Ask most people what a cat’s best drink is, and the answer you are likely to get is milk. Most people will have this assumption because that’s Tom’s (from Tom and Jerry) best drink, and most TV shows portray cats as milk-crazy animals. Anyone who tells you that a cat’s favorite drink is milk has never owned or been around a cat. Should a cat drink milk? What fluids are best for your cat’s diet? The answer will prolong your cat’s life.
How well do you know your cat?
As human beings, more than two-thirds of a cat’s body is water. This is obvious just by looking at a healthy cat. With this knowledge, it’s evident that to maintain that level of water a cat needs to stay hydrated. Mind you; there are different kinds of cats – if you’ve ever watched the play “Cats,” you’d know. Some cats look skinny by nature, but that doesn’t mean they need any less hydration.
The age of a cat determines how much water is necessary for it to stay healthy as well as whether it will need other fluids.
A kitten that is less than four weeks old will mainly need milk from its mother for survival. It is essential that the milk is from its mother or supplement milk specially formulated for cats. Ordinary cow milk can cause digestive problems, and you don’t want a newly born kitten suffering when it has barely started to live.
Kittens between five and ten weeks old can continue to drink the recommended milk for cats coupled with water. Just for clarity, I don’t mean that you should mix the milk with water; supply the water separately.
Cats above ten weeks old should mainly drink water as the fluid of choice. You are the owner and decision maker here. Just like human beings, cats get spoiled; I bet you have seen fat and lazy cats – ever heard the name, Garfield? You can continue to give your cat milk at this stage but don’t make it a routine. Only do so on special occasions, as it doesn’t need it.
Remember to steer clear of cow milk because things, in reality, are different from what you see on TV shows; most cats are intolerant to the lactose in cow milk, and it adds more calories to its diet. Also, when you do spoil your cat with milk, don’t let the milk stay on its bowl for more than an hour. Get rid of any left milk after that period.
Cats have a lot of pride, and it shows in how they walk, behave, and hang. They are high maintenance in a way. You should supply your cat with fresh, clean water daily.
Some cats are okay with drinking water from a bowl, and some are like high school bad boys, they prefer drinking running water. This weird but cool trait led to cat-loving engineers designing unique water fountains just for cats. If your cat is one of these cool guys, and your pocket permits it, feel free to fetch him or her one.
What about other drinks?
Besides water and milk, other drinks may be fatal to cats. Movies may mislead you by making you think that it is cool to give cats alcohol or coffee, but please don’t. Furthermore, don’t even bother with juices, fizzy drinks, and tea, among others. They are not healthy.
The next time someone asks you, “should a cat drink milk?” I bet you’ll have the appropriate answer that will blow his or her mind away. The best fluids for your cat are freshwater, and suitable milk for cats.