Can cats drink soy milk? Can cats drink Almond milk? These are questions which come up a lot. We know cats are lactose intolerant but with dairy-free milk being lactose-free, does this mean they are safe for our cats? Let’s find out.
Firstly, it is important to say the best food for cats is a specifically prepared cat diet (which contains meat as cats are obligate carnivores) and while we do not recommend feeding your cat’s human foods, we know people do on occasion as a treat.
Can cats drink soy or almond milk?
Can I give my cat soy milk?
The short answer is no, cats should not drink soy milk. Soy milk is not toxic to your cat and if they steal a few sips it is not going to poison them, however, the answer is no simply because large amounts are not good for their digestive systems.
While soy milk is lactose-free and does contain a fair amount of essential amino acids. It also contains soybeans and many nutrients which cat while not be used to, this in large amounts can cause your cat to have diarrhoea.
Furthermore, long life soy milk also contains unnatural preservatives and sweeteners which enable it to be long-life. Again, this is not ideal for your cat as they are not products they are used to digesting.
Can I give my cat almond milk?
Almonds are not toxic to cats but this does not mean you should make almond milk readily available to your cat, but again try not to worry if they steal a few sips.
Again, almond milk is lactose-free and it does contain a good amount of omega-3 fatty acids, but alongside this also contain large amounts of unnatural sweeteners and preservatives which your cat will find easy to digest and in turn, could cause stomach problems.
While it is not a common issue, there are some reports of cats having nut allergies and in large amounts, there have been reports of cats getting cyanide poisoning from large quantities of almond. This is rare and it would need to be a large amount consumed but it is possible and something to bear in mind.
Signs of allergy reactions in cats:
- Intense pawing or scratching at face include mouth and ears
- Swelling of mouth, face and/or neck
- Loss of fur or red skin lesions
- General irritation / upset
Another issue with giving your cat almond milk or soy milk
You may be thinking about giving your cat almond or soy milk as a nice treat or just to give their diet a little bit of variety but you will most likely be doing more harm than good with this.
You need to consider what all the additional sweeteners and fats are doing for their diet. A small dish of almond milk for a cat is the equivalent of us eating 3 doughnuts in one day – not good.
Obesity in cats is possible and is very much a health issue that is frequently seen. Not only will obesity prevent your cat from living their best life, but it can also lead to other life-long illnesses such as diabetes and arthritis.
As tempting as it is to want to give your cat tasty treats, the best thing you can give your cat is food which occurs in their natural diet, such as fresh a small amount of fresh chicken or tuna (make sure there are no bones!) but again, this should be in moderation and a very small amount.
It is important to remember, cats are not human, they are not aware of the thousands of different foods in the world. Cats do not eat for fun, they eat to survive. As tempting as it may be to share lots of wonderful human food with your cat, they are not missing out because they do not know it exists.
In conclusion, almond milk and soy milk are relatively safe to give to your cat but this does not mean you should. Again, it is fine if your cat steals a few sips of nut milk but we do not advise giving it to your cat on a regular basis due to the digestive upset and weight issues it may/will eventually cause.