines to drink but should not be considered a meal replacement.

Providing them with these alternatives needs to be done carefully since it can result in other unwanted side effects, such as your Burmese cat filling themselves upon the treat instead of their food.

If you are interested in how a Burmese cat stacks up against another cat breed, check out my comparison between the Maine Coon and the Burmese cat: Click Here.

Is Milk Good for Cats?

As kittens, their mother’s milk is good for them. However, once cats are weaned off of their mother they will most likely become lactose intolerant. This means milk is not good for adult cats. A safe alternative for a cat would be to give them a specially made cat broth.

There is no denying that cats enjoy milk, but milk does not always return this fondness when inside their digestive systems. Whether or not milk is good for your Burmese cat will depend on how your cat responds to milk, depending on lactose and the ability to process milk sugar.

This will vary depending on your unique cat’s development after weaning, and it’s best to provide substitutes to satisfy their craving just in case they have developed a milk intolerance.

What Does Milk Do for Cats?

In addition to being tasty and satisfying for cats, milk commonly strikes a nostalgic chord within them since it may be associated with fond memories of being a kitten and drinking milk from their mother cat. Unfortunately, after being a kitten most adult cats are lactose intolerant.

This provides positive stimulation mentally and emotionally and may provide them with an additional comfort zone apart from a delicious snack between meals.

Is Milk Harmful to Cats?

Yes, milk is harmful for adult cats. Adult cats are usually lactose intolerant and will have a hard time digesting milk with lactose. A safer milk alternative for cats is a specially made cat broth that can be purchased at most major retail stores. Kittens drink their Mother’s milk but once weaned will likely become lactose intolerant.

Even if cat owners take care in providing the appropriate milk forms or variants, there is a danger that comes with misunderstanding its nutritional value. Some owners have made the unfortunate mistake of replacing meals or water with milk, accompanied by malnutrition or dehydration, which can be severe and even fatal in cats.

Thus, it’s essential that caregivers understand the nutritional content versus their cat’s dietary requirements and only provide it as a treat or incentive.

Here are some of my favorite cat products

In addition to checking out some other More Meows articles, I hope you’ll check out some of my favorite cat products as well.  These are affiliate links, so if you end up using them, I’ll get a commission at no extra cost to you.  These are the products I really do find most helpful.

Litter Box:  I started out with normal, traditional litter boxes for my cat.  Then, I tried this automatic litter box on Amazon (affiliate link), which helped reduce the litter upkeep.  Finally, I am now a believer in the Litter-Robot 3 Connect on Amazon (affiliate link).  This robotic litter box is not for everyone based on the price tag, but for me the benefits (very little upkeep, works efficiently, clean, mobile app) far outweighed the cost. 

My Cat’s Litter-Robot 3 Connect (with night light on) – See the link above the photo!

Cat Tree:  I have purchased a couple of this Amazon Basics Cat Tree on Amazon (affiliate link).  My cat spends a lot of time on and around this cat tree, which I position near my sofa.  She uses the scratching posts on this cat tree multiple times a day, which means she is not scratching the sofa instead.

Cat Water Fountain:  I love this cat water fountain on Amazon (affiliate link).  There are three main benefits to having a water fountain like this for your cat.  The first benefit is that it keeps water running so that your cat doesn’t need to drink still water.  The second benefit is that it filters the water.  The third benefit is that it will keep your cat hydrated!

Safe Milk For Cats

Safe milk for cats include lactose-free milk and specially made broths for cats. Additionally, there are special milk products on the market for cats that are safe. Cat owners should not give their cats normal cow milk since most cats are lactose intolerant.

Most milk products that humans consume contain lactose are not the only concern when considering which milk variant would be suitable for your cat. There are plenty of other additives included in different milk products, including fats, compounds, and natural elements, which exist following what source the milk was derived from.

All of these factors will play a role in how your cat digests it, as well as how much value it will add to your Burmese cat’s diet.

Burmese Kittens

Is Lactose Bad for Cats?

Yes, lactose is bad for cats. Most cats are lactose intolerant, which means that the ingestion of any milk which contains lactose, such as cow’s milk, may result in comparable symptoms to humans who are lactose intolerant including issues with the digestive system, vomiting, abdominal cramps, and constipation.

These after-effects normally arise only a few hours after the ingestion of the milk, and these adverse reactions will depend on how sensitive your cat is to the contents. More long-term side effects of consuming milk with lactose in it include malnutrition, dehydration, as well as stomach issues as a result of the lactose’s inability to successfully pass through the Burmese cat’s intestines.

Is Milk Bad For Cats?

Yes, milk with lactose is quite bad for most cats. If cats drink milk with lactose they will likely be in abdominal pain due to the digestive issues. Milk with lactose will cause digestive problems in most felines. Better alternatives to milk with lactose are cat milk, cat broths, and almond milk.

Can Cats Drink Lactose Free Milk?

Yes, cats can usually drink small amounts of lactose free milk and remain healthy. Lactose free milk has the lactose removed, which is important because lactose causes major digestive issues in most cats. Cats should only drink small amounts of lactose free milk as it is not a meal replacement.

Can Cats Drink Cow Milk?

No, most cats cannot drink cow milk due to the lactose. Most cats get major digestive issues after drinking cow milk because of lactose intolerance. Better alternatives to cow milk are lactose free milk, almond milk, cat milk, and cat broths.

What To Do If Cats Drink Milk

If a cat drinks milk you should keep your cat under close observation. If your cat appears to be in pain or great discomfort you should contact your local veterinarian or animal hospital. It is important for cat owners to keep cow milk out of a cat’s reach since they can become sick from the lactose.

Pro-Tip:  If you are thinking of buying a cat or are a cat owner already, then you should be aware that taking care of the litter box can be a real chore.  In this age of smart products, an automatic litter box has been created that actually makes life easier with taking care of the litter box.  If you want to make your life much easier with a litter box that means you’ll never have to scoop litter again, check out the best automatic litter box on the market (in my opinion) on Amazon. 

Can Cats Drink Lactose Free Milk?

Yes, cats can drink lactose free milk, especially lactose free milk made especially for cats. Lactose free milk is not something you will want to give your cat every day, however, your cat should be able to process it. Lactose free milk should not be treated as a meal replacement for your cat.

Lactose free milk variants may not cause such dire side effects as milk that contains lactose. But, this does not mean that they are a good option. This milk may contain other fats or compounds which are not good for them, in addition to the lack of nutritional value. However, this may be a reasonable option for a treat in moderation.

Can Cats Drink Soy Milk?

No, cats should not drink soy milk. Although your cat may not experience the same adverse reactions as when ingesting lactose, soy milk does contain anti-nutritional elements, which may make it more challenging for them to digest.

Soy milk would not be a good option to give your Burmese cat, but I would recommend giving your cat a specially made cat broth instead.

Can Cats Drink Almond Milk?

Yes, cats can drink almond milk. Almond milk is not likely to give your cat the digestive issues that milk with lactose would provide. Almond milk should only be given to a cat in small quantities and is not a meal replacement.

Almond milk is, in fact, a decent alternative to other milk products that humans consume, and it is mostly safe for your Burmese cat to have almond milk every now and then. However, the same principles should be applied here as it contains little to no additional nutrition for them. While there is nothing in almond milk that is known to harm cats, it cannot replace any meals or water and should be given as a treat.

Cat Milk Alternatives

Many owners prefer to give their Burmese cats specific milk alternatives suitable for cats simply to satisfy their cravings without the worry of harm coming to them. These substitutes are mostly used when meals are prepared or as treats, but they should never be poured over their food since the cat may fill up on these alternatives and risk malnutrition.

Cat Food Additives

There are some cat food products that have been designed to satisfy your Burmese cat’s milk craving while simultaneously providing the nutrition it needs. These products are far more favorable as opposed to milk variants consumed by humans. These products can generally be found at pet stores.

Check out these broths on Amazon (affiliate link) that my cat loves.  Typically, I will give them to my cat (Charlotte, a Domestic Shorthair) as a treat in the middle of the day (I typically split her meals into a morning meal and evening meal. Check them out:  Click Here To See These Tasty Broths On Amazon That My Cat Loves.

Should I Stop Giving My Cat Milk?

Yes, you should stop giving your cat milk with lactose. Milk with lactose is bad for cats because it will cause serious digestion issues in cats. Better alternatives to milk with lactose are special cat broths, cat milk, and almond milk.

When kittens are born, they are unable to eat solid foods or even drink water since their digestive systems and developing bodily functions cannot yet handle these ingestions. All cats typically begin their transition from milk from their mother to solid food and water when they are weaning. Kittens will normally make the switch from mother’s milk to solid food around four-weeks old

Why Do Kittens Drink Milk?

When provided directly from the mother or in the form of kitten ‘milk’ formula, milk provides sufficient sustenance, nutrition, as well as hydration for kittens within a young developmental phase. Mother’s milk also bonds the kitten to its mother.

In addition, milk serves as a source of companionship and comfort for them through interaction with their mother, which is why it may be associated with nostalgia at a later stage of their lives.

When Do Kittens Wean From Mom?

Kittens start to wean off of the milk from their mother or kitten milk formula as early as four weeks old. At this time, they would start switching to solid food.  Weaning may take weeks and a kitten’s teeth are still developing during this time.


Video: Cats and Milk

In conclusion, I think it is wise not to give lactose milk to your Burmese cat.  A lot of people probably think that it is OK to give a cat regular cow’s milk.  I know when I was growing up, that is definitely what I thought.  We are much better off as cat owners giving our cats some of the available milk alternatives.

If you enjoyed this article, check out a few others:

  • Can Stray Cats Survive A Hurricane? (The Revealing Ways): Click Here.
  • Do Persian Cats Drink Water? (The Best Answer): Click Here.
  • Do Cats Like Blankets? (Simple Answers): Click Here.

Christopher Carlson

I have an Domestic Shorthair Tabby named Charlotte. She is full of energy when she isn't sleeping most of the day. I share what I learn about cats on this site.

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