Can I drink milk licked by cat?

If you’re a proud cat owner, you’ve probably witnessed your furry friend lapping up milk on more than one occasion. But have you ever wondered whether it’s safe for humans to drink milk that’s been licked by their cats? As an expert in this subject, I’m here to provide some surprising insights.

While the image of a cat drinking milk is undeniably adorable, it’s important to note that most cats are lactose intolerant. So, while they may enjoy the taste of milk, it’s not good for their digestive systems. But what about us humans? Can we safely consume the same milk that our feline friends have licked?

The answer isn’t as straightforward as a simple yes or no. There are several factors to consider before making a decision. This question has intrigued pet owners for years and with good reason – the idea of sharing a drink with our beloved pets is tempting. However, it’s essential to understand the potential risks and benefits involved.

In this post, we’ll delve into all the things you need to know about drinking milk licked by cats. We’ll explore the various factors at play and provide expert insights into this intriguing topic. So sit back, relax, and keep reading to discover what the experts say about this fascinating subject.

Potential Health Risks from Drinking Cat-Licked Milk

Let’s explore the potential dangers.

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Cats are natural hosts to bacteria like salmonella and E.coli. These bacteria can easily be transferred to humans through their saliva. So if your cat has recently licked the milk, the bacteria in their mouth could contaminate the milk, causing illness if ingested. This is particularly concerning if your feline friend has just used their litter box or was outside where they could have picked up harmful bacteria.

Moreover, cats are known to carry parasites such as Toxoplasma gondii that can be transmitted to humans through exposure to contaminated food, water, or cat feces. If a cat ingests milk and then licks the container or utensils used to consume it, there is a risk of transmitting this parasite to humans.

Additionally, some people may have allergies or sensitivities to cats that could be triggered by drinking milk that has been licked by them. The proteins found in cat saliva and dander can cause allergic reactions in some individuals, including symptoms such as itching, hives, and difficulty breathing.

Therefore, it is highly recommended not to drink milk that has been licked by a cat. While cats may seem like perfect companions for milk drinkers, it’s best to avoid any food or drink that has come into contact with their saliva or other bodily fluids in order to minimize the risk of illness or allergic reactions.

Bacterial Contamination

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When it comes to drinking milk that has been licked by a cat, you need to be cautious. Bacterial contamination is a significant risk that cannot be ignored.

Cats are known to carry bacteria in their mouths, including Salmonella, Campylobacter, and E. coli, which can cause food poisoning, diarrhea, and other health problems in humans if ingested. Even if your cat appears healthy, it may still carry harmful bacteria in its mouth. If the cat has any open wounds or infections in its mouth, the milk could also be contaminated with harmful bacteria that could make you sick.

If you accidentally consume milk that has been licked by a cat, it is crucial to monitor your health closely for any signs of illness. Symptoms of bacterial contamination include nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, or fever. If you experience any of these symptoms, seek medical attention immediately.

It is best to avoid drinking milk that has been in contact with a cat’s mouth to prevent potential health issues. Remember to always practice good hygiene and wash your hands thoroughly after handling your cat or any of its belongings.

Lactose Intolerance in Cats

Lactose intolerance in cats occurs due to their inability to digest lactose, a sugar found in milk and other dairy products. This is because cats do not produce enough lactase, the enzyme that helps break down lactose. When cats consume milk or dairy products, undigested lactose causes gastrointestinal issues, leading to diarrhea, vomiting, and abdominal pain. This can be unpleasant and even dangerous for the cat.

However, even if your cat is not lactose intolerant, it’s still not recommended to give them milk or dairy products regularly. Cats are obligate carnivores, which means they require a high-protein and low-carbohydrate diet. Milk and dairy products lack the necessary nutrients for a cat’s diet and can lead to obesity and other health problems.

So what’s the bottom line? Drinking milk licked by a cat is not recommended for humans due to potential health risks associated with lactose intolerance in cats. And for our feline friends, it’s essential for cat owners to provide them with a balanced diet that meets their nutritional needs.

What Are the Alternatives?

But fear not, there are several alternatives available to keep you and your feline companion happy and healthy.

Firstly, the most obvious alternative is to avoid drinking milk that has been licked by a cat altogether. Yes, we know it’s tempting to let your cat lick the last drop from the glass, but it’s important to remember that cats have a natural instinct to groom themselves, and their saliva contains bacteria that can cause vomiting, diarrhea, and abdominal pain for humans.

Another option is to provide your cat with their own bowl of milk to drink from. This can help prevent them from trying to drink from your glass or cup and potentially contaminating your drink with their saliva. However, it’s important to note that not all cats can digest milk properly, so it may be best to offer them water or another type of cat-friendly beverage instead.

If you still crave the taste of milk but want to avoid the risks associated with consuming milk licked by a cat, there are several non-dairy milk alternatives available. Almond milk, soy milk, coconut milk, and oat milk are just a few options that are safe for human consumption and don’t carry the same risk of bacterial contamination as milk licked by a cat.

Is It Ever Safe to Drink Cat-Licked Milk?

However, when it comes to drinking milk that has been licked by a cat, there are definite risks that you need to consider.

Research shows that cats carry bacteria in their mouths that can be harmful to humans. Even though cats are generally clean animals, sharing a bowl of milk with them can put you at risk for bacterial infections such as Pasteurella multocida, salmonella, and E. coli. These infections can cause serious health issues like vomiting, diarrhea, and abdominal pain.

In addition to bacterial infections, cats can also transmit viruses through their saliva. While these viruses are typically not harmful to humans, they can be dangerous for other cats. The feline leukemia virus (FeLV) and the feline immunodeficiency virus (FIV) are just two examples of viruses that cats can carry.

Parasites are another concern when it comes to drinking cat-licked milk. Cats can carry the Toxoplasma gondii parasite in their saliva, which can cause toxoplasmosis in humans. While this parasite is usually not harmful to healthy adults, it can be dangerous for pregnant women and individuals with compromised immune systems.

So, if you’re wondering whether it’s safe to drink cat-licked milk, the answer is a resounding NO. As much as you love your feline friend, sharing food or drinks with them is simply not worth the potential risks involved.

To keep your cat happy and healthy, consider providing them with their own bowl of milk or try non-dairy alternatives like almond, soy, coconut or oat milk. By taking these precautions, you can enjoy the company of your furry friend without compromising your health.


To sum up, drinking milk licked by cats is not advisable as it can pose a risk to your health. Cats are carriers of harmful bacteria like salmonella and E.coli, which can easily be transferred to humans through their saliva. Moreover, cats can carry parasites such as Toxoplasma gondii that can cause illness in humans if ingested through contaminated food or water.

Additionally, most cats are lactose intolerant, meaning they cannot digest lactose found in milk properly and may suffer from gastrointestinal issues. Therefore, it’s best to refrain from sharing food or drinks with your cat to avoid any potential health hazards. Instead, provide them with their own bowl of milk or try non-dairy alternatives like almond, soy, coconut or oat milk.

Remember that cats require a high-protein and low-carbohydrate diet to maintain good health. As a responsible pet owner, it’s essential to ensure that your cat receives the right nutrients for their overall well-being.

Lastly, if you accidentally consume milk licked by a cat and experience symptoms such as nausea, vomiting, diarrhea or fever, seek medical attention immediately.