Cat lovers, have you ever pondered over this question, ‘Can cats drink almond milk?’
Almond milk is a low-calorie drink and a good source of natural Vitamin E, thiamine, riboflavin as well as magnesium. It’s made by grounding almonds, blending them with water and then straining the mixture to come out with a product that’s similar to regular milk. Almond milk is absolutely delicious, enriched with a pleasant, nutty flavour and creamy texture.
Almond Milk: Popular Among Vegans
If you’re a dairy-free or vegan, then you must’ve used this plant-based milk numerous times as a substitute for dairy milk on its own or in any recipe. Chances are, you do have some cold almond milk in your fridge right now.
And if you’re also somehow in a relationship with a cat, or even many cats, you must’ve thought that this nutty beverage is right for them too since it’s lactose-free. But what if you’re almost, but not entirely correct? Can your cats really drink almond milk? Stay put and find out.
Can Cats Drink Almond Milk?
The short answer is yes. The long answer is almond milk is more often than not safe for your cats, in moderation. There’re some bases of why it gets the green light. Let’s take a look at how almond milk can benefit your cats.
The Health Benefits
Consuming dairy food like cow’s milk when your cats are lactose intolerant can cause them gastrointestinal upset. The good news is that almond milk is lactose-free, which means that it doesn’t contain any dairy products.
Almond milk can benefit your cats’ health in some way. It contains little or no saturated fat but is so rich in Omega-3 fatty acids. This is great for fending off cardiovascular problems.
Rich in Vitamins and Minerals
This low-calorie beverage is also packed full of vitamins, particularly Vitamin E, which is a common additive in quality cat foods. Vitamin E is crucial for your cats’ optimal wellbeing. It’s great for their skin and coat health. Also, it can ease inflammation caused by scratching, especially if your cats have skin problems like eczema.
Almond milk is also a good source of Vitamin B1 or thiamine. Lack of thiamine can disturb the function of their brain and other high energy organs since it plays a crucial role in metabolizing carbohydrate.
Riboflavin (Vitamin B2) can be found in almond milk as well. Although the daily requirement for riboflavin is relatively low, the demand can increase during lactation or when your cats are fighting against infectious diseases.
Aside from all these vitamins, your cats can also benefit from the magnesium content. This nutrient is essential for many metabolic functions. Deficiency in magnesium can result in involuntary muscle reactions such as tension, spasms and seizures.
Aid in Giving Oral Medication to Your Cats
If your cats love the taste, most likely they’ll bug you until they can have a couple of sips. So, you might want to take this opportunity to sneak their bizarre-tasting meds into a spoonful of almond milk. Your cats might think that you’re kind enough to give them a good-meowning treat. Even the smartest one can be fooled!
Rumour has it that almond is toxic to cats. This isn’t the entire truth. You should know almonds come in two varieties, sweet and bitter. Sweet almonds, the kind sold for consumption everywhere, are non-toxic for cats.
Bitter almonds, on the other hand, is highly poisonous when raw. They contain a naturally occurring chemical compound called glycoside amygdalin. When eaten, this compound will convert into prussic acid, or better known as hydrogen cyanide. Sounds familiar?
Well, it’s one of the key ingredients that made up Zyklon B, the pesticide invented by the Nazi and used in their gas chambers.
Each raw bitter almond can produce 4-9mg of hydrogen cyanide once metabolized. It only takes about 100-200mg of cyanide to kill you within minutes, let alone your cats!
Though bitter almonds pose a fatal threat when eaten raw, they’re actually edible once processed. You might find the refined bitter almonds at some natural food stores with apparent ‘bitter’ mark. But it’s best to keep them away from your cats. You can never be too careful.
Although store-bought almond is generally non-toxic to cats, nut allergies are actually quite common in them. Indeed, nut allergy is one of the most typical culprits that cause itching in cats, other than parasites and infections. So keep an eye out for any signs of allergy if it’s the first time your cats drink almond milk.
If they do have one, chances are that they’ll scratch their ears and head a lot as well as sneezing and being cranky. The itchiness can cause bald spots and rashes anywhere on their skin.
Whenever your cats have intense itching along with gastrointestinal upset like vomiting, flatulence and diarrhoea, stop giving them the food and consult a veterinarian for proper diagnosis.
So.. Can Kittens Drink Almond Milk?
Kittens typically have such sensitive stomachs. If you’ve rescued abandoned, feral or orphaned kittens, refrain from feeding them almond milk or any kinds of nut milk. Almond milk doesn’t really supply them the appropriate composure of essential amino acids. You can find better kitten formula alternatives in the market that are complete, balanced and suitable for a kitten’s digestive system.
Final Thoughts on ‘Can Cats Drink Almond Milk?’
Store-bought almond milk supposedly doesn’t contain any toxic ingredients. A moderate amount of almond milk is therefore safe for most cats. However, be sure to buy high-quality, unsweetened almond milk as sugars, and artificial ingredients can pose a health risk to them.
Whenever you give your cats almond milk, watch for any symptoms of allergic reactions, especially if they’re trying the beverage for the first time. If they show most of the following signs, odds are that they do have an allergy to almond.
- Intense scratching
- Chewing on paws and tail
- Runny and itchy eyes
- Coughing and sneezing
- Wheezing and snoring
- Excessive grooming
- Skin rashes
- Hair loss
- Bald spots
- Bloating and gas
Regardless, avoid feeding almond milk or any kinds of nut milk to young kittens and opt for designated formula instead.