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 the 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!

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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.

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.

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. 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?

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, it commonly strikes a nostalgic chord within them since it may be associated with fond memories of their childhood. 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 for Cats?

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.

What Kind of Milk is Safe for Cats?

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?

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.  This includes issues with the digestive system, puking, abdominal cramps, flatulence, constipation, bloating, and other unpleasant repercussions.

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.

Can Cats Drink Lactose-Free Milk?

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?

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. Thus, it’s not the best milk variant to give to your Burmese cat, but it may be a suitable option every now and then.

Can Cats Drink Almond Milk?

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.

Alternatives to Milk for Cats

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.

Food Additives for Cats

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.

When Should Burmese Cats Stop Drinking 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 Cats Drink Milk When They are Young?

When provided directly from the mother or in the form of kitten ‘milk’ formula, it provides sufficient sustenance, nutrition, as well as hydration for kittens within this age range and developmental phase. In addition, it 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 Off Milk?

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.  The interesting thing here is that their teeth are usually still developing at 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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