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Can Cats Drink Soy Milk?

Cats are a girl's best friend! As a close companion of mine, I want to make sure that my cat is getting the nutrients it needs to paw about the world. It’s my first time having a cat but before getting one, I wasn’t really sure of all the things that a cat could and couldn’t eat and drink.

The biggest thing I heard, through whispers in the wind, is that cats like milk. I know that there’s a variety of milk out there and I wanted to be sure that my cat wouldn’t have a negative reaction to the milk I bought. So, I started to wonder: can cats drink soy milk?

If you’ve found yourself in the same boat as me, this article will not only answer this question but will give you healthy alternatives that your cat will purr for. 

Can Cats Drink Soy Milk?

Now, the short answer is that they can drink it, but they shouldn’t. As humans, we intake things all the time that are harmful to our bodies. Similarly, our lovely fur babies may enjoy drinking soy milk but that doesn’t mean they should.

Why can’t cats drink soy milk?

Soy milk is a plant-based drink that goes against the dietary needs of a cat. This means that cats don’t have the necessary tools to digest all of the ingredients of soy milk. Think of them as being lactose intolerant. If you give your cat too much soy milk, they’ll experience thyroid and liver problems down the road. On the contrary, a little soy milk won’t do that much damage.

Linda P. Case, MS, adjunct assistant professor at the University of Illinois College of Veterinary Medicine says, “the only time cats are exposed to lactose is when they’re babies - in their mother’s milk”. Like humans, as cats grow they produce less and less lactase. According to WebMD, lactase is an enzyme found in our digestive systems that help us digest lactose smoothly. 

Furthermore, soy milk contains other ingredients that your fur baby shouldn’t be ingesting like sugar and Riboflavin (B2). Dr. Karen Becker states, “Raw, mature soybeans contain not only phytoestrogens but also phytates that prevent mineral absorption and substances that block the enzymes needed to digest protein”.

 

The Harmful Side Effects Of Giving Your Cat Soy Milk

Before I go into this, I would like to say that not all cats are lactose intolerant. If you’re not sure that your cat is lactose intolerant, give them 1-2 tablespoons of milk and check for these symptoms.

 

  • Diarrhea
  • Vomiting
  • Constipation
  • Abdominal Pain
  • Dehydration
  • Excessive gas

 

Other harmful effects of long-term soy milk use may include obesity and teeth rot in your fur baby. This is due to the sugar and calorie count found in soy milk. Also, as I said earlier, giving your cat soy can lead to liver failure and thyroid problems. 

If you need even more confirmation that soy milk is not healthy for your fur baby, Cats and Pats does a nice job of summarizing the effects of giving your kitty milk and why you should steer clear from it. 

 

What Type Of Milk Can Your Cat Drink?

After doing the research I’ve done, I don’t think it’s a very good idea to give your fur baby milk of any kind. However, I understand wanting to give your kitty a little treat, and I even do it sometimes. So, here’s a small list of milk that would be healthier for your cat to drink. 

Unpasteurized milk
Although we can’t drink raw milk due to the risk of getting E.Coli and Salmonella, cats can drink it just fine. This is because raw milk contains probiotic and prebiotic organisms that boost your fur baby’s immune system. 

Lactose-free milk
It’s perfectly okay to give your fur baby milk that’s free of lactose. 

Cat milk
There is milk that is specifically designed for your fur baby so that they don’t have to suffer the consequences of drinking “regular” milk.

 

Conclusion

Milk is not a good drink for your fur baby and they should not be drinking it regularly, especially soy milk. But, there’s nothing wrong with an occasional, not so often treat. If you have any questions, feel free to leave a comment below. Remember:

 

  • Soy is a no-no
  • Test to see if your cat is lactose intolerant
  • Find some healthy alternatives if your heart is set on giving your fur baby milk

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