There’s a lot of misconceptions online about cats. For instance, cats don’t always land on their feet. Some cats actually enjoy baths, and no, they cannot see in the dark. Perhaps the biggest misconception is that cats can have cow’s milk. With that said, you may be wondering whether cats can have alternative products, such as oat milk.
Cats can have oat milk, but only in small quantities. Once cats wean (meaning they stop drinking their mothers’ milk), many become lactose intolerant. Even a small quantity of cow’s milk can cause vomiting, diarrhea, and indigestion. Most cats get their nutrients from their daily meals instead.
I’ve been a lifelong lover of cats, and let me tell you, there are tons of treats you can give your feline friend other than milk. Cheese, fruit, and even cooked meat can really make Mr. Whiskers’ day. Continue reading to learn more.
What Can I Give My Cat to Drink?
Ideally, you should offer your cat water, preferably from a trickling water source. Although cats have been friends of humankind for thousands of years, they’re still hesitant to drink “still water,” like from a dish.
In the wild, still water, like from canals or ponds, is usually full of bacteria and germs. Running water (like from a stream or your bathtub) is generally cleaner. However, if you’re looking to do something special for Garfield, you can try:
- Adding crushed ice cubes to their water dish
- Giving them a small dish of low-sodium chicken broth
- Giving them turkey bone broth
- Adding oyster, tuna, or fish juice to their water supply
If your cat’s not drinking water (or any liquid for that matter), take them to the vet, as this could indicate an underlying health issue.
Other Alternatives to Oat Milk
If you’re looking to give your four-legged companion a fun little treat, consider the following instead of oat milk:
- Fish. Tuna and mackerel can actually improve your cat’s eyesight. You don’t want to make a habit of this, however, as these items contain mercury. High levels of this substance can be fatal.
- Cooked chicken. Unseasoned, cooked chicken is a great treat for your little meat-lover. You should avoid deli meats that are high in sodium, such as ham, roast beef, and bacon.
- Bananas. Bananas are chock-full of nutrients good for both humans and cats. Again, use these items sparingly, as they’re high in sugar. You don’t want your furry friend to develop diabetes.
- Rice. Small portions of cooked rice can add a bit of texture to an otherwise bland bowl of cat food. It’s even known to help with digestive problems.
- Oatmeal. You can do more than feed your cat oatmeal; you can actually topically apply it to your pet’s cracked or dry skin.
If you’re looking for something safe but unconventional, there are tons of cat-friendly snack mixes online that offer healthy nutrients:
- Petcakes lets you make and decorate pancakes for your cat. Just add water and make it like a regular pancake.
- Oh My Gravy! is natural wet food in a convenient pouch. You can select from flavors like turkey, tuna, salmon, and duck.
- Churu Pops is like ice cream for your cat. Think the cat equivalent of Frosty Paws. Don’t be fooled; this ice cream doesn’t contain milk. In fact, it’s a mixture of tuna and chicken.
- Who says chewing’s just for dogs? WoLovers Silvervine Sticks gives your cat something to chew on while cleaning their teeth and eliminating bad breath. Its 100 percent natural, too.
Foods and Drinks Cats Shouldn’t Have
There’s a huge debate in the pet community whether cats are actually domesticated. Dogs can eat most things humans can since they’ve lived for thousands of years at our sides. The same cannot be said for cats, who are largely independent and naturally hunt for food.
Under no circumstances should you offer your cat these items:
- Cow milk, soy milk, almond milk, and coconut milk. A small percentage of cats can drink these beverages with no problems. Others, however, cannot.
- Alcohol. Animals do not experience the same levels of intoxication their owners do. Keep wine, beer, and liquor away from your pets––including your cats. Even a taste of your White Claw can upset your cat’s stomach.
- Dog food. Dog food does not have sufficient levels of taurine and vitamin A––the two nutrients cats need. From personal experience, I had a cat once that loved dog food. She swelled up to the size of a basketball. It was not a good look, and it took weeks to shed those pounds.
- Chocolate. Cocoa contains a chemical called “theobromine” that’s poisonous to dogs and cats. Eating chocolate can cause seizures and other life-threatening conditions.
- Onions, garlic, and chives. Long story short, these closely related foodstuffs destroy red blood cells. These can lead to amenia, which can cause extreme fatigue, weakness, and even death.
In the wild, cats are carnivores, meaning they mainly eat raw meat. This should be avoided with domestic cats, however. Raw meat can cause salmonella, which can result in costly vet bills.
So, yes. Your cat can have oat milk as an occasional snack. However, the keyword here is “occasional.” If you make a habit of it, not only could this deprive them of the nutrients in water, but it could also upset their stomach.