Cats are one of the faithful companions a human being can have. They are not just adorable but also innocent creatures. So you must be cautious about their health and avoid giving them foods that can negatively impact them. One of the most common issues that you must know as a cat person is that they are lactose intolerant. Therefore, you should always avoid giving them dairy products as they can cause stomach upset.
Lactose intolerant cats are present everywhere; rather, it is an inherent aspect that is present in all cats. So if you are curious to know how you can understand if your cat is lactose intolerant or what the treatments are, stay with us until the end. Today, in this article, we will discuss some of the significant aspects of the lactose intolerance of cats. Let’s get started!
What Do You Mean By The Term Lactose Intolerance?
Since you are reading this article, it is evident that you might be worried about your pet cat and, therefore, want to know all the details regarding lactose intolerance in cats. Well, you are at the right place, as we will share with you all the details regarding it here. Right from childhood, we have heard that cats love milk, and we have also seen pictures of people feeding them milk. However, when we delve deeper into it, we understand that providing your cat with milk or milk products can cause several gastrointestinal problems. This is due to the reason that cats are lactose intolerant.
Since they have very few lactase enzymes, their body cannot digest the milk and attempts to expel it from the system when the undigested lactose sugars in the intestinal tract begin to draw all sorts of bacteria, the sugar ferments, causing adverse reactions in the stomach. Just as the cat stops taking the mother’s milk, it becomes lactose intolerant. However, this is not a disorder, instead is a natural occurrence as the cat matures. So as a cat owner, you need to take care of this.
Check Out The Symptoms of Lactose Intolerance in Cats
Many of our readers might be cat owners; therefore, they must be worried about how they can diagnose if their cats are lactose intolerant or not. Well, you need not worry as we will share with you all the relevant details regarding it.
As we mentioned earlier, milk consumption might cause your cat’s digestive system to go into distress. However, do not assume it to be an allergic reaction where the immune system triggers a response within the body when we consume a certain food. This is an entirely different case. It happens due to the lactose intolerance in cats. It has nothing to do with any allergic reaction. Some of the most common symptoms are:
- Abdominal pain
- Excessive gas
- Dry gums
- Increased heart rate
You must also remember that this is not a factor that only applies to a certain group of cats; rather, it is applicable for all. So if your cat is thirsty, give them a bowl of freshwater instead of milk. Avoiding foods like blue cheese, cottage cheese, cream, and cow milk will ensure that your cat remains healthy and fine. Therefore, if you do not want to see your cat suffer, remain strict about this.
What are The Causes of Lactose Intolerance in Cats?
If you have pet cats at your home, you must possess an idea about their genetic makeup. Well, it is what causes intolerance to lactose. You must have understood that milk is not a natural food for adult cats.
Just after weaning, they lose their ability to digest products that have lactose in them. This is because their body lacks the enzymes required for digesting dairy products. You can see the outcome if your cat consumes milk products daily. However, the severity of the reaction varies from one cat to another depending upon the number of lactase enzymes in the cat’s digestive tract. However, it is better to prevent them from consuming dairy products regularly.
How Can You Diagnose Lactose Intolerance in Cats?
At times, due to the regular consumption of milk products, your cat might suffer from stomach upset or other digestive issues. So if you notice that the cases are becoming severe, it is better to visit your nearest veterinarian. You should consult a vet, especially in situations where your cat has been suffering from diarrhoea or vomiting for a long time and is showing signs of dehydration.
Make sure you inform your vet if the cat has consumed any dairy products or not. This will help him diagnose the cause of the illness soon enough. Firstly, a physical examination of the cat will check the possible underlying cause for illness. If the doctor feels, he can also conduct tests to determine the dehydration level of the cat. At times, a faecal sample may also be taken to test for parasites in the body. So you need not worry, as your cat will be on its feet soon enough if you take quick action.
What are The Treatments of Lactose Intolerance in Cats?
There are several treatments that can help your cat recover. Even though the best way is to eliminate dairy products, however, some of the other treatments are as follows:
If your cat is suffering from vomiting and diarrhoea for a long period of time, bodily fluids may need to be replaced intravenously. At times, you might also need to hospitalise your cat if the situation worsens.
Subcutaneous Fluid Administration
Is your cat mildly dehydrated? Well, then your vet may administer fluid through a syringe into the loose skin on the back of the cat’s neck. If your vet advises, you might also have to do the same thing at home. This will ensure that your pet recovers from dehydration.
One of the easiest ways you can apply at home in such cases is to supply it with fresh water multiple times a day until it recovers. At the same time, eliminate all kinds of pasteurised milk products from your cat’s diet to prevent this. Instead, give him foods that have less sugar and low-fat products. In such cases, you can opt for cat food that various popular companies produce, especially for cats.
So as we conclude, we can say that cats are highly lactose intolerant; therefore, as cat owners, you should avoid giving them dairy products. This will ensure that your cats remain healthy and fit.
Also read: 7 Common Health Problems in Dogs