No, it is better not to give your cat oat milk because it can cause digestive issues.
Oat milk offers no nutritional benefits to cats and many commercial plant milks contain added salt and sugar which have no place in your cat’s diet.
Due to the risk of a reaction to oat milk, it’s best to avoid giving this drink to your cat.
Is Oat Milk Safe To Give Your Cat?
While not life-threatening, giving your cat oat milk can cause diarrhoea, bloating, cramping, vomiting, and general indigestion.
This is because oats, as well as other grains, are not easy for cats to digest.
As well as causing digestive issues, oat milk tends to be high in calories and contains sugar and salt which can contribute to health issues including obesity, heart problems, and diabetes.
As a cat’s diet naturally consists of protein and fat, they do not consume grains or carbohydrate-heavy foods such as oats.
Even though the oats are offered in a milk form, they are still oats and cats are not able to digest these easily.
Is Oat Milk Safer Than Normal Milk?
Oat milk is marginally safer than normal milk but both milks have their problems.
The one benefit oat milk has over normal milk is that it is naturally lactose-free.
The majority of cats are lactose-intolerant so they experience digestive issues from drinking milk.
The digestive issues caused by lactose intolerance are similar to those that can be caused by drinking oat milk so both milk types should be avoided.
It is best not to give your cat milk, regardless of whether it is oat milk or dairy milk, as cats struggle to digest it and this may cause discomfort, pain, and other health issues.
Water is by far the best and safest drink for cats.
How Often Can You Safely Give Oat Milk To Your Cat?
It’s safest not to give your cat oat milk as they may experience a bad reaction which can leave them in pain and discomfort.
Commercial oat milk has a lot of ingredients, many of which are not well suited to cats. This milk is also high in calories and there are no advantages to your cat consuming it.
Some cat owners may offer oat milk to their cat as an occasional treat but there are better treat options that your cat will probably enjoy much more.
Even if your cat does not show an immediate reaction to drinking oat milk, they may develop health issues if they drink too much of it too often.
What’s In Oat Milk & How Does It Affect Cats?
The ingredients in oat milk depend on the specific product you purchase, you can also make oat milk at home.
Below we’ve listed the common ingredients found in commercial oat milk and given some insight into why these ingredients are not good for cats.
The following are common ingredients in a lot of shop-bought oat milk:
|Ingredient||Impact on Cats|
|Oats||Indigestion, bloat, cramps, diarrhoea, vomiting|
|Water||Safe and can help with hydration|
|Sugar||High in calories with no nutritional value, can lead to weight gain, diabetes, dental health problems|
|Salt||Prolonged exposure can result in cardiac problems|
|Additives/ Thickeners/ Oil||Unhealthy and unnecessary for cats to consume|
|Flavourings such as chocolate||Potentially toxic depending on the flavouring used|
Do Cats Even Like Oat Milk?
While some cats may like oat milk, the majority probably don’t. Milk isn’t good for any cats but some still enjoy drinking milk and may drink oat milk if it is offered to them.
As cats are often fussy eaters it isn’t a surprise many would turn their noses up at this milk.
As oat milk doesn’t offer any nutritional benefits to cats and does not satisfy their need to eat meat they probably won’t want to drink it (beyond any initial curiosity they may have).
It’s also worth noting that oat milk is completely different from cow’s milk and your cat would notice if you switched between them.
Fresh water is a much more beneficial, and hydrating option for cats.
Can Cats Have Oat Milk Ice Cream?
No, oat milk ice cream is full of sugar and fat which isn’t good for cats. The oat milk is difficult for your cat to digest so it’s best not to give them oat milk ice cream.
If you are looking for an occasional treat to offer your cat, choose cat-friendly options and make sure you follow the feeding guidelines.
Can Cats Have Chocolate Oat Milk?
No, cats cannot have chocolate oat milk, not only is chocolate toxic to cats but the oats and sugar in the milk will negatively impact your cat’s digestion.
When offered regularly over a period of time, the high calorie content can lead to health issues including obesity and feline diabetes.
Chocolate oat milk is bad for cats and is worse than standard oat milk as cats are more sensitive to chocolate and it can cause chocolate poisoning.
If you give your cat chocolate milk they will probably experience vomiting and diarrhoea as well as pain and other symptoms.
Even if your cat does not experience any immediate symptoms from consuming chocolate oat milk, it is not worth the risk. If your cat has consumed chocolate milk and they have started experiencing symptoms, contact the vet immediately to ensure your cat does not experience severe symptoms and toxicity.
What Milk Can I Give My Cat?
The best milk to give your cat as an occasional treat is goat’s milk as it is much lower in lactose than cow’s milk so is easier for cats to digest.
If you are caring for kittens who aren’t getting milk from their mother, the best option is a kitten milk replacer.
A vet can help recommend the best milk replacement if needed.
Milk products that are cat-friendly have been processed to remove lactose and lower the fat content to ensure the nutritional value is closer to the nutritional needs of cats.
Although this milk is better for cats, it may still cause adverse effects such as diarrhoea and weight gain.
What Can I Give My Cat Instead Of Milk?
While there are a few cat milk alternatives available if you’re looking for a hydrating treat, unsalted bone-broth or unsalted tuna juice is often a better choice.
It’s best to avoid dairy products and only offer a cat-friendly milk formula if recommended by a vet (these nutrient-dense formulas tend to be best for kittens and elderly cats).
If your cat is struggling with hydration and doesn’t seem to be interested in drinking water, there are a couple of things you can do:
- Firstly, you can offer them water using a pet water fountain. Many cats are more interested in the water when it is moving through a fountain as this keeps it fresh.
- Secondly, you can switch their diet to wet food which is easier for your cat to eat and helps keep them hydrated.
- Lastly, you can begin offering wet treats to increase their overall water intake.
Although your cat may enjoy milk, it could make their dehydration worse as it can cause diarrhoea and vomiting.