Coconut milk is not toxic to cats. However, many animal nutritionists don’t recommend it because of the high fat and oil content compared to a cow’s milk. If you are going to give your cat the coconut milk, do it in small bits. Cats are known not to digest plant proteins well.
Can Cats Drink Coconut Milk? It is lactose-free which means that it’s safe for cats to easily digest. It’s common for people to share meals they enjoy with their cats. However, don’t give your cat too much coconut oil. Generally, dairy products aren’t good for cats as it makes them become lactose intolerant with time as they age.
However, coconut milk is different from dairy milk in that it is lactose-free. The only downside is that it has too much oil and fats. The digestive tract of cats have a difficult time digesting plant proteins and coconut is very rich in these plant proteins as they are fruits from a palm plant. When looking at the coconut fruit, you realize it’s an interesting fruit botanically speaking. Actually, it’s seeds, nuts and fruits are not typically stable for cat’s diet.
Can Cats Drink Coconut Milk?
Reasons why You Shouldn’t Give Your Cat Coconut Milk
First, understand that cats are different and some cats will happily eat coconut milk without having any health effects. Don’t feel guilty if you have been giving your cat a saucer of coconut milk for years.
The general rule of thumb is that you should not give your cat too much coconut milk. Remember, some types of milk are much better than others and you should exercise caution. The reason for not giving your cat coconut milk is that after some years as your cat age, they stop producing the essential enzyme that digests lactose. Consequently, they become lactose intolerant which results in the cat having gastrointestinal issues when they eat coconut milk.
In the long-run eating coconut milk gives your cat serious health issues. This is precisely where you shouldn’t give your cat coconut milk if you want the pet to enjoy a healthy life. This doesn’t apply to only coconut milk but applies to cow’s milk as well.
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Is Coconut Milk Toxic to Cats?
Coconut milk is not toxic to your cat or any other for that matter. However, it’s not recommended because it has too much oils and fats. Most veterinary specialists advise that you don’t give your cat coconut milk as it causes health issues with time. As much as giving the pet small amounts of the milk is healthy, with time it causes problems.
Cats are not known to digest plant proteins well. Coconut cream is just the same coconut milk with less water giving it a thicker consistency. Like coconut milk, you shouldn’t give your cat too much coconut cream.
Some shops sell coconut creams with added sugars and other additives to give the kitty a special treat. On the other hand, coconut water is fine with cats and very healthy for them. If you have other pets like dogs, you can also give them coconut water.
The vitamins and minerals in the coconut water has health benefits for the cats. Keep the normal freshwater always available as it’s stapled fluid intake. The best way to give your cat coconut milk is to offer them 3-tablespoons at a time. Monitor their health for 12 hours for any signs of gastrointestinal problems.
It’s fine to give your kitty some coconut milk as occasional treats. The milk doesn’t have all the essential nutrients your cats need. Therefore, if you are desperate to share the milk with them, only use small amounts. Milk should never be a regular part of the kitty’s diet and it’s definitely not advisable to give to a weaning kitten.
Domestic cats get most of their needed nutrients from commercial foods that are made for them plus water. It means that milk is not a natural component of their diet and certainly the cats don’t need the milk. Cats enjoy high-fat content in dairy products.
What Does Research Show About Coconut Milk for Cats?
Research findings show that coconut milk induces relaxation feeling in cats. It has the same effect as drowsiness and grooming. This means that coconut milk gives you cat pleasure and a calming feeling. The effects on the intestines can quickly turn negative if you give too much of the milk.
Cats behave like individuals, they can handle coconut milk differently with some doing it better than others. However, it doesn’t mean that it’s a good idea to give your cat this milk if you don’t do it in moderation.
Coconut milk like can cause gastrointestinal problems including vomiting, upset stomach, diarrhoea, soft stools and gassiness. Giving the kitty coconut milk is like giving it junk food. Basically, they don’t get any meaningful nutrition value as the milk dilutes other nutrients from better food sources.
Feeding milk to cats as part of the long-term and regular diet has negative effects on their reproduction, longevity and bone structure and growth. Generally speaking, coconut milk is bad for the kitty’s health.
Cats and Lactose Intolerant?
Just like most mammals, cats can’t handle lactose. What is lactose? This is a form of natural sugar found in dairy products and milk. Kitties lack the necessary enzyme called lactase needed to digest this lactose. Lactose remains in your digestive system and begins to ferment which is what causes the gastrointestinal upsets.
As much as kittens make lactase to help them handle the lactose in the milk, the milk doesn’t offer them the antibodies, proteins or vitamins growing cats need. Therefore, giving coconut milk to growing cats affects their development. After weaning, these kittens stop developing the lactase enzyme.
Are Some Cats Allergic to Coconut Milk?
Almost a third of cats have displayed some form of food sensitivity including allergies to casein and lactose. However, most cats are not allergic to lactose or casein. Allergies mostly show up as gastrointestinal distress or you see skin issues like hives and redness.
Inside the gut, the milk allergies are seen as oedema, congestion or degeneration of the villi. Sometimes, cats experience haemorrhage or increase in plasma cells. The allergies sound serious but you can manage them effectively by avoiding certain foods that cause allergy to your cat.
The allergies sound serious and can be managed successfully. All you have to do is to avoid the foods that are causing the allergy. There is no preferred milk for cats and it’s normal for people to want to share a tiny amount of their milk with their kitty friend.
Stick to the small quantities to ensure that your cat doesn’t demonstrate any intolerance when you feed them coconut milk or any other milk. Don’t feed the kitty pasteurized milk or high-carb milk. Check with your local veterinary for detailed advice on allergies and the recommended nutrition or diet.
Small amounts of this milk are good and give them the pleasure they want to feel now and then when with you. However, you should be careful so that you don’t end up causing the kitty digestive distress. Lactose-free milk is a safer option. Some vegetarians prefer using milk substitute products that are found in pet stores.
Stick with raw milk as unpasteurized milk causes fewer negative effects on young kittens than other types of milk. Pasteurized milk causes skeletal abnormalities, reproductive issues and development deficiencies. Sweetened or condensed milk is the worst form of milk to feed the kitty. Plus, evaporated milk is bad for pets. Milk with excessive carbohydrates makes digestive distress more severe.
Is Coconut Milk a Healthy Recipe?
Yes, but only to humans. Many people use it as part of their cooking recipes and consider it to be healthy food. This doesn’t mean that it is a healthy addition to the cat’s diet. Always keep your eyes open to see if your cat is happier or healthier.
72% of people believe that coconut milk is healthy for their cats. The basic argument is that if the milk is good for humans, then it must be good for cats too. Cats are carnivores which means they derive almost all their diet from eating meat. However, most cats love sampling drinks and foods their owners eat. Some cats love the taste of coconut milk.
The best way to deal with coconut milk is by feeding your cat this milk in moderation to make them happier and healthier. It’s the long-chain saturated fats that are problematic and that is why moderation is vital. The health of your kitty is important and you should let the cat enjoy your coconut milk by giving it a few teaspoons instead of a bowlful.
The above tips should give you an idea of whether you should feed your cat with coconut milk. Be careful when feeding your cat coconut milk because you do not want to risk feeding your cat too much fat and oils. Consult your veterinarian before you start feeding your cat coconut oil. In fact, you need to be very vigilant to avoid subjecting your cat to risky health conditions.
If your cat loves coconut milk, then make sure you feed it but with moderation. There are many benefits associated with feeding your cat coconut milk. But while at it, you need to be careful not to give your cat too much milk.
Article by Barbara Read
Barbara Read is the heart and soul behind CatBeep.com. From her early love for cats to her current trio of feline companions, Barbara's experiences shape her site's tales and tips. While not a vet, her work with shelters offers a unique perspective on cat care and adoption.