Almond milk for cats. Many people are opting for a vegan diet these days. They give up meat, fish, eggs, milk, honey and all sorts of products manufactured using animal parts.
Thus, products that can substitute these products are in great demand these days. For instance,soy milk, almond milk, rice milk and coconut milk are some of the products intended to substitute cow’s milk.
Of course, the nutritional aspect is another problem. What about cats? Can they also benefit from these products? How about almond milk for cats?
Will a vegan be able to share their almond milk with their feline friend? Let’s figure that out in this article.
- What’s almond milk?
- Can cats drink almond milk?
- Almond milk for cats
- Benefits of almond milk
- Problems with almond milk to cats
- How much almond milk should a cat drink?
- Can almond milk kill cats?
- Can kittens drink almond milk?
- What other milk can cats drink?
What’s almond milk ?
Almond milk is a plant milk which has a creamy texture and nutty flavor. It is manufactured from almonds. Almond milk is supposed to have been first invented in the Middle East.
Unlike dairy milk it does not contain cholesterol, saturated fat or lactose. Commercial almond milk can be sweetened or unsweetened and also be in several flavors such as chocolate and vanilla.
It can also be fortified with micronutrients. Almond milk can also be made at home using almonds, water and a blender.
The almonds are soaked and ground in an excess of water. This pulp or flesh is then filtered to obtain a milky white liquid. Adding water to almond butter can also give you almond milk.
Commercially almond milk is homogenized with high pressure and pasteurized for greater stability and shelf life.
Almond milk can be used in many ways similar to regular milk. it is a highly versatile product and can be used by vegans as well as by people who are intolerant or allergic to dairy.
Can cats drink almond milk ?
Adult cats lack the lactase enzyme that digests the lactose sugar in cow’s milk. Kittens have this enzyme when they drink their mother’s milk, but lose it once they start to wean and consume solid food.
When lactose intolerant adult cats consume dairy milk and other dairy products, they can have symptoms such as gas, bloating, vomiting and diarrhea due to the inability to digest lactose properly.
Almond milk does not contain lactose since it is a plant based milk. So cats should be able to drink almond milk without any problem, right?
The general answer is yes. However, there are a few precautionary measures to be taken. Cats should only be given almond milk in moderation.
Here’s why you should exercise caution when giving almond milk to your furry friend.
Almond milk for cats
Almond milk contains lesser nutrients when compared with the nuts and also dairy milk. It can also contain sugar, preservatives, artificial sweeteners and flavors.
All these are not suitable for your kitty. Some cats can also react adversely to nuts. Although almond milk does not contain any toxic ingredients to cats, it also does not give any unique health benefits.
They can obtain all the nutrients they need from their normal cat food. If you really want to give your cat some almond milk, give them a high quality one with less artificial ingredients and also less sugar.
Try out a small amount first and see how they react to it. If they show any signs of indigestion such as vomiting, diarrhea, gas or bloating, avoid giving them almond milk altogether.
If no such signs are visible, you can give almond milk to your cat once in a while as a treat. This will also help avoid gastrointestinal upsets, weight gain, lack of interest in their normal food and also unwanted begging behaviors.
Benefits of almond milk
Most cats will love the taste of almond milk although they might not be aware of what it might do to them. Let’s find out if there are any health benefits in almond milk.
- Although dairy milk is far more nutritious than almond milk, almond milk still contains significant levels of vitamins and minerals.
- It contains vitamin D and E that help boost the immune system of cats.
- Almond milk also contains protein, carbohydrate, fat, magnesium, thiamine, riboflavin, iron and also zinc.
- However, not all these nutrients are absorbed into the cat’s system.
- This is due to the presence of phytic acid that inhibits the absorption of minerals such as iron, magnesium and zinc.
2. Low calories
- Almond milk is low in calories, but this depends on the way it is prepared.
- Since almonds contain about 50% fat, these nuts are rather high in calories.
- Remember to check the ingredients before buying your almond milk.
- Some brands produce almond milk with higher calories than others.
- Most will produce low calorie versions and market it because of this.
- It all depends on how many almonds are present in one cup.
3. High vitamin D content
- Vitamin D is essential in strengthening bones and muscles of cats.
- Deficiency of vitamin D can lead to muscle weakness, generalized fatigue and brittle bones.
- One cup of almond milk can contain about 2.4 µg of vitamin D. This is about 25% of the daily recommended intake.
- So, almond milk can play a key role in restoring bone degeneration and also muscle weakness in aging and sickly cats.
- It can also benefit less active and also generally lazy cats.
4. Lessens heart disease risks
- Almond milk contains lots of healthy fats as well as vitamin E.
- The large amounts of fatty acids found in almond milk has also been related to reduction in heart diseases.
- Oleic acid also helps in this.
- Almond milk helps reduce bad cholesterol and increase good cholesterol.
- This helps in lowering heart diseases, thereby improving the cardiovascular system significantly.
Problems with almond milk to cats
We saw the benefits almond milk can give cats. However, cats can also experience certain problems if they drink too much of it. Certain situations also complicate the problem.
Here’s when not to give almond milk to cats.
- Nut allergies
- Almond milk contains the nut in it.
- Most cats are allergic to various types of nuts.
- So, if you give almond milk with nut residues, it can be dangerous to your feline friend.
- They can develop gastrointestinal issues such as stomach upsets, gassiness, nausea and vomiting, diarrhea and also abdominal pains.
- The symptoms can be mild or severe depending on how allergic the cat is to nuts and also the amount of milk consumed.
- Cats will not show all these symptoms most of the time, but keep an eye out for any of them.
2. Choking hazard
- The nut residues in almond milk can be a choking hazard to your cat.
- This can happen especially with homemade almond milk as commercial ones are crushed finely and processed further.
- Almond milk made at home can contain potentially hazardous solid residues.
- So, either crush your homemade ones finely or serve commercial almond milk to avoid choking your furry friend.
3. Sick cats
- Cats that are already suffering from gastrointestinal issues should not be given almond milk.
- Conditions such as diarrhea and flatulence can make the digestive bacteria in cats unable to breakdown almond milk.
- The cat’s condition can worsen after drinking almond milk under these circumstances.
How much almond milk should a cat drink ?
Cats should be given almond milk as an occasional treat. It should never be a part of its main diet.
The milk should be given in small, measured amounts. The recommended amount is less than one cup of almond milk every day. One quarter of a cup is the ideal amount.
Almond milk can also be used to encourage cats to take medicine. You can also get your vet’s recommendation on the ideal amount.
Can almond milk kill cats ?
Cats who are not allergic to almond milk can safely gulp it down in moderate amounts. However, an excess amount can cause problems.
As cats are curious creatures, they can help themselves to a large bowl of almond milk you left on the table.
When the quantity of almond milk consumed by the cat is very high, monitor the cat carefully. The reaction can differ depending on the amount of milk and also their level of sensitivity to almond nuts.
Cats who are very sensitive to almond milk can show the following symptoms.
- Loss of appetite
- Abdominal pain and irritation
- Gassiness and flatulence
- Vomiting and diarrhea
- Irritability shown by excessive licking and scratching.
Take immediate action when you see these symptoms. Else, more severe consequences such as shedding of hair and weight loss can occur.
Your cat’s life can be in danger and so it is essential to consult a vet. Almond milk will not kill cats if given in the recommended amounts.
Can kittens drink almond milk ?
- Kittens have the lactase enzyme to digest lactose in cow’s milk and don’t really need to drink almond milk.
- The digestive system of kittens is also more delicate than that of adult cats and so it is best to avoid giving almond milk to kittens.
- However, if you want to give them a bit of almond milk, be sure to give it in moderation, as a treat.
- Remember to buy ones that are less in sugar and other artificial ingredients.
- As with adult cats, give a small amount first and see how they react.
- If all goes well, you can give them a bit now and then.
- It is best to seek your vet’s advice too before feeding anything new to your little kitten.
What other milk can cats drink ?
There are other plant based milk varieties in addition to almond milk. you can try these out with your cat if it is not particularly fond of almond milk.
- Soy milk
- This is made of saturated soybeans.
- Soy milk contains a large amount of amino acids that help reduce muscle mass while reducing muscle wastage.
- However, overconsumption of this milk can lead to liver damage as well as damage of the thyroid gland.
- Most commercial soy milk also contains lots of artificial sweeteners as well as flavors which are not good for cats.
2. Coconut milk
- This is the milk obtained from the white fleshy part of coconut kernels.
- Coconut milk contains high amounts of fats, low carbohydrates and no proteins.
- It is recognized for promoting heart health and also helps in weight loss.
3. Rice milk
- Rice milk has both benefits as well as drawbacks.
- It is naturally sweet and so artificial sweeteners are not necessary.
- The least allergic of all kinds of milk, making your cat unlikely to develop any side effects.
- However, the large amounts of sugar in rice milk can offset sugar balance in the cat’s system.
4. Cashew milk
- Cashew milk contains lots of minerals, healthy fats, vitamins and antioxidants.
- However, cashews are also high in fats which is not healthy for cats.
- Cats can also have an allergic reaction to cashew nuts.
Adult cats are naturally lactose intolerant due to the lack of the lactase enzyme. This enzyme digests the lactose sugar in cow’s milk.
Thus cats can experience gastrointestinal problems if dairy or dairy products are consumed. There are alternatives to dairy such as almond milk, soy milk etc., which are plant based milk.
Almond milk for cats can be given in moderation. It does not contain any toxins, but the nutrients are less when compared with dairy.
Plant based products are not handled well by a cat’s digestive system, making it essential to give them in small amounts once in a while.
Cats can also be allergic to nuts and so care has to be taken. If your cat is allergic, do not give it almond milk.
Sick cats with digestive problems can face further complications if almond milk is given to them. The larger nut pieces can also be a choking hazard in homemade almond milk.
Although almond milk is beneficial in many levels, care has to be taken when feeding it to your fur bundle. Consult your vet for further advice.
Better stick to a well-balanced cat diet and healthy treats!
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