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Home Ragdoll Cat Can Ragdoll Cats Drink Milk?

Can Ragdoll Cats Drink Milk?

by Pierre

Can Ragdoll Cats Drink Milk?Everyone is familiar with the iconic image of a content cat lapping up some fresh milk from a tiny saucer. Ragdolls are no exception to this stereotype. But are ragdoll cats and saucers of milk truly a good match? The answer just may surprise you.

Can ragdoll cats drink milk? Yes, your ragdoll can drink milk. However, it is recommended they do not consume too much of it. Since ragdolls, as well as many other breeds of cat, are prone to lactose intolerance, it can cause them to have digestive issues that will leave both you and your ragdoll feeling troubled.

Let us show you what might happen if your Ragdoll drinks milk and what alternatives there are to milk.

Understand exactly why cow’s milk will upset my ragdoll’s stomach

The main issue with cats drinking traditional cow’s milk is that it contains lactose, which is the sugar found in milk. Just like some humans, many cats have an intolerance to this type of sugar.

The small intestine produces an enzyme appropriately named lactase, which aids in breaking down lactose so that is can be properly absorbed.

Unfortunately, as our ragdolls mature their bodies produce less lactase meaning it is hard for your cat to digest lactose. The undigested lactose can draw a lot of water into your cat’s intestines. This means in about eight to twelve hours your ragdoll can develop gas, bloating and diarrhea.

It is also important to note that if your ragdoll develops diarrhea, they can easily become dehydrated. Always pay attention to your cat’s bowel movements and water consumption.

(Especially if your Ragdoll cat suffers from diarrhea from time to time, you should read this article.)

Though most cats are affected by lactose intolerance, not all are. Keep in mind cats that are able to digest the enzyme are the exception to the rule. You can see how your ragdoll reacts to milk consumption by starting with a tablespoon after a nutritious meal has been eaten by your cat.

If you simply cannot resist treating your sweet ragdoll to a creamy saucer of cow's milk, your best bet is to avoid higher fat milk and opt for 1% or skim milk.

Heavier milk like whole milk, Half & Half, and cream contain a sugar and fat content that is too high for a healthy diet, especially if your ragdoll's weight is an issue.

Milk alternatives my ragdoll can consume

If the lactose in milk is the culprit for your ragdoll's indigestion, you may want to try some dairy alternatives and lactose-free options. Though like regular cow's milk, there are some issues that may arise with giving your cat a milk alternative.

  • Lactose-free is still cow's milk, but it is not something they should be drinking regularly. It does not contain the enzyme that will lead to digestive issues but like regular milk, it can be a bit too high in fat and sugar to have a positive effect on your cat's diet.
  • Nut milk such as almond, coconut, and cashew milks are a big deal for humans these days, but maybe not so much for your ragdoll. This milk is made by grinding up the respective nut and adding water and preservatives. In nature, cats would surely avoid eating nuts, so keep in mind it is not a part of their natural diet, Though you can give your kitty some as a treat, it is not recommended to give them much more than a few tablespoons.
  • Soy milk is made similarly to the other milk listed above but should be avoided by cats. Your carnivorous friend does not have soybeans as part of their natural diet. In addition, soy milk contains phytoestrogen, a plant-based estrogen that can not only be detrimental to your ragdoll's health but your own as well.
  • You can find brands of milk designed specifically for your feline friend. Brands such as Whiskas, Cat-Sip, and CatSure are safe to buy for your ragdoll. In fact, most are fortified with nutrients and vitamins that will keep your cat looking and feeling great all without upsetting their stomach. It must always be kept in mind though that it is still a treat and it is not okay to overindulge your cat with this milk. Too many vitamins can be harmful. Have a look at this cat milk here!

Is Milk Good For A Ragdoll´s Health?

Keep your ragdoll hydrated

Unlike humans, cats are not meant to consume a variety of beverages. A ragdoll owner may ask themselves, if not milk then what can I provide my cat to drink?

Above appeasing kitty’s taste buds will always be hydration, and nothing will ever do the trick quite like water. After all, your ragdoll’s body tissue is made up of almost 70 percent water!

  • Always leave a clean bowl of water out for your ragdoll.
  • Be sure to clean the bowl regularly with a mild soap to prevent it from harboring bacteria.
  • Ragdolls also have sensitive taste buds and may avoid water that has been sitting out for too long.
  • You also may have noticed your ragdoll prefers to drink water from your dripping bathroom faucet. This behavior is thought to stem from a cat’s association with still water being possibly contaminated. Luckily today it is easy to find an automatic water dispenser for your cat at most pet stores.
  • Your ragdoll can also hydrate from regularly eating wet food. Canned cat food is made up of about 80 percent water content. Ragdolls also love to lap up the water in canned fish that we often consume. If you want to treat your cat to a can of albacore tuna or sardines, make sure you put all of the canning liquid into your cat’s dish.

Always take notice of any signs of dehydration your ragdoll may be experiencing. Good skin elasticity, a shiny coat, and only a handful of trips to the litter box are all signs indicating your kitty cat is in top shape.

Also, getting a water fountain is great to encourage your Ragdoll to drink even more. Learn more about water fountains here.

Spoil your ragdoll without any milk

Maybe you want to reward your ragdoll for being a good patient at the vet, or only want to spoil them because you love your cat so much. Know that you can treat your fluffy friend without giving any milk at all.

A bag of dried cat treats is a popular and healthy way to reward your ragdoll. Look for high-quality ingredients and avoid products with soy, corn, and wheat, as it lacks the proper nutrition for your cat. Grain-free is always a good way to go if you are buying treats from your favorite pet store.

Remember you can also always reward your kitty with non-food options too. Go out and buy your ragdoll some new toys. Catnip and valerian root also make great rewards and as a bonus help to relax your cat.

A good brushing is also enjoyable to most ragdolls.

Don't forget that these mellow giants can also be rewarded with your affection. Often some ear scratches and belly rubs will do the trick!

Related Questions

Can ragdoll cats have a raw diet? If you want to put your ragdoll on a raw diet it is best to stick to organic ground poultry. Make sure the meat is fresh, as they are prone to foodborne illness. It is also not recommended to feed pregnant ragdolls raw meat. To play it safe, grain-free is always a great option.

What is the best diet for ragdoll kittens? When ragdoll kittens are weaned off of their mother’s milk, it is best to feed them wet and dry food specially formulated for kittens. It is fortified with a larger amount of nutrients and calories to help your ragdoll kitten stay healthy and nourished.

Our Ragdoll Cat Food Guide will tell you everything you need to know about the Ragdoll cat/kitten diet. Read it here!

Do ragdoll cats have food allergies? It is a possibility that your ragdoll can have food allergies but it is uncommon. More likely if they are having a reaction to food, it is an intolerance rather than an allergy. Cats can, however, have non-food-related allergies such as to dust and pollen.

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