Cats can’t drink buttermilk. Slight spills on the tongue can be harmless.
However,larger clumps could result in a clogged gastrointestinal system.
To prevent this, you should mix your Buttermilk with an active ingredient such as digestive enzymes or yogurt. So, can cats drink buttermilk?
Buttermilk is a liquid made by straining milk solids from curdled milk through a fine cloth or porous material like cheesecloth or a coffee filter. It can be used in baking in place of regular milk or sour cream.
However, this liquid contains lactose, which is a milk sugar that may cause digestive upset in cats who lack the enzyme lactase to break down the lactose in the milk sugar.
As a result, cats will have a difficult time digesting it and may experience diarrhea or vomiting, which could eventually lead to dehydration if left untreated.
What Is Buttermilk?
This fermented milk product goes by the alias of sour milk and is also named sour cream and yoghurt topping for pancakes.
Buttermilk, as the name implies, is a by-product of butter production from churning butter to separate the butterfat from the buttermilk.
When it comes to the shelf life of buttermilk, it depends on the kind of buttermilk you buy and the way you store it.
Buttermilk is thicker than regular milk but thinner than sour cream.
Baked goods and batters for fried dishes are traditionally improved with the use of buttermilk or sour cream.
Can Cats Drink Buttermilk?
Adult cats should not eat buttermilk because of the risk of diarrhea.
A small amount on a cat’s tongue can be completely harmless, but larger amounts of the creamy liquid can cause intestinal distress or even gastrointestinal obstruction in cats.
Symptoms of intestinal tract upset include passing large amounts of yellow/green (not unlike “dog vomit”) and watery feces, along with severe diarrhea and lethargy.
These symptoms can lead to dehydration, so act immediately if you believe your cat has eaten or drunk more than it can handle.
In most cats, lactose intolerance is a non-issue (unless the cat has other food allergies) and does not cause digestive upset.
Most cats with lactose intolerance do not have other food allergies, so their symptoms are usually minimal and mild in nature; diarrhea is the most common symptom.
Lactose intolerance in cats usually develops after the age of six months and is hereditary in nature.
In most cases, the disease is self-limited and will clear up on its own within a few weeks if left untreated.
However, if your cat has the food allergy in addition to lactose intolerance, he or she may develop more severe symptoms that require immediate medical attention.
Why Shouldn’t Cats Drink Buttermilk?
Most adult cats are lactose intolerant to some degree; most may tolerate up to 5 percent lactose in their diet without any problems.
Undigested lactose just travels down their digestive tract and continues to ferment in the colon instead of becoming absorbed into the bloodstream where it would normally result in symptoms of lactose intolerance.
Dairy is difficult for most cats to digest and may cause diarrhea, gas, bloating, cramping and vomiting if fed in large amounts.
Undigested carbohydrates in the milk are fermented by bacteria in the colon resulting in the production of intestinal gas and contribute to diarrhea in cats with lactose intolerance.
Is Buttermilk Good For Kittens?
Buttermilk may be provided to kittens in small amounts as a treat or used in a small amount of food (1-2 tablespoons) mixed with wet or dry.
This acidity improves the shelf life of the milk and prevents the growth of bacteria in the container.
Buttermilk has a creamier taste and texture than skim milk and may be better tolerated by kittens and cats.
The smoothness of buttermilk may help reduce the formation of tartar and promote dental health in kittens with milk allergies or lactose intolerance.
Compared to regular milk, buttermilk is less concentrated and contains fewer calories per serving (about 1/2 cup).
Because of its creamy taste, it is excellent as a topping for breads and pastries as well as for use in baked goods and smoothies.
However, milk is essential in the diet of kittens and adult cats and provides immune support and promotes muscle and joint development.
Also Read: Can Cats Drink Soy Milk?
What Happens When Cats Consume Buttermilk?
A cat’s digestive system is likely to be able to tolerate a small amount of butter milk in the diet, but buttermilk should not be fed in large amounts to cats.
Some of the symptoms that may develop include excessive flatulence and diarrhea in cats with lactose intolerance.
Because lactose is difficult for cats to metabolize, it is generally recommended that cats should not be fed large amounts of dairy products.
Lactose intolerance in cats is caused by a lack of the lactase enzyme in their intestines to breakdown the lactose sugar in milk.
This can cause intestinal upset and diarrhea in affected pets. This digestive upset is frequently associated with other clinical signs such as vomiting or loss of appetite and can lead to dehydration in severe cases.
Cats with lactose intolerance are not able to digest lactose sugar in dairy products and may develop symptoms including diarrhea, vomiting and abdominal discomfort.
In the event that you’ve been feeding your felines buttermilk or dairy products, and you have observed any of these signs or symptoms, discontinue administering the buttermilk or dairy product immediately.
Make careful to check with your vet as sometimes the cause of diarrhea may be affected by other factors such as stress or illness in cats, so getting an accurate diagnosis is important.