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Can Cats Drink Almond Milk Or Is It Dangerous For Them?

Can Cats Drink Almond Milk Or Is It Dangerous For Them?

Some of my acquaintances that have never owned a cat used to believe that felines drink milk all the time. They get pretty surprised when I explain how milk can actually be bad for cats and cause an upset stomach in them.

However, many cats will still like to drink it, since it’s high in fat or reminds them of their mother’s milk. Furthermore, they might just like to drink it because it simply tastes good to them!

I’m sure you don’t want to do anything to cause any digestive problem in your kitty. If you happen to drink almond milk, you might get to think that this type of milk is safe for your cat, too, since it contains fewer calories than regular milk.

Can cats drink almond milk? 

Let’s find out!

Is Almond Milk Safe For Cats?

Almond milk

It seems that half of the world is currently struggling with lactose intolerance, and this is why there are many healthier options available nowadays.

Almond milk is one of them. Although it has many benefits for humans, especially being a lower-calorie substitute for cow’s milk, cats’ digestive system is totally different from ours.

According to Adronie Verbrugghe and Myriam Hesta [1], the domestic cat’s wild ancestors were obligate carnivores who consumed small prey, which are high in protein, moderate in fat, and include only minimal carbohydrates.

Our domestic cats share many dietary traits with their wild ancestors, highlighting that milk, in any form, is not a necessity in their diet. While almond milk isn’t toxic to cats, it’s not advisable for them to consume either.

What Are The Potential Risks Of Almond Milk For Cats?

Let’s look at potential risks of your cat consuming this milk that is, in general, a better option than cow milk, but it still isn’t preferable for your furry companion.

1. Sugar Intake

Most cats are lactose intolerant, meaning that their digestive systems cant’ break down and synthesize lactose. This is why almond milk is, in general, considered as a safer alternative, since it doesn’t contain lactose.

However, the one ingredient in almond milk that could be a problem for your cat is sugar. According to Healthline, one cup of almond milk (around 240 mL) contains about 15 grams of sugar.

There is also the unsweetened almond milk, which is, of course, a better option for your furry companion.

It’s important to emphasize here that almond milk, even the sweetened variety, isn’t so bad for cats, like, for example, jello, which is a dessert full of sugar. 

Still, you should be careful about giving your cat any food containing sugar, since consuming it often can cause obesity in her.

Although a bit of almond milk doesn’t sound like a risk for your cat, consuming it often in the long run can cause weight gain in her.

2. Gastrointestinal Problems

cat with diarrhea

Almonds are beneficial for people, since they are a rich source of fiber, protein, and vitamin E.

However, this isn’t the case with felines. While almonds do contain protein, it’s not the type that your cat can easily digest.

Almonds don’t have any nutritional value for your cat, moreover, they can cause gastrointestinal problems in her, since cats can’t digest them properly.

If a cat suffers from severe gastrointestinal issues, this might even lead to dehydration in her.

Many cats won’t develop diarrhea or vomiting as a reaction to almond milk, but, since there is a chance this might happen, I’m sure you don’t want to risk it.

3. Allergic Reaction

It’s not very common, but some cats might have allergies to almonds.

You might notice this by your cat manifesting certain symptoms, such as scratching or overgrooming herself, and even sores on her body. Additionally, some cats might experience gastrointestinal problems.

The only way to confirm an allergic reaction in your cat is by submitting her to veterinary check-up.

Are There Good Sides Of Almond Milk For Felines?

Almond milk in glass

Almond milk is lactose free, rich in vitamin E, and it also has anti-inflammatory properties. These are excellent traits, and it’s perfectly understandable that you might think your cat could benefit from it, too.

If your cat had a lick of it, and it seems to ask for more, you might want to let her have this tasty drink occasionally.

However, I strongly recommend consulting your veterinarian before introducing almond milk or any other foods and beverages that are not typically a part of your cat’s diet.

Final Thoughts

Can cats drink almond milk?

If your cat seems to react fine to this milk, you might want to give it to her, but only occasionally, and in small amounts. 

Almond milk isn’t toxic for cats, but it’s important to be aware of potential allergic reactions. Also, if your cat doesn’t get to drink any almond milk, she won’t miss out on anything, since she gets all the nutrients she needs from her regular diet.

However, if you’d still like to treat her to something like almond milk on occasion, it’s best to consult your veterinarian to determine the ideal amount and frequency for your furry friend.

[1] Verbrugghe A, Hesta M. Cats and Carbohydrates: The Carnivore Fantasy? Vet Sci. 2017 Nov 15;4(4):55. DOI, Retrieved August 21, 2023.

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