If you are interested in lowering your impact on the environment and you’re looking to gradually give up animal products, you might think that your cat can enjoy the same vegan or vegetarian alternatives as you do.
Well, cats are obligate carnivores, which means that they were genetically designed to process protein and fat from animal sources first and foremost.
Almond milk might be delicious and nutritious for people, but it’s not the same for cats. But can cats have almond milk? Is it dangerous for them? We’re answering these questions and more in today’s article, so keep on reading.
Can Cats Have Almond Milk?
The ideal answer to this question would be no since cats should not have any plant-based products. However, the matter is a bit more complicated than that.
Normally, cats should not exhibit any interest in almond milk as the taste isn’t appealing to them in any way. On the other hand, almond milk does have a certain fat content, as you might know by now if you have been adding it to your coffee for a while.
And while cats cannot make the difference between some tastes, and they don’t even taste sweet things, they can definitely taste fatty foods — and they appeal to them a lot.
One reason why almond milk is actually safer than regular dairy products is that it shouldn’t cause any digestive distress. If you didn’t know, most adult cats are lactose-intolerant. The only time in their lives when they are not lactose intolerant is when they are kittens, but even then, they should consume their own mothers’ milk, not milk coming from a cow.
Since it is not a dairy product, almond milk doesn’t contain any lactose, which is the ingredient that causes health issues in cats.
How Much Almond Milk Is Safe?
There aren’t any specific rules as to how much almond milk you can give your feline companion, and that’s because it actually has no place in a healthy cat’s diet.
However, if your cat seems to be a great almond milk aficionado, you are allowed to give her a sip or two every once in a while. Remember, almond milk is not something that your feline friend should have on a regular basis. It should be considered an occasional treat.
As for the actual amount that your cat can have weekly, for example, one teaspoon is considered to be pretty safe. If your cat is petite, give her just half of a teaspoon instead.
Potential Benefits to Giving Your Cat Almond Milk
We’ve already noted that the biggest advantage that almond milk presents is that it does not contain any lactose, so it’s pretty safe to give to cats. But did you know that almond milk is rich in a number of nutrients that can actually be beneficial to your pet’s health?
This type of product contains calcium and potassium but also vitamin D and vitamin E. Some varieties are even fortified with calcium and vitamin D so as to prevent rickets and osteoporosis, two osteo-skeletal health problems that tend to affect people.
So giving your cat some almond milk every now and then could potentially lower her risk of developing various bone health issues when she grows old.
Reasons to Avoid Giving Your Cat Almond Milk
Almond milk is great in some ways, but there are some realities about it that any cat guardian should not ignore. First of all, one cup has about 39 calories, and while that might not make it the most calorie-rich drink in the world, those calories mean a lot to a small kitty.
On top of that, one cup of almond milk has as many as 3.5 grams of carbs, and depending on the variety you purchase, it could also contain sugar (which cats should not have at all). There’s about .5 grams of fiber in every cup, too, and cats are not supposed to have fiber (other than safe fiber such as from pumpkin).
While nut milk varieties might be a great alternative for vegans and people generally trying to avoid dairy products, there’s something you should know about almond milk, in particular. It actually has a negative impact on the environment because of the amount of water that almonds need to be farmed. This creates drought, which is bad for any future cultures.
While you might think that you’re doing the environment a favor by drinking almond milk, it’s actually the other way around. That doesn’t mean that dairy milk is better for the environment. All kinds of milk impact the environment more or less — for example, rice milk can be linked to methane emissions, and rice cultures are actually worse in general than the impact that cattle has on our planet.
Can Your Cat Be Allergic to Almond Milk?
Yes. Your feline friend can be allergic to any type of new food. This is why it is a good idea to give your cat a very, very small quantity of almond milk to see how she reacts to it.
If your cat does have an allergy to it, she will show the following symptoms:
- Sneezing or coughing
- Red and itchy eyes
- Digestive distress like vomiting or diarrhea
Needless to say, if you notice any of these clinical signs in your feline companion, you should take her to the vet clinic as soon as possible.
Almond milk doesn’t really provide your cat with any particular benefit as she is most likely getting her most important nutrients from the food you’re already giving her.
But compared to other types of milks, especially dairy varieties, almond milk is safer. Just make sure that it doesn’t contain any artificial sweeteners or chocolate, as these two ingredients can be extremely dangerous for pets.
Your cat should not drink a lot of almond milk. ½ to 1 teaspoon per week is safe.