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Can Cats Drink Goat Milk? (Quick Answer)


Jun 23, 2023
Cute Scottish fold cat drinking milk at home

Adopting a cat is a big commitment. When you bring a cat home with you, you are committing to feed, shelter, and take care of it for the rest of its life. Cats are curious creatures, so they love to sniff, lick, and eat anything you put out. Traditionally, cats love milk, but can cats drink goat milk safely?

Goat milk is very nutrient-dense and helps support good bacteria in the stomach. Additionally, it is a good source of hydration for cats. However, here are some things to remember before giving goat milk to your cat.

Is It Safe for Kittens To Drink Goat Milk?

Adopting a kitten is a lot of work. They usually have a lot of energy and get into places they do not belong. Additionally, they need to stay on much stricter diets than full-grown cats. Notably, veterinarians do not recommend giving goat milk to kittens.

Sometimes when kittens get separated from their mothers between two and four weeks of age, they need to be given supplemental milk. However, you should not use goat milk. Goat milk is too low in protein and fat for kittens. When they are young, kittens need lots of protein and fat to grow, and they do not get that in goat milk.

Is It Safe for Adult Cats To Drink Goat Milk?

So, it is not safe for kittens to drink goat milk, but is that the case for adult cats? Fortunately, goat milk is safe for adult cats to drink. It provides them with plenty of nutrients and is a fantastic source of hydration.

Using it as a hydration source is beneficial because cats do not like to drink water from a bowl like dogs. They will drink from it if they get thirsty, but they prefer to drink flowing water. That is why cats like to drink from running taps.

Cat drinking milk_Pixel Shot_Shutterstock
Image Credit: Pixel-Shot, Shutterstock

What Health Benefits Do Cats Get From Goat Milk?

So, it is safe for cats to drink goat milk, but is it healthy? There are several health benefits to drinking goat milk. If given to your cat in moderation, goat milk can be a healthy part of their diet. Here are a few of the benefits of drinking goat milk.

Goat Milk Is a Rich Source of Vitamins

The biggest benefit of goat milk is its vitamin-rich nature. Goat milk provides many more vitamins and minerals than cow milk. Nutrients your cat will get from goat milk include:

  • Biotin
  • Calcium
  • Phosphorus
  • Potassium
  • Vitamin A
  • Vitamin B5

Each of these vitamins has its benefits. So, adding goat milk to your cat’s diet can help keep it healthy and live a better life.

Reduces Hydration Issues in Cats

Unfortunately, it is common for cats to experience hydration issues. Cats do not drink water in bulk like dogs. They do not like to drink water from a bowl and only do so when exceptionally thirsty. Instead, they prefer to drink water from running water sources like a tap.

As a result, cats often experience dehydration problems. Feeding them wet food can help eliminate some of these issues, but it is not a perfect solution. Another option is to give them goat milk.

Cats have more interest in drinking goat milk from a bowl of water. Its scent is appealing to them, as is the taste. So, when you put goat milk out, your cat will likely drink a lot of it immediately. You can even mix it into their food to add moisture and flavor.

Hydration is essential in cats like it is in humans. Without the regular ingestion of water or other liquids, cats can experience severe health issues. Hydration is key to the function of their digestive system. So, if you notice your cat is not drinking enough, think about giving them some goat milk.

Improves Digestive Health

The last notable benefit of goat milk in cats is it contains probiotics that can help the cat’s immune system and digestive health. Additionally, it contains prebiotics like carbohydrates that nourish the immune system and gut bacteria.

They reduce the number of detrimental bacteria in your cat’s gut and immune system so that they have better overall health.

Catt drinking milk in black saucer_Joanna Zaleska_Shutterstock
Image Credit: Joanna Zaleska, Shutterstock

Downsides To Letting Your Cat Drink Goat Milk

Sadly, there are a few downsides to letting your cat drink goat milk. These downsides are usually not enough to cut it from their diet completely. However, they are big enough that you should only include goat milk as a small part of their diet.

It Contains Lactose

Sadly, many cats will have a problem with goat milk because it contains lactose. If your cat is lactose intolerant, goat milk is not a safe alternative to traditional milk. It still contains lactose and is not safe for cats with lactose intolerance. If your lactose-intolerant cat consumes goat milk, it will irritate and upset its stomach.

However, it is crucial to note that goat milk has less lactose than cow milk. So, even if your cat is lactose intolerant, it might tolerate a small amount of goat milk but you’re better off feeding your cat a lactose free milk instead.

It Has High Fat Levels

Although it contains less fat than milk from a cow, goat milk is still very high in fat. Cats do not need a lot of fat to function, so drinking too much goat milk can be detrimental to their health. Drinking goat milk should not cause too many issues from the fat if they drink it in moderation, but it is something to consider.

Your Cat Might Be Allergic to Goat Milk

The last thing to consider is whether your cat is allergic to goat milk. Although goat milk allergy is not incredibly common, you should still monitor after they drink it for the first time. Signs of an allergic reaction to goat milk include diarrhea and an upset stomach. Fortunately, food allergies are very rare in cats, so you probably do not need to worry about this problem.


How Should You Give Goat Milk to Your Cats?

You can give goat milk to your cats in one of three ways. We will outline each method in the sections below.

Give It To Them Alone as a Drink

The most common way to give goat milk to cats is as a standalone drink. You can put some goat milk in a bowl for them to drink. Using the same vessel you usually use for water should do the trick. However, you should not give them as much goat milk as you do water.

Pour It Over Their Dry Kibbles

Cats consume many dry kibbles throughout the day, but some cats do not like how hard they are on their teeth. If your cat does not eat many kibbles, you can pour goat milk over them to soften them.

Use It to Hydrate Dehydrated Foods

The last option is to use goat milk to hydrate dehydrated cat food. Not only will it hydrate food without any moisture, but it will add flavor to food that is not desirable to most cats.


Final Thoughts

There is plenty of cat food on the market to keep your cat’s diet healthy and varied. However, all cat food has its limitations, so sometimes it can be helpful to give them human food. Goat milk is a safe option with little downside.

There are a few risks, but they are small compared to the benefits. So if you need to help your cat increase its hydration or nutrient intake, goat milk can be a fantastic option.

Featured Image Credit: Aquarius Studio, Shutterstock

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