Can Cats Drink Coconut Milk?
Coconut milk is a lactose-free alternative to dairy products for humans. It can be used in everything from smoothies to soups. But do those health benefits transfer to your cat? Can cats drink coconut milk as a healthy, dairy-free addition to their diet?
CAN CATS DRINK COCONUT MILK?
So can cats have coconut milk? The answer is, sadly, no. Can Pets Eat This notes that the consumption of coconut milk can lead to symptoms as benign as diarrhea and vomiting or as serious as death?
What would lead a person to wonder if cats can drink coconut milk? For one, it is a dairy-free milk alternative, and it is widely known that, while cats enjoy milk, they are unable to process lactose. At face value, coconut milk would fill that void perfectly. Secondly, coconut is a wonderful source of nutrition for humans. Can Pets Eat This notes that, while coconut milk is highly caloric, it contains lauric acid? Lauric acid not only provides a source of energy but has both antibacterial and antiviral properties. It decreases both blood pressure and cholesterol and helps with the absorption of magnesium, which decreases tension in the body's muscles. Additionally, coconut milk is a prime source of electrolytes and iron, all while regulating the body's release of glucose into the bloodstream. Knowing the benefits of coconut milk would lead any cat lover to wonder if they were transferable to their furry friend.
Why Cats Cannot Digest Coconut Milk
Cats are obligate carnivores, meaning that they receive every nutrient they need in their diet by eating meat and do not have the enzymes needed to digest anything else. While kittens may survive on milk in their early days, Upgrade Your Cat notes that, with age, they lose the enzyme needed to fully digest lactose. While coconut milk is not a source of lactose, it is high in fats and oils that cats' digestive systems are unable to handle. Additionally, coconut milk falls under the category of plant protein; cats are unable to digest those as well.
For more information about the intricacies of the cat digestive system, check out this video :
Can Cats Drink Coconut Water?
Coconut water is the juice inside a coconut. It is also full of electrolytes. Could this be a good supplement to your cat's diet? Yes, in moderation. Cats can handle coconut water without digestive upset, but as Upgrade Your Cat suggests, it should be used only as a treat. Can I Give My Cat indicates that, while no harm will come to your furry friend by allowing them a lick of coconut water, their bodies are not equipped to process the nutrients that coconut water offers? Essentially, you are giving your cat coconut water simply as a different taste.
What Should Cats Drink?
Cats should be given plenty of freshwaters. Can I Give My Cat notes that water is an integral part of a cat's everyday diet? Water assists in a cat's digestion of the nutrients in its intended diet. While it may seem bland to your or me, having water as their only beverage is what's best for a cat.
While we tend to treat our cats like human children, their diet is one area in which they should simply be treated like a cat. Cats need a steady diet of meat and plenty of freshwaters. While they can enjoy coconut water as a treat, their complex digestive systems do not afford them the nutrients the beverage offers. Cats do not possess the correct enzymes to digest products with lactose. Although coconut milk is dairy-free, cats should never be offered coconut milk as a beverage. Coconut milk is too fatty and oily for cats to digest. Coconut milk consumption by a cat can lead to vomiting, diarrhea, or if enough is ingested, death.
Do you have questions about the relationship between coconut milk or water and your cat? Comment below to ask!