Cats have long been known for their love of milk, but the truth is that it can cause them digestive issues. This has led many cat owners to seek out lactose-free alternatives to satisfy their pet’s dairy cravings. One popular choice is almond milk, a healthy and delicious vegan option for humans. But can cats drink almond milk? And does it provide any nutritional value to them? Let’s delve into this nut-based beverage and its potential place in a feline diet.
Can Cats Have Almond Milk?
Feeding cats almond milk, even as a treat, can foster poor eating habits. Here’s why:
Low in essential nutrients: Almond milk lacks the necessary fat-to-protein ratio for cats’ health. Cats require over 50% protein in their meals to thrive, but almond milk offers only a meager gram of plant protein. Additionally, it contains three grams of fat per cup, exceeding cats’ requirements.
Filled with artificial ingredients: Store-bought almond milk often contains artificial sweeteners, preservatives, and other substances that have no place in a cat’s diet. Your pet’s meals should consist of natural ingredients with specific nutritional purposes.
Bad for their stomach: Excessive almond milk consumption can lead to an upset stomach, particularly for cats with chronic digestive issues or inflammatory bowel disease. Even healthy adult cats can experience abdominal pain, flatulence, or vomiting from almond milk.
Extremely caloric: One cup of almond milk contains 30 to 60 calories, far surpassing the recommended allowance for most cats. Regular consumption puts them at risk of obesity, especially elderly cats or breeds genetically predisposed to the condition, like Maine Coons and Ragdolls.
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Counting Calories, and Why It Matters
What is almond milk for cats in terms of nutrition? It’s akin to eating peanut butter with a chocolate bar as a spoon – a calorie bomb with little biological value. Allowing your cat to indulge in nut-based drinks can lead to weight gain, especially considering that obesity is a common issue among sedentary indoor cats, including breeds like the British Shorthair.
Being overweight can negatively impact your cat’s quality of life, increasing the risk of diabetes, heart disease, and other health problems. To prevent feline obesity, here are some steps you can take:
Count calories: Cats should consume 40 calories per kilo of their weight, which typically amounts to around 200 calories per day. Larger cats require a higher calorie intake, such as fully grown Ragdolls compared to Siamese cats.
Don’t overfeed: The frequency and amount of food depend on your cat’s life stage, current weight, and response to sterilization. Newborn kittens require more frequent feeding than adult cats, while some cats experience an increased appetite after sterilization.
Watch their weight: Keep track of your cat’s weight using a comparative weight chart or body condition score. Monitoring their weight can help you identify any changes or potential health concerns.
Encourage exercise: Ensure your cat gets enough physical activity, as indoor cats can become lethargic when confined. Playtime and interactive toys can help them stay active and burn calories.
Can Kittens Drink Almond Milk as a Milk Replacement?
Image source: Emrah AYVALI
Kittens rely solely on their mother’s milk until they develop their first incisors around week three. If the mother is absent, a specialized milk replacer formula is the closest substitute. Almond milk and other plant-based products can harm a kitten’s sensitive stomach.
A cup of almond milk contains almost four grams of fiber, which is too much for developing kittens. Even a small sip can cause cramping, diarrhea, and discomfort. To ensure proper nourishment, a kitten milk replacer (KMR) should remain their primary source of nutrients until they’re ready to eat solid food. This formula is designed to safeguard their delicate stomachs and support healthy weight gain.
Once weaning begins, transition to kitten-specific food with an adequate protein ratio (over 50%), healthy fat content (up to 20%), and calcium (around 1.5%). You can also introduce them to cooked chicken, turkey, fish, and other lean meats, ensuring thorough cooking to eliminate potential pathogens.
Are Other Plant-Based Milk Alternatives Better?
Despite being lactose-free, almond milk and cats are not a suitable combination. Let’s explore whether other plant-based milk substitutes are appropriate:
Coconut milk: High in saturated fats, coconut milk can cause gastrointestinal problems, including vomiting and diarrhea. However, coconut oil, when given in small amounts, can alleviate joint pain caused by arthritis and inflammation.
Soy milk: Soy milk is even higher in calories than almond milk, containing 80-100 calories per cup. It also contains complex carbohydrates, such as stachyose and raffinose, which cats cannot digest. Excessive consumption of soy milk can lead to dental issues and tooth loss due to sugar content.
Rice milk: With 20 grams of carbohydrates per cup, rice milk exceeds the recommended allowance for carnivorous cats. Grains, including rice, lack significant nutritional value for felines. They are primarily used as fillers in low-quality cat food.
Ultimately, cats are not designed to consume milk, even from plant-based sources. Most plant-based, lactose-free products are too caloric and challenging for cats to digest.
Yogurt is the only milk byproduct that might offer some benefits to cats. The natural probiotics found in yogurt can help with bowel movements in constipated cats. But keep in mind that moderation is key – only small amounts should be given.
Is Your Cat Obsessed with Nut Milk? Here’s What to Feed Them Instead!
To discourage your cat’s obsession with unhealthy junk food, promote a diet rich in moisture and protein. Cats are creatures of habit, and with a consistent and healthy meal plan, they are likely to move on from their nut milk phase.
Avoid treats with limited nutritional value and ensure that complementary food provides nourishment, energy, and variety to your cat’s diet. Treats should account for less than 10% of their overall intake. Consider the following cat-friendly foods:
- Lean deli meat
Veggies and Fruit
Plants and Fungi
- Cat grass
Instead of relying on dry food alone, consider incorporating semi-moist and moist products into your cat’s diet. Dry biscuits, which lack moisture and often contain starch and vegetable protein, should not be the main component of their meals. You can soak biscuits in soup or mix them with wet food to add variety, but the primary focus should be on high-quality, protein-rich options.
If you’re considering home cooking for your cat, be aware of foods that are considered “junk” or potentially toxic to them. The following items contain harmful substances that can be lethal to cats:
- Garlic, chives, and onions
- Citrus fruits
- Grapes and raisins
- Raw bread dough
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Introducing Untamed: A Premium Feline Diet
Is your cat going nuts for nut milk? It’s time to switch to a healthier and more balanced diet. One option is Untamed, a brand dedicated to producing premium, natural cat food that aligns with feline dietary needs.
Here’s what sets Untamed apart:
High in protein: Unlike many other cat food brands, Untamed offers twice as much protein as the industry standard. Their recipes rely on pure animal protein, avoiding fillers, vegetable protein, and sugars that only add bulk.
Made with whole meat: The meat used in Untamed’s delicious recipes is naturally rich in taurine and other essential amino acids. The ingredients are of human-grade quality and sourced ethically.
Vet-formulated: Every Untamed meal is designed with the help of veterinary experts. These meals meet your cat’s unique biological needs and are highly nutritious, free from known allergens.
Ethically produced: Untamed prioritizes sustainability, using 100% recyclable packaging and maintaining a carbon-neutral certification. They actively work to minimize their impact on the environment.
Impossible to resist: Untamed food has received the approval of even the pickiest eaters. If you have a diva cat who tends to be selective with their food, the Chocka Chicken in Jelly is sure to win them over.
What Makes Untamed the Best Cat Food?
Untamed gently steams all their meals to retain essential nutrients and aroma. When you open a can or tray of Untamed cat food, your cat can dive right in without the need for defrosting or additional preparation.
In addition to freshness, Untamed offers personalized service. By filling out a short online questionnaire, you can create a unique menu by combining their delicious recipes. Choose from a wide range of jelly and gravy delicacies made with premium meats, such as chicken breast and liver, duck breast, tuna steak, sardine and mackerel fillet, salmon fillet, prawns, and shrimp.
Image source: Untamed
Switching to a new type of cat food can be a challenge, but Untamed minimizes the transition period with accompanying benefits. Within a few weeks, many cat owners have noticed improvements in their cat’s health, including regulated bowel movements, tidy litter trays, reduced shedding, sleek coats, improved oral hygiene, fewer hairballs, optimal muscle tone, stable digestion, and stronger bones.
Untamed offers free shipping for cat food purchases made online. Start with a tester pack and select a meal plan that suits your cat’s needs. Simply visit the Untamed website, complete the online questionnaire, choose a meal plan, and confirm your order. Your custom-made meal box will be delivered to your doorstep within 24 hours. Let your cat try each product and provide feedback on their preferences. If the trial pack meets their standards, you’ll begin receiving regular deliveries of Untamed food according to your chosen schedule.
If you ever need to make changes to your monthly subscription, or have any questions or concerns, Untamed’s customer support team is ready to assist you.
Join our wild bunch today and provide your cat with the best nutrition!
For more information and guides on what cats can or cannot eat, visit the Untamed website:
- Ice cream
- Peppermint oil
- Baby food
- Sweet potato
- Raw chicken
- Peanut butter
- Raw meat
- Soy milk
- Lactose-free milk
- Adult cat food
- Olive oil
Image source: Untamed