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Anyone else got a seriously lactose intolerant Kitty?

(43 Posts)
ImBatDog Fri 16-Jan-15 10:17:21

My 9mo tabby/tortie is severely lactose intolerant. It seems even the smallest ingestion of milk gives her diarrhea.

Obviously i'm being very vigilant to keep her nose out of anywhere thats got dairy products, but she seems to be managing to thwart me at least every couple of weeks or so... usually courtesy of one of the kids forgetting to empty the leftover milk from their breakfast bowls and shut her out of the kitchen. (i do tell them constantly but ds has SEN and is very forgetful)

Anyone got a kitty with similar problems? Any extra advice on how to live with it? I hate seeing her feeling so out of sorts sad

cozietoesie Fri 16-Jan-15 11:42:12

They love milk as well - it just doesn't love them. (I have a cat who, unusually, is not lactose intolerant so don't have your problems.)

With DS being forgetful, vigilance is going to be difficult without you going headless. Is there any chance of you using/trying those lactose-free milks for breakfast? I don't know how cats react to that so it's just a thought.

I know that that might seem like a lot to some people but cleaning up diarrhoea is no fun (and having a stomach upset is no fun for a cat.) I just don't know what the stuff tastes like.

Archfarchnad Fri 16-Jan-15 11:59:24

Would it help if you buy some kitty milk and give that to her? She wouldn't react to it hopefully and it would decrease her interest in milk for human consumption. After all, at 9mo it's not so long ago she was drinking her own mum's milk, perhaps she misses that taste.

juneybean Fri 16-Jan-15 14:35:05

I buy Lactofree for my kitten as realised I was spending so much on cat milk!

I've now started using it for myself, would that work?

ImBatDog Fri 16-Jan-15 14:39:01

i haven't tried cat milk, the home she came from said it also gave her an upset tum as a kitten, so i'm reluctant to try it.

cozietoesie Fri 16-Jan-15 14:42:35

That's sort of what I was thinking. I don't myself agree with giving cats any sort of milk as a large part of their diet even if they're lactose tolerant - it's just not nutritionally balanced and I'd rather they didn't get a taste for it. I was considering more ways that the OP could avoid slips after the breakfast table by using 'special milk' for cereal etc.

What does the stuff taste like by the way?

(We'll ignore Seniorboy's 'special pudding' every evening because he's a special case. Don't judge me. grin)

ImBatDog Fri 16-Jan-15 14:55:34

i could do him toast for breakfast, but his morning cereal is literally the ONLY milk i managed to get into him as he wont touch it with anything else.

The only thing i can really do is tell him to stop taking his bowl to the kitchen and sit with it until i take it out.. he's normally eating while i'm washing/getting dressed and he hoovers it down in a flash!

Then if i take their bowls out, i can make sure they're washed out and milk free.. its just how DS will take to the slight routine change/tweaking.

EvansOvalPiesYumYum Fri 16-Jan-15 14:58:45

All cats are lactose intolerant. I have only ever given mine water - it is all they need. You simply shouldn't feed milk to cats. There are lactose-free products especially aimed at cats on the market, but they are expensive and unnecessary.

EvansOvalPiesYumYum Fri 16-Jan-15 15:00:44

Micah Fri 16-Jan-15 15:02:18

I thought all cats were lactose intolerant- once they're weaned they stop producing the enzyme that breaks down lactose.

I'm sure I read that humans would be the same except we continue consuming milk past weaning- in food, on cereal, in tea/coffee, in chocolate, and as a drink. This means we continue to be able to break down lactose into adulthood.

I'd speak to your vet.

cozietoesie Fri 16-Jan-15 15:04:37

Worth a try I suppose. (Tweaking the routine.) There will likely be bigger tweaks coming his way at a later date so trying to accustom him to a small one might be interesting.

Good luck anyway.

cozietoesie Fri 16-Jan-15 15:09:31

I don't think they all are, Micah - although I wouldn't regard the stuff as particularly good for them even if not. (Prepared to stand corrected on that one - and it may be that some kittens are being fed small amounts of milk during their young months so continue producing - lactase is it?)

EvansOvalPiesYumYum Fri 16-Jan-15 15:13:04

cozietoesie Fri 16-Jan-15 15:17:31

Yup - I've read that, Evans. You'll note the constant references to 'many' and 'most' ?

I'd agree that it's not something to let them have as a standard diet item though. Little nutritional value for cats and lots of potential problems.

EvansOvalPiesYumYum Fri 16-Jan-15 15:24:26

My post wasn't aimed at you specifically, Cozie - merely a helpful reference site for anyone in doubt as to whether or not to feed cow's milk to cats (and specifically, as it appears in this case, kittens). I think we are in agreement that it is generally not a good idea smile

EvansOvalPiesYumYum Fri 16-Jan-15 15:28:32

(PS - actually, I don't even know why I used the word 'specifically'. My post wasn't aimed at you at all)

cozietoesie Fri 16-Jan-15 15:29:26

Oh it's not. I except Seniorboy from this stricture because he's been living a life of indulgence. We're not talking a dod of squirty cream every night, Oh No. He doesn't count though. He's not lactose intolerant and when he came to live with me, he wasn't expected to live for more than a few weeks so we thought to spoil him rotten for his remaining time.

That was six years ago!

EvansOvalPiesYumYum Fri 16-Jan-15 16:10:25

Aww, that's so sweet - What a lucky boy he is!

ImBatDog Fri 16-Jan-15 16:22:30

i know milk isn't good for them smile Its not given her on purpose, she came from a friend and i know they do give their cat 'cat milk' and we were told that it upset BatCats tummy as a kitten, so they had to keep her away from it.

I know a few cats that drink it, and cows milk without having any of the problem BatCat does.. but like i said, even the smallest amount gives her a runny tummy, and judging by this episode, she got way more than a lick!

Luckily she's keeping it all in the litter tray, but its still not pleasant to clean up, and she's not her normal bouncy self either, i can hear her tum squiggling when she's sat with me!

EvansOvalPiesYumYum Fri 16-Jan-15 16:34:03

Okay then, so now you know, just give her water

Even if she thinks she wants milk, she will very soon forget if you stand firm, and by giving in to her, you're not doing her any favours.

Water, water, water.
Your cat is quite clearly lactose intolerant, so no milk for her. If you know it's upsetting her tummy but you still give it to her, then you are giving it on purpose. It's a no-brainer, really.

ImBatDog Fri 16-Jan-15 16:47:06

dont give it to her, she's sometimes getting it from the kids breakfast dishes if they forget to empty them, as i said in my op!

cozietoesie Fri 16-Jan-15 16:56:28

OK then - try the changes as suggested up-thread. Either organisational or substituting lacto-free milk for the ordinary stuff in their cereal.

Has anyone tasted the lacto-free milk? (I'm very sensitive to the taste of milk so fascinated to know whether it comes across as 'normal'.)

ImBatDog Fri 16-Jan-15 17:15:34

i've never tried it personally, be interesting to know though smile

juneybean Fri 16-Jan-15 17:16:06

I've only used it in my coffee so far and it tasted fine!

EvansOvalPiesYumYum Fri 16-Jan-15 17:16:14

So Imbatdog you shouldn't be allowing her the opportunity to get it from your children's breakfast bowls. I'm sorry, but I really think you're making silly excuses. You know the milk is upsetting her tummy, but you can't stop her from obtaining it. Either you supervise your children with their breakfast milk, give them toast instead, or don't keep a cat.
Three choices - you have to choose one.

I've had cats for 37 years, have two (now grown) children and have various little visitors who drink milk, as do we all. There is no excuse for allowing a cat to eat or drink something they shouldn't within the house.

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